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So OH is actually going on a boat...

(27 Posts)
frannikin Mon 29-Sep-08 15:15:30

Obviously, being Navy, going on boats is part of life and this is his career and he's excited so I should be too, but I feel like crying. He leaves tomorrow and the way things have worked out I'm in Paris so have absolutely no chance of seeing him before he goes, we didn't know it was happening or we'd have done things differently this weekend and I just feel totally crap. It's not even like he's going for that long, it's just the first time and I'm not going to see him to say good-bye and I worry far far too much.

*whinge over, normal service resuming shortly*

poshtottie Mon 29-Sep-08 16:12:31

Hi Frannikin,

Its ok to whinge. My dh is RFA and going to sea is his job but I knew that when I married him. However since having ds I find it really difficult as we miss him so much.

I always find the first week or so the hardest then we get used to it. We keep as busy as possible so that the time goes quickly.

mumof2222222222222222boys Mon 29-Sep-08 16:31:15

Is that boat = ship or boat = sub? You'll be in touch with him via email / phone if ship, and if sub...you say it is not for too long. My DH is RN and has spent a lot of time away on various ships / boats. Don't think I ever saw him off (usually sailed from other eind of the country) and the one time I saw him come in....it took forever.

Enjoy Paris and make sure you send him at least one, pref several post cards. when will you see him next? If you can go abroad, it is usually worth it!

littlelapin Mon 29-Sep-08 16:41:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frannikin Tue 30-Sep-08 15:26:32

Unfortunately in this case boat = sub. He would normally be on ship so calling, e-mailing, knowing vaguely what he's likely to be up to is possible but this time he's tagging along on some underwater excercise 'for training purposes' (he's in intelligence) and all I can think about is the fact he's in some tin can underwater somewhere. He's excited though because he's wanted to go observe from a sub's POV for aaaaages, so I suppose the main thing is that he's happy and there's no way I'd want to take that away from him. He's gone for as long as their little war-game takes, which is probably under a week but then again I have no way of knowing which is probably the worst bit actually. But under a month, probably closer to a fortnight. At least if he was off on the other side of the world on his usual floating palace for 6 months I'd have a date when he'd be back!

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 30-Sep-08 15:47:02

You won't want to hear it, but "Life in a blue suit!" I know someone who went on board a sub for a 3 day exercise and popped up for air a month later in the States with no civvy clothes and no passport.
It's crap, but a max of a month is not that bad...and (although we're used to it and I don't want to imply that you shouldn't be annoyed) it is a lot less than the periods I've had to put up with (7 months when pg with DS1, most of DS1's first year, and then at 2 days's notice, he went away for 4 months when I was just pg with DS2 and had a daddy mad toddler to deal with. We survived! You will too.
Pick the max date and work towards that - if he gets back earlier, it is a bonus. x

FourArms Tue 30-Sep-08 15:48:38

for you. My DH is also away on a 'boat' at the moment. Do you know which one? T? V? S? Have you visited the RNCOM website?

FourArms Tue 30-Sep-08 15:51:37

mumof222etcboys - I know that frannikin will survive, so does she, but it doesn't mean she isn't entitled to feel sad and moan about it. Esp when this is her OH's first time on a boat. The uncertainty of length of time doesn't help.

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 30-Sep-08 15:57:02

Agreed 4 arms - as you will see if you read all the above post...I am sad for frannikin - it is not easy, but it is easier than 6 months away, even though it is different.

FourArms Tue 30-Sep-08 16:24:22

It's a bit easier, but not much I don't think. A month is really quite bad because you're still going through the whole cycle of separation. I find that once I'm up and running by myself, then the length of time that they're away is less important. A month is emotionally as hard as three in that way. Perhaps not so bad physically.

scaryteacher Tue 30-Sep-08 17:01:23

Frannikins dh is French Navy Four Arms, so I don't suppose V S and T will mean much to her!

Frannikin, it is tough, but I totally agree with Lapin - do the things you like. When my dh was away, it was an excuse to cook what I liked; see my friends who he didn't get on with; spend evenings in the bath; spend a Sunday afternoon curled up with a book and a large bar of chocolate etc. Didn't have time to miss him when I had ds...and for you, it's not as long as it would be if he was doing his normal job.

