View Full Version : How the Defence Force adversely affects couples/families
Hi guys - well you all know that my DH is in the navy and I'm not happy about it at all. No, let me re-word. I am proud of him being in the navy, I love being able to stand tall and say that he is protecting our country and our way of life. But I hate the toll that it takes on our marriage and relationship.
Yesterday it all came to a head and I told him that I want him to leave the navy. Straight outright. Yes, it was selfish of me - but he's not a mind reader. If I didn't say it in plain English then I never would have discovered that he doesn't enjoy being in the navy either. Thats right - he doesn't like it. He is just doing it for the financial security.
This leads me to pose a question - does anyone know how an employment contract (usually 6 years minimum) can be cancelled? DH is in the process of asking the right people the right questions - but I just thought I would post the question here too.
I hope a few women out there have more knowledge about the force than I do!!!
Well firstly, well done you!! To be able to say what I am sure most forces wives feel is fantastic. And then to find out your hubby is feeling the same must have been a huge relief to you.
I have known a few people who have left before their 'time' was up and all they really did was refuse to be posted or go out to sea. They were kept in limbo for about 6 months but then let go.
Can I ask what your partner does? I know a little of the officer side of things and can possibly find out more from my hubby next time he emails me. I think it comes down to really digging your heels in and saying no. They may post him to shore for the rest of his time which would be a better option.
I envy you soo much! Wow to be free of the Navy!
I am going out of my mind at the moment as my hubby has just informed me that he will be away again from July till end of November that is after being away from Jan to April! He says that I have to hang in there for another 2 years and then he might get a shore posting! Might! What can I do with that!
Its a long posting isn't it Tarynduggan - that means he is home for all of 4 months this year... In my books, thats not on. Especially when you have young children! Mind me asking which ship he is on? DH is on Ballarat. They're doing workups at the moment, and then head to the gulf on Feb 28 (a sad day for me:( ) He gets back this Friday (4 sleeps to go) and they're home a week. Then out for 3 weeks of workups, then home one more week before they head out for 6 months, returning at the end of August.
My DH is an ET (Electronic Technician). Yep - he's a Greenie. Not an officer (though he should have applied for officership first up cause he has a degree etc - very brainy man :p )
I have heard of people simply refusing to tend to their postings, but if he does that couldn't he be charged? Or worse, sent to Holsworthy? :eek:
If your hubby is an officer that would be awesome if he could give some 'inside advice'... Though he may not want to give it to you in case you try and get him to leave too!!!
How much longer does your DH have left to go of his time? Is it a (dare I say it) bearable amount of time?
As an ex-Naval sailor & officer, I'm not sure I would want to make life harder for myself by refusing to go to sea or take a posting etc. Unfortunately, people can make life harder for you than necessary.
I was unable to go to sea due to an injury and I have never felt so ostracised and removed from those around me. It was one of the worst experiences that I have been through - I would hate to "force" myself into such a situation.
That said, I do understand what you are going through - with my DP doing a posting in Sydney at the moment, I am really putting the screws one him to leave when his ROSO has been fulfilled at the end of the year. He has only ever been in the Army (17 years) and naturally he is apprehensive. I'm not sure what the end result will be......
A trip to the Gulf is hard. My DH has done 2 since we have been together. The first was 5 months after we got married and the 2nd when our DD was 4 months old. It is a long time away. My DH is on Darwin and they are in Christmas Island for 8 weeks doing relex. Then another 2 months in Perth before he can come home. Darwin is moving over here permanently. Then he's away from July to Nov. He was away for 9 months of last year. I'm so sick of being a single mum!
I will ask him what your DH can do about getting out. He is supposed to email me but so far hasn't so I'm not happy.
I hope we can come up with a solution that will be helpful to you.
Thanks Tarynduggan and Scout.
Scout - I can understand what you are saying about simply refusing to tend to a posting. DH has mentioned this before and said that he would be seen as a coward and probably taunted for it. Fortunately, the people who matter wouldn't do this - as it is those people who understand that we are married and wish to live a 'normal' married life.
Like you Tarynduggan, we have been married for 8 weeks now and spent only 2 1/2 of those together. This is representative of the type of life we are going to have to lead for the next 4 years. I am also sick of being single. Even on Saturday night when I went out, I had to keep on reminding myself that I'm a married woman!!!
As soon as I hear from DH after he has spoken with his CO, I will let you guys know what his 'options' are - if any.
Thanks for your support ladies! Like I've said before, us Defence Force Wives have to stick together - cause no one else will look after us!!!
Sorry to hear that Navy life for you is horrible. But, i want to be as honest as i can.. Your DH signed the dotted line and with that comes a responsibility. I know 4 or 6 years is along time, but the government payed for him to do his training and kept him fed and housed.
I myself was in the Navy and so was my DH and it was hard. We did our 6 years each and i got out due to a wanting to be with my kids.
The Navy does not care for families and especially when you partner is at sea, but many have been throught it before you and i have seen it first hand.
Life at sea goes even slower, so at least when you are at home you have freedom and comfort...
...Life at sea goes even slower, so at least when you are at home you have freedom and comfort...
I understand where you are coming from Arwenrosiesmum - however, while I am at home I DONT have freedom and comfort. My family are in Melbourne. My friends are in Brisbane. I am in Sydney. I dont have any support network (except for BubHub of course) and the fact that I get my ONLY support from the internet is not healthy in the least.
