Damn Roland A Divorce…Why Do I Always Have To Give Up Everything I Want To Pursue For The Military?

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On Sunday night’s episode of Army Wives Lt. Col Joan Burton found out she had been accepted to a special school there by helping her to become a General in the Army.

Unfortunately Roland did not receive this information well and warned Joan that if she accepted the offer to go to this school, he would divorce her. Of course the #ArmyWives hashtag blew up.

Here’s what some folks had to say:

 

 I would be lying if I said I didn’t understand Roland’s frustrations. I too have followed my husband around the majority of his military career. I traveled to places I couldn’t stand living and passed on huge work related opportunities because a deployment made it impossible for me to travel as needed.

When we came back to the mainland he left  Active Duty Army (2 years later) only to join the National Guard and take on a career as an over the road truck driver. I understood why he did it but the truth is I was a little resentful of the fact that his work schedule didn’t allow me to pursue my career goals. We have since worked on the scheduling of things but it still can be an issue when something big comes up that I know is huge for my career.

Sunday’s episode posed the question: how long is a spouse supposed to wait before they pursue goals important to them?

The other question is should a spouse who has sacrificed furthering their career pass up a large opportunity so that the service member can advance in their career?

I only posted a few of the tweets I saw but surprisingly many viewers thought that Roland was being to harsh on Joan. I too thought the word divorce was harsh to throw at her but, Roland is a doctor who (fictionally) spent alot of time to train and study for his profession. I could unfortunately see how after years of putting your aspirations on hold it could take a toll, especially if that person has promised to retire so you could have your chance. You don’t necessarily want the other person to pass on a great opportunity but you often wonder “when is it my turn”?

Has your spouse’s military career prevented you from taking a big career opportunity of some sort or stopped you from pursuing a goal of some sort?

 

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  1. YES! I dropped out of college to move across the country with my husband, and I have yet to go back, so I have an unfinished degree. I suppose at the moment it’s just as well since I have no idea what I want to major in now.
    But with no degree or job skills my chances of getting a good job are slim to none.

  2. Sometimes I feel like the chain of command is here to make the wives miserable instead of helping the soldier, and I like the Army, I can’t imagine how ppl that don’t like it feel!

  3. Altovis

    I didn’t let my Husband’s military career stop me from reaching my goals. I finished college at UAB in Alabama while he was stationed in TN. I finished school, obtained my degree in Chemistry and NOW we’re finally living together under one roof. I wouldnt change it for the world because I believe marrying a soldier does not mean my only title should be “military wife”

  4. Christine H

    I gave up my lucrative career to follow my husband…While I LOVE my new job SAHM/W, sometimes I miss that piece. I also worry that if something were to go bad in our relationship, there would be no way for me to get that opportunity back and at this point in my life, I am too old for the job market despite my resume…

  5. I think the conversation is a good one, but I didn’t appreciate the way the writers wrote it into the show in this way. Roland has been doing his duty as an Army spouse for a long time, yes, but this stint at John’s Hopkins was only for a couple months. He didn’t do it thinking Joan would get out right now, he had no intention of even asking her to get out right now. Her getting out was NEVER, EVER on the table. To give her an ultimatum out of the blue like that was unbelievable in my eyes.

    Sure, we spouses give up a lot for our husbands/wives for the military, but we all knew what we were getting into when we married into the military, as does he.

    I love the fact that they are looking into making her a General on the show, I was fearful after that screw-up last week that she’d ruined her career. Frankly, I’m fearful of her leaving the military and them taking the job at John’s Hopkins, I think too many cast-members departed this year and this season has been a hard one to swallow with all the changes.

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by. I agree! While the scenario definitely makes for good conversation, I wasn’t a fan of the all or nothing ultimatum. I am assuming or at least hoping more dialogue will happen next week and that maybe Roland just lost it for a moment.

      Oh and yes if Roland leaves they mind as well just send Denise too because it would be overkill. I have never seen such a revamp of a cast ever lol!

  6. Veronica Rivera

    Oh yes beening a Military Spouse takes alot of work and learning to put many things aside but I thank God everyday for my hubby’s decision on joining the Military.I get to spend more time with my children and I love beening a housewife ( which is more than a Fulltime job )! Even though I do miss working it’s just a sacrifice I am willing to take! God bless you all and God bless our troops!

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      Hi Veronica,

      Thank you so much for visiting Army Wife 101. It is great to hear so many different opinions and aspects. Thank you so much. I admit I like staying home too hehe!

  7. S. Young

    I always ask myself…would my husband do the same for me. While I have finished school, his career and not having any family around has stopped me from pursuing careers which I would absolutely love to have (FBI) but cannot. There are also many positions which require flexibility which I cannot commit to because who knows when he has to go TDY or in the field etc. It is indeed a great sacrifice we make that I am not sure our spouses fully understand. Regarding Joan, how much time does she have left, is receiving the star really going to make a huge difference besides change of title and pay, hasn’t Roland sacrificed enough? I say Roland did the right thing…he’s followed, supported, and held everything together, isn’t it his time to be something other than Joan’s husband?

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      That’s true I never thought about whether or not that extra star would make a difference. Then again they could also be playing up the whole being a Women in the military and then of all things be a General.

