The Community


Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives & Navy Girlfriends is not just a blog. It's a community. I started this site with the intention of making it a place where new Military Girlfriends and Wives could find support and advice and where experienced ones could share what they know.

We have Facebook & Twitter accounts set up to be used to notify people of new blog posts. The majority of the conversations happen either via the blog comment section or via the Facebook forum. If you would be interested in contributing by writing posts, check out the guest post guidelines below.

The meaning behind Unhinged & Empowered is that through  this community we share the moments that make us feel unhinged and accept them as normal and even signs of strength thus empowering ourselves and others. This community is about focusing on the positive and supporting one another regardless of our situations, whether we are wives, girlfriends, spouses, partners, from this country or that country. We join here in acceptance and understanding. 

We are some of the strongest women in the world but together we can become even stronger.

photo  ©2010  owenwbrown, Flickr
Guest Post Guidelines

Your post needs to be something that helps the audience: Navy Wives and Girlfriends. We are not looking for online-journals or anecdotes but how-tos, advice, comic entertainment, or resource posts.

If you would like to become a regular contributor, please pitch a segment idea so all your posts will focus on a specific topic like being a mom or going to school as a Navy Wife while also keeping in mind the idea behind the blog.

Unhinged & Empowered is about embracing and overcoming those little moments that make Navy Wives & Girlfriends feel like we are going crazy. Although the posts are for any and all Military Wives, my inspiration for creating this blog was to offer guidance, encouragement, and support for new Navy Wives and Navy Girlfriends in particular. The blog reaches out to experienced Wives by asking them to contribute as you are seeking to do.

If you're not sure your idea fits or if you want to write but don't know what to write about, feel free to contact me to ask. I'd be happy to brainstorm with you.

Please, no advertisements.

I am not offering payment for guest bloggers; however, if you have a business or need for a platform, blogging is a great way to promote and I can help you do that.

Submit guest post ideas or request a guest blog from me by clicking here: Contact Stephanie.

Thank you and I hope to be hearing from you soon!

27 comments:

  1. Hello Stephanie,
    So my boyfriend recently graduated from Basic on the 8th of January, I was
    suppose to go and his mom told me she was going to save me a seat for his graduation..
    I took her word and expected her to save me a seat.. A few days before his graduation
    (about the 4th of January) I had texted her and asked her if it was still okay that I can go to
    his graduation or not. I needed to know a few days before, so i could prepare and since it
    was on my birthday I needed to know if I had to make other plans or not. She read my message
    but completely ignored it.. I waited a few days, and still no response. On the 6th of January I had decided to text her
    again because I REALLY needed to know.. She read that almost instantly as well, and she replied with
    "All the seats are full :(" Then sent another message saying "Happy early birthday."
    I was heart broken.. I sucked it up, and acted as if I was okay with the change. I was really sad, but then ended up pulling myself out of the funk I was in
    realizing family is ALWAYS first. On the 8th I was scrolling through Facebook, in the early morning and I see that his mom had posted pictures of her,
    his sister, and his dad.. They were there and waiting.. The caption to the picture was "And now the waiting game." I quickly noticed in the picture there was
    only 3 people, not 4. I was kinda shocked by that. I tried to not jump to conclusions. I was waiting for updates, kinda stalking her Facebook, then I see another picture had been posted from her.
    It was a picture of His mom, dad, sister, and him.. I realized..... I was the 4th person, and it makes me look bad because I didn't show... After basic, he went straight to A-school.. So I've had no contact with him for about
    3 weeks or so. (Last time we talked was on Christmas). She also didn't meet him at the airport to give him his stuff. (Phone, laptop, etc.) I've tried texting her, to ask her questions but of course she ignores them..
    I'm trying to find out when the next time I will be able to speak to him will be. How long will it take for him to get his address? (He's in Charleston South Carolina at NNPTC)
    If he doesn't have his phone or laptop will he still be able to get in contact with me?

