YDU: Why Didn’t You Tell Me You Signed Up Again??

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My fiancee signed up for the Reserves in March without asking my thoughts on it first.  “It’s only once a month,” he told me.  “I have a waiver that will prevent me from deploying for two years.  So don’t worry!  I won’t have to leave home for longer than one weekend a month.”

OK, I was still mad he didn’t include me in the decision.  But I let it go, because I know all about his passion for the Army.

My fiancee forgot to mention that changing his MOS in the Army meant going to school to reclass for 40 days. Again he tried to reassure me, “It’s only 9-5 M-F so I will be home every night.”

Turns out PT was each morning at 4am so he didn’t get to come home at all. Considering I work 50 hours a week and we have a one year old, this was unexpected.

We were completely unprepared. He would normally be home with the baby on Mondays and Tuesdays so I had to get a babysitter for those days. We  had to spend money that we definitely did not have. He also didn’t mention that instead of getting paid once a week like his full time job, he would not be paid until his schooling was complete.

Funny, this doesn’t work well when you are living paycheck to paycheck and really depend on each one to pay certain bills. We survived. Our credit scores were lower because of all of the late payments, but we survived.  I thought that was a lesson learned, paychecks are irregular. At least I knew that he wouldn’t have to go away again.

Then in the first week of September he decided to let me know he was ordered to go to Airborne School for three weeks out of state. I thought it was strange to be “ordered” one week in advance and later found out he had signed up for school months prior.

Arguments did happen, but in the end I knew that he had always wanted to get his Wings.  So, off he went and again I was left with the baby, my job, no cash reserves and a lower credit score. At least I knew that the next time he was going away was for WLC training in 2013 – I would be prepared for that.

Then one evening in November he pops up with, “I’m going to Afghanistan in March 2013, I’ll be gone for a year.”

“IS THIS A JOKE?? What about the waiver??” I said.  He refused to use the waiver because he didn’t believe his life was more valuable then another man or woman.

He forgot I don’t know much about the Army and I didn’t know that the months leading up to deployment include out of state trainings here and trainings there.  He is basically gone.

And I am here. I’m a little pissed I was left  out of your decision making.  But I am so proud of the guy and I miss him already. Come home soon. Please.

Chrissy Deliea lives in Pennsylvania.  Her husband Mike serves in the Army Reserves.  Chrissy told us, “I’m glad to have found a site that allows me to relate to other spouses and learn from them and grow and understand what being supportive actually means, thank you all!”

Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story.  If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.

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Why Didn't You Tell Me
Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story. If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.

5 Comments on "YDU: Why Didn’t You Tell Me You Signed Up Again??"

  1. Ok: The problem here is that the soldier get his sense of purpose in life from two places: His Family and His Service. That is fine, but he needs to know that he has to balance the two. That means involving his loved ones in his decisions to serve. Otherwise he will quickly discover he has to choose between the two. The Fiancee in this case really needs to lay out what she can live with vis a vis his service. He then needs to respect that… or make a choice. As the song goes:

    Did you ever have to make up your mind
    Pick up on one and leave the other behind
    It's not often easy and not often kind
    Did you ever have to make up your mind

    On the practical side. This fiancee should haul her Soldier directly to the Chaplain for a conversation on his priorities. If not the chaplain, then the Military Family Life Counselor (MFLAC). If I read this right she is in PA. She should call 717-861-9676.

    This is important because it is the perfect combination: relationship counselling (to fix the trust issues here and the other problems) AND a military savvy staff capable of understanding the military mind.

  2. This letter reinforces my stand on premarital counseling. Money, communication, children, parenting, relationship roles, and with military couples, the expectations of the service and their job. Couples in counseling have the same basic arguments throughout their marriage and only through changes in their current pattern do things improve. Completing a budget and time management, creating a deployment plan with supports, and working together in a calm, goal oriented manner to work on communication issues would be heading down the right path. As stated above, the Chaplain, a MFLAC or someone like me, an offsite therapist with emphasis on military families and transition, can assist the individual and the couple.

  3. For me, the most important issue in marriage is trust. As a Army Spouse, I need to trust that my husband has told me everything that I need to know and everything I should know. Yes, these oftentimes can be two very different things. It is not often possible to discuss and decide whether or not to deploy. However, in your case it was. In your situation, I would expect to be part of that discussion and ultimate decision.
    I think, instead of just being pissed off (I would be beyond pissed but that's a post for another time), you need to speak to your Soldier about your expectations. If you feel that you weren't involved in his decisions and you feel you should have been, you need to rationally talk about what you expect in the future. Fighting solves nothing. However, rationally discussing issues can make a world of difference with respect to how successful your marriage is.

  4. How dare you husband to this without discussing it with you and getting your OK??? I would never change my job without discussing it with my husband.

  5. Every Soldier, Active, Reserve, or Guard, can take advantage of a host of options for counseling: If they are near a post, I would recommend they go there. Otherwise, the following should work, 1) MilitaryOneSource 2) the local Family Assistance Center of the state's national guard, 3) unit chaplains, 4) Military Family Life Consultants.

    if you need the contact for the above for a specific place, post a reply and I can find it for you.

    I suggest in this case that some counseling is really in order. Depending on the person's philosophy, either the Chaplain or the MFLAC.

    At the root of the problem here is that we have man who gets his sense of purpose in life from two places, his family and his service. He is not doing a good job of balancing those. If he keeps this up, he will have to choose between the two. A reasonable family can accommodate both, but he needs to include his fiancee in the process.

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