Why We Hate Military Wives

military-wives

We hate military wives like it is our job. When someone posts about what they struggle with in their military life it is not met with understanding. Instead, commenters come forth with their verbal baseball bats at the ready as if they are hunting snakes.

But why?

Does anyone really hate military husbands? We are guilty of ignoring military husbands, maybe. But we don’t hate them.

That is why I am always taken aback at the vehemence against military wives that I see on not only on evil hater websites, but sometimes right here on Spousebuzz.

I don’t get that. I have learned to expect it, but I don’t understand it.

Here are the reasons I suspect we hate military wives:

1. We think they are freeloaders.

There are so many fakers claiming to have served in the military that President Obama had to sign a new Stolen Valor Act to keep them in check.

Well, guess what?  There is no Stolen Valor Act for military wives because there are no wannabees here.

No one grows up with Military Wife Barbie at the ready. No one puts together action-packed military wife movies.

No teenager gives up her vampire/Highlander/Kardashian fantasies thinking: I totally want to fall in love with someone who will take me to a rural location, leave me for months at a time and risk his life regularly for a modest paycheck and decent benefits. Sexy!!!

The uniform is pretty cute, I admit. But MilSos only turn up on our site when they are already in love with a specific person.  They want to know if they will be able to carry this off and what they can do to prepare. They are earnest.

So I don’t care if you do know a benefits hound. Or if you think you once read something you think came from a benefits hound.

If a person sets out to be a freeloader, there are much easier ways to laze through life than marrying into the military.

The truth is that the vast majority of military wives get into a military marriage because we love one person.  Because that person begged us to come with him.  Because we can’t imagine life without them.

2. We think “I am nothing like them.”

If there is one phrase I hear constantly among brides, bloggers, jobseekers, MilSos, senior wives, dual military and lawyers it is this:  I am nothing like them.

I’m guilty of this myself sometimes. I’ll meet a military spