Military Brides

Becoming the Army Wife!!!

My fiance & I are getting married in April. We've known each other for 6 years- been dating on and off since then. During one of our break ups he joined the army. Sortly after he purposed, i moved from Maryland to Georgia to be with him ( i knew he was purposing, we had made the plans ahead of time) 3 weeks after i moved, i found out I was pregnant- 2 days after that he informed me he was being relocated to Washington State in July.

I am beyond the cold feet moment here- marrying an army boy was a big enough step for me, and thrn the baby and the move- its simply overwhelming.

On top of it all-were having trouble with the wedding plans. The army is sending him to school april-may. First he was going to get leave after school- then before school- then not at all. By the not at all stage, i wanted to get a wedding date set; wanting the wedding before the baby came. So we set a date at the end of april- where he can drive up for the weekend, get married and still get back for school.
Then hes told hes gonna get leave after school!!!!!

None of this seem to phase him, but personally its driving me insane.
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Re: Becoming the Army Wife!!!

  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011

    Welcome to the military life. 

    If you are having doubts about this, do not rush into getting married.  Your baby will be covered under his insurance regardless of if you are married.  I can assure you that it very rarely works out for military couples who get married solely because they are pregnant.  Wait it out through his schooling and a deployment and see if you still want to get married. 

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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with you. I have seen young girls get married young with a baby and divorced after 5 years. I am 33 and getting married in May. We are ready to have children now.
  • edited December 2011
    Aw, sorry for all your stress! That is quite a lot to handle, and of course the Army is not helping any. Try to put military clauses in all your wedding contracts in case- God forbid- something happens and you have to change the date again.

    Not to get off topic, and please don't jump down my throat, but "dnbeach", I've noticed that every single time someone asks advice or has an issue with military weddings, you're always advising everyone to "Wait it out through his schooling and a deployment and see if you still want to get married." or something along those lines. You've given similar advice to nearly everyone that I've noticed who is having any sort of issue with the wedding date. Epeter says she has been with her fiance for 6 years, and has assured everyone that they are ready to be married and start their family.
    I don't think many people come on the "military brides" board to ask the opinions of others of whether or not they are ready to be married, or should wait longer. People who do ask, I'm sure appreciate your advice. But you've said very similar things often, without being asked. I think most of the brides on here are happy in their relationship, sure that they are ready to marry their fiance, and are just dealing with logistic issues of setting a date despite military scheduling issues. It's not really anyone else's business how old anyone is, how long they've been dating, or if they're ready to deal with the stress of married to the military and deployments. Brides here are venting about the difficulty of military life, planning a wedding with schedule issues, and seeking advice from others going through the same things. 
    Sorry if this came off as harsh or a vent, I do not mean to insult or offend anyone. I'm just wondering, I suppose, why you feel it is your place to tell everyone to wait until after a deployment to get married.
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    Regardless of how long someone has been together, the military is not an easy life for service member or spouse, and no one reacts to it completely the same. It's so important to see how a deployment affects a partner, and it's really important to see how training affects someone. I think the best case scenario is that everyone goes through a deployment so they know what to expect for their time as a military spouse. Sometimes that's not feasible, but it's definitely the best case scenario.

    And being together 6 years isn't always enough. I know people who got married at 20 who had been together since they were 14. One deployment was enough to split them up. 6 years together has a different weight if you're 28 than it does if you're 22.

    ETA: And dating 6 years 'on and off' is not the same as dating steadily for 6 years. You can't do that in marriage. Having cold feet is a feeling, and I don't think serious bad feelings should be ignored. 
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    I am beyond the cold feet moment here- marrying an army boy was a big enough step for me, and thrn the baby and the move- its simply overwhelming.


    This is the part of her post that made me tell her to wait it out if she isn't sure.  Saying someone is beyong the cold feet moment tells me that they are nervous as hell abuot what they are doing.  If she is 100% positive that she wants to marry him and be away from her family, then good for her.  But based off this line right here, I'm guessing that's not the case, that's why I gave her the advice I did.

    The reason I tell couples who are new to the military life to wait until after schooling and deployment is because I've seen how many marriages fall apart because of it.  You'll notice that posters like Calindi, Stan, and Luke&Sam (just to name a few) who have been around the military awhile and seen the same things will often have the same response.  When people join the military and get out of school, they have little to no say about where they are getting stationed.  What if your entire family is on the East coast and you don't want to leave them, and your FI gets orders to the West coast.  Will you be able to handle being away from them, especially during deployments when you are all alone in a city where you know nobody? 