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    1. Dear Anonymous,

      I can only imagine how hurt you must feel right now and I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I think the best thing for you to do right now may also be the hardest and that is to try your best to remain calm. The one thing that can make this worse is getting worked up to the point where you do or say something you regret.

      Even though it seems obvious what happened, there is still the slight possibility of a miscommunication or an unfortunate incident that was completely innocent and not intentionally malicious on his mother’s part. There is of course the possibility that what you think happened is exactly what happened, but the good news is that he should have regular communication back within only a couple of days.

      When you talk to him try not to be over-worked up or angry and accusatory toward his mother. Explain to him that you are sorry you weren’t at his graduation and that you tried everything in your power to go but his mother told you the seats were taken. If she lied, he will be the one to realize it and will most likely want answers. You have every right to feel the way you do but with family, we must always tread lightly. If you don’t want to wait for the phone call, send him a facebook message or email.

      When they go to A-School, they are almost just as busy as when they are at basic, so you don’t need to fear that he’s going to run off into the sunset without you – he probably won’t have time.

      Try to be patient and calm but also give yourself a break if you aren’t because your situation is really not cool. Still, these kinds of things are the products of situations without communication which is common in a military relationship. This will not be the last freak-out worthy situation so consider this an experience to wade through knowing that you will learn and grow from it, so that next time you will be even more prepared. They are not the only ones that go through an introduction to the military life- so are we when we deal with the emotions of no communication and miscommunication as a result.

      No matter how this turns out, you will have this experience under your belt, added onto your resume, and you will always be able to look at it and know how strong you are because you got through it. Even if you screamed and cried and freaked out, you endured it and that is what reveals your true strength and resilience.

      You are doing fantastic with all of this and I’m just so sorry you have to go through it like this, but be kind to yourself. Let us know how it turns out.

      Wishing you all the best and a phone call really soon.
      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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    2. Hi anon,
      I can totally feel for you there.. except my boyfriend just got there. His mom has been like that towards me ever since he's left as well. Only she gave us the wrong address to send letters.. my mom found that out from navy moms blog.. and my dad is on navy dads.. my dad is really the only dad figure he has.. we are supposed to get married but who knows when that will be. But I know how that feels when the mom does stuff like that.

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  2. Hello ladies! I was wondering if I could get some help. My boyfriend is at basic right now and I am waiting for his letter.. its been 2 weeks and every time I go to the mail box it isn't there.. and it's so hard! I missed the mail man today to send MY letter and I feel like I am falling apart.. any advice?

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    1. Hi Allison,

      Thanks for commenting. In basic training Sailors only have time to write a letter about once a week so don't fret about not receiving one yet. They can receive letters anytime, but they will be okay if they don't get one everyday.

      Remember, basic training isn't just for them. It's your boot camp too! As a Navy Girlfriend you have to deal with separation and a lack of communication during those separations. Military communication can be very unpredictable.

      But you should know that it's okay if you are freaking out. It's okay to cry and scream and beat the ground with your fists - I speak from experience. ;) This is HARD! And you have every right to feel frustrated and anxious, but know that just because you are willing to go through it already shows the fact that you are a strong and independent person.

      Strength for Navy Girlfriends is caring too much and getting anxious and crying your eyes out - it's the fact that you are enduring it, struggling and not giving up - that is strength and you got it!

      Be kind to yourself, you are doing a great job!

      I saw you posted a similar comment on another page of the blog so I'm copying and pasting this response there too. Also check out our FB group for more support! You are not alone in your experience or feelings.

      Keeping you in my thoughts.
      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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    2. Stephanie,
      Thank you so much! I received his letter a few days ago and it made my day.. I talked to him many times now.. he was in the hospital for a couple days from over exerting.. he called me 31 times in 3 days! I'm so glad he called me.. I had really missed his voice! I also got other news too.. it's very exciting but I can't really explain it.. but I'm super excited! Thanks for the help!

      Allison

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    3. Hi Allison,

      To hear that made my day! I'm so glad that you heard from him and that things are better now. Be proud of yourself for getting through that. Even if you cried or screamed or beat the ground, you endured it, waited it out, and was there to answer when he called 31 times in 3 days. That's what shows strength and endurance.

