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My "new" life is not what I expected.

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posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:03 PM
I had never read any posts from this forum until yesterday. After reading the advice and support given, I thought I might put my relationship issues out there. After all, a site where I can chat about UFOs and marriage can't be beat !

Three years ago, my husband retired from the Army. Immediately after his retirement, he got a job as a military contractor with the US Air Force and we moved to Florida. He had applied for other positions before he retired, but the employment search was more difficult than we imagined and, while this job wasn't exactly what he wanted, it paid well and allowed us to transition after a long 23 years, of which 19 of those we were married.

The first eighteen months were amazing; we had more money than ever before and he was home at 4 pm and weekends. No more year- long deployments and he was able to spend time with our 3 boys. I thought it was great But he hated his job. He didn't have a lot of say in anything and I think it was difficult for him to settle into a role that didn't require great leadership. He finished his PhD and, without my really knowing about it, began applying for other positions in other places.

A year ago, he applied for a permanent government position and was hired. It was very quick and all I received in notice was " I hate this job and they want me to work in Maryland". We have 3 children, 2 of whom go to college here and live at home while another is 15. It was out of the question to leave them, at least for me, not even counting my son who was a freshman in high school. Within 3 weeks, he had gone, even missing our son's high school graduation by 4 days, even though they told him he could begin working anytime in a 4 week period.

Now, we are here and he is there. It has been 12 months and he comes home once or twice a month for a couple of days. I am completely alone since I have no family and no real friends here. While he is making more money, we are now paying 2900.00 a month in rent alone and there seems to be no solution. He wants me to move there with him but he deploys every 2 weeks to Alabama and is there for 2 weeks at a time...he comes home during those breaks....

Am I being selfish? My boys are amazing, wonderful students who I am not ready to leave and my youngest is playing sports and has made amazing friends.....What makes me most angry is that he still applies to jobs because he wants to be home...He even interviewed in a position that they offered but the money was peanuts and we couldn't afford that one....

Am I selfish to think that he had a job and golfed and fished every weekend and left us for his own personal satisfaction? I mean, I have suffered through years of deployments and raising our boys and just hoped we were finished. We Skype and talk every day but it isn't the same. He says I just need to leave our older boys but I just can't. They are 19 and 20 and don't need to live in the dorms since they are only 20 min away from FSU.

Strange to write this out but I really am lost. We have a wonderful marriage and there's no issues with trust, other than his picking a life out that didn't include us.

Am I selfish?

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:15 PM
a reply to: Malraux

No, you're not selfish.
You've been put in the position of choosing between your husband and your kids. That's a tough, awful place to be.
I'm really sorry that it's turned out this way for you.

I'm just getting over a 2-day migraine, and am getting blurry-eyed here...but I just wanted to tell you that I don't think you're being selfish at all!
I will check back tomorrow when I log on.
I hope you get a lot of support from members here. Their support has helped me through some tough times.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:22 PM
I don't really have a lot of advice, but I do not think you are being selfish. Marriage is a constant give and take. Just like he "took" while going on countless deployments and counting on you to provide a stable home life for your children. You "gave" that to him. For relationships to be healthy, there should be some form of 50/50 give/take or fairly close to it... otherwise one winds up feeling used and bitter. It's natural IMO.

Some people can not meet the give/take when it comes time for them to give a little. It's common.

If the relationship is good then you have to decide if you can "give" a little more, and maybe more after that. After this many years, you know (more than likely) if he is going to be happy where he is for another 20 years or just 6 more months, then you have to move again. A change at both of your ages in behavior is likely not going to happen. I assume he knows exactly how you feel about it all, but he went anyway. It is very likely that if he gets another "itch" he will not hesitate to do it again.

You just need to figure out if you can keep living that way or not. I understand the 2 kids in college, but they are grown and while you might want to remain close... you will need to decide if they are grown enough to be on their own completely or if it is worth your marriage to stay there until they are.

As for the 15 year old. That really sucks. Really. We had to move a lot when I was growing up, but it turned out ok. I was never given an option and in reality, no child should. You have to do what is best for your situation and as long as all of his other needs are met, he will be able to make new friends.