    I see young (and some older) wives all the time who can't handle deployments, and don't know how to exist as an independent person, especially when they are new to an area.  H has to deal with guys in his shop all the time whose wives are filing for divorce while they are on deployment because they realize they can't handle this lifestyle.  I never once even mentioned anything with age with the OP because I have no idea how old she is.  But I know for myself that there is no way I could handle this lifestyle, and being alone and on the opposite coast as my family if I was 18 or even 21.  And it's not just about age, it's about who you are as a person, as I know 40 year old wives who are handling this deployment horribly and don't even know if they will stay married. 

    My advice is always to wait it out because you really never know anything with the military.  H and I did not go through a deployment before we got married, but we were LDR the whole time we dated, and I knew that I was strong enough and emotionally capable of handling the deployments.  If other women feel the same way, then I am happy for them.  But sometimes they need to hear from people with experience that military life is extremely difficult, and until actually you experience it for yourself, or at least see what the near future holds and know 100% that you want to do it, then yes I will tell people that they should wait. 
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks dnbeach, I understand what you are saying about deployments being extremely difficult, and that no one can anticipate how they are going to feel or react to the trauma of being separated like that. Personally, we haven't been through a deployment yet either- he still has a few years before he will deploy, and we've been LDR our ENTIRE relationship, so we're very ready to be married and together while we can before deployment comes, even though we both know how hard and unpredicatable it's going to be on both of us.

    I think in this case though with OP, she was saying she had cold feet at some point, was overwhelmed with the pregnancy and moving and planning the wedding depsite military scheduling issues. I never meant ot imply that you were telling people just to wait for waiting's sake, I was merely inquiring why you were giving that advice across the board without taking other things into consideration. If she's having a baby, don't you think it would be better, and calmer for her, her fiance and their baby, if they were at least settled and living together as a family while they could, even if he does deploy soon. That's my view- we all know deployment will be hard, but we've signed up for it (so to speak by marrying into the military), and no one goes in thinking it will be a normal, civilian marriage that their friends have. But I guess I'm wondering why you keep advising brides, who want to be married, to just wait until after deployment to see if they still feel the same way. I am of the position that we need to enjoy our loved ones while we can. Especially with a baby in the picture, I think it would be better to marry now if you feel ready and you really want to, so you have that closeness and connection together before he deploys. That might make the separation easier, if you know you're already married, and now you're there waiting for him, the relationship isn'y hinging on how you deal with the stress.
    Many military brides on here(not saying all) have been dating in the military for several years, or LDR for a number of years, and I was confused as to why you were advising everyone to wait until after deployment, even though they've been through the challenges of military life before, and waiting until after a deployment just to see if they're still ready would be really delaying their life with their fiance that they're ready to begin. In my case, we've been dating for over 4 years- LDR and military the whole time, even though we're both only 22. My fiance still has 2-3 years of schoold (he's getting his Masters and then sub school) before a deployment even comes up- if we waited until after deployment to see if we were still ready and I could take the stress of deployment, we would have been dating for 8 years- that's just not plausible in our situation, when I have to make decisiona bout grad school and jobs based on where he will be stationed, etc. I just wanted to show you a different alternative to the advice you were giving, and while I agree that everyone should be ready for the harsh times of separation during military life, especially during deployments, sometimes waiting doesn't solve all those problems.
    I realize it doesn't matter what you and I think, we just have different opinions, and we were each just trying to give our advice to OP about her tough situation. We all anticipate the difficulty of deployment, and I just wanted to clarify if you thought there was a reason that everyone should have to wait until after deployment to enjoy marriage and start their lives together.Sorry this post was so long-winded, and sorry if that brougt up any tension!
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    I understand what you are saying, and not every couple needs to go through a deployment first, but it is highly recommended.  Even military counselors and higher-ups will recommend it.  There have been cases where young soldiers and sailors have not been granted leave for their wedding because the higher-ups didn't approve of them marrying. 

    Personally, it's all about how you view marriage.  I think in military relationship, people just look at marriage way too lax, and just as a means to get more money and base access during deployments, instead of looking at it as a lifelong committment.  That is a huge reason why divorce rates are so high in the military. 

    I respect your opinion, and you are in a different situation then a lot of young military brides as you are building a life of your own as well by going to school.  And in general when I give the advice, I'm thinking of those who are going to A school (or the equivalent), which is usually only a few weeks or months, not years.  Going to school for a degree before doing any deployments is different, and I think that's where we are having such a difference in opinion.  When I say school I'm not referring to college, where you probably are since that's your situation.

    The only problem or major disagreeance I have with your response is this part:
    That might make the separation easier, if you know you're already married, and now you're there waiting for him, the relationship isn'y hinging on how you deal with the stress.