      Wishing both of you the best of luck!
      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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  3. Hello everyone,
    I'm excited to stumble upon this community and to check it out more... I have been seeking some opinions/advice from those who might have been or be in similar situations and I'll try to sum this up. Long story short, my sailor and I have been best friends for over 15 years and he's been in the Navy for 12 years. Throughout those years we have had our times where we dated but without notice it would end abruptly and I recently found out it was because he knew he wasn't mature enough to be true and he would get scared and couldn't lose me so he'd end it.. eventually we just kept it friends for a long time despite knowing there was so much more there than that. A few months ago he confessed everything, that he's loved me this entire time and that he realized he was finally ready to give it a chance and see how it goes if I was willing and wanted to as well. We got to see each other for a week (a month later) and it was AMAZING but ended a little weird and right after he got back he started this new job that has been requiring him to work 10-16 hour days, without days off, so he really only has time to work and sleep right now. Being I've been through his whole career, I'm not a stranger to what I signed on for and I have NO problem waiting, being faithful etc. because all I've ever wanted was a chance to see if this could work for us, being a couple.

    One part I'm needing help on is... I do have insecurities creeping in at times from the past (our relationships in the past would end abruptly and without me really knowing. He would stop talking to me for a bit and then jump into relationships with someone else and I would find out from one of his family members, so I'm concerned someone else is going to come in. Although he recently said he has no time for anything except work and sleep..) Have any of you dealt with past insecurities and how do you deal with it especially when you can't get reassurance from them that it's not happening? The reassurance is a big thing for me right now because that's one thing I had said to him when he confessed, was that I was worried this would happen and he said he understood but that he would prove it to me...

    My other question is... is there anything you can suggest I do for him and his sanity since he's got such a crazy schedule right now? I try to not make his life any more stressful... I just sent the "open when" letters for vday but I made my own that were more personal and involved things that would help him relax, think of me, etc.. Thought about maybe randomly sending postcards with scenery from home because we come from a beautiful state and only have motivational quotes on them? Not sure if there's anything else that might help or if I should just give him space? I'm going to try and keep myself busy so maybe that will keep me sane haha (any other suggestions there are helpful too). Thank you again.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for commenting. From the way you framed your question, I'm getting the impression, that you are hoping the community will weigh in. Check out our Facebook group as that is where they are primarily active.

      Still, I will weigh in myself. I definitely had insecurities from my relationship's history creep up, and I still do even after nearly 12 years. I think everyone has something like this pop up eventually. Relationships are never clean or perfect or ideal. Marriages that last for sixty years last because the couple sticks with it despite all the messes, so don't worry too much about your past. It will not determine your future. You and your Sailor will.

      As far has helping him, it sounds like you are doing everything and more. I've asked my Sailor before about this, and he said that when he doesn't have time for anything, even to write, he still immerses himself in my letters and communications and that's what he holds onto for support and comfort. So even if he is too busy to write or communicate often, keep sending him those communications. He will appreciate that and appreciate how much you want to support and assist him.

      It sounds like you are doing fantastic with all of this and are being very supportive and helpful. Keep it up!

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder
      www.stephaniecarroll.net