As Mumof222...boys says, it's what your dh does for a living, and sometimes you just have to put up with it.

Make sure you hose him down in the back garden when he comes back if it's a nuclear boat, and spend all the notes in his wallet, as they will smell too!!!

frannikin Tue 30-Sep-08 17:03:10

He's French Navy, not RN, so rncom website unlikely to help! I have no idea which one he's on either, assuming that as he didn't tell me I'm not allowed to know...

mumof2222222222222222boys thanks for the horror story! If it's likely to happen to anyone else ever, it's quite likely to happen to him because that's exactly the sort of thing he'd manage to do. grin

I shall work towards the 1st of November and if he comes back before then, it's a bonus. Last time he got sent away with 24hours notice it was on some NATO thingy and they said it would be up to 3 months (surely they know they're planning these things?) but he was back in 10 days hmm

TBH it's not so much the separation - we've been apart before - much as it sucks and I'd rather 1 month than 6. It's the fact that it's a boat as opposed to a nice, safe(!) ship.

And I didn't say goodbye properly, because I kinda assumed I'd be in Toulon Friday or he'd be in Paris. That's probably the worst bit.

scaryteacher Tue 30-Sep-08 19:43:55

I'd far rather dh was on a nice safe boat, than a ship - happiness is 300 feet down in a force 10, or so I'm told. They're not easily found once dived (well not the RN ones anyway!), and are as safe as houses. There are two types of vessels - submarines and targets!

As for the NATO stuff, sometimes they don't know what is going to hit, and have to deal with it. Much of the time with the Forces it's reactive work and when they've got to go, they've got to go, even at 1930 on Christmas Eve one year, with 18 hours notice.

I never said goodbye properly. I drove him into the yard, got a brief hug and then he disappeared down the boat. Said it was easier for him. I went to work and spent the day savaging CTAX payers in arrears, which made me feel better!

frannikin Wed 01-Oct-08 10:54:37

Okay good point, there are positives to boats. I still have a mental image of a submerged tin can and far too good a memory for disasters.

But I can't contact him short of a dire and deadly emergency and that's .

Both short notice deployments have been exercises BTW so I assume they're planned but I guess it's more realistic if they have to scramble. You can tell I'm new to all this, no? And I cannot savage tax payers, nor can I savage my charge because I fear his parents would be most displeased.

Ignore me, I'm just whining.

mumof2222222222222222boys Wed 01-Oct-08 12:47:17

The thing I most remember from my Submarine Acquaint course (I was RN once), apart from meeting DH, was being told that when you get back from being at sea in a boat you need to get in the bath at least 3 times. This is true!!! And also do something with all the kit - IT STINKS. And by the way, I really don't think it matters whether you're in a diesel boat or a nuclear one. They all stink. Have to say that DH scrubs up ok though!

My other recommendation? Watch Sex and the city - the movie and/or Desperate Housewives and/or anything else that you enjoy and you know he won't!!

scaryteacher Wed 01-Oct-08 16:29:47

They ain't tin if they're nuclear, and Kursk (if that's what you're referring to) was avoidable, and the guys could have been rescued had the Russians allowed it to happen. Don't fret.

I quite enjoyed not being able to contact him for anything emergencies included (and that included childbirth). If anything went wrong it was my call.

Go and savage the small french dogs who look like walking rats (at least they do in Bruxelles). Or, catch up with friends and have girls days out, which you may not be able to do when he's back .... or, get the Christmas shopping out of the way and feel virtuous when he's home.

FourArms Wed 01-Oct-08 17:52:54

DH always stinks when he gets back. Everything that can be washed is, and the rest is stored in airtight boxes or in his car I think it's in the pores, so it takes a few days for him to smell normal again!

I am enjoying complete non-contact in a wierd way. At least I'm not obsessively carrying my mobile around in case he phones!

scaryteacher Wed 01-Oct-08 20:12:23

But do you spend the paper money in his wallet? It's the best way to get rid of that smelling the house out I found.

frannikin Wed 01-Oct-08 20:43:57

Now spending money I can live with. An unexpected bonus...and I could do the Christmas shopping. That would be SO prepared of me.

I am still carrying my mobile round and waiting for him to ring even though I, intellectually, know he won't. Sure I'll acclimatise eventually.

