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Author Topic: My Army Boy
mycatisfat333
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Member # 107856

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My boyfriend and I are both sixteen and have been together for nearly nine months. We are totally committed to eachother and a few months back, he told me that he is leaving in September next year to join the army. We will still be together when he leaves. We want to make it work because we see a future together with each other.The army has been a passion of his for a long time and I am completely and utterly happy to help him follow his dreams however he wishes. I will miss him so much to the point I think some nights I will physically break down and cry, but I will try super hard to be strong for him. I have my best friend, my family and my boyfriend's family to support me so I am sure I won't be alone. However; does anybody have any tips for me? Things to keep me occupied while he's away? And things I could send him? Should I write letters? What do you all think? I really have no idea, minus parcelling myself up off to him in Afghanistan or wherever he will be off too. He's either going to be a chef in the army, or a riflesman. I'm not quite sure which one at the moment but I know he's got his heart set on beig a riflesman but I'm concerned about his safety. He is my everything, my rock, best friend, soul mate, future husband and a million more things. To not have him with me for such long periods of time will be torture but it's worth it knowing I will be seeing my army boy soon and it will make our time together more special [Smile]

[ 08-04-2013, 05:25 AM: Message edited by: mycatisfat333 ]

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Hi again,

I guess what we're talking about here is a long distance relationship with the added fear for his safety.

I probably have a load of unconnected thoughts and experience of the long distance part, but not so much about the safety part. So here are some stuff that comes to mind, I hope that some of it is helpful:

I think writing letters and sending things are both a great way to keep in contact.

I do think it could be helpful to be open about how difficult it may be, your feelings may change over time and I guess that although it's really great that this person feels like a soul mate, it could change, it might not, but there's no way of knowing. In a long distance situation like this I think a lot may be changing and it's probably best not to feel like the relationship, or your life is on hold between visits but that you're developing. I also think that the perspective that can bring could make it a lot easier to communicate about the relationship with your boyfriend and address issues as they arise.

As per how to keep occupied, I think it can be a good idea just to carry on as normal, and work out what this change means to you, your lifestyle, and your other friendships.

Keeping other things going on in your life is a really important move and I think it can be so important to get your own headspace.

Finally, I don't know if it is everybody's experience, but for me, because long distance relationships happen so much through writing, creativity and mentally filling in the gaps of the other persons life... they can feel a bit like they develop their own mythology. A bit like a half-real dream. So actually, snapping-out of the relationship when spending time with friends can be harder, than a partner we see everyday. So if something like that happens to you it might be a good idea to be aware of it and try to make some mental separation between time when you'll think about the relationship and time when it's just about you and/or other people.

Do you think you'll be able to manage the fears for his safety? Or would you need some more (or less) help from the people around you?

[ 08-04-2013, 06:39 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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Tullia95
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Hey mycatisfat,

I personally grew up in a military household and my father was special forces and constantly gone. My brother is currently in the military as an infrantryman (4th generation). My current relationship is long distance as well. First off I just want to say no matter how much you will miss him, try to always remain positive about the decision and support him, he is doing an amazing thing for his country.

Next, I know it is hard thinking of a long distance relationship. I personally always wanted one. I tried dating someone 15 minutes away and it annoyed me a lot. My current boyfriend is and hour and a half away. I know it doesn't sound like much, but he cowboys and I show and am in college and we get one day every other week if that. I won't lie and say it's easy, especially in the begining, but it does get better. The one thing I always remember is don't make a big deal over little things. when you're seperate it is really easy to take your frustration from no time together out on each other and blow little things out of proportion. If it's something little, simply let it go. It was a very hard skill for me to learn, but it has made my relationship so much happier.

As for staying busy, don't forget about your girlfriends! Friends and family are a great support, don't turn them away or feel like they don't understand. Maybe not fully, but their advice will help. Always have a backup person you can rely on. It's a good place to vent frustrations instead of on your partner, get things out and ask them if it seems like a huge deal, kind of like a sound board to vent things on. For me, it's my dad. I can tell him everything, even my little frustrations. As for freinds, I still go out and hang with friends and stuff. Life doesn't stop when he is gone, you have to realize that now that you're seperate you each have your own lives. My number one rule I told my current boyfriend is I will not play the jealousy game. There are two genders out there and you are bound to interact with them. If my boyfriend says something about a girl, I take it as it is, not with all these extra jealousy thoughts.

Things to send are awesome. In basic training you can only send letters, they'll send a letter from basic with their address and they will have little phone contact through all of basic, so letters are amazing and you can totally vent and express all of your feelings through them. Snacks are awesome to send, they're always hungry and just little reminders of home. You won't be able to send many things in the begining, but once he's out of basic training, you can send just about anything he wants.

sorry if thats a lot. Being in the army is not as scary as it seems now. If you feel over anxious about it remember it is an honor what he's doing, it is an amazing duty to his country. If you end up getting married your life as an army wife will be so rewarding. Living on post is amazing and you are surrounded by supporting women who are all going through the same thing. If I wasn't in love with my cowboy so much, I would be with a soldier, they are the only type of guys I like and I happened to find a cowboy first. I wish you luck on your journey, it is a new adventure, that's what I always tell myself, even if it's sad, it's a new adventure

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Quod in vita facimus est in aeternae resonat

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Onionpie
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Hi mycatisfat! My ex-boyfriend was going into the military when I dated him. He was doing the officer training program when I was with him, which means he was basically doing a university degree but would go to training over the summer holidays, so I don't know how helpful my experience will be for you.