DH has suggested that I go i'state every fortnight (book my tix in advance for cheap) but what is the point in that? It just means that his hard earned money while in his floating steel prison is being spent on airfares for me to keep my sanity.
You may think that I have freedom, but in fact, I dont. I am living in a city that I dont like (despise rather) and I feel isolated yet crowded at the same time. Yes, my tiny 2 bed shoebox unit is comfortable, but what kind of a life am I going to lead the next 6 months? Certainly not the kind of life which I should be leading.
Ally I can understand where you are coming from and it is hard living in a new place without you husband there for much of the time. But is 8 weeks really giving it a go? Have you tried talking to any of the defence organisations set up to help families.
You obviously have some friends here, I'm sure you weren't out by yourself on Saturday night. Friendships take time, as do relationships.
I know being a defence wife is hard, I have been one for 8 years and was with my husband for 4 years before that. We have lived in 5 states and moved 6 times during those 8 years. I have very few really close friends, but the ones I have I met through our similar experiences as navy wives.
I would also like to say that due to my husband being in the Navy myself and my family have had some fantasic experiences we would not have otherwise had and are going to America for an 18 month posting later in the year.
Also its not a good idea to be saying what your hubby does and what ship he is on, on a public forum, you never know.
Thanks for your post Amanda...
...is 8 weeks really giving it a go? Have you tried talking to any of the defence organisations set up to help families...
I have been in Sydney for longer than 8 weeks - and I know that I dont like it here.
You obviously have some friends here, I'm sure you weren't out by yourself on Saturday night. Friendships take time, as do relationships....
I have a couple of friends here, mainly people who are totally different to me (ie, prefer to drink/pickup on the weekend) - but no one who I can call if I were in an emergency. I am isolated.
I would also like to say that due to my husband being in the Navy myself and my family have had some fantasic experiences we would not have otherwise had and are going to America for an 18 month posting later in the year
Thats awesome - 18 months in America.
Also its not a good idea to be saying what your hubby does and what ship he is on, on a public forum, you never know.
Then why tell me your headed to America for a posting? I was simply wondering if another BubHub user's husband was on the same ship as mine.
Sorry Ally if your feelings were hurt but it is only my opinion and as i have had experience with the Navy and how they work i think i am entitled to give you an honest one.
I have to say I agree with Ally. Being a Navy wife is a hard hard life and I have to say where is our freedom? We cannot choose where we get posted to and we are simply told when and how to have a life. It is even harder because you love someone so much that you put up with eveything and anything to be with them. Even when they are away 8 months out of the year. Then throw kids into the mix and it's a whole new ball game. I know I have been told that I knew what I was getting into before I got married. Well I didn't actually! I had no idea it would be such an isolating and lonely life. When I first moved to Sydney I hated it, it took me over a year and a half to feel at home here. I was lucky that I got a job which was full of young people my age and so now have a great support base, but before that I was depressed and felt so alone.
There may be alot of pro's to be in the forces but in my opinion there are far more cons!
It's much easier leaving that being left.
Oh my gosh - I think there will be a lot of different opinions as to whether it is easier to leave than be left! I could easily swing both ways on that one, particularly as I have been the one leaving to go and float in the tin can and have also been the one left at home (albeit not with children which I believe would add another factor).
I also see both sides of the argument about feeling trapped by military life. I don't think there is an answer that will please anyone. A few years ago, I would have said to a military wife "suck it up and stop complaining - you knew what you were getting into" and yet here I sit at home, 22 weeks pregnant and my DP is in Sydney. I'm lonely and I'm slowly starting to turn the screws on him about getting out - something I swore I wouldn't do!
Ally, I think that you are stronger than me for having the courage to move to Sydney. I have had two postings there and whilst I had the lush life of the eastern suburbs, I hated it. I could not leave Melbourne now - I love everything that this city offers! Plus, I did about 9 interstate moves in 8 years - I'm a little bit phobic about moving now.
Sorry Sandra - I didn't mean to snap at you. Of course your entitled to your opinion! Thats what these forums are all about :p
I have also moved i'state 4 times in the last 3 years. And yes, I too am blessed with the fantastic eastern suburbs living experience; but in reality it is NOTHING compared to what family and friends can do and offer.
Tarynduggan - thank you for the support! I know what you mean about people saying "You knew what you were getting into when you married..."
Well, YES, we did know that they would be away for long periods of time;
but NO, we didn't know how we would react to the situation once we were placed in it.
Scout - I'm not stronger than anyone - just cause I moved to Sydney. I know other couples who are also on the same ship as my DH whose girlfriends stayed in Melbourne when the boys were posted to Sydney. They are all doing fine in their relationships. I however, was not strong enough to attempt such a feat; thus why I moved.
Since originally posting this thread, DH and I have discussed our options for while he is away. Apparantly he is quite happy for me to i'state as often as I need to while he's gone; which is fantastic. Of course I dont want to put any extra strain on the relationship, but I need to know that I have options to keep my sanity in check!!!
:( God, my husband is thinking of transferring to the Oz navy from the UK navy, is it really that bad! Here, he is away every two months for 9 weeks and I was hoping that we would have a better quality of life if he was in the Australian Navy (at least a bit of sun). My husband is an aircrewman and wants to stay in this trade. Does anyone know if they go away as much as a seaman. We love some advice.
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