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Life with a soldier

(9 Posts)
eyesclosedtight Sat 04-Mar-17 16:20:18

I am a teen mum. I'm 18 and have a 2 year old DS with my current boyfriend who has just been signed into the army. How will this change life for us? We curerntly live near to my university but I understand that he will be stationed far away? Will I be able to continue my studies? How is life in general different?
DP also wants us to get married before he is deployed as apparently girlfriends have very little rights in terms of the army? We have a child together and a house so the next stage would naturally be get married. But I really want to finish my studies first (I am training in medicine so it's a long 6 year course).

Thank you for your help

exLtEveDallas Sat 04-Mar-17 16:28:20

If you want to live 'in the patch' with the other soldier families then you need to be married. You can remain partners and live together outside the patch in private rental, but if he has only just joined up he may not be allowed to do this straight away.

Where he is stationed will depend what Regt or Corps he is joining. There are barracks and garrisons all over the country.

You can stay where you are and continue your studies with him travelling home at weekends and during leave periods, but this will probably feel quite alien to you.

Yes it is better to be married before an active deployment, but he can still register you as a 'significant' partner, although not as next of kin.

Yes, it's a very different lifestyle, but can be a great one too - there are as many plus points as negatives. You do need to be made of strong stuff!

skerrywind Sat 04-Mar-17 16:35:41

Wow, a lot on your plate.

Are you in your first year of a medicine course?
To be honest I am surprised that your partner has chosen such a massive step when you yourself have just entered such a hugely demanding course.

There seems a huge disparity between your goals as a family and in terms of supporting each other and caring for your child.
He will be effectively removing himself from family life for huge periods of time and giving you and your child little support.

Each issue alone- you entering medical school - with a child ( and I'm sorry that makes a huge difference) or your OH joining the army ( again he has a child) is a massive step.

To consider both these things together sounds like a recipe for disaster- sorry. Individually each of these steps need a lot of understanding from the other parent, to do these things together, unless you have a lot of family support sounds madness.

I sounds as if you both have your own life plans as individuals, but not a family plan.

nomad27 Sat 04-Mar-17 16:46:20

Be prepared to move, a lot.

Be prepared to be very very flexible when making plans.

The army will come first and you second. It's harsh but that's the way it is...

Depends which regiment he joins as to where he is stationed but most move around a fair bit. If you are married you can live in army housing but if you are not he will most likely have to live on camp in single housing. I think in general you do get more rights as a married couple but it is a huge huge commitment which may impact on your career and choices.

Ex dp and I have just split for this reason - I want to progress in my career which means staying in one location. He has moved three times in the last year.

Many soldiers are lovely men and it's a fantastic career and can be a great lifestyle but I would worry that you have just started a demanding course and have a DS.

skerrywind Sat 04-Mar-17 16:53:21

OP do you have lots of family support?

eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 10:09:52

My dad and stepmum are very supportive. My mum tries to be but she thinks that I "ruined my life" when I decided to keep DS and refuses to develop a bond with him (I wouldn't change him for the world! It's been difficult but 100% worth it.) My boyfriend has very supportive parents who live just up the road from my university and they often pick DS up from nursery as my course finished quite late.

I've told him that I wont be sacrificing my studies to move with him to wherever he is stationed and he agrees with this decision but I don't know how this will affect DS. I want him to see his dad obviously but if he is only home for weekends how will they develop a good bond?

dementedma Sun 05-Mar-17 10:14:14

Remember there are thousands of forces children out there who have good bonds with their parents, mainly dads, who are serving and home very infrequently. It can be done, but you are going to feel like a lone parent a lot of the time.

scaryteacher Sun 05-Mar-17 10:49:40

I'm a Forces kid, as is my dh and our siblings. My ds, and my db's two lads are also Forces kids, and despite not seeing their Dads due to sea time, all three boys have strong bonds with their respective fathers. Mine has been known to phone from uni just to chat to us, so it does happen!!!

DangerDays Mon 03-Apr-17 18:56:41

A bit late to the party but just wanted to share my experiences.

I've just finished university, but I've been dating a soldier for nearly 2 years now. He is stationed a good 3 hours away from where I live, but has tried to come up every weekend that he can. Obviously, due to the occasional weekend duty, he doesn't always make it, but I see him more often than not.
By the time he reaches my place on a Friday after work, it's usually quite late evening - he can't just leave the second work ends, as he needs to make sure he grabs everything he needs and has completed everything he has to do. If your partner can drive, that makes things a lot easier than needing to take public transport every weekend.
I find that weekends feel very short - he arrives Friday evening, we spend Saturday together, and then he usually leaves Sunday afternoon. If we had kids, I would probably worry about whether or not they spent enough time together each weekend.

As a girlfriend, I can confirm that marrying before deployment would be a good decision if possible. My boyfriend does not have me down as his next of kin currently, and so his predeployment information booklet and important numbers went to his mother, who I am lucky enough to get on well with. Wives are usually kept relatively well updated with what's going on in terms of deployment, but girlfriends (and apparently mothers!) are not. Additionally, if something happens to you, being married means a greater chance of him being put on the next flight home, from what I've heard (although as you have kids together, that may make your situation regarding this slightly different- there's a lot of useful information online if you search for it regarding family and girlfriend rights during deployment).

Hope that helps!

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