Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moving: Tip #1


When your sailor gets stationed somewhere new, your whole world can feel like an anxiety ridden time bomb. Should you move with him? Will your relationship make it if you try to handle long distance love? These are questions every military S.O. has asked herself when presented with this situation. The truth? There is no wrong answer here. Don't feel like you have to do anything. Whether you're married, engaged, or just committed to your man, this is a life altering decision that only you can make. Many women have left everything behind to follow their sailor from port to port. There are also tons of stories about women who made their long distance relationship soar. Ask yourself, what will make you happiest? I know you want to be with your sailor all the time, but keep in mind, he may be gone 6-9 months out of the year. You may also be thinking, 'hey, this is a great opportunity for me to see new places and faces!'

There are a few things to consider before you make your decision...

If you decide you want to go with him to his next station:
  • If you're not married, he will most likely be assigned to live on the ship, and thus will not be receiving housing allowance. Their paychecks are not meant to sustain an apartment and living expenses without housing allowance. Even if you work too, depending on the city he goes to, it might not be feasible. (Places like San Diego and Hawaii are extremely expensive towns to live in, whereas Norfolk and Georgia are more affordable.)
  • If you do move, he will likely be gone a lot. He will have duty on the ship/sub, meaning he will not come home some nights. Even if you're in town with him, be prepared for a lot of lonely days and nights.
  • He may not be stationed there for as long as you think. It doesn't happen too often, but ships change ports, job skills are needed elsewhere and sometimes even disciplinary actions come into play. You might find yourself moving, with only weeks notice, across the country.
If you decide to stay home and wait...
  • Military relationships are hard. Long distance military relationships are harder. Both of your lives will change. He'll start hanging out with new Navy buddies he meets at the new duty station. Some of them will be girls. When he's not on the ship, he'll want to get as far away from it as possible so he'll go out...a lot. You will both experience new social lives, but for the first time, without each other. Sometimes remembering to call and stay up to date with each others' lives will be difficult.
  • When he is in port, plane tickets to go see him and visit for a week or too are expensive, and the visit will never be long enough.
  • Be prepared for change. Everyone grows throughout their lives from the experiences they have and the influences around them. After being apart for a while, you both will start to grow into new people. Whether or not you grow into two people that can still love each other and function as a couple is up to fate.
There are always good points to both sides of the story as well. Don't be discouraged. If you decide to move with him, as I have done for the past 2 years, you will discover doors opening for you everywhere. You'll meet new people, experience new foods and places, and have fun exploring with your sailor when he's in port. Also, it's my opinion that I shouldn't miss one single second of time with him if I can. If he's not underway, I'm going to be attached to his hip! On the other hand, if you decide to wait for him at home, closer to your family and friends, which I am doing now for 3 months, there are upsides to that too. We are saving money, for one. Also, instead of being in a town that is unfamiliar to me while he's gone, I am surrounded by hometown comforts and people that care about me.

Whatever you decide to do, know that 'Love has no distance'. Deployments may separate you, but it should never divide you.

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