Married to the RN?

Should my wife join the Navy?

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Hi, I'd to hear any thoughts from anyone who is/was married or in a long-term relationship where both of you were in the RN.
I am currently undertaking flying training (RW) and my wife is a qualified nurse. She has had no joy getting a job in the NHS since qualifying, partly due to our movement round the country and partly due to the terrible manpower so called planning in the NHS.
Wife is thinking of joining the RN (as a rating). RoS is about 4.5yrs total, better pay, training and job than NHS so great from that point of view.
Mainly we are worried about separation issues, but are there any potential Officer/Rating clashes may be a problem.
Especially how easy is it for a rating to get a draft where they want? (i.e at Culdrose/Yeovs). Obviously there is a liability to serve anywhere and a lot of nurses are deployed at the moment.
Thanks in advance
Goldensky said:
....but are there any potential Officer/Rating clashes may be a problem....
It rather depends where you are, some wardrooms might end with an issue over it, most probably won't. There are potential conflict of interest issues if you're both working in the same place.

It's not that unusual nowadays, although not common.


War Hero
Hello Snakegirl, welcome to RR.

C'mon then, give us the benefit of your experience if you'd be so kind. It's good to hear all points of view on this particular subject.

As regards the notion by Goldensky, I've known & worked with several people who made it work very well for both. The irony being that when one left the service, the other stayed, that's when the problems started.

The sticking point is obviously families/children however, much as it isn't easy, my personal view is that it is entirely plausible as long as you have a realistic expectation & accept that you, not the Navy are responsible for the provision of care of your children.

The main point is unfortunately that the RN may not be currently recruiting qualified nurses very soon, if not already.
Marriage Guidance Counsellor Mode On

Although not personally married to a Navy girl (matelette?), I know quite a few mates who are.

To be fair, I've known one or two RN relationships not work, but that also happens when only one of the couple is in the mob. Actually, you'll probably find that those couples would have split up even if they were both civvies.

I think it depends on the two of you - if you're both prepared to accept the inevitable separation, and you both know what the life entails, then it shouldn't be a problem.

Marriage Guidance Counsellor Mode Off

That'll be £5 please :toothy5:
Do not join up because of current billets,currently it is under review as they want a nursing officer at cul/yeovil.They could also easily make nurses post civilians.Or basically do what they want?
What is most important in your life career or relationship?
I do not know of any relationship where both join up and have stayed together unless one failed in training and left.
The Navy are more helpful when people are in same branch and separation issues can be sorted in house. I do not beleive drafty is that sympathetic to the plight of married couples with no children.
If you are determined to try it complete training and see where you are drafted and then see how you both feel.
I do not think they are recruiting nurses at moment but guess that can change at anytime.
Me n my OH were married and both in the Navy- Iwas a ?? on one ship, and he was an ??? on another-- it was ok- but he left before I did..........

if you both want it to work, it can/will do.


War Hero
catwalk said:
I do not beleive drafty is that sympathetic to the plight of married couples with no children.
I don't believe drafty has cause to be particularly sympathetic, it's a job first & foremost, not "Relate".

The Isle of Wight Ferry company wasn't particularly sympathetic when my HQ1 watches didn't match my long-term girlfriends' shifts on her ferry either. Nor the NHS when another had to work weekends when I only had two days off.

Sorry, but I fail to see why Drafty should disadvantage others with long term partners in preference to a married couple.

The issue is whether it can work, most seem to think it can- with effort on both parts.


War Hero
To be fair drafty certainly seems sympathetic to the plight of married couples and as long as they can tie your drafting up they will, although that's probably easier in my case as we are of the same branch. That being said why should they be? even if you have young kids pusser has everything in place to assist as much as is practical and more than any other employer: CEA, warrants etc

I think anyone who is hoping to share a relationship in the RN needs to accept the fact that there will be significant seperation, even more than is normal if one partner was in the service. The upshot is you will be bringing home a very good combined wage, share a good amount of leave but you may not get to share those perks too much!
Officer / rating relationships are not the problem they once were, but your partner should be under no illusion: She will spend a lot of time deployed in support of Army operations as a nurse in the RN, not necessarily for long periods of time - routinely 3-6 months - but repeated time and again.

In short, count on separation as a certainty and, if it's a problem, think again!
If she's a qualified nurse then why not go the officer route? They're actively recruiting.

Speaking from experience, my wife was in the RM Band, and if you're both in then you're going to have to be one of those couples that can tolerate a whole lotta not seeing each other.


Book Reviewer
snakegirl said:
Don't even think about it. 2 of you in the mob will never work.
Rubbish - I employ two (Army) couples who work for me, both the wifes are the seniors SNCOs and the lads obviously Junior not that it makes difference. Both couples exceptionally professional and it works!

I know plenty of couples in the RN - it can be difficult, working together but as a WAFU you're hardly likely to be on the ward pushing the medication trolley!

The one thing I would say is that some of my troops have partners in the Army/Airforce and the nature of the beast means increasingly long amounts of separation and time spent commuting to get back to see each other.

As to working in the NHS or the Military, my other half is a Radiographer and whilst there is a clear difference between the two professions, my wife could never work in the military after having met RN radiologists working in NHS hospitals and who talk down to civilians and "other ranks" - I wonder if NHS nurses have experienced that. So I was just wondering if your wife had experience of NHS doctors and found that relationship okay then perhaps would meeting military Docs be different.

That said I fully understand that my other half has probbaly has the misfortune to meet the 2-3 biggest throbbing knobbers in the entire Military. I met one and immediately hated him, and I do believe they are the exception to the rule, I've personally never met a medic I didn't get along with - except sad tw*t.
Iou are both strong willed and understand that you may be deployed at different times or based in different parts of the country at times and you are willing to do this, then I can not see a problem. Your wife could become a QUAARN and would have every chance of being drafted near you better than you near her.

I've known couples to last and some not to last but this depends ont he both of ou and not listening to the bad mouths around you.

Good luck to whatever you do xx
Hi everyone, thanks for all your input. We've found it quite useful, partly because the more we think about it the more we want to make it work and want both of us to have challenging professional jobs.
Unfortunately the RN is not currently recruiting newly qualified RGNs - doh!
But the RAF are!!! So application process is in swing. I know it's a bit different but I think that the RAF will suit other half a bit better as it's a bit less like being in the military! (ha ha)
At the end of the day we are both young and don't believe that being married should be a bar to having a good career or that having said career will be a bar to a very successful marriage.
Thanks again
To be honest the big difference between one in and one out and both in is that when both are in there is a slight possibility of drafty being cooperative, if onee is out then there is no chance. also strongly suspect the RN would be a far more responsible and understanding employer than the NHS so could be a very good career move anyway.

Basically if you are in the mob you willhave separation if you are both in the mob there will be chances to reduce that separation, though this will be balanced by chances for that separation to be increased.

If the relationship is going to work it will, being in the mob doesn't change that it just changes the split point, but even that can be sooner or later.
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