But what I found most helpful was keeping busy. I did fun things with my friends, I went places, I lived my life while he was away and it helped keep me distracted from his absence and from dwelling on fears for his safety. Dwelling a lot on sadness and loneliness can often just make you more sad and lonely, which just hurts even more, so trying to keep up with your own life and not lose track of your own hobbies and goals and friends is important to staying happy.

I and his family also found it helpful to set ourselves goals that were kind of related to him, which served as a way to think about him and his training and keep the thoughts positive and motivating. For example, his mother and I both set the goal to keep up a work-out routine every day when he was gone, because we figured if he could get up at 5am every morning to go for the long runs and marches and other drills they did, then we could get out of bed at 8am to go for a jog and lift some weights! It meant that we could spend a decent chunk of time thinking about him but having only positive, productive thoughts, and it made us feel a little more connected to him in a way, which made missing him hurt less.

I also found that writing letters was really helpful, even though he had allotted hours every night, after the first month each summer, in which he was allowed electronics so he could text me. Letters are a lot more personal and take a lot more investment of time and energy than texting, so when a letter was finished I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and special-ness that I don't really get from texting people. It also gave him something to look forward to at the end of every long and tiring day!

I actually found that he got leave a lot more often than I expected -- I have no idea if that will apply to your situation or not, as my ex was only in training and never deployed. But after the first month or so of the first summer, I got into a groove and learned how to deal, and by the end of the second month it would be pretty bearable and actually gave me more time to take part in my hobbies and hang out with friends than I would have had if he were around [Wink] I talked to quite a few other army family/loved ones and they all said that you do get into a kind of groove and get used to it.

There are actually some really handy message boards and forums online run by family/friends/loved ones of those in the military, you might find it helpful to see that you're not alone, and to hear other people's tactics on how to cope.

I think the number one thing though is to really make sure you keep living your own life while he's gone. Don't put your life on pause just because he's not around -- that's a surefire way to miss out on a lot life has to offer, and spiral down into loneliness and sadness.

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mycatisfat333
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Member # 107856

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Wow!!! I am absolutely blown away by the amazing support and messages I have just read [Smile] I honestly can't thank you all enough [Smile] I am so speechless! I just feel so much better knowing that there is support out there [Smile]
I have a few questions if anybody doesn't mind answering them?
Are you allowed to call your boyfriend when he's in the army?
Why can't you talk to him much while he's at basic training?
Does the army change your boyfriend a lot like personality wise?
I have a few more but I can't think of them ATM [Smile] Thanks!!!

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Tullia95
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Yes, you can call them after they get their phones back. When they go to basic, their electronics and all personal belongings are put in a box and stored to keep out any distractions. Basically (no pun intended) they're trying to break down your mentality of yourself and get the company to work as a team, so they want them to eat sleep and breath each other with little physical outside contact. I know that sounds a little harsh, but about the same as a sports team. After, I think it was 2 weeks for my brother, they send home a generic letter with your soldier's address to send letters. You can send as many as you want, in basic soldiers tend to get lonely. I remember my brother got tons of letters and he still has all of them to keep him company.

When he's in the army (After basic training and AIT) things will be basically normal. He'll have his phone. You can call and text when he's off duty(like when he gets off work, they get in big trouble when phones are out during work, like they have to pick up cigarette butts and scrub toilets and mow the lawn). Rarely will you talk to them when they're out in the field. Thats when they go to the forest or desert or mountains for training in specific environments. They can be gone from a week to a month. My brother sneaks his phone and usually calls or texts my mom at least once( he has no girlfriend and he tries to talk to my mom once a week)when he's in the field, but according to the rules its not allowed. There's always exceptions to those little things though. [Wink]

My best recommendation is get two devices with cameras and get Skype on them (look it up its a free video and messaging app/ website). My mother swore by it with my dad and skypes my brother every once in a while too. Its completely free and will keep your phone bill down and you can see him too with the free videos! I love skype, it is awesome when you haven't seen your bf for weeks and all you want is to SEE the words coming out of their mouth, not just hear them.

As for personality. Thats a tough one. Definitely will be more mature, the little quirky childish, so to speak, things he may do now will probably go away. He'll definitely look different. wont be mr. universe huge, but he'll be stronger and his hair will be buzz cut. He'll probably cuss if he doesn't already. My brother wasn't too bad, but he's definitely not afraid to throw to throw it out there now. My best advice is take him as he is and don't reject the new things, this just causes them to feel more isolated. My brother got very depressed his first 6 months, even though we were raised in the military and seen the process of new soldiers multiple times. it's common to see depression in the begining, but it fades with time. Always remain supportive and don't freak out over stuff, even if you're really mad, bring it up in a civilized conversation at an appropriate time. Like, if it's 11 at night and he just got home from the field, it's not a good time to criticize him for ignoring you. It will be tense, I won't lie. But remember whatever you're doing, even if it sucks, is probably way better than what he has had to do that week.

Last thing, time changes! He'll probably go to Georgia for basic training. There's a time change there. Always figure out the time change and keep it in your mind. Even if it's mid morning for you and you want to call your honey, he may have just gotten off a 14 hour shift and its early morning for him, so just keep time changes in mind.

Always remember and it's good to remind him too, it's a new adventure, enjoy it, because before long it'll be over and you'll look back and see how much stronger it made you guys. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask. I wish you the best of luck. [Smile]

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Quod in vita facimus est in aeternae resonat

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mycatisfat333
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Member # 107856

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Hey there [Smile] wow thank you so much for all of that!!! It was so incredibly helpful [Smile]
Is it different if you don't live in the USA? I don't live in the USA and I'm wondering if it will be different from what you've told me. I live in an extremely small country; it's next to Australia so I'm giving you a few hints there haha. Thanks [Smile]

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