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life choice stress

So Fi and I are graduating this spring and then getting married.  He has been offered a job that would mean he would have to go to Afghanistan for 2 years.  This isn't a job he wants, and its not doing what he wants to do.  However he as some debt from school (I don't) and he seems to think that he is responsible for paying it back alone.  He will accept my help, but feels bad about it.  He talks about his debt, but I think of it as our debt, I took it on when I agreed to marry him. 

So he has to tell them if he is taking this job in a month.  We have other job applications out, however those are not likely to let us know that quickly. 

Anyway, the whole prospect is making me freak out.  I don't want him to go and don't think he has to, though at the moment it is the most financially secure option.  He doesn't want to go but thinks he might have to.  I feel horrible and sad all the time.  I know its not as bad as some people have it, but 2 years is a long time.  Further it would mean giving up on his dreams, because this would put him on a track other than the one he wants. 

I don't know what advice I'm looking for, maybe how to deal with this?  How to deal with the potential separation? How to make him see its not his debt alone?  Or just a way for me to calm down and not be so upset? 

Thanks for listening, I know I don't know you all very well and I appreciate the sounding board. 
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Re: life choice stress

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    bethsmilesbethsmiles member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Am I reading this wrong or would you not be going with him to Afghanistan? Honestly I really think that there has to be a way better option than him taking a job he doesn't want in a country half way around the world that would put him on a track away from his goals. Besides the finances this job doesn't seem to have anything that benefits either of you. Maybe you should sit down with him and make a pro/con list with him.


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    AudgiePodgeAudgiePodge member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    2 years is a long time.  I think before any decisions are made, you two should write down all the pros and cons of accepting this job.  Money is a huge factor in decision making.  Your FI should decide whether paying down his debt or "following his dreams" and doing something he loves is more important.  Being apart for 2 years is going to have a significant effect on your relationship.

    ETA: I assume it's just him going since you didn't mention otherwise.
    I'm not good at feelings.

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    Elle1036Elle1036 member
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    edited December 2011
    I really admire you both right now.  I admire him for wanting to pay back his debt on his own, and I admire you for being so willing to take some of the burden.

    I guess I can't give you my thoughts without asking a question that you probably don't feel comfortable answering, because for me, it depends on how much debt there is.  If it's enough that it's going to be a fight to pay it off, then it might be worth him taking the job to get it paid down faster.  I know 2 years seems like a really long time, but 10 years from now, it would be worth it.

    On the other hand, if the debt is manageable and between the two of you you could pay it off each month without skipping a beat, then I would tell him not to take the job.

    I totally get why you're stressed.  I would be too, but try to think of your life 5 years from now, or 10, or 25, and those 2 years start seeming less and less significant.
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    Blue & WhiteBlue & White member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I would definitely delay on accepting the position.

    While the money is definitely something to consider, would you be able to pay off the debt without taking the job?  You do have a few months before you have to pay it off once you graduate usually.

    I did an LDR for a little over two years, but I think starting an LDR (especially if you've never done one before) right after marriage is a bit scary.  Plus, it kinda sucks.  My parents (and my BF's parents) both had LD marriages (the hubs would return on weekends, in both cases) and while they managed to raise some amazing kids - BF and I agreed, before we started dating, that we will not do a LD marriage. 

    That being said, LD marriages can work.  My parents' did.  So did BF's parents'.  25+ years for both of them (10+ years on the LD for both of them)
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
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    calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I assume this is a contracting job?  I have a few friends over there right now doing various stuff (from security to government advising to state department).  They all hate it and count the days to come home.  It's a pretty bleak existence, and there's definitely an element of danger.

    In my opinion, his debt is not worth this kind of choice.  If you can, try to convince him that this isn't his only choice.  Student loans are manageable, and there are ways to handle it.  If he absolutely cannot get a job that will cover his payments and cost of living, perhaps he can consider going back to school right away?  Yes, that would take on more debt, but it's considered "good debt" in the scheme of things, and it can prepare him for a higher paying job in the field of his choosing. 

    I know with the military, and I'm pretty sure in the government, there is a fairly new law (2009) that says your student loan monthly payment is capped at 15% of your income - so he could look at government jobs, or even enlisting in the Army.  The Army may even pay off his student loans all together after 2-3 years, and while it's possible he'd deploy during that time, it's becoming less and less likely.  And honestly, the worst he'd be going to is Afghanistan, which is where he already plans to go! 

    If he chooses to take this job, let me tell you that right now (the waiting period, and the uncertainty) is the worst of it.  You'll miss him while he's gone, and the first few weeks after he leaves will be probably pretty sad, but you just get a routine and keep moving.  Head over to the Military Brides board as lots of them deal with their loved ones in Afghanistan for long periods of time - especially on the "how to cope" questions, they'd be great resources for you.  I haven't been through a deployment yet, so I don't know much, but I do know that you'll be okay!

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    KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
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    edited December 2011

    Thanks everyone.  No I wouldn't be going, I wouldn't be allowed.  It would be a contracting job.  We did talk about the military, he was in the Army before and we talked about going back.  It would involve surgery to correct some injuries he got before and would also be a longer commitment. 

    The main problem seems to be that we don't know yet what our other job options are.  If we don't get other jobs (which I think is unlikely given the job interviews we are getting, but it is a bad economy) then paying everything will be a problem, if we do get other jobs, it won't be as much money but we will be able to pay the debt and live just fine. 

    I suppose we just have to talk it out.  I just need to point out all the reasons he should not go.  Thanks for listening, and any further advice would be appreciated. 

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    calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If you want to talk to people currently doing contracting jobs in Afghanistan (I think some may be in Iraq, but it's probably fairly similar), send me a PM with your email and I'll try to reach out to my friends to give him/you some advice.  This is a decision that's best made with the most information possible!

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    cu97tigercu97tiger member
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    edited December 2011
    I'm echoing what Cate said about student loans. After undergrad (almost 15 years ago, ack!), I had them put me on a graduated payment plan. That put the payment at something completely manageable and then every two years it went up.

    It is honorable that your FI wants his debt to stay 'his' debt but that isn't the reality of marriage, is it? I know how he feels, because I'm the one bringing the school loans into my relationship with BF. But in the end, you're both in it together, and a decision for him to take the job in Afghanistan is going to affect both of you. 

    And finally, if taking this job takes him off the track of what he'd really like to do, and takes him off that track for two full years, I'd question why he bothered to rack up the student loans in the first place. Maybe you could mention it to him by saying something like 'You invested so much of your time and money into doing/being xyz, let's trust that the right situation will come along for you to pursue that.'

     :)
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    calindicalindi member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I would also put it like, "I will gladly pay $200 a month to have you live with me the first two years of our marraige, safe and sound, rather than have me worrying about you and missing you terribly for 2 years.  How's that for a deal?  I'm not paying off your loans, I'm paying you NOT to go!  You can use it to pay off your loans, or put it towards rent so you can put your own money towards loans, I don't care!"

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    edited December 2011
    I wouldn't be thrilled with the idea of my H going to a war ridden country that harbors terrorists without me, or really at all...especially for that amount of time.  Just my .02.  Frankly, I think no amount of debt is worth that.  If you can't afford your loan payments, ask for extensions.  Believe me, the government knows the economy is tough.

    It's not like you are $100k in debt from your shopping problem and are on the verge of declaring bankruptcy without this job.  Also, there are always lesser jobs that can suffice for the time being until you find something more ideal.
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    KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Your all quite right.  We just need to have this conversation and get him more comfortable.  Thank you all for listening and all your advice.  Clearly we have some talking and deciding to do. 
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