FourArms Wed 01-Oct-08 21:48:29

DH doesn't often carry much money, however, this time he has loads on him (long long story), so we'll be banking it upon his return. No doubt the bank will look at us strangely with the smell!

I find his diary is the one thing I can't wash/hide/bin which stinks the house out.

frannikin Fri 03-Oct-08 16:08:33

Weekend is approaching. I have planned to: meet up with friends tonight, sleep-in tomorrow and then tentatively start Christmas shopping, go to another friend's for dinner and thence to a film, attend church on Sunday morning and housework Sunday afternoon.

Any wise words to get me through? I'm dreading it because although weekdays/nights are often spent apart weekends are almost always together unless he's away with lots of notice in which case I have stuff planned for the first few or I'm working. And I won't have our usual we're-separated-but-can-still-communicate to see me through.

littlelapin Fri 03-Oct-08 16:10:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumof2222222222222222boys Fri 03-Oct-08 16:51:51

Sounds as though you won't have any time to miss him! I agree though, the weekends are the worst. Slightly separately, do you know what always annoyed me? the number of friends who would say, "and when is DH back? Oh gosh don't know how I'd cope....you must both come for dinner when he's home." GrrrrHHHH!

frannikin Wed 08-Oct-08 20:04:27

Resurrecting this because I need a whinge.

Today has just felt totally impossible, and I would normally call him and vent down the phone but obviously CAN'T cos he's on a bloody boat. I hate every single person who has conspired to send him away beyond reach of all communication, I hate the fact that this is a feature of our lives, I hate everyone who solicitously pats me on the head and tells me 'he'll be back soon, you're doing so well without him and in the meantime just try and carry on'! I don't WANT to just carry on, I don't feel like I'm being brave or doing well, I don't know WHEN he'll be back and I feel pathetic because I'm sitting in front of my computer crying my eyes out and I know it's not going to change a single thing.

I was so proud of myself this weekend even though I felt a bit wobbly. I did everything I said I would (and some more) despite missing him but then everything went according to plan and today just hasn't.

Is it wrong to just want him back NOW and to hell with the Marine Nationale and NATO?

scaryteacher Wed 08-Oct-08 22:36:53

OK, this will sound like I'm a hard faced bitch. I'm not, but I grew up with the Navy, and have been married to a nuclear submariner for 22 years.

Yes, it's OK to miss him; it's OK to vent, but you married him knowing what he does.

You have some choices:
1: You put up and shut up, and find your way through it. It is tough, but for your own self respect you have to deal with this. You are an individual, not just a naval wife. You had a life before you got married, make sure you have one firmly in place now, for the times he is away. You have to learn to cope with this. The first four years we were married, dh was away at sea the majority of the time and even in an emergency including my death, he would not have been contactable; and was either doing work up/courses/intel work in London for the rest. I did my degree having worked out that the Navy was what he did and enjoyed, and that there are advantages to not living in each others pockets all the time.

2: You persuade him to leave the French Navy and join Civvy Street, and he will probably resent you for it. He is in a job, which is presumably well paid (and in the present climate that counts for a lot), and with reasonable prospects for the future. If you want him to leave, then tell him so, but don't snipe and drip at him about it. Don't make a pain in the arse of yourself like some wives I have known, constantly ringing and whinging when the boat is alongside. One wife I knew featured heavily in her husband's report from the CO and it was not complimentary.

3: Leave him.

4: Don't vent at him down the phone - my dh gets really frustrated when I do this, as he can't do anything to fix it, and says he would really not talk to me than get whinged at. He needs to know when away that ds and I are OK, and then he can concentrate on what he's doing. Sod's law says that something will go wrong, but most things can be dealt with, even in Brussels with my crap Flemish.

5: Don't dis NATO - you might end up here one day!

Have a long bath, and a good alcoholic drink and a sleep, and I promise it will look better and get easier as you get more used to it. I have been there and done it, but decided that I had to learn to deal with it, otherwise we'd both be unhappy. We go off and do our own things professionally and enjoy the time together that we do get. This is the longest time now that I have lived with him in 22 years (2 years plus), and I enjoy it when he goes away for a bit. More space in the bed, and no-one nagging about the mess!!

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