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  4. Hello Stephanie,
    I need advise. My sailor and I have been talking to each other since even before he joined the Navy and left for bootcamp. We've always gotten along and would talk for hours on the phone or Skype. I was always there for him whenever he needed me and he even told me that he really appreciates the support. He even once said that he didnt want to have a girlfriend while in the Navy, but once he got to know me he said that he couldnt be more wrong. The only time he didnt talk to me was for couple of days in A-school, during bootcamp and while on leave, although after nine months of being stationed in Japan we kept in touch constantly, whether he was in training or cranking. He's originally from the US, currently stationed in Japan, I live in Europe. We've been planning to see each other for months, he wanted to get a passport but hes always too busy to do so. Although, we would send each other care packages and whatnot. The thing is, about a week after my birthday he's become so distant. Before that he had to take a very important exam to rank up, so he also had to study a lot, while keep up with the gym and his work. He would still message me although the messages werent too lively. Its been over three weeks now since the last time I heard from him. The last time we spoke I was trying to get to know from him what's wrong but he'd just change the subject. His last message wasn't anything harsh just told me that he should've just stayed on the ship instead of going back to his room. Since then zero communication for almost a month. I messaged him that I take the silence as he needs some space, but he can always lean on me even in his hardest times, asking to message me when he was ready and that I miss him severly. He didn't even view the message even though he would be online commenting on his friends' posts on Facebook. Two weeks later I called him numerous times but he wouldnt pick up the phone. Its been a week since the last time I tried to reach him. The confusing part is that I got a massive care package from him for Valentine's Day with a love letter and now he won't even talk to me even though he does have an access to the Internet. I dont know what to do anymore. Should I wait for him to call me? Or do I try to reach him again? I remember he told me that he was going to be sent to a navigational school, since he's a navigator, and sometime in April he's getting deployed for a month or so, and in August he was planning on visiting me, but nothing's comfirmed. Is he just under a lot of stress and doesnt want to be bothered thinking about me and my affection or could it be something else? Do I wait to hear back from him? Any advise will be appreciated.

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    1. Dear Karolina,

      My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry you are going through this right now, but the fact that you are and staying so strong and supportive shows what an amazing person you are.

      It's difficult to say what is going on, but a month is too long to just not communicate. He's lucky to have someone that would be supportive enough to stick around and wait for him to get it together.

      I don't know your Sailor so you have to go with your instincts, but as far as I know, there isn't any good reason for him to suddenly drop communication, even if deployed, and especially if you can see he's online talking to people. Then there really isn't any good excuse.

      If it were me, I would contact him again, once more, and be as straightforward as I could, but also as brief as I could be. You deserve to know what's going on. Try not to sound desperate or emotional - as sometimes deployed Sailors pull away emotionally. Still, it is not fair for him to keep you hanging on the line without any word from him about what's going on. Being in this type of relationship requires sacrifice and it's not all right for him to expect that kind of sacrifice from you without being forthright. If he still doesn't contact you, there will be a point where you will have to let go and move on and only you can decide how long you are willing to wait without word.

      I wish you all the best and I will keep you in my prayers. No matter what happens, by going through this, you have been given a learning and life experience that not everyone has, and it has revealed your big heart and amazing strength.

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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  5. Hi Stephanie! My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half now. He decided to join the Navy while we were dating, and it's not something he's always wanted to do or anything, so I've had a really hard time adjusting. He's been at bootcamp for 3 weeks now and we were living together before he left, so I feel like I'm crazy because I've been so upset and stressed out and keep crying! LoL Your page has really helped me. I finally received a letter from him last week (it made my whole week!), and he was able to call a few days ago. But the conversation wasn't so great. He was all over the place, contradicting certain things he had already told me, and kept giving me half pieces of information, so it made me feel worse. I know he had a limited time to talk and was probably nervous and overwhelmed, but I also feel the same way. He also mentioned that a lot of the guys flirt and mingle with the girls (he's also a lot older than everyone at 27), but that he's not there to meet anyone. That comment really bothered me, especially because I didn't want to spend our 5 minute conversation talking about that. He also told me in his letter that no one was able to talk, so now I'm like what's the real story and why can't he just be honest? We've also had trust issues in the past because he's lied about things a few times, and I felt like he was going back to making things up or lying. I felt my insecurities coming back and it made me feel a lot worse about the whole situation. I really want to be honest with him about how I'm feeling and how that really hurt my feelings so our next phone conversation can be better, but I know everyone always says to only write them positive things while they're at bootcamp and I don't want to say anything to hinder his progress or hurt him. I've supported him 100% this whole time, and just feel like I'd like the same in return and get some reassurance, not saying things like that to make me feel worse. Do you have any advice or suggestions? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Saba,

      So first off I want to say that you should really be proud of yourself for how well you are handling this entire situation. You have probably been thinking that you aren't handling it well, but the truth is that you are! You really, really are!

