Living Apart Because of a Job

Ask Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have been married to an Air Force nurse for over a year now. We've been together for five years but have not lived together for about three.

I am a certified social studies teacher in Pennsylvania for grades 7-12. My wife is stationed in Ohio. Last year, I had to go through a great deal of work to get certified to teach in Ohio as well.

I have been applying feverishly through the Ohio consortium for two years now (first year with a certificate pending and this year with a completed certificate in Ohio) to no avail.

Living apart last year was different because my wife was deployed to Afghanistan. Also, I didn't know anyone in Ohio. I was content in staying in Pennsylvania with family and friends I knew.

Now she is back and staying in a house by herself in Ohio. I am not comfortable with this. She has issues around the house that I could fix. We would like to start a family. At the same time, we both don't want to lose the income I can bring in as an educator with a Master’s degree and years of experience teaching.

I'm not the type of person who looks for a handout, and I prefer doing things on my own merit. I just can't find anything. Plus we are getting close to a time in which she can relocate.

I don't know if there is anything the military can do to get me set up at a school and help me again if we do relocate. My fear is 1) not being able to find a job in Ohio and 2) once I get a job, not finding a job in the next place we go and being stuck in Ohio with a teaching job. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Educated Husband

Dear Husband,

There are 23 states that have adopted laws that make licensing easier for teachers. Ohio is not one of those states. So I applaud you for getting your licensing in order for a new state.

One thing for sure, it’s very important for you and your wife to start living together. I’m sure you have a solid relationship, but three years living separately is a long time.

Many military spouses understand what you are going through. It can be very stressful with relocating, maintaining licenses and certifications, and finding employment. It can be frightening, especially when you depend on both incomes to financially make ends meet.

My quick advice is for you to call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 or you can contact them online. They have spouse employment counselors who should help with your situation. Hang in there!


Related Topics

Family and Spouse



Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

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