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First TDY

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  • First TDY

    I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year now. I knew when we started dating that he was going to have to be gone for 6 months, eventually. He's been waiting for dates for almost a year and a half. I know that may sound like such a short time to some, but I've never had to go through this. They gave him 2 weeks notice, after they told him that he wouldn't be getting any orders for at least 6 months, so I'm not really prepared for this. Things have been strained lately with alot of things. He is also the first military guy I've ever dated and I've just started getting used to the 'routines'.... Are there any suggestions, advice to help deal with the distance and time away? I am more than willing to stick by him and support him and I've always told him that, what else can I do to show him that?

  • #2
    Re: First TDY

    My husband has been through basic and is in the middle of his AIT so in total he will be gone for 62 weeks. The thing I found best for me was routine. This included writing daily letters to him while he was in basic and emails when he was in Texas for Phase 1 of his AIT. I have 2 dogs that keep me busy and the house keeps me very busy. You could look into a hobby or starting something new while he is away. I also suggest looking for online support groups. My favorite is www.armywifechat.com/ but there are many out there. If you have any questions let me know

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    • #3
      Re: First TDY

      When my beau was in Afghanistan, I found that, besides writing letters each day, that getting involved with charity work or a hobby was a huge help. I am involved with AAUSS (Adopt a US Soldier) which sends letters and care packages to soldiers who might not have family to get them and have been doing it since Desert Storm. I also help Operation Homefront which is a national organization that has benefits to help the families of those deployed with their bills, etc. and through it, have met a lot of great women (and men) whose soldiers are away and it defintely helps to have a support group.

      2 important pieces of advice I can offer from experience and from those before me in this situation....

      1. Keep writing him, but do not let it get you down if you do not receive daily letters back; they are super busy at their jobs and just because you don't hear from them every day doesn't mean you're not on their mind or in their heart. Trust in your relationship and do not let insecurities or paranoia from lack of mail or phone calls get the better of you. That's why keeping yourself busy is a HUGE beneficial distraction from obsessing over them 24/7. Also, that way, your letters will be full of fun interesting things and not just moaning....

      2. You say ''I am more than willing to stick by him and support him and I've always told him that, what else can I do to show him that? ''

      The best way to show him that you will be there for him IS to be there for him. (i.e. don't just say it, you'll be showing it when you DO it) Support his decision for deciding to serve by reassuring him you will be there for him along the way and when he returns; even when you get down, have a support system in place to vent. The feelings are normal when you miss him and it will test your relationship, but venting to him in every letter just adds to his pressure and also adds guilt that he doesn't need when he focusing to train.

      Loving a soldier involves different dynamics and challenges than a conventional relationship, but also comes with fantastic rewards. Trust me, I know from experience

      Feel free to PM me if you need to talk

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      • #4
        Re: First TDY

        He knows that I mean what I say and say what I mean. I have been there by his side with everything he has decided to do, until his recent decision of him thinking we should probably split up. He doesn't think it will be fair to me for him to be gone for 6-9 then possibly a deployment of 4 months soon to follow his training.

        You are right loving a soldier does involve different dynamics and challenges but I have taken on everything he's thrown at me. I've traveled to see him on his drill weekends, which is 480 mile round trip. I supported him in his re-enlistment. I've gone to different events with him. I've met people. I've told him that I'm more than willing to fly and see him while he's gone.

        I do know his ex-wife never supported his military career. 10 years together and she never got a military ID. She never went to any functions or drills. So the only thing I can think is he doesn't know how to handle the support?

        He doesn't open up to people. He is an independent thinker, which is a struggle sometimes. He is also very routined, which I'm assuming is all from and part of the military lifestyle. I have stuck by him with good and bad, stress, happy, moody, all the above and now he doesn't want me to have to go through this. I don't quite understand it. Is this a normal thing? He would like to stay in touch, but he doesn't want me to have to wait, then see what happens with everything after the training is done.

        I'm not quite sure how to approach this. I have found that military men (im sure women too) are very independent, head-strong, stubborn and routined. I have tried to 'learn' the ways of things. I've also been trying to learn everything I can on his new job he's training for, his position, everything, by any method I can. The more I know, the better I will understand things.

        But again, I don't know how to handle things with a man that is afraid to let me 'wait' for him, because he doesn't want to put me through all of it.

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        • #5
          Re: First TDY

          This could be a defensive move for him. You mentioned a exwife. Maybe, something like this led to fights or hard times, that he just doesnt want to go through again. Be there, show and tell him, with actions and spirit. TDY and Deployments come, but they also go. Maybe he wants that grounded foundation with you, but is afraid. Having that little spot in the back of your head knowing that someone at home loves and cares about you is a great feeling on long trips. Its a huge pain if its ripped away from you half way through. I have been through it and my soldiers have gone through it. Having a strong foundation, just like building a house, can help against any storm. Military guys arent easy, most of us are just hardheaded. Its going to take time for him to open up, if you are there for every step, it makes the journey a lot more rewarding, and appreciated. I would like to thank you, for you dedication, thats awesome the way you show your support. Thanks.

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          • #6
            Re: First TDY

            I will be there for him every step of the way, even just as friends. He really has no one else and I love him. And yes there was a lot of fighting that went on with his past marriage regarding the military. He has been through various deployments, I'm sure they were hard for both of them to go through, therefore I will not judge either party in anyway. I have told him numerous times that I would be 'by his sided, hand in hand' every step of the way. He tells me that it is not fair to me that I deserve more than sitting and waiting for him... but that is my plan. Not the sitting per say, but the waiting and supporting. The first 3-4 months will be the most difficult as he will be over 1000 miles away, but the last 3 will be close. He has been gone for almost a week since our last real conversation in prepartion for him to leave. I have given him his space since his decision, but I still check on him and tell him I am here if he needs anything and that I love him and am still here supporting him. Tonight we spoke again. There are things that he's not to sure what to do about. So he came to me about them. And of course I was there. I told him that 'we' will figure it out together. And we will. I plan to give him space, but not to much. We agreed to keep in contact. I am planning on teling him that I love him as often as possible. I plan on letting him know that I am still here for him. I do not want him to ever think that there isn't anyone there that cares for him or loves him. He will know. I know this is the age of email and texts but I think maybe paper letters might be more 'heartfelt', him knowing that I took the time to actually write him letters? It looks like I will be taking custody of his dogs. I've told him that from the beginning. I told him I would take them and when he gets back, if he can take them, they're his. I don't have kids and his kids are grown or don't live with him, but I've had dogs and I know it must be difficult to leave them behind as well. I would like him to have a piece of mind that someone that loves his dogs and loves him, have them and are taking the best kind of care possible of them. This is all I know to do for now. I may need some more advice or venting and I want to thank all of you that have replied and offered advice and suggestions. As I said this is my first relationship with a military man. I knew it would be different and hard, but I took the package deal. If I didn't want the package deal, I wouldn't have kept with this or took it to begin with. If anyone else has any advice or suggestions for me, I am open.
            I am thankful for sites like this, it has given me some strength and hope and knowing that I'm not feeling 'wrong' on things.

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