      Everything you described is quite normal but also really tough stuff to be dealing with, so let me walk you through a couple of things. Don't feel bad or weird about the constant crying. It's normal and psychologically healthy. It's just a situation you've never been in, so it doesn't feel normal or healthy but it is. The good news is that it's not always this bad. He's in boot camp, but so are you. You are getting a crash course in separation, which is a big part of Navy life. Right now it's really hard, but it gets easier each time. In the future he will also have much more communication opportunities so that will be easier as well.

      Okay so now about him being all over the place and contradicting himself. When they go to boot camp, they aren't just getting trained in how to do something, they are seriously getting mentally and emotionally trained for how to deal with situations that are unimaginable, i.e. war situations. Everyone in the military doesn't experience those war moments we see in movies, but they are trained for it. That training messes with people's worldviews to some extent, just as I'm sure your current experience with this separation is changing your worldviews to some extent. This might explain why he seemed all over the place.

      Another reason for contradicting himself is because for some reason the military gives very ambiguous and confusing information sometimes and or information that changes at a moment’s notice. It took me years to feel like my husband was telling me the full story when finally I realized that he didn't really know the full story himself.

      When it comes to talking in there, they can't generally chit-chat during training, but that doesn't mean that they are barred from speaking to each other at all times, so there are probably opportunities for flirtation, especially when it's a bunch of young adults. However, do not imagine boot camp as summer camp. They do not have the time, the ability, or the energy to "hook up." They are exhausted all the time from the training. Plus, if they got caught doing that, they would get in so much trouble, which in boot camp means some kind of very unpleasant punishment even to the point of having to restart boot camp, and trust me, they do not want to do that!

      Now, the other thing is that is if you are having these concerns now, they are only going to get worse, so you need to definitely communicate with your Sailor about your feelings and do some research in how to heal trust issues because you are going to need that trust in a Navy relationship. You will be separated a lot in the future and even though "hooking up" is hard in boot camp, it's not so hard during A-school, detachments, and deployments, not to mention just in life in general.

      Whether you should talk to him now or later is something you have to make a call on, but if you are concerned that it could affect him negatively while he’s in boot camp, then it might be worth waiting. Remember you are doing very well, be kind to yourself, and proud of your efforts.

      Your question is something that a lot of others also struggle with and I would love to put it up with my response as a general post. Let me know how you would feel about that.

      Thank you again for commenting. Wishing you and your Sailor all the best!

      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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    2. Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much for responding to my questions and being so helpful. I keep telling myself if we get through boot camp, we'll at least be able to talk and have more contact after he graduates, so this pain and the really hard days are just temporary. Also, going from talking and seeing each other all day, everyday and telling each other everything, to having no idea how he is or what he's up to and vice versa is a HUGE change and extremely difficult. Some days I've been doubting my strength and ability to deal with it and just give up and say this isn't for me, but him and our relationship is worth it to me. I don't want to give up on him just because I'm afraid of what will come and trying this lifestyle. I decided to write him a letter today finally and wrote normally, but also nicely put in my honest feelings about how our conversation made me feel and asked him to just consider my feelings next time we're able to talk. I felt like holding it in all week made me feel worse and more apprehensive, so I wanted to let him know. I would love it if you shared my post as a general post, you really helped me and it means a lot when I feel so alone in this situation. None of my friends can relate so it's nice to come on here and see so many strong women going through similar things! :)

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    3. I'm so glad that this has been helpful Saba and thank you so much for letting me repost this. I really think a lot of women are in your situation and will feel such great relief to see that.

      I'm glad you wrote him and did what you felt was right for you. I think you are strong and that you can get through this. It is hard and it's okay to feel like it's hard. It's okay to feel like it's too much to handle and like you want to scream and cry and I can tell, we all do it!