If you decide to wait until all the kids go their own way, will there be a marriage left to go back to?

You definitely have some big decisions to make, but you need to think about what happens when the kids are all gone with a life of their own. Will you regret not moving to be with your husband?

I DO NOT think you are selfish. I think that may be his problem. If you can live with that and continue to be happy, everyone else might just have to adjust.

ETA - Different people can live with different things. Some might tell you to leave while others tell you to stay, all the while claiming they would never put up with that kind of behavior. In the end it's what you can tolerate. That doesn't make it right or wrong for anybody else BUT YOU and that is all that matters. Some folks can live with a messy pig and be happy for the rest of their days... others would have to leave to keep their sanity. Again, it's about what is right for you. Not how it looks to anybody else, not what anybody else says you should put up with or not. Just you.

In case it matters, I am a married woman going on 18 years with a 16 year old of my own. Marriage is hard in the best of circumstances. I wish you luck regardless of your decision.
edit on 5/13/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:55 PM
You did a wonderful job explaining your position.

I can't help but think your husband should be reading it.

There are no easy answers....

Good Luck

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:57 PM
It seems like you are seeking affirmation that you aren't selfish, and that's what you are getting. Is that all you want? ATS is really good at being co-dependent and telling you what you want to hear, but it might not be the best thing for you.

Basically you are still in the service and he is still getting deployed. You want the money to be gained fro an employed PhD with a military pension on top of his salary, but you're upset that getting it is still difficult. You're also feeling the result of your past decisions.

For example you have two college age kids who are still living at home. I see why. It makes sense. They don't have a dormitory to live in and you can still feed them. It's an expedient decision. But the fact is they are college age. They're going to be gone in a couple of years, unless you persist in clinging to each other "because of the job market." But you're going to have to let them go eventually, and that leaves the 15 year old. He's quite capable of moving, unless he makes the decisions for your family, and he could just as well be in the new location as the old one. If you've got a professional career as well, which I don't think you said, that's one thing that deserves equal consideration. If not, well.....

So who's running the show here? You and your husband, or your nearly-grown kids? Seems to me you and your husband need to run "the biz" for yourselves ultimately. Take care of the kids, of course, but it's not like they're in elementary school any more. You've been married 20+ years, right? So buck up and see it through. In a couple of years you should be fine. If not, there's a lot more at issue here than you've said.

Now you can argue with me if you want, but it doesn't matter to me. We're not professional marriage counselors here that have a vested interest in you feeling good about what we are saying. If you can find some insight into what we say, great! If not, sorry.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 07:58 PM
Thanks for the honest advice. It is a choice that I don't want to make. I can't understand how he doesn't understand sometimes and it has led to some serious discussions. Honestly, this year has been harder than any in our 22 yr marriage because there's no end in sight. I have really internalized everything and became sort of reclusive in the last few months. As far as leaving the older two, when he left last May, we had 3 weeks notice and the boys were not prepared to move into the dorms or on their own since they were already in a structure that worked well. I am not ready to move 16 hrs away and leave them which is the problem in our marriage. It is easier for him; I have been the one to raise them nearly alone. I love my husband but, who the heck knows when he will find a better job and decide he wants it.

I know he has the right to be happy with a career. But does that mean that everyone else gets lost in the way? He says that he is less miserable now. Well, goody for him, three boys and I are devastated. I guess I am just tired of explaining to people that we are not divorce...but that he chose to leave. I don't know...

I do try to look into the future and think about the boys being older and what I should do. I don't think I have ever said this, at least aloud, but my boys come first...way first....don't know if that is right or wrong but I am a mother first, wife second, then I follow somewhere else. I wish I didn't have to choose but I did and it hasn't gotten easier in 12 months. I love him and have only loved him for 24 years..I am 42...but there's a piece of me who....well, if I am honest...despises him right now. I hate feeling that way and it isn't who I am or who I want to be.

Thank you again for your concern. It is nice to be able to talk about things without having to be strong. Several months ago I opened up about some other things (things that brought me to this site) and I received nothing but love and respect.

