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  • Spouse wants to join the Guard....hmmph

    My spouse wanted to join the Army 5 years ago and I vetoed that. However, he is set on joining the National Guard reserves with the intent on doing officer training school.

    I am not all for it. He is 34, has Bachelor's degree and we have two kids ages 5 and 7. He recently scored a 93 on the ASVAB, so he has the brains, however I am not crazy about the idea of him being gone for basic and then officer training school and then the possiblity of being deployed at some point. It has caused a lot of arguments in our marriage. I have no support system or family around where we live, so I would be winging it solo, which I am not thrilled about. He has also been working full time and going to school full time for the past several years, so essentially I have been a single parent for awhile. I am just not thrilled about the prospect of having to do that again, and not having a spouse around.

    I understand his strong patriotism and how he feels that he needs to serve his country, but I just don't feel good about it. My younger brother is in the ARMY active duty and stationed overseas. It has been a good thing for him, but I don't know that I could do it and support my spouse.

    Anyone have any advice or words of wisdom or similar experiences?

  • #2
    If may be perfectly honest and blunt...on the surface it sounds like your spouse is not emotionally supporting you and your family and hasn't been for a long time. It appears as though he is interested in himself, his career, his education, his wants and not supporting what you need, what you want, etc. However, in his mind he probably believes he is doing this all for his family to show he cares...to provide a future and stability. He thinks that he is giving and helping enough by going to work and on top of that school and now more finacial support with the reserves...Wow what a go getter and dependable man you have. Sounds like he really cares and loves you and his children.

    The main issue is...do you love him enough to support his decisions even though you may not agree with them. If so, then no need to keep arguing about it. Arguing is caused when one or both are not getting their primary needs met. Men's top 3 primary needs are trust, acceptance, and appreciation. A woman's is caring, understanding and respect. Are you giving each other these top 3 needs? We often give to our partner what we would like to receive. He is trusting that you can take care of things while he is gone. Do you see where I'm going with this? haha

    Trust that he is doing his best for you and your family. Accept him as he is...he has a desire to be in the military..men's identities are wrapped up in what they do for a living, it's ego based. Appreciate all that he is doing to provide for you and your family.

    Since he is going into the reserves he won't be gone forever...it's just temporary. Then once a month and 2 weeks a year. Think of it as a vacation from each other and how happy you will be to see each other when he comes back..it could really spice up your marriage as long as you are not distant and angry when he returns..he's gonna want you waiting with open arms and a smile on your face!

    You also mentioned about not having any support...do you have any friends or family that you could call upon if need be. Could someone come stay with you while he's at basic or, if you don't work, could you go stay with someone? Could you get a housekeeper/nanny to help out with the house and children? It sounds like you are afraid of being alone and doing things on your own. I'm sure you are a very strong woman since you've already been handling things so far, right? I know it gets frustrating and overwhelming to have to do things all by yourself....I've been a single parent most of my child's life so I understand. Do you have hobbies and interests of your own that you would then have time to devote to. Join some women's groups, church, take up painting or try something you've always wanted to do. Try to see this as a positive change in both your lives, an opportunity to do things you haven't been making time for thus far...a chance to grow as a person. He will be much happier doing what he wants which will in turn be reflected in all aspects of his life including his marriage. If you support him and build your own life as well then you have so much more to give to each other and think of the stories you'll have to share as well. ;)
    Last edited by GoGoGuardGirl64; September 17th, 2006, 12:13 AM.

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    • #3
      National Guard will be different. We're talking one weekend a month and two weeks a year. I know that there is a chance of being deployed but it's just that....a chance. The one weekend a month will literaly be just like having to work Saturday and Sunday. He will be home probably around 4-6 that afternoon probably.....if his training site is close to where you live.

      Have a conversation with him about why he REALLY wants to do this. Notice I said a conversation and not an arguement. That will only make things worse. Bring up your concerns and try to work them out. Unless it really puts the family in a bad situation.......then let him do it. If he really wants to do this in his heart, and you don't let him, then he might forever resent the fact that you "held him back".

      I know I don't know you, but do you really not want him to do this because you are being selfish and want him all to yourself or does it really put the family in a bind if he joins? Only you can answer that.

      This is a tough situation because both sides will be really effected by whatever decision will be made. Good luck.

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      • #4
        wow GoGoGuardGirl64 said what I wanted to say only 100 times better! :D

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        • #5
          Thank you so much for responding and your honesty. You have no idea how much I appreciate you responding.

          I do have outside hobbies that keep me busy and am self employed- part- time.

          I don't know that the separation would be good for our marriage. We have struggled as it is as he has been gone so much and are just trying to reconnect now that the kids are back in school and he is done with school. It has been hard and akward. We need to get back to the husband and wife thing and not the good buddies/ roomate relationship we have. LOL

          I am not very close with my inlaws - they are older and in their 80's anyway. And I don't have a great relationship with my mother. The closest family member is about 800 miles away.

          He has always wanted to be in the military. His cousin is special forces, his best friend is down in Monterey right now at the language training center learning a language for a MOS in intelligence.

          I think he looks at the guard as a way of being able to do what he wants without having to uproot the family and move, so I would still be able to work on my career here and kids are still in a great school.

          You hit it on the nose about not feeling that my emotions are being met. I am afraid that he has it all hyped up and will be disappointed once he enlists. He is in great physical shape. He works out 6 days a week and can run a 6 minute mile, can do all sorts of push ups and pull ups etc.

          I go back and forth. Some days I think it would be o.k. But other days, I have a horrible nagging feeling in my gut and I don't feel great or crazy about the idea.

