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Marriage/wedding - Best time to Marry?

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Posted

I'm an AFROTC cadet graduating next may (05) and then will be heading to UPT. My girlfriend and I have been talking a lot about when is a good time for us to get hitched, and i was really curious as to how 'newly wed' life would be getting married right after commissioning and then heading to UPT. For those of you who have been through it, is it pretty hard on the spouse having your husband gone all day and then preoccupied with flying for the rest of it? If we held off for awhile can you live on base with someone without being married? Is getting married right before UPT a particularly bad time?

I would really appreciate any insight you might have on the subject. Thanks a lot for you time.

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Dusting off the soapbox...

OK, here we go. First and foremost, congrats. On to business at hand. In my class we had a few newly wed couples. I mean newly wed as in graduated from OTS, got married, went to UPT. Another graduated from ROTC, got married, went to UPT. Now that you know where I am coming from I will say this: if your wife is going to be a stay at home wife, its going to be rough on her at times. Namely, until you are off formal release in Phase II and Phase III. It can get LONELY for them to say the least because you are going to be busy as hell. She can expect to see you about 3-4 hrs a day, in between all your flying and studying, and on weekends and thats about it. The good part is that chances are there will be other wives in similar situations married to guys in your class... so the support of a 'family' will be there.

That being said, if shes going to have a job, things could be much better on her and you. Regardless, she is surely going to be in for a shock because you are going to be paying more attension to a 45 year old airplane than you will her. For newly weds, this can pose a difficult situation.

Dont count on living on base unless you are already married if you plan to go to UPT together. If you arent married, you'll be in the Q's at most bases by yourself. There are always exceptions to this rule, but in general, I think thats what youll find.

Now for my REAL reason for the reply. If you are thinking about getting married, more power to you. My one message to you is to NOT GET MARRIED DURING UPT. A stud in my class (2 actually) did this. One for real and one only on paper. Long story there, not the point. The point I am trying to make can only be summed up by saying that once this dude got married, his flying skills, General Knowledge, concentration and SA all went VFR direct to the shitter. He was spending all his time with his new wife and forgot about UPT. It showed. But currently he's loving life at Warner-Robins flying E-8s... Get me?

Im all for getting married. I am actually set to tie the knot here in about 2 months (and to another AF type... and we arent going to be stationed together :mad: ), just dont do it in the middle of UPT or right before. You need to be focused on FLYING and thats it. No offense to your lady (or mine for that matter), but everything else goes on the back burner for a year and she needs to understand, respect and support you and your decisions... which if you are talking marriage, I am sure she will. Trust me, if you can make it through a year of UPT together, you've got something special!

[ 04. April 2004, 01:21: Message edited by: ChuckFlys17s ]

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Posted

In my opinion, wait until after UPT

I got married right after UPT and it was wonderful because it was very low stress. Also, we had plenty of time for a honeymoon. It's nice to have someone to help you study, but in my opinion, use the time you have in UPT as your last bachelor time and ENJOY it! LOL

PD

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I think a lot will depend on the type of woman your girlfriend is. I know that sounds wierd, but it's true. Is she strong willed and independant? Does she make new friends quickly on her own? Then she may be an ideal candidate for a new UPT wife. If she is unsure of herself or clingy to you, then maybe you should wait until after UPT. Yes, long distance is hard. I lived in Atlanta while my husband was in Nav School in San Antonio. It was hard, but at least I had my familiar surroundings, my friends and my family.

When my husband and I first got married, I was insecure and needy. If I had done that to him during UPT it probably would have ended our marriage and/or our lives. (his, not mine!!) We were married for just over 5 years when he started at UPT. I am not the person I was when I married my husband. I am more confident and self sufficiant. You really need to be that kind of person to be a wife during UPT.

If you can handle the long distance and put off marriage for another year, I would recommend it highly. There was someone in our class that got married less than 3 weeks before UPT started (as ChuckFlys17s said). I can't imagine how hard that was for both of them. The first year of marriage is the hardest year (esp. when you have to move to a new state to do it) and UPT is the toughest year of your life. Can the two of you handle doing both of those things at the same time?