Thank you all.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:06 PM
a reply to: schuyler

I thank you for your response and advice. I think I have "bucked up" through 4 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and 1 in Bosnia. I just wanted opinions and advice, and didn't expect counseling but your opinions are most welcome.

As for the money, I could give a crap about that. I appreciate that he is a wonderful provider and, believe me, he didn't get a PhD by himself!

I am so happy that I wrote about it because there are two sides- his and mine. I wrote about mine in the most honest way that I could. I asked a question about my selfishness because sometimes I feel that I have been.

I appreciate your reading my post, though.


posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:22 PM
a reply to: Malraux

don't know if that is right or wrong but I am a mother first, wife second, then I follow somewhere else.

Well the kids have been there and he has been gone a lot. People usually grow closer with time and knowing the kids are moving on to their own lives, as it should be, thus Husband and Wives come first.

I would like to say, my stepson was very very attached to his Mother, he said he would never leave home and always be near her, he is a really sweet person. Well he finished college and had a degree and got a great job in a pharmacy.

Out of the blue he told everyone her was going back to school moving thousands of miles away with a friend who convinced him to change his profession, he is now completing that, but he has changed, getting off on his own he has become so confident, he was never a leader type but now he is he has a dozen guys he is in charge of, I am amazed at the changes it has been really good for him leaving home I would never have guessed it.

Empty nest comes around fast and you either have to decide if you want the man you are married to or get a divorce at some point, but when the kids leave it is a hard time. I went through it alone after a divorce, it is not a time to be along. It hits you hard after all the years of Mothering (at least it did me and my sister), suddenly they will off on their own.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:23 PM
Reading one of my responses, I realized how bitter I sounded. Perhaps I am more than I imagined. Writing it down is quite cathartic. I was crying at first but I am almost laughing now. When did I become that woman? Perhaps the very nature of his being in the military...I served 8 yrs myself...makes it easier to be apart. At the same time, I was ready for those separations to end.

We have an amazing relationship, even in this situation. But, to be honest, I am mad as hell! That was my realization. I don't mind being away from my children but not that far! Maybe he will find a job closer and I can feel more comfortable with that but that is what it is going to take.

Again, thank you all for reading this and offering me some feedback. While I am far from co-dependent, I am a co-member of a marriage that changed drastically in 3 weeks time. Hopefully, things will work out and time resolves our problems.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:24 PM
1. I think your husband may be having a hard time "staying put" after being in deployment for so long.

2. I'd have a hard time leaving my children too., although young adults, they still need you. Even if you move with your husband he's still gone half the time.

3. I think it was very disrespectful and selfish of him to not tell you he was applying for jobs elsewhere, and especially for not including you in the decision to take the job.

My analysis of the situation is that the home an family are your main objectives in life, and for him it is his job. It's the way you have spent your marriage and there is no easy answer here. He did what he had to do and you chose to do it with him. There's just no easy answer. Especially since you love each other and have a good relationship.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:32 PM
After thinking about it...

Give him time to realize what he now chooses to miss.

He is trying to provide the best way he knows how.

We men are a little slow on the uptake sometimes...

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:32 PM
a reply to: tinker9917

You hit the nail on the head! I, deep down, think that he is having a hard time being a "civilian". He got a little out of shape and freaked out and now is running and preparing for a half-marathon and has lost 25 pounds. Also, whether he knows it or not...and this is just a rant..he is not happy in a white-collar type position. He loves working with people and with his hands and now he is a paper-pushing training director.

I want him to be happy. I want to be happy....the boys.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 08:36 PM
a reply to: whyamIhere

I think men are wonderful. I am married to a fine man and raising three amazing young men.

And you're right, he sees it as providing amazingly for the family. I appreciate him for that. It's just the emotional stuff that he is a bit behind on and I am well versed in!

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 09:11 PM
a reply to: Malraux

I'll tell you what I told my daughter when she went to college (it was only an hour away, lol, but she is very attached to me). I told her "you know where home is if you need us".

You either need to tell your young adult kids this, and go live with your husband, or you tell your husband that and stay where you are.
edit on 13-5-2014 by tinker9917 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 09:32 PM

originally posted by: tinker9917
a reply to: Malraux

I'll tell you what I told my daughter when she went to college (it was only an hour away, lol, but she is very attached to me). I told her "you know where home is if you need us".

You either need to tell your young adult kids this, and go live with your husband, or you tell your husband that and stay where you are.

I'll second this quote - and also that when your boys are ready to go, they will. That's how it was with me - kind of surprised my Dad because I said I found the place I want to live in, and have the funds to move, so I am. He told me the same thing "Well, I wish you the best, but if you ever need a place to stay, you know where I am".

As far as the husband end of things - I'm reading it that he did what he thought was the best for the situation. If you tell someone to write in cursive for years on end, and then suddenly tell them to print their name, don't be surprised if a little cursive sneaks in. In this case, to me it sounds like your husband got too used to traveling around and making decisions with very little input from you - he can't remember what it was like (maybe) to ask for your advice.

And as a neutral person, OP, you are not selfish - selfish is demanding that he be with you every second of the day, and to me, it sounds like all you want is for him to come home; nothing wrong with that.

posted on May, 13 2014 @ 10:59 PM
a reply to: schuyler

I wouldn't leave the college age students but consider it a part of being a good parent to provide the home, so they only need small funds for college, not the full student loan. Its sefishness beyond belief for a parent to make a choice to put 80 000 on their child. Life is making choices and kids come first. All grown adults should get this. I'd always choose the kids. A few years of a long term relationship in a long term marriage, isn't going to hurt.

edit on 13-5-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 14 2014 @ 03:02 AM
I say give it more time and stick to your guns, he'll eventually get tired of it all and realize he misses you and the boys. I suspect he'll get a job closer to home before long. I think your making the right choice keeping the boys together. You've sacrificed enough already. If you can, try not to get too upset and just find happiness in what you have. It'll all work out.
edit on 14-5-2014 by JewelOfDenial because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 14 2014 @ 09:44 AM
a reply to: Malraux Transitioning from the military to the civilian world can be extremely difficult. I've watched a lot of people, including my dad, go from job to job to job after retiring from the military.

As far as putting your kids before your marriage, I feel that's a fine line you need to walk carefully. My husband & I are a united front when it comes to the kids. We have both always felt that our relationship has to be strong to provide our children with the emotional & physical resources they need to grow into adults. I've been married for 27 years and our kids are 24 & 25. Even though they went to universities close by they both lived in the dorms for awhile and then shared places with roommates. As a mom it's tough to let them go, but it's best so they can grow into the amazing people they're supposed to be.

posted on May, 14 2014 @ 11:18 AM
Another thing I thought I'd add here that you may not know is the realities of jobs after a military career. Your husband got the first job, which you said he did not like, but which afforded you lots of money. Then he got a government job, surely not one which paid less, the only problem being that it made him again "deployed" and your expenses went up because of two households. That's the basics, right?

Getting out of the military after a 20 year career is tough. First, you may have been forced out because you did not get another promotion. This is called by various terms, one of which is "high year tenure." My guess is he was an officer (based on his PhD), but it applies to enlisted as well. For example, if you don't make E-7 by 20 years, you get forced out. Even flag-rank officers get forced out at 64 if they don't get an exemption.

In this 20 years your husband has learned a lot of stuff, but mostly he has learned how the military works, and he has made many connections within the military. When he gets out at 20 years this knowledge is valuable, and that's how he is even considered for a civilian job, which is likely with a military contractor. He's not hired for his mental expertise as much as he is hired for his contacts. Some people call these guys "Beltway Bandits" for the way they prey on the military. Your husband expressed dissatisfaction with his job and my guess is he knew exactly what was happening.

Now, the thing about Beltway Bandit jobs is that they are not permanent. They depend on the grant cycle, which may be from one to three years. If the contract is not renewed, neither is his job. Also, as time goes on he is less and less valuable. All his friends in the military also retire, and over time his contacts are fewer and so is his relevant knowledge. Bottom Line is that these jobs are not the kind of positions you want to depend upon for another 20-25 years until he reaches retirement age. You may be grabbing a near-term gain for a long-term loss.

