Is This A Break Up Or A Military Thing?


Vicki has probably already read Its Called A Break Up Because It’s Broken.  She probably sat through He’s Not That Into You six times. If this were a civilian relationship, she would know whether or not this break up was a permanent thing.

But throw the military into the relationship mix, and it gets confusing. Is this a break up thing or is it a military thing?

Hard to tell. Vicki says that she and her boyfriend have been together for five years — since they were both sixteen. Her boyfriend recently enlisted into the Navy. Right before he left for boot-camp he broke up with her. He said he didn’t want to worry about her.  He said he only wants to focus on himself right now.

Vicki understands that part — but she doesn’t know why they had to break up over it. After all, they are still in love and when her boyfriend was home he was acting like they were a couple.  Vicki writes:

“Its been hurting so bad I can’t eat, sleep, or nothing. I told him I was going to support him no matter what. Will he come back to me?  He gives me hope that he wants to fix things, but he has been saying we just need to be friends for now and that who knows maybe we can work things out.  I’m just so confused.”

So, Readers, you decide.  Is this a break up and Vicki should move along?  Or is this a typical behavior from a guy heading for boot-camp.  What is Vicki’s next best step?

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at

14 Comments on "Is This A Break Up Or A Military Thing?"

  1. Wow that is crazy when people tell you something youre job is to hear them. If my husband would have tried that crap I would have done exactly what he asked. I find it so selfish that these soldiers would do that to their SOs. I don't know if its different if youre not already married when they enlist like me and my husband were but even with just being Bf/Gf i would have been pissed and wished em well and that would have been that. I would have been done.

  2. I would move on and live your life. He's not ready to commit right now and I think it's because everything in front of him is new and uncertain. You never know what will happen after he has finished boot camp and his MOS schools, but don't wait on a possibility of being with him, have fun and meet new people. When he figures out what he wants, he'll come looking for you if what he wants is you.

  3. If he were committed to the relationship, he would have included you in his military career/plans. He used the military career as an excuse to end the relationship and knew it wouldn't be questioned. I am so so sorry it happened to you this way. Take time for yourself to figure out who you are now, as an individual, and then you can begin a new relationship with better desires and outcomes. I wish you the best of luck in discovering a new you and a new relationship.

  4. It's a break up, nothing "military" about it. The young man clearly stated he wants to focus on himself, that is his right. By her trying to find something there that isn't is obviously painful to both of them. Otherwise he wouldn't "give her hope" that things may work out. He is trying to protect her feelings in a wishy washy way. It may hurt for a while, but the young lady needs to move on. If they had been together for 5 years (teenage years at that) and he is not ready to commit for the long haul he is certainly doing the right thing now rather then another 5 years from now when they are married and have a kid or two. I say kudos to him for moving on with his life and for the most part being straight with her. Like I said, she needs to let him go, stop trying to find something there. Let him focus on his life path right now. They are both very young, plenty of time to go out and find "Mr. and Mrs. Right".

  5. RUN girl! If he can't commit and uses the military as a reason to leave, he's not in love. Move on sweetie and find someone better! Good luck to you!!

  6. What you need to do is start your life. You have been with this one guy forever, now he's starting his career and you should do the same. Don't be the that girl that can be used for hometown relationship benefits but he only considers you a friend. That's the oldest trick in the book. He doesn't want you but he doesn't want anyone else to have you. Leading you on(acting like you're a couple at home) while planning to have fun when he's away. He's knows you won't question his actions because you want to be with him. Waiting around for a guy has ruined many girls' self-esteem. You are 21yrs old(been with him for 5yrs, since 16) go to college and enjoy the experience! I know, i wasted 6yrs of my life on this guy from school. He went on with his life and i was a mess! I turned down many good guys and opportunities because i was trying to make myself available for him. wasn't worth it! My husband finished AIT when he was 18, never did he break up with me and we have been married for almost 10yrs!

  7. As cheesy as some may think it is, I wish all women and girls would take to heart the lyrics of a song I dedicated to my 3 beautiful daughters: "More Beautiful You"

    Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
    Says she wants to look that way
    But her hair isn't straight, her body isn't fake
    And she's always felt overweight

    Well, little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
    That beauty is within your heart
    And you were made with such care, your skin, your body and your hair
    Are perfect just the way they are

    There could never be a more beautiful you
    Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through
    You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
    So there could never be a more beautiful you

  8. Little girl twenty one the things that you've already done
    Anything to get ahead
    And you say you've got a man but He's got another plan
    Only wants what you will do instead

    Well, little girl twenty one you never thought that this would come
    You starve yourself to play the part
    But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
    And He'll treat you like the jewel you are

  9. So turn around you're not too far
    To back away be who you are
    To change your path go another way
    It's not too late, you can be saved
    If you feel depressed with past regrets
    The shameful nights hope to forget
    Can disappear, they can all be washed away

    By the one who's strong, can right your wrongs
    Can rid your fears dry, all your tears
    And change the way you look at this big world
    He will take your dark distorted view
    And with His light, He will show you truth
    And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

    That there could never be a more beautiful you
    Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops, they make you jump through
    You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
    So there could never be a more beautiful you
    There could never be a more beautiful you

  10. From the guy's perspective – sounds like he wants to keep his options open, find out what else is out there, and become his own man. He probably doesn't feel like he's 'lived it up' as much as he could have yet. You'll have to let him do that. Maybe someday he'll come back around, maybe he won't. Whether or not that happens will depend on the people that each of you meet in the coming years while you're apart. You might even go another direction before he does.

  11. "Be someone worth loving." Those are great words to live by while my Marine is away on his first deployment! Thanks for reminding me to stay strong, independent, and to thrive – not only for my sake but for his as well.

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