Another word of advice on getting married in the middle of UPT is this. As Chuck mentioned above, someone from our class got married in the middle to T-1s. He was given 2 days of leave and that included driving to and from Del Rio and Colorado. Also, 4 of his 5 groomsmen were in UPT. And with less than 72 hours notice, all three groomsmen that were in T-38s (one at XL and two in CB) had their leave turned down. That's about the quickest way to kill a bride, tell her that you lost all of your groomsmen.

Either way you decide, remember, UPT is about you. Make sure you do everything you can to make this wedding be about her. She'll thank you in the long run.

[ 04. April 2004, 15:57: Message edited by: IAGuardWife ]

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Posted

Do the students have many breaks during the first year of UPT? My fiance is headed to Sheppard in July for UPT, and we were supposed to get married in June (convenient, eh?), but I had to have surgery, and now have two more scheduled, so we had to postpone the wedding. My last surgery won't be until August...will there be an opportunity for us to be married before the end of UPT in August of 2006?

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Posted

If you consider an "opportunity" being able to fly out on a Friday night, get married Saturday, and come back Sunday...sure, he'll have that opportunity. But there's no extended leave allowed for honeymoons, etc. unless he wants to get rolled back to the next class.

We have a couple guys in our class that are just going home for the weekend and coming back to UPT immediately. It's unfortunate, but they want to get you through as quickly as possible...otherwise UPT would be longer than just 1 year (and who wants that??).

Good Luck!

V.

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Posted

Oh, we definitely don't want to stall things! I'm all for the quickie/elope thing, but he's a bit more into the bigger/traditional wedding, so we'll see how it goes! Maybe I'll convince him . So now that leads me to another question...if we set a date for say January of 2006 - middle of UPT - will he live in the single-guys housing on base (whatever it's called - dorms?) and then move somewhere with me or will they allow him to live in married housing or off-base considering the situation? Or do I move into his dorm or whatever? I don't give a damn, I just want to NOT be in Michigan while he's in Texas .

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Posted

UPT bases generally give you days off over the Christmas/New Years holidays. The break could be up to 2 weeks, it all depends on the base, timeline, the command and the commanders at the time. (The 4 years I was at Laughlin AFB we were free take leave from approx. 20 Dec until 2 Jan.) Your fiancee should be able to find out when the holiday non-fly days are when he begins UPT. You may even be able to get a honeymoon in!

More Christmas wedding info here.

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I agree with Viper...we had a full week off during Christmas/New Year this year which with the weekends included was a whole 10 days. If you can postpone your wedding until then, that will give you ample time to get married and go for a honeymoon like Viper said.

He won't be allowed to be in married housing until you two are actually married. And once you are married, you can go live in base housing or get a place off-base...it's up to you. I'm not sure however, how soon he is allowed to get on the housing waitlist PRIOR to being married. I'll try to find out and post later.

V.

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If you get married during the middle of UPT, the living situation becomes very wierd. We had a guy in our class who was married but didn't have his wife move out until six months after upt began. The housing people wouldn't move him into the dorm rooms either because he was married or because he was going to move into married housing. Yet he wasn't allowed to move into married housing because he didn't have his wife there yet. So he stayed in the hotel the whole time, didn't really unpack and his stuff stayed in storage. To live off base, at least at Laughlin, its hit and miss. The only two people that I know that lived all of UPT off base had pets and therefore couldn't live in the dorms. And even then, they had to write letters stating they couldn't find another place for their pet, had to live with it, etc and then get it signed off by the group commander.

My suggestion, for what its worth, is try to get off base housing. You can work that before your boy gets to UPT and then if he can live off base, you are for sure going to live with him when you come here. If they dont allow him, then you can work the living situation onbase. If you are headed to Laughlin, and need anymore advice/help, let me know.

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Posted

It's also commander's discretion on this one, and also the availability of the dorms and housing. My buddy got to Sheppard in November and was allowed to get off base, or get onbase housing. He chose off base, but he didn't get married until Jan. He did have to get commander approval on that one though.

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Posted

Just something to consider, but due to a pending PCS, my wife and I got legally married ahead of our scheduled church wedding. The USAF chaplain that was going to conduct the church ceremony took care of the legal one. That way I could get her on my overseas orders, she had an ID card, medical coverage, etc. It was our little secret, and I came back for the church wedding as scheduled. No one was the wiser.

Actually, we just celebrated the tenth anniversary of our "secret" wedding (we later told our family), and I tracked down the chaplain--who retired about two years after later--to let him know how things were going.

Cheers! M2

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Posted

I am engaged and planning on getting married this summer on 13 August. I report to Vance AFB for SUPT on the 5 Aug, but I still need to complete IFT. Does anyone know the likelihood of the AF allowing me to take a Friday and Monday off for my wedding? Is it kosher to contact someone at Vance and "put in" my leave before I have it? I'm just a little lost on the protocol for this situation, and my detachment is all gone for the summer. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you

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Posted

If you haven't started UPT yet (on casual), then you shouldn't have any problems getting leave/time off for your wedding.

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We have a friend reporting to Vance in a couple weeks and she was told that they could guarantee Friday or Monday but not both. That didn't mean it wouldn't happen but she should plan on only getting one day. Usually the token line if you have not inprocessed yet is that they can't "technically" tell you anything until you are "officially" there.

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Getting married before UPT would be easier than getting married during UPT. I don't recommend the later, though it can be done. Being married while in UPT is a huge help...I really don't think I could have done so well w/o my wife's help. The days are long and sometimes there will be a strain, but that's just something you guys have to work through. She has to understand that in some ways you will have to put her on hold for studying, etc. That's just the way it is. But, being married and living together is still a lot easier than doing the long distance thing. I would suggest having the wedding prior to UPT or after UPT...during is just far too much headache, especially at a time you cannot afford to have any additional stress.

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Posted (edited)

Other things before that will most likely be casual somewhere, ASBC, and IFS out in CO. Now the meat of the question is.

Are you ROTC/USAFA/OTS?

ASBC: That will happen, if you're married, she can live in Billeting with you.. just a girlfriend, then she'll have to visit

Casual: Again, if you are married, she can help pass the time while you wait on your thumbs to start a casual job or while you are working at your casual job

waiting for UPT to start, and you can live on base together, if you aren't married, you might get confined to the dorms...

IFS: She can't go with you. My DH has to go to IFS.. gimmie a few minutes, and I'll post the info about IFS for you... IFS, she should think of it was a TDY/Deployment "practice test".-- Again, you, and some of the other wives on here need to understand that My DH is a 9yr prior service in the AF, therefore, I remember when he was gone 3wks, home 12hrs, gone 3more wks. Yes, it sucked(I'm sure it was worse for other wives then what I had.. ). and at that time, no I didn't take it as a vacation, but as a learning tool. She needs to learn, sooner or later, how to deal with TDY's/Deployments, because if she doesn't deal with them... then you can fill in the blank.

I just asked my DH, if he could get married before or after UPT, what would it be.. He said before.. it helps to have a "partner".-- No, my DH isn't the type to tell me something so he doesn't get in trouble either...

You need to get married when you both are ready for it, I don't think there's ever a right time to get married, if you both aren't mentaly and emotionaly prepared for it.

Edited by Kayla
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Hi John~

My husband and I got married while he was on casual a month or two before he started UPT. We were living together before we got married though so I was with him during IFT/IFS. He had originally planned on waiting until after UPT to get married, until I pointed out that I was not going to move all over the place with him, without being able to get on base without him, having to move all my own junk, without health insurance etc. It's definitely an adjustment for most wives, especially newlyweds, to realize that they can't be the center of their husband's attention a lot of the time, but you and she will get through it. UPT won't be easy for either of you, but us wives find things to keep us busy. As long as she's not sitting at home waiting for you to come home every day, and goes and finds things to do and keep her busy, it's not that bad. I would think that the support she could give you through UPT would help you a lot more than her being there would hurt you.