But a government job, that your husband managed to get, is nowhere near as impermanent as a job with a Beltway bandit. These jobs are not 100% guaranteed permanent, but most of them effectively are, with great benefits besides. In this case you may be seeing a near-term loss for a long-term gain.

In other words, your husband made a good choice. He gets his military retirement, half of base pay, which for an O-6 with 20 years is about $4500 a month, which goes up every year, plus his full-time government paycheck. Your entire family is completely insured for medical for life, too. So he's basically making a salary and a half devoted to what? Your family, your kids' tuition, you.

So let's say you get your way. What would that be like? Well, he could say, "You know what?" I served my country. Now I'm retired. I get almost $60K a year by just sitting at home, so that's what I'm gonna do. If you want more money coming in, go get a job." Then he'd be home for you, which is what you say you want. You'd have only one house payment, not two. And life would be peachy, right?

Or not. In many ways you are very, very lucky. And yes, you are selfish. You don't realize how good you have it.

posted on May, 14 2014 @ 12:07 PM
a reply to: schuyler

Makes sense.

The fact that this was a better future opportunity is the ONLY reason I was ok with the decision...and that was the beginning. I realize that his first job was not what he wanted but we had planned on looking for another job in another year or so and then this happened so quickly.

As for money- I don't care. The only reason I mentioned pay was because it was used as reason that he thought this would be a good idea. Monetarily, I could care less. I wish he would give up everything and become a mechanic..,which is something he loves. But a salary is different in different places; where he lives is next to D.C. And is expensive and not where I want to live. Additionally, he travels a lot so I would be alone there, thus changing from missing my husband to missing my boys. We have spent the last couple of decades away from our families and that hurt more than most things. So, money is his issue-not mine.

When I stated that my children come first, it has real meaning for me in a different way. My mother always said that her marriage always came first, as did my best friend...we used to have long discussions about that. Well, for both of them I wondered- which marriage? The first, second, third? I know my boys are adults but we, as a family, made decisions about their futures, including turning down scholarships that included living in the dorms. My sons are no where as mature as I was at their ages but I am fine with that. They are a senior and sophomore in college with straight As, part-time jobs, and wonderful young men who give me no problems. My oldest is currently looking for a graduate school and that will be difficult but wonderful for him if he chooses to attend school in another area.

I put the question out there, fully prepared for all opinions. Sometimes I feel selfish. Other times, I get frustrated with giving and giving. We all make sacrifices and I guess my biggest issue is that I sometimes get into a mood about wondering what job satisfaction is really worth. Although he hated his job, doesn't a garbage man? I don't know. Maybe I am very selfish in that fact.

He has a permanent position now, a great position. But it hasn't stopped him from still applying to other jobs. I don't know if he will ever be happy and maybe we should have stayed in a while, we weren't pushed out and, yes, he was a senior officer. He misses it, I know, but it was a decision we both made after a lot of thought and reflection. He doesn't want to not work, he's still young and healthy and we have spent too much money on his education ( out of our pockets the last couple of years since he doesn't qualify for the GI Bill) . The education is another sore spot with me but I am proud of him in pursuing extended degrees. I was a previously enlisted soldier who utilized the GI Bill but only have a Bachelor degree.

I guess it boils down to making a decision together, looking at all the facts. It was rushed and messy and we still haven't got through it in great style. We had a plan but that plan changed in an instant. The end result was both good and bad and we need to fully realize both the benefits and the regrets. Maybe I should bocce the main provider? Functionally, that is not likely since I have stayed home with my children more than I have worked plus he loves working and it is best for my children ( not everyone's decision ) for me to stay home. I was in the military for 8 years, first as a new recruit and then after college as a junior officer as an AGR. We made the decision that, with all of he deployments, for me to resign and stay home. It was difficult at first, but I don't regret a second of it.

So, thank you for your honest assessment. I don't understand the reliance of salary in it but I did mention money and that is a big part of any employment decision and especially in one that takes you far away from family. To me, the permanence of the position was the primary factor in being somewhat understanding. But that understanding becomes muddied when he continues to seek another job after this whole experience.

Finally, I think love and time are the two best factors that will help us out.

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