      What makes you strong is the going through those moments. It's the willingness to hang on for dear life and trudge through times when you feel like you are coming unglued, unhinged. That is what makes you so strong and empowered to do this.

      Sincerely,
      Author & Founder
      Stephanie Carroll

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  6. Hey everyone,
    I'm in a relationship with a recent grad from the naval academy. We have been close friends for a year and decided to give a relationship a shot. He's an officer and will be going to Norfolk soon. I guess my main concern is the frequent moving. If we end up together for the long haul how realistic is it of me to think I can stay behind while he moves around the country. I love my job and what I do but it isn't exactly a portable career, I doubt I could up and move and still be able to do my passion. Do I put my career on hold so that he can do his? It's a lot to take in for someone like me who has had no real contact with people in the military for my whole life. This is a lifestyle I am unfamiliar with and would love some input.
    Thanks,
    Melanie

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    1. Hi Melanie,

      I don't know what your passion/career is so it's hard for me to say much on how that will do in the Navy lifestyle, but what I can tell you is that many, many Navy wives and girlfriends continue to pursue their dreams, passions, and careers while having to pick up every couple of years.

      Some people even make a long distance situation workout if their careers can't move easily. I know one couple who has done this for years. You have to way the pros and cons of both of your desires and decide who gets a little more priority in your choices together.

      For example, because I'm a writer, I have the ability to do my passion to some extent anywhere, so when my husband said we needed to go to Fallon, Nevada to further his career, I recognized that it wouldn't hurt my career to go there.

      Civilians have to make these types of decisions too. People pick up and move all the time, sometimes because they want to, and sometimes because that's where the job is.

      There might be some hard decisions to make, but that doesn't mean that you will have to chose between him and your career. You can do both if the both of you commit to making it work while also recognizing that both of you won't be able to have every ideal along the way.

      I hope this helps answer your questions. Wishing you and your Sailor all the best.

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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    2. Hi again Melanie,

      I just wanted to thank you for posting this question. It inspired an entire blog post and I included your question as the starter so check that out:

      http://www.unhingedandempowered.com/2016/09/do-i-have-to-give-up-my-career-for-his.html

      I hope you don't mind me using your question. It just made me realize that this is a question a lot of Navy Girlfriends and Wives have and we didn't have a post on it.

      So thanks again. =)

      Stephanie

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    3. Stephanie,
      Thanks so much! And I'm glad my question prompted the blog post, hopefully it helps others like me.

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  7. Hi! My name is Riley, and my boyfriend is leaving for boot camp in July. We haven't been together for too long, but I can tell that he is the one. We are both still in high school, and I know it sounds ridiculous because we are so young but I really do love him, and I am dreading July. I don't know how to handle him being gone at boot camp with no contact, then leaving straight away for school. He wants me to move in with him after he is done with school, but I don't know what I would do about college. I'm just very sad and anxious about the whole thing. His recruiter has talked to me a few times, and seems very optimistic about this. I'm not so sure. Help!

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    1. Hi Riley,

      Thank you for commenting. It does not sound ridiculous that you have already found the one. A lot of people find the one at a young age and many of those people have Navy marriages and I'm one of them!

      Yes it's going to be a difficult expereince being without him for the first time, but try to think of it as your own boot camp because as a Navy girlfriend or spouse, you will experience long bouts of separation somewhat regularly. Most separations are called detachments and last about a month and about every year and a half there is a six-ten month deployment. This is while he is on a sea duty tour. Sailors have the option to alternate four years on sea duty and three on shore duty where they don't have to go away at all.

      Some women say the boot camp and A-shcool separation is the hardest because you have less communication than what you will have later on just like how he will be going through really hard training, making later training seem easy, so try to look at this upcoming experience as your own training. Prepare for it mentally, emotionally, and socially. Socially as in, prepare to stay busy and spend lots of time with others. Don't isolate yourself. The busier you are the better. Plan a big project or to try a new hobby. Get that college situation figured out or do a tone of research.

      Keep doing research on this and other blogs about the Navy life experience. That will also be helpful.