Good luck in your decision.

~Monica

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Posted (edited)

I got commissioned last Dec. I got married two weeks later. My wife and I couldn't be happier with our decision. My wife was with me at ASBC and Casual and now we are looking forward to moving to Columbus. Kayla and AFwife give you a good perspective of the spouses point of view, and from the military member's point of view, its great because now I don't have to stress out about planning a wedding or trying to make sure we can see each other, etc. I can focus on supporting my family, preparing for UPT and doing my job. Just my $.02. Good luck with your decision if you want any more info or anything, PM me.

Edited by swiney
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For a variety of reasons, we waited to get married until DH was finished with UPT. To start with, we didn't get engaged until he was already a few months into UPT. For the first phase, he was stationed at Moody, only about 6 hours away from home, so I drove down every other weekend to see him. It worked out well, because he could focus and study during the week and then we had fun on the weekends. When he moved to Texas, it was a lot harder, and we only saw each other once every 2 months or so. In the end, we had a 15 month engagement. (Four months of that time he was sitting casual in Texas after he got his wings because of some medical issues). It was stressful doing the long distance thing, but it also gave us a chance to save up enough money to pay for the wedding ourselves, which was important to us. We got married right before our first PCS, and it worked out well for us.

That being said, each situation is different and I think you should do what is best for you. I've heard that being a spouse during UPT is very hard, especially on newlyweds. Sometimes wives don't understand why they don't get to spend more time with their husbands. It was best for both us to wait. Good luck!

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I am a married LT. I love it. My wife and I dated all through college and I made her well aware of what my plans were and what UPT is supposed to be like. I involved her with all of the ROTC social functions, etc. so she got her little indoctrination into AF life. We got married a couple months before I commissioned and we've been married a little over a year now. She has been such a huge help in all the standard stuff that comes along with the military; like moving. I went to ASBC in January and she came with. She had a good time with the other wives and we got to see each other everyday. I am very glad she came with me to ASBC because I am now at IFS and that is six weeks apart. Spend time with each other whenever possible because eventually you won't be able to.

As long as you keep her informed/involved you guys can make it work. My personal opinion would be to get married before UPT if you're ready to. If you both want to get hitched why wait? If you're not married during UPT she won't be able to live with you (unless you live off base), she can't get on base without you, she'll be responsible for her own health insurance, etc. You need to make your own choices though.

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We were married before UPT-- Long before UPT. That was because I was AD and we wanted to hedge our join-spouse bets. We were not stationed together during UPT though. I would vote before, because life gets busy afterward, and you may not have time to get married, go on a honeymoon, and get settled into a house during or after.

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Hey! I'm a spouse and we've been married for just under two years. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage and he feels as though he has a leg up on others who are here unaccompanied. However, I have to stress big time that you need to ensure that she knows you will not be around a lot, even at the beginning, and when you are at home, you will be at home concentrating on other things A LOT. She will have to find friends in the neighborhood that can occupy her time or she should get a hobby or a job (good luck on finding goods ones). However, if she is an idler, she may be resentful towards you. It's not her fault because it often gets the best of us. Some of us strong-willed ladies do not like being told that they are going to be in what some consider a "subservient" role while here at pilot training. Granted, for you, it's a great deal because you will have lunch prepared for you every day and when you come home, it will be as if room service came while you were away from the hotel! If she's ok with it, she should be fine. It's only a year of your life and you have the rest of it split responsibilities 50/50!

