Wife Vs TA

#1
I had a phone call from the TA last night inviting me over to visit a parade night, when I told my wife she went very quiet with me. I went and had a good time, I feel that I could fit in and have fun as well as using the skills I have.
Go home with a application pack, The wife said "well you spend lots of time at work I will never see you".
We have a 6 week old son. Am I being unfair? My wife and son mean the world to me.
 
#3
Firstly, you need to have a serious "chat" with your wife about both the impacts and benefits of being in the TA. Secondly, is it actually a viable option for you both and young child or just a nice dream. As llech has pointed out the TA is not the be end all of life and it should work around you not you and your young familiy working around it. Furthermore with such a young child maybe your time is in a couple of years once the child is so dependent on care. Anyways its your choice... Good luck :)
Mince.
 
#4
Women don't really say what they are thinking, she could be saying 'How could you even contemplate working 12 day weeks including 2 nights away, I could do with some help at weekends and when you finally have a weekend off you'll want to do nothing'. It is a very difficult time for you both, I did take a break from TA when my first kids were born.
Also consider yourself, TA can be good stress relief - a break but in some cases it might not be so. If your going through recruit training, you'll probably up your phys training - so the 12 day week is more than that.
 
#5
Being serious for a moment, before the thread gets trashed by the usual suspects...

Whatever you do, I think this needs careful consideration by both of you. A TA "career" can be extremely benificial to you and your family if you handle it right. You will learn loads of skills which will benefit you for the rest of your natural and give you a social life that she can participate in. What you need to really make it work is the support of "her indoors", particularly if you end up going on ops. You need to sort this out now and not leave it to fester..

It all comes down to trust and confidence - you in her, and her in you. You need to work out how you are going to fit TA into your future life, and you need to include her and the family in the plan. She needs to feel that she is not competing with the TA for your affections and that you both know what the ground rules are. You say love your wife & kid, I am sure she will reciprocate if this is true..

I am sure many of my collegues will have gone through this phase.. there is no one right answer, however I can say that the common feature of all my "old sweat" mates that are still married (and many of them are) is that they have a mutual bond of trust with their other halves (although many would be boiled in oil before they would admit it).
 
#7
Are you ensuring that she gets a 'night off' per week from your new child too?

The mantra hasn't changed, it's still Family -> Work -> TA
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
From a personal point of view, I've got an 8 week old boy and I have only managed to drag my arse into the unit once since he was born. I wouldn't even contemplate doing recruits course in my current state.

Once he's a bit older and less dependent, I'd say go for it. Promise to take her on holiday with your bounty every year and she'll be well chuffed.
 
#9
Yes I think I might have to put it on hold,
Well, If you have to....

I would still have the conversation now - do the sums together and come to an agreement - either way if you include her in the process you will not have to do it again if/when conditions change.

Also, the whole TA is going to go through a huge change in the coming months; it may be better to get you foot in the door before they start introducing recruiting bans, which is a common tactic...
 
#10
Can only endorse the previous 2 posters comments. I joined just over a year ago and get a lot out of it, wished I'd done it years ago (I'm 37) but you need to have a supportive Mrs Adam and a home life that can cope. I work shifts so get a decent amount of time off but have 3 kids, 2 of whom are pre school age, one of which is only 10 months old. If Mrs OS wasn't more than tolerant and suitably able, it would have been a complete non starter.

You need to consider that the training committment over the first couple of years to get to a decent standard is not insignificant; phase 1 = 6 weekends, phase 2 = 2 week course, I'm RE so class 3 + trade is at least another 3-4 weeks......it builds up suprisingly quickly...

Also sitting like an elephant in the room is the fact that you may well be wanted for deployment within 5 years (although still strictly speaking voluntary at the moment)

If I can humbly offer some advice; talk it through with your other half and understand her reservations. You're not necessarily being unfair wanting to join but impact could be wider than you have considered. Need to accept that with a young child her state of mind will be very different to yours. If you are still young enough for it to be an option, consider cooling your jets for a while until nipper is a bit older, life has settled down a bit and re-assess where you are.....
 
#11
depending on role/unit its no longer a drinking club with a uniform fetish you will be expected to deploy.
might be worth having a long hard think talk don't mention the tour but well worth thinking about.
 
#12
Not meaning to be a dick here or anything but does she only get to see you on Tuesday nights or something? Or the occasional weekend every two weeks - a month. My personal opinion is she might be worried and saying that instead of being completely honest.

Although you don't go to the TA as much as the regs a lot of time is spent on just keeping fit...maybe that's just me but my dedication is mainly through keeping fit on a daily basis.

I'd just sit down and talk it out really.
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Don't do it. Hang fire for the T.A. decimation come April anyway, then survey the way the land lies. Things will change after that, and nobody knows how long we will keep playing this 'game' come our subsumation into the Frog Army in the long term. I feel sorry for those blinker - wearing peeps who count their TA pocket money into their annual income when dealing with the bank though...

Family. Work. TA. Keep it like that. I am going to be switching to ****-ualised hours soon at work, and don;t even know if I can keep playing soldiers yet.
 
#14
I had a phone call from the TA last night inviting me over to visit a parade night, when I told my wife she went very quiet with me. I went and had a good time, I feel that I could fit in and have fun as well as using the skills I have.
Go home with a application pack, The wife said "well you spend lots of time at work I will never see you".
We have a 6 week old son. Am I being unfair? My wife and son mean the world to me.
Once she sees you in your uniform she will change her mind.