      When it comes to college, many Navy girlfriends and wives go to and finish college while with their Sailors. I know some who do the long distance thing and I know some who moved to be with their Sailors. Basically, any option you can think of, someone's probably done it and probably had a successful end and some have probably done it with less success.

      Don't think that there is only one way to live while dating or marrying a Sailor. Do it your way and make it work. There are so many women out there who do this every single day and you can too.

      Be kind to yourself. Take it easy on yourself. There will be really hard times but as long as you stick it out even through those moments when you are in tears and feel like you're losing it, that's what reveals how strong you really are and that you can and are doing it.

      I hope this helps and I wish you and your soon-to-be Sailor the best of luck.

      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      www.stephaniecarroll.net

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  8. Hello Stephanie,

    I wanted to write about what I am going through emotionally. Last year I encouraged my boyfriend to go into the Navy after he said he had been thinking about it. I told him that it would be a great experience and would give him so many opportunities. 9 months later he finally has a ship date to go to basic in April. As the time gets closer I am having so many emotions. I am completely supportive of him and this decision and when we talk about it I am positive during the whole conversation but inside I feel so sad and scared. I am sad because the training for his Spec Ops job is a year and a half. He will be in multiple places all over the country and although flying to see him is not an issue for me, I am still sad that we will be apart for so long. I am scared that the distance will draw a wedge between us and that he will have this new life and I won't fit in it anymore. I am scared that he will slowly stop missing me and eventually not want to be with me. When I talk with him about it, he reassures me that we are going to make this work and that of course he will miss me. He tells me that he wants to be with me for the long haul and I feel the same way but I am still scared. I have heard so many stories of failed long distance relationships and I have even had a long distance relationship 10 years ago that did not work out. We have talked about it and the plan is that once his training is done and he gets stationed, I will relocate to be closer to him. Relocating to be closer to him will not be an issue for me. I am just looking for any advice or story that can give me some type of coping or even give me some type of hope. I love him and this is the man that I want to marry and spend my life with. I told myself that during this process I will need to be more understanding, patient and will need to make sure we have a good line of communication. I just hope its enough.

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    1. Dear Desiree,

      Thank you for commenting. It’s perfectly normal and okay to have all of the fears, doubts, and feelings of sadness that you are having. It is a hard thing to do - the long-distance military relationship - but many, many, many people survive those long stints and stay together. It is definitely possible and I wouldn’t even say it’s rare in the military world. Sure it’s also not rare for people to break up, but that goes for any relationship, not just long-distance ones. If you two are willing to communicate and work on things when troubles come up, then there is no reason why you won’t get through this without a hitch.

      I commend you for doing some research and checking blogs. You are already ahead of most. That’s the first step to getting ready because it will be rough for a while, but there are plenty of great ways to cope and manage those times apart so keep reading, keep connecting with others, and take a deep breath. You can do this! =)

      Best of luck to you and your Sailor.
      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      Author & U&E Founder

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  9. Hi! I have known my boyfriend for about a year now, though we just started dating 6 months ago, as I met him through my previous relationship. I wasn't looking for anything too serious going into this, but soon fell for him. I was going through a VERY rough patch before knowing him with multiple suicide attempts, but he helped me feel sound for the first time I can remember since I was a child. After extensive therapy, I finally took the first leap to kiss him and a week later he asked me to be his girlfriend. His family has openly accepted me into their family and I couldn't be more grateful. I went with his family earlier today to drop him off for medical stuff and tomorrow, his father and I are going to see him be sworn in. Tomorrow will start his first day at basic, meaning I will not be able to speak to him for two months. I am extremely confident in our relationship, and he gave me a promise ring while we were in Colorado last week so I could meet his mother before he leaves. All of this being considered, I am still extremely anxious that things won't work out. I wish there was some way to be certain everything will be okay, but reading through this blog has already helped tremendously and I would like to thank you guys for sharing your experiences.

