Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am a 19-year-old woman who has just enlisted in the Army. I am super excited about my decision, but my boyfriend of three years is not.
I informed him I was sick and tired of working in a factory making nothing, as well as living in a very small town. At first, he was OK with my decision, but now he says he is not so sure.
I am very stressed out because he is now telling me the only way for him to stay faithful to me is if we get married, but I ship out in one week! Either we get married right away, we break up, or I try to get out of my commitment to the Army. I don't have much time to figure this out!
I would also like to say that I love this man very much and don't want to lose him, but at the same time I'm having issues believing that being married will keep him faithful instead of him just BEING faithful, married or not. I am not sure what to do and would love some advice.
-- Indecisive Future Soldier
Please don't marry him! How's that for advice? Don't do it because it will be the biggest mistake of your life.
Think about it: He is already telling you, "when you leave -- I'm OUT." In other words, you will be "out of sight, out of mind" to him. He is letting you know that he is not fully ready for a commitment or a long distance relationship.
Yes, you've been in this relationship for three years, and that's great. And, yes, three-year relationships between two 19-year-olds can grow and can last a lifetime. (I'm assuming you are both around the same age.)
Now, that said, this is also a great time in your life to explore opportunities and to grow and learn about yourself. It's a time for the type of new experiences that it sounds like you are seeking. Good for you! I think you should go with that desire. I'm very proud of you for volunteering to serve your country. I hope the Army is good to you and good for you.
Don't get married. Head off to Basic Training, AIT and to your first assignment.
Keep in touch with your boyfriend, by all means. See if the relationship progresses, but you should not give up the opportunity to grow personally and professionally for the sake of a relationship that already has an expiration date flashing in bright red lights. Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.
-- Ms. Vicki