Will My Boyfriend Dump Me Over Joining Reserve?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I joined the Reserve, and I leave for Basic Military Training in a month. Ever since I joined, I feel like my relationship with my boyfriend of more than a year is falling apart.

Even though he was active-duty and is now out, he doesn't seem too happy about my decision and makes me feel kind of guilty. His friends told him that most relationships don't last when the woman is in the military

Every time I try to talk about our relationship, he quickly gets mad or has an excuse to get off the phone. I feel like he is trying to detach himself from me. I supported him while he was in the military, and I wish he would do the same for me.

I really care about him, and I know I'm going to be gone for a while with BMT and tech school. I'm kind of afraid he is going to find someone else while I'm gone because he has been acting so weird. Should I just break it off now? Or try my best to hold it together?

Something New

Dear New,

Congratulations on joining the Reserve. I think you made a good decision.

Being in a loving relationship is also something that everyone wants. Love, acceptance and belonging are vital to our humanness. However, we have to remember that we have to take care of ourselves in our relationships too.

In this situation, you have to continue with the commitment you made when you joined the Reserve whether you have the support of your boyfriend or not. You cannot let him stop you because you may look back and regret it.

Think of it like this: If he is acting flaky simply because you joined the Reserve and you are away attending a few important trainings and schools, what does that tell you about him? In my opinion, it says that you may need to move on while you are ahead.

The fact that he’s acting a little weird now could mean many things. It could mean that he only wants you to support his endeavors, but he will never give you the same respect when it’s his turn to support you.

It could mean that he is the type of guy who doesn’t want his partner to commit to anyone or anything but him.  It could mean that he has moved on.

No matter what, you cannot let him ruin your opportunity. Set out to be the best student in your group at BMT. There could be a host of other opportunities for full-time employment with the Reserve, so don’t be lackadaisical about the tasks that are presented to you. 

I’m not saying you have to break it off with your boyfriend, but don’t waste your time on someone who won’t give you the same respect that you gave to him. I think you are a very smart young lady. Never forget that!

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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