          I think the biggest issue I have is having him be gone and the possibility of him being deployed down the line. Those are the issues that are keeping me from supporting him. I think I resent that part and I am afraid that I would be more angry when he got back from basic because I felt abandoned.

          Anyway, thanks for your response. I will take all the advice and different views I can get. And I like brutally honest. :D

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          • #6
            Ok based on what you said here's what needs to happen. YOU need to figure out what YOU want out of your life and your marriage. Write down your feelings...I swear this works and will help you. Abandonment issues....makes me think that's happened before your husband. 90% if an arguement or issues is about the past and our childhoood. 10% is about the present situation. Think of an iceburg where only 10%, the tip, is showing but underneath the water is a whole mass of ice that you don't see...this is your past. Writing the feeling letter would really help you figure out what's blocking you and bringing up the abandonment fears.

            Best wishes to you!
            Last edited by GoGoGuardGirl64; September 17th, 2006, 12:28 AM.

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=fizzy]Thank you so much for responding and your honesty. You have no idea how much I appreciate you responding.

              I do have outside hobbies that keep me busy and am self employed- part- time.

              I don't know that the separation would be good for our marriage. We have struggled as it is as he has been gone so much and are just trying to reconnect now that the kids are back in school and he is done with school. It has been hard and akward. We need to get back to the husband and wife thing and not the good buddies/ roomate relationship we have. LOL

              I am not very close with my inlaws - they are older and in their 80's anyway. And I don't have a great relationship with my mother. The closest family member is about 800 miles away.

              He has always wanted to be in the military. His cousin is special forces, his best friend is down in Monterey right now at the language training center learning a language for a MOS in intelligence.

              I think he looks at the guard as a way of being able to do what he wants without having to uproot the family and move, so I would still be able to work on my career here and kids are still in a great school.

              You hit it on the nose about not feeling that my emotions are being met. I am afraid that he has it all hyped up and will be disappointed once he enlists. He is in great physical shape. He works out 6 days a week and can run a 6 minute mile, can do all sorts of push ups and pull ups etc.

              I go back and forth. Some days I think it would be o.k. But other days, I have a horrible nagging feeling in my gut and I don't feel great or crazy about the idea.

              I think the biggest issue I have is having him be gone and the possibility of him being deployed down the line. Those are the issues that are keeping me from supporting him. I think I resent that part and I am afraid that I would be more angry when he got back from basic because I felt abandoned.

              Anyway, thanks for your response. I will take all the advice and different views I can get. And I like brutally honest. :D[/QUOTE]


              Have you told him everything here that you just typed? That might help alot. I am not married and I don't have a girlfriend but I remember when I did have a girlfriend and if we had problems I would have loved to hear the open and honest side. Sometimes when one person feels abandoned or hurt they don't communicate what needs to be communicated.

              From what you have said about your marriage needing work, if I was your husband and read this then I would stop and work on the marriage first. The Guard can wait. Family should come first. After things have been worked out then he could join (unless he's close to 42).

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              • #8
                Good point GSRTONV....is she sharing and communicating her feelings with him as honestly and openly as she has with us....if not then that is something that needs to be worked on...COMMUNCATION is number one. And I agree...family/marriage should come first otherwise going in the Guard would seem like a way to escape.

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                • #9
                  Yes, I have told him my feelings and the biggest hang up I have about being left alone with the kids and having another break down. I have struggled with depression and OCD for years, have felt those abandonment issues from my mother. I meet with a therapist weekly, and he doesn't think the guard is a good idea for our marriage based on where our relationship is at. I just honestly want to try and look at it from my husband's perspective and feel like I can support him without resentment. I don't want to feel like I am being selfish or calling all the shots or making things just "my way." The Guard just seems like a huge committment. If it isn't the right match for our family or for him, it isn't like a job where he can up and quit. Maybe I dissect things too much.

                  keep the comments coming.

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                  • #10
                    That disclosure really changes a lot of things. I would suggest bringing your husband to your therapist and having this discussion if he is willing to go with you. Having a mediator would really help.

                    I hope things work out for you but definately have a meeting with your husband and therapist as soon as possible.

                    Best wishes!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Spouse wants to join the Guard....hmmph

                      Wow.. I'm going through the same thing. My husband wants to join the Guard, mainly for the health benefits, but also for other reasons. I have a chronic disease and have no health insurance. So... he feels like this would be our way out. Anyways... even though I think the benefits are awesome, I still have that same nagging feeling. One day I feel like he should do it, and I'd be okay. But the next I day, I feel like I'm going to have a panic attack just thinking about it. I also suffer from bouts of depression and OCD and it scares me to death to think that I may go through that again, only with out him here to help me get through it. We have a really close relationship, and his emotional support means alot to me. We talked to a recruiter a couple weeks ago, and he said to expect him to be gone for about 5 months with basic and AIT. We also have 2 young children and I worry about raising them alone for that long. Anyways... I feel your pain. What to do? I don't know. I hope that God will lead us both in the right direction.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Spouse wants to join the Guard....hmmph

                        4.5 year old thread??? This person's spouse is more than halfway through their enlistment now! If you have some questions/concerns about the Guard, please make a new thread! ;)


                        >>CLICK<<

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                        • #13
                          Re: Spouse wants to join the Guard....hmmph

                          You have a number of legitimate concerns. You're smart to raise these now, before anyone signs anything. The good news is that you are not the first wife to have had these very same concerns. Ask your husband's recruiter to hook you up with a local National Guard Family Readiness Group, or at least the wife of a current Guardsman. Talk to someone who has been-there-done-that, to get her insights. Most likely you'll find that the family did suffer in the short-term, but benefitted greatly in the long-term.

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