I think you just have to ask yourself what you want to do at this time. You can't live your life for other people and it can be helpful to have some 'me' time. I know a lot of people who enjoy the TA because it's completely unlike their civvy life and thus for one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year they can depart the stresses of work and young children and completely isolate themselves from it.

As Brighton Hippy said though, the TA is not a club anymore and the reason the war-focussed Army budget is still supporting the TA is because the TA are a war asset. I'm not saying "You need to be on tour within 3 years" but I am saying, if it's not something you're interested in doing, you needn't bother joining really.

There aren't many chances of the letter turning up expectedly though, so I wouldn't worry about suddenly being called up to fend off the invaders at 10 minutes notice. But be aware that being mobilised without asking is not impossible, so you both just need to be aware that you may not be around for 9 months at some point - although that'll be at least a year as generally the process of Papers - Medical - Selection - Attestation - Phase 1 - Phase 2 takes about that.
 
#15
TA needs time and dedication, so do wives and new babies as I well know.
As Ravers said you need time with the sprog and she needs to feel supported, just slipping out for runs may be interpreted wrongly when she needs help in the house.
Yet you don't have to stop the process, as has been mentioned you can maintain contacts, explore the process, check out other units and above all take time and talk the process through with her. If you do go ahead she must understand why you are doing it and what the possible outcomes may be. Don't forget deployment would mean her being left behind for a time with a young child while you are off being free and enjoying yourself. I know it isn't like that, but try telling them that if you haven't talked it out.
Take your time, and look hard at wife and sprog before jumping in.
That said, it can bring a hell of a lot of benefits, and great fun as you try and change the bairn into a miniature squaddie. I loved it, it did me the world of good, but I was single.
 
#16
In my experience, the longest lasting TA marriages are either ex Regulars whose wives have long since got used to absentee husbands , or marriages that occur within units, where both parties are well aware of the commitment. Saying that, my missus was serving when we married, and I still got some stress when our sprog came along.

Be aware, that joining the TA should come with a health warning. "Being a STAB can wreck your marriage". It can be bloody addictive, but the deeper you get involved, especially as you gain rank, the more of your time it will claim. If you are holding down a day job as well, the demands can be crippling.

If you do decide to join, you will have to be as strict with yourself as a recovering alcoholic who works as a beer taster. If you want to keep your missus and family, either she will have to fall in love with the whole military family and way of life, or you will have to ring fence time just for them, and keep your end of deal.
 
#17
Not meaning to be a dick here or anything but does she only get to see you on Tuesday nights or something? Or the occasional weekend every two weeks - a month. My personal opinion is she might be worried and saying that instead of being completely honest.
I think that's slightly naive.

Tuesday's parading, 2 weekends a month, yes that's the only time spent in uniform.

But on top of that, there's time spent getting fit, time keeping on top of admin, time attending courses as well as camps - depending on how seriously you take it. But on the note of 'taking it seriously', it would seem odd to join with the mindset of 'I can't do very much'. It would be much healthier to join with an open mind of 'come what may' and see where it goes. I can't see it being a good thing joining the TA with several limitations already laid down by the wife. In the same way that it sucks going to a nice pub for lunch, but only having limited cash and having to drive back. Everyone is having beers and you're on coke, and everyone's eating these lovely big juicy steaks and you're doing fish cakes because you're budgeting. All in all, you'd have been better not going and eating at home, or going with an open wallet and eating what you wanted not what you allowed yourself, and getting a taxi with everyone else. Joining the TA on a limited time availability could be like that, IMO.
 
#18
Totally agree with the above, i looked at joining a few years back but job uncertainty and location move killed that off, i regret not joining when i had the chance..... and now i have a few months old baby its totally off the cards. But I'm lucky, my wife totally understands what and why i want to join, but at the mo its too early with little one to sign up. I'm giving it a year and will re-assess the situation. Meanwhile as mentioned above there's no harm in keeping the phys up.
 
#19
I think that's slightly naive.

Tuesday's parading, 2 weekends a month, yes that's the only time spent in uniform.

But on top of that, there's time spent getting fit, time keeping on top of admin, time attending courses as well as camps - depending on how seriously you take it. But on the note of 'taking it seriously', it would seem odd to join with the mindset of 'I can't do very much'. It would be much healthier to join with an open mind of 'come what may' and see where it goes. I can't see it being a good thing joining the TA with several limitations already laid down by the wife. In the same way that it sucks going to a nice pub for lunch, but only having limited cash and having to drive back. Everyone is having beers and you're on coke, and everyone's eating these lovely big juicy steaks and you're doing fish cakes because you're budgeting. All in all, you'd have been better not going and eating at home, or going with an open wallet and eating what you wanted not what you allowed yourself, and getting a taxi with everyone else. Joining the TA on a limited time availability could be like that, IMO.
I did say that...90% of my TA time is spent just keeping fit. A few hours daily at least.
 
#20
If you have a skill or trade that the Army needs, you may be able to join a National Unit. In some areas you may also be able to train for a specialist role that is new to you.

National Units provide expertise in areas such as logistics, IT and communications, medicine and engineering. There are several National Units throughout the UK.

With your National Units, you'll attend a minimum of 19 days training per year = 2-3 weekends and an annual two-week camp.

National TA Units - British Army Website
 

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