      The question you posed about would our husband do it for us is a good one too. I think alot of us would love to believe so but as you mentioned, it takes some special qualities to do what we do and not everybody possesses that.

      Thanks for commenting :)

  8. Kristin

    I think it’s a very difficult decision to be in for both a spouse and soldier when it comes to Roland & Joan’s situation. I believe it’s important to have good communication and be open and honest with one another on your goals in life. My husband let me know he wanted to make a career out of the Army prior to entering into marriage and I knew the sacrifices I would entail when agreeing to marry him. With that said, it saddens me sometimes to know the opportunities that I have passed up in following and supporting my husband and his career choice. Wives really do sacrifice just as much as soldiers do when given the larger picture to look at. To avoid resentment towards my husband, I remind myself of his sacrifices too that he has made. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and while he missed her 1st steps, I was able to rejoice in sharing that special moment. I always remind myself that the little things are so much more important than the large things and those are what I cherish. And when he retires, that will be my time to shine and he can follow me around for a while. lol So in answering the question of how long a spouse should wait on the sidelines …. well I think that depends on the spouse and his/her ambitions in life and what’s important to him/her. Everyone is different, therefore every situation will be different. For me personally, I took the plunge and married the man I love and in return, will continue to sacrifice because I will always be the person to give 1st and receive last. I believe it makes me a better person. :)

  9. Lindsey

    My husband got DS orders for Oklahoma as I began the nursing program in Georgia. Instead of giving up and dropping everything, he went on with the PCS while my daughter and I stayed back so I could finish my BS in Nursing. It was difficult financially and emotionally with being apart and having to manage 2 households, but I’m proud to say that I graduated Monday and will be joining my husband at the end of this month. It was a long hard road, but we made it. I’m a firm believer that if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it work… sometimes you just need to get creative in how to do it. You might even find new goals along the way. :)

  10. Denise Salters

    Yes. I gave up college and my dreams of medical school. About two years ago I decided to finish school online and go OCS so I would be able to attend medical school. Well I suffered an injury and couldn’t make that happen. My husband has about 4 years left in his contract and right now I am in the process of finally applying for medical school. It will be two years and he just got orders to Korea as an unaccompanied tour. So either I do this while he goes or I wait until he’s out completely. I told him I’m probably going to be one of the oldest people in class but as long as I finish. :)

  11. I’m kind of in that position now. I have been trying to get accepted to a medical program at a local school and FINALLY finished all my prereqs this semester, and am ready to rank. Only he got PCS orders so now I have to find another program in our new city, and try to rank there instead. I had to pay out of pocket to fly there for an interview to get into the new program, instead of just hanging out here til they call me and driving over to my school.
    Frustrating!

  12. Desi W

    I gave up going to school, it was always my dream to work in Criminal Justice. I gave it all up and moved so I could be with my husband. While I did take advantage of MyCAA to get a certificate for Paralegal it next to impossible for my to get a job, most firms want a degree to go with it. I really don’t mind not working because it has giving a different opportunity, the opportunity to be there fully for my husband. There have been many times where something has come up last minute and he cannot take care of so I do. He already has so much to worry about and deal with, if I can help no matter how small then that’s what I am going to do, because I love him.

  13. Wei

    I quit my job 7 years ago to marry into the military life, the moving and the uncertainty have made it impossible to get a job. I am trying to go back to school for my MbA but just to find out after my 1 st semester I gotten myself a chronic health condition. So there goes my school until I am better, with my huge gap in the resume it is so hard to get work and since I have not used the new softwares out there, things just looked even darker. It is good to know i do not need to worry about food on the table but when you move around so much it is hard to get to know people or make friends you can trust to help you watch your kids while attending health needs. I had a lot to ambitions and career goals that I did give up, but considering who I am supporting and I do feel my hubby’s work have a bigger impact socially and are for the greater good, I am willing to take my step back.

  14. Story of my life! There are times I look back and wonder how my life would be different, how much further in my career I’d be, where it would have taken me… But when he asked me to marry him, I knew those professional goals would either vanish or be put on hold. Yesterday I found out that it is the latter. He has a retirement date set! One of the first things he said was for me to look for a full-time teaching position! Ahhhhh… With pleasure! The roles will finally reverse and we are both ecstatic about it! Only took thirteen years ;)

  15. Tia

    This issue is the exact reason I decided to be a stay at home Mom. It was becoming impossible for me to build the career I wanted and constantly move. When I got pregnant with my first and we PCD’d 30 days before my due date I knew something had to give. I always dreamed that I would have an amazing career. Eventually I will but it has been a work in progress trying to work from home. I love my husband and my kids way more than I have ever loved any job. As long as he’s in the Army I’ll continue to support his career.

  16. paula

    I too have given up a lot for my spouse. While we were dating I did go to college had just finished a internship with Ralph Lauren ( while he was in Marine Corp) and was offered a job. I chose to decline to be with my husband that was 20 years ago and 3 kids later. Do I regret at time of course it is Ralph Lauren but in the same breath looking back I have loved the time I have had with kids. It is a choice we make and a choice we have to live with. Now I am to old to start anything else other than my hourly part time job at a small country store……but retirement is right around the corner and by that time we will be debt free and we both can retire

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