Military move - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Military move

My wife and I are back and forth on what to do about this, here's the situation. I'm at 18 years in the military and due for a transfer in a month and a half. We have three kids, a 14 yo about to start highschool, a 12 year old going into 7th grade, and a 9 year old going into 4th grade. We live in a small area that we all really like, the kids have made good friends and we have a few good family friends as well.
The location I'm transferring to is about a 5hr drive away. We can't decide between only me going and them staying, or all of us going. The area I'm transferring to is a much bigger, more populated area that none of us are looking forward to. I moved around a lot when I was a kid and always hated it and I hate to do that to my kids. We've been lucky enough to be in one spot for 15 years prior being where we are now and the kids were a lot younger during that move. I'm out of the military in 2 years. If it were longer than that it would be a no-brainer, but as it sits now, I will have 23 months left when I get there and there is a pretty good chance that I'll be deployed for at least 8 months during those 23 months, which in my opinion is hitting my family with a double whammy. The whole purpose in moving them would be to be together, then I leave completely while they have no friends or support system.
Being only 5 hours away I could make the drive at least every other weekend and on any three day weekend no problems. As far as getting out in 2 years, there are plenty of job opportunities in my field at our current location so rejoining my family (if they stayed), shouldn't be much of an issue. If they moved though, in two years we would be looking at likely picking up and moving again.
I can think of plenty of pros and cons for both, but this is becoming a really difficult decision to make. I've been leaning towards them staying, my wife has flip-flopped several times

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:13 PM
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Re: Military move

My spouse has 6 months left in the military and I can tell you that it would be much better for the wife and kids to stay where they are. The 7th grader will definitely be upset to leave - I remember my oldest child being so unhappy at having to switch junior high-school after 6th grade too. And the teen would be faced with doing 2 years at the school 5 hours away, then finishing the last 2 years of high-school somewhere else. It shouldn't be too hard to get geo-bachelor housing in the barracks. God bless you
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:14 PM
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Re: Military move

I also grew up with my father in the military most of my childhood. We moved a LOT. Then he got a job with state department and we sill moved. I loved moving. There were 8 children in my family. We joked that when we moved, we took the neighborhood with us. For me, each move was an adventure. But everyone is different.

If you are getting out of the military in 2 years, Id say to not move the family with you. However, this is going to be hard on your marriage. With that in mind, you need to plan how you are going to keep in touch with your wife and children. With cell phones, skype, etc today its a lot easier than in the past. For example have skype facetime with them as close to daily as you can.

Plan as many visits as you can. Sometimes they can come to where you are, and sometimes you go back home. Do not make it so that you always just go home. Your children need to see you in your environment and need to make it about you too.

With your wife, plan as many mini vacations as you can. Just the two of you.

Its work to maintain a long-distance relationship. But it can be done, especially when you know that there is an end in site.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:31 PM
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Re: Military move

Hopefully, you finally flip into her boat.

The most important thing here is to get your 20 year letter. Get the letter in writing.

I think she should move with you.

I would not want my wife to be alone, that long. Too many predators.

I believe your wife is flip flopping for a few reasons.
1) She loves you, does not want to be away from you for that long.
2) She agrees that your plan [you move, she stays] is the most logical. But logic is just that. Feelings matter.
3) She is afraid that some other women may catch your eye, or you may be tempted to step out on her. She has heard all the stories from other wives and husbands.
4) She is risk averse. She is protective of you and your marriage.
5) She may be co-dependent [a nearly impossible situation for a military spouse].

I believe you think the opposite. You are young and independent. You are optimistic and feel that everything will just be fine.

I am former military. I took a lot of risks with my families future. It created a lot of friction when I was deployed.

I did not do any PCS, Permanent Change of Stations....I was in the Reserve Forces. Your situation is different. I did do PCS a number of times while on active duty, prior to marriage.

Marriage is forever, your service obligation is over in two years. Move together, stay together.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:50 PM
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Re: Military move

I spent 15 years military, 13 active.

First two marriages ended (no kids) because of distance... both wives chose paths I could not support.

My current marriage remained intact as I chose family over career because I was on a deployment schedule that would not allow my family to join me 75% of the time to finish my last 7 years. The soldier that did take my slot for the next 7 did divorce, we were a small team.

I see positives from both @EleGirl and @SunCMars... even though they are two different directions.

Since you will already have 1/3rd of your time away already, I would lean toward keeping the family static and stable.

If you have trust, you have everything no matter which decision you make.

For the time you have given your country, it is truly appreciated by the old guard.

नमस्ते 🙏
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: Military move

I want to add to what I wrote.

Too often, when a military member is away from a long period of time, problems are caused because everything in running on the home, raising children, etc is dumped on the spouse who stays with the children. So the stay-behind spouse gets used to running the home and raising children all on their own. Then the military member returns home and they are an outsider.

To help prevent some of this from happening, you need to keep a hand in the daily running of your family and home. For example you could pay all the bills and run the family finances (with your wifes input of course). When you are home on visits you could look around for any maintenance that needs to be done. Do small jobs yourself. Call a handyman to do the rest. But you do all the calling and talking to the handyman. You can coordinate it with your wife. But do as much over the phone and computer as you can.

Also, why not have your older kids visit you sometimes, just them. You can find interesting/fun things in your area to do. Give the wife a bit of a break and you can have some special time with your kids.
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