    Thank you all,
    Alexia

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story Alexia! I hope you will also join our Facebook group where you can get support from others who have been through what you will go through. Remember when things get hard, that it's okay to feel like you are falling apart and it's okay that it's hard. Everyone feels like they are going crazy sometimes, but you are strong and can stay with it.

      Wishing you and your new Sailor all the best.
      Sincerely,
      Stephanie Carroll
      U&E Founder

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  10. Hi, I've been feeling so lost and and I stumbled to this site. I've been dating my navy officer boyfriend for the past 5 months. He's been away for about a little over a month. For the first three months of dating he had shore duty and was relaxed job and he was very communicative, always wanted to spend time with me, always very expressive in his feeling for me. He was always afraid I'd leave him when he was away and Assured me that when he was away we would talk, FaceTime, write letters, send gifts so I didn't forget him. He has a close friend that's a female and the week before he left for deployment, he hung out with her. I became upset and hurt and he sincerely apologized and had always assured me they are friends. I couldn't let it go and just nagged him for the whole week and then the day before he left he was cold, and completely shut down. We got into a fight the morning of while taking him to the airport and he said he shouldn't be my boyfriend. He didn't want that and neither did I and we ended up resolving things. Communication was eh okay for the first couple weeks he was gone and he sent me a card in the mail. But soon after the two weeks he became more cold and distant. I feel disconnected with him. Every time he calls he always says hey, what's up, very short convo and then Abrubtly ends the convo with I'm gonna let you go, bye. He always stayed in touch but I guess I expected more and was spoiled by the way he treated me when he was here. I brought it up to him a few times thinking he was mad me for the fights but he would just say I don't know what your talking about, everything is fine, we're ok. Even though, I still feel like things are not how they used to be. I miss the person he was the first three months of dating before we fought and before he left. He returns in another month so it wasn't a long deployment but I've struggled and cried everyday. I'm not sure if this is normal or what to do or even how to act when he returns. He stationed at a base in another state for the past month and taken vacation days on the weekends to hangout with his friends. He mentioned that he has a handful of vacation days left when he returns and he's gonna really busy with work. I just don't know where I fit in all this. Before he was always afraid I'd leave him because of the navy and he would say everything to reassure me he's not going anywhere. But now he doesn't talk like that and I don't know where we stand or even if he still feels the same as he once did.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,

      First off, everything you are experiencing sounds perfectly normal. The Sailors get distant while they are deployed for a lot of reasons. They are extremely overworked while deployed, they are dealing with a lot psychologically, they have very little privacy, and very little time to communicate. Little privacy means, it's hard for them to write openly about how they feel because they have to write you their letters in a shop with a bunch of other people in really close proximity. Plus, there is usually a line of people waiting to have access to the computers/internet and they are usually exhausted and just don't have the energy or time to write very much. Same goes for the phones except everyone is standing around listening to them.

      It's really hard and difficult for the girlfriend or spouse to cope with this when it first happens because it feels like their lack of communication means they are pulling away or upset but really it's a whole host of circumstances that they often aren't even fully aware of. It took years for my husband to finally break down why he struggled to write me much while he was deployed.

      You are doing just fine and are being a good girlfriend. You just haven't done this before and it's not an easy task. Give yourself credit for your strength and perseverance and try not to worry about what his communication means. You did the right thing by asking him and he told you the answer. Everything is fine. And it's a short deployment! Whohoo!!!!

      Try to focus less on his communication and focus on what you are writing him. My husband has told me how my letters gave him strength and kept going, he'd print them out and read them in bed - a rare moment of privacy where he could feel openly.

      Keep reading up on things, start a hobby or project to keep yourself busy and distracted and consider joining our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/146515915554210/?ref=br_rs. There are plenty of women there who are going through or have gone through exactly what you have and they are super nice and willing to answer questions and the like.

      Remember to be kind to yourself. You are going through a lot, and for the first time. You are doing just fine and soon he will be back and you will get to see him open up to you all over again.

      Wishing you and your Sailor the best.

      Stephanie Carroll

      www.stephaniecarroll.net

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