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I can't marry the military

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 10, 2011 08:06 AM

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Q: I'm dating a guy who is in the military. I am 25 and he is 27. It was love at first sight. He is amazing. I love him with every single bone in my body, which is why I am having such a hard time grasping the current situation that I am in.

I've been a military girlfriend for 5 years. He has been deployed twice since we've been together. He just returned from his latest deployment. I was so happy to have him come home safe and alive. I am beyond proud of the work that he has done serving our country.

On Valentine's Day he proposed. With the proposal I got news that he was planning on reenlisting. I am having an incredibly hard time with this. I don't know if I can handle the military life forever. The thought of moving from base to base, never having roots and always having the chance of losing the love of my life -- breaks my heart. I honestly have no idea what to do. I want to marry this man, not the military.

So my question is this: How I figure out this situation. Do I talk to him about the way I'm feeling? Or should I just suck it up? Please help!

– In love and war, South End


A: You must talk to him about your needs, ILAW. You can't marry him without finding out whether he's open to a civilian life. Because marrying a military lifer is marrying the military. And you just told us you don't want to do that.

I know it's difficult to look at someone and tell them that you don't support their passion -- especially when that passion involves heroically protecting our country. But you have to come clean. You have to work with him to come up with a plan/timeline that suits you both or you're setting yourself up for failure and heartache. I'm sure military husbands and wives out there will tell you that you can't just "suck it up." It's not like getting a dog instead of a cat or living in New Jersey when you want to live in Massachusetts. It's a way of life -- and it's not for everyone.

Be self-aware and honest. Have a big talk. Sooner than later.

Readers? Is it possible to suck this one up? Is there a way to compromise? Any thoughts from people who are in the military or know military couples? To what extent should she have a say in his plans? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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