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Military relationships

(14 Posts)
ArthurFoulkesayce Tue 20-Sep-16 08:26:55

Hello all!
I'm a fairly new military girlfriend (RAF) and have DD aged 4. I'm a student nurse just over the county border to OH. He doesn't live on base just nearby so we are lucky.

Both DD and I adore DP, we know it's for keeps and currently see dp 2/3 times a week.

What I'm wondering is, because he's in a specialist section and deployment is on rotation, is how you deal with that? It's looking like he's next up for deployment. We've talked about it clearly and I don't want to worry him with my emotions (I could as we are so open)
How do you prepare children? She's four so don't think she will understand he is coming back.

FreakOfNature Tue 20-Sep-16 09:38:16

The easiest way is to accept deployments as a normal part of every day life. It does help if you live on patch or at least have good links with other military wives who share the same ups and downs and who know how to say the right thing when you're having a bad day.

Communication is key but it's trial and error as to how often and by what means suits you both, this comes with experience! Some people like to chat on the phone /FT as frequently as possible, others are happy with the odd bluey. It can also depend on where/what DP does, it can be a very one sided conversation if they are unable to tell you what they've been doing in the day.

As for the kids, when they were little we drew pictures, sent postcards, looked at the map, talked about the country (weather, animals, people, food etc) DH likes hearing about the boring/mundane stuff from home, it keeps reality in check. To be honest, at 4 they remember very little, it's just the way life is and they get on with it.

Most people find the return of their DP the most challenging, it can take a while to get reacquainted with one another and find another new normal. After a few deployments you know what to expect and it does get easier smile

MyBreadIsEggy Tue 20-Sep-16 09:56:58

I'm ex-military and DH is still serving so this is very familiar terriotory for me!
My Dd was a tiny baby - weeks old when my DH (also RAF) deployed last time, so I haven't had to tackle preparing a child yet.
But Freak is right about them coming home being more difficult than them leaving - as backwards as that sounds!!
You and Dd will get into your own routine of things, have your way of doing things while DP isn't there, depending on how long he's gone for, Dd might change as a person while he's away - and then he comes home and throws your new routine completely to the wind. It also takes my DH a couple of weeks to get his head out of "deployment mode".....not going to lie, he's a pain in the arse during those weeks!!

ArthurFoulkesayce Tue 20-Sep-16 10:11:58

What great replies! All makes sense and things to definitely take on board! Sadly we're not in the area and I guess although I know all his friends and wives etc were not all interlinked yet but gives me an excuse to get my bum in gear

EvaWild Tue 20-Sep-16 10:28:30

You need to ask yourself if you are ok with him being away for extended periods of time, because that is what I think is essential. You just have to try it. I think go for it, when you know it in your heart that someone is for keeps, you don't let go, regardless of situation.

Boobyroof Tue 20-Sep-16 10:37:10

My dh is in the RAF and we have dd2 and 4. Dh has been away for 6 months deployments since they were born and even when dd4 was 2, she still remembered and maintained her relationship with her Dad with the magic of FaceTime and Skype. He tried to call every day in the evening so a routine was established. Hopefully you will be in a deployment where this is allowed. So far we have never been in a situation where he can't have regular contact. Even in the more tricky areas there is normally an Internet area they have access to.
Good luck.

ArthurFoulkesayce Tue 20-Sep-16 10:49:12

It's defo what we want, it's just hard because we haven't been together long and this is the first.
I'm sure we will manage it's just me finding is daunting!

kat360 Tue 20-Sep-16 11:41:08

My dh is also RAF and we have dd6, dd5, ds3 and ds2. I found useing two clocks worked well, one for home time and one for daddy time. We also had a countdown chart that we changed every morning.

The first month is always the worst, especially on the first deployment. It gets easier as the deployment goes on.

ArthurFoulkesayce Tue 20-Sep-16 11:55:40

I forgot to say he's not DDs dad, she sees her dad every six weeks and isn't really bothered.

She just has really taken to dp, she understands he works funny hours, but we do call a lot. He's not replacing anyone, or trying too but we wanted DD to be part of this as we aren't the kind of people who think it's okay to hide it. He's in our life, and we know he is committed.
We both thought about posting on here for asking about deployment and handling it as we know it's inevitable and he's never done it whilst being with a partner

I feel like I sound so naive, I promise I'm not.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Tue 20-Sep-16 12:02:29

My dh is about to deploy and we have a 4yo and a 2yo. We have been talking about daddy going to work and he'll phone us but not come home on weekends anymore. We have been making plans for exciting things we will do while he's away (mean as that sounds) and have been collecting postcards so we can write to him. We have a calendar and cross off the days til he comes home and we Skype. My dd is also starting a diary where she will (with my help) write a little bit about her day, and stick in any souvenirs she collects so she can read it with daddy when he comes back. I'm more worried about my 2yo as none of these activities make much sense to him as yet!

kat360 Fri 23-Sep-16 10:40:20

Get him to pop to his camps HIVE, they do packs for kids with deploying parents. We got some activity books and postcards for them to fill in and send him.

ArthurFoulkesayce Fri 23-Sep-16 12:26:35

Fantastic idea thank you!

Cabrinha Fri 23-Sep-16 17:49:24

I might not be popular with this... but actually, I wouldn't go all out to maintain the relationship between your boyfriend and your daughter.
He's not her father, and you say it's a new relationship.
So there's nothing to maintain really. If she likes him, that'll pick up again when he's back.
I would explain that he was going for a long time and why.
There's no big adjustment for her to make - he's a new boyfriend.
I know you say it's for keeps, but at this stage it is really early to say that - especially when you have no idea how you'll both feel during deployment.
Don't spend 6 months (?) building a LDR for your child, in case you change your mind about him soon after he is back.
I would wait until you are a more established relationship before thinking about keeping things going between her and him.

Cabrinha Fri 23-Sep-16 18:01:55

Why did you start a thread 2 weeks ago about love at first sight and say you were single and you can't imagine meeting anyone?

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