    While for some people, like myself and it sounds like you as well, marriage is looked at as a lifelong committment and not something to be taken lightly, there are many more military couples who don't go into the marriage thinking about the big picture, just the current picture.  There are a lot of couples who get married for the extra money and benefits and base access, and still have their relationship hinging on the stress.  It would be fantastic if every  couple got married for the right reasons, but there are sadly way too many military couples who don't and rush things.

    And as for the OP, if she is seriously considering whether she wants this life for her and her baby, then yes I think she should wait.  She will be a much better mom to her baby if she is happy and comfortable with her life, whatever situation that may be for her.  If I misunderstood her post and she isn't second guessing it, then I apologize to her.  But also as Stan said, 6 years on and off is a lot different than 6 years solid, especially since it sounds like she had no say in him joining the Army at all and isn't too happy with it.  So while I think it's great for a child to have both parents around, I think it is a much better situation for the baby to have a mom who is happy and healthy and not with the father, than miserable and depressed but married to the father.  But again, that's her decision to make on what she wants to do, and I read it as she is questioning if she wants to go through it at all. 
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  • shibbs86shibbs86
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I think the decision to hold off a bit until things get more settled might be a good idea. If your not sure what you want, it's better to wait. My friend got married because he got his gf pregnant, they were divorced within a year. Waiting might also lower the stress level which would be good for relationship as a whole. Moving and school and all the other fun details of military life can be hard enough on a relationship, wedding planning can make it worse. And if you've got cold feet and you suspect it might be mroe than just cold feet... look at it this way, its a lot less stressful for you both to hold off than it is for him to be deployed while you file divorce papers.

    My husband and I got married right after he got back from deployment, but it was just immediate family and friends that flew out to be with us. We bumped up the date of our actual weddign so that the military would cover the the cost of moving from Hawaii to Jax, which we just got through doing last month. We are doing a reception, etc. later this year. If you want to get married, it might be a good option to do somethign low key and worry about all the big planning later.
  • edited December 2011
    dnbeach, thanks for clarifying the school positon- that does make a huge difference. I've had very limited, and somewhat skewed experience with the Navy thus far because I was dating my fiance during his time at USNA, and he is now at NPS for Master's, then sub school for Nuke training, and then a possible deployment for nuclear submarines- he hasn't even lived on a real base yet ( unless you count USNA), so I haven't really experience a lot of other military families and situations. You seem much more aware of how things really go in the military from all different angles- that's a huge reason I'm on this board- I need as much advice as I can get.

    So when I was hearing "wait until after school and deployments", in my mind that means years down the road, and complete changes in life situations. I know my situation is very different from my friends in civilian relationships, but I'm not that familiar with other military fiances or spouses (yet!) I agree with you about people getting married after not really knowing each other for that long, start dating in the military, and then get married because it will make everything easier (more money for housing, benefits, etc)-that can be very tricky and in that case I would agree with you in encouraging people to wait it out. I guess I was only thinking of people in similar situations to my own, since I haven't been exposed to other military lifestyles as far as livng on base etc. I was only stating my opinion that if you really love your fiance, you're sure you're ready for marriage, and you have plans to be together forever, why not get married and move in to enjoy your time together before deployment, which is why I was a bit confused about your advice to wait until afterwards.
    Glad evrything is cleared up now, I respect your opinion and advice to other military brides. I know I appreciate when everyone is honest on these boards, even though people have varying opinions and sometimes things get heated about passionate topics (you should have seen the breeding vs adopting pets debate over on October 11 ah), but I think this is a great forum for people to get opinions and help one another, especially during such a stressful, emotional time, and especially when so many other factors affect military families.
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  • edited December 2011
    How stressful! I don't blame you for being overwhelmed! Unfortunately, the uncertainty about dates is par for the course as far as military life goes.

    As some other people have mentioned, you could wait on the wedding for a while to allow yourself to adjust to the move and the new baby. I don't know how long your FI has been in the Army, but having a military relationship can be a whole other level of stress, and since you can't change the fact that you're moving and didn't mention wanting anything other than keeping the baby, the wedding is the only big stressor that you have complete control over at the moment.

    Or, as it sounds like you've already tried to do, you could pick a date he can probably make work and stick to it (be sure to get military clauses in the agreements with your vendors in case plans do have to change)

    You could also wait until the very last minute to make any concrete plans at all, hoping that things won't change with such late notice (still get your military clauses just in case.)

    Or as shibbs86 said, you could have a small wedding (especially if combined with the "wait till the last minute idea") and possibly have a big reception/party and/or vow renewal ceremony sometime in the future when things are more stable, both Army and life-wise.

    You're the only one who knows what's right for you, so keep that in mind when you decide what to do! Take care of yourself and don't worry about anyones expectations.
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