Getting married right before pilot training for some can make married life even more of a challenge at home, especially if you don't know what she wants from you in the relationship (i.e., flowers every Friday, date nights, chores around the house, general acts of appreciation.) Everything needs to be worked out in advance, and I even recommend premarital counseling (for anyone!) so there are no surprises. I've seen a lot of couples around here that give off the "new puppy" vibe, but when the "puppy" grows up and still acts like a puppy, they aren't so cute. I hope you get the comparison! ; ) Also, I hate to say this, but when you are gone all day, the wives have an excellent opportunity to get together and size up their marriages and women insecure in theirs can have understandable problems with the things that you do or don't do. Some don't understand that you may want to play X-box or go to the gym as a way to clear your mind instead of being with them all of the time and that can cause a rift. There are so many other things that can go wrong, not to say that it will break up the marriage, but who wants the first year of their marriage a year they wish they could forget? I hope this helps, and if she has any questions, tell her to get in touch with me, I'd love to tell her all about it. Oh yea, if you think these problems may not apply to you, that's impossible because the curriculum is what makes you like this! : )

Crystal

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It hasn't really been discussed yet, but BEING MARRIED = MORE $$$ :thumbsup: I'm not saying to get married just for the cash, do it because you're in love and all that too. Get married right after you get commissioned because if you are married, you get dislocation allowance for your initial PCS. I didn't know that until I got an extra chunk of cash deposited in my account from finance. I actually thought it was a mistake and tried to get them to take it back, but they said you get it if you have dependents.

"2" on what everyone else said. Being married is a blast, just make sure your prospective spouse knows what they're getting into. Some guys get their wives to help them study and all that, but for me the most helpful thing my wife did was just be understanding of the fact that for that year, I was going to be extremely busy and that there would be times when I would be at work for 12 hours, come home, eat a quick sandwich, shut myself up in the office and study for three hours, go to bed, wake up, and repeat for days on end.

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We were married the week before my husband commissioned. He started UPT three months later. From our experience being married during UPT was a great experience. Yet at times it was tough to have to take the "back burner" and not be able to spend alot of time with my husband. Looking back on the experince I would not change anything. We met some of our closest friends during UPT and are still stationed with some of them to this day. His UPT class was very close, everyone got along and we were all supporting one another.

Yes, the pilots work long hours and have very stressfull jobs. I was fortunate enough to find a job I loved, this kept me busy and out of the house during the day. Even though we were both working 10 to 12 hours a day, it was so refreshing to come home to one another at the end of the day. Your wife will have to be aware of the long hours required from you to get through UPT successfully. I was always ready to help my husband study when needed or just be there to let him vent about things. There were rough days where he was second guessing what he was doing and second guessing himself. I was there to support him and talk him through his doubts. Also prasing him when he did well, passing checkrides, passing tests, getting his assignment. All of these things are milestones in the world of UPT and doing something for him to let him know how proud I am of him is always fun.

My husband has told me that it was the "little" things I did that made getting through UPT bearable. Keeping the house in order, cooking him meals and having them ready when he got home if possible. Even giving him back massages before he went to bed to help him realx was time we could spend together. You have to get creative. While the time may not be much, or real exciting, doing those small things to help him relax made me feel better. I would know when he was having a particularly rough day just from the expression on his face as he walked in the door. Knowing what he needed to do to unwind was also helpful. Many times it was just coming home and not talking about the day, he would play video games or get on the computer. I was there ready to listen when he was ready to talk, but did not push him.

We made the situation work for us with communication about what each of us needed from the other. Communication is key, as it is in any realtionship.

Weekends are definately the time to get away and have time either to yourselfs as a couple or to spend them with classmates. Since he was at UPT at Sheppard, Dallas was a easy trip on the weekends. Friday nights and Saturdays were our time to hang out together with the class and try to forget about work. Although the pilots would end up talking about the past weeks flights and such. There were always good stories about who messed up what and who did something really good.

While I would not reccomend rushing into marrige just to be there before UPT, if you are both ready then doing it before is a good choice. Not to say that she can't move there into her own apartment while you are at UPT, she will just not have the benefits of a military spouse. The first year of marrige is rough on any couple, adding in UPT is adding alot of additional stress. My husband and I had lived together for two years prior to UPT so nothing changed in the aspect of having to get used to living together.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do, and with UPT. It is a time in your life that you will never forget due to the hard work, fun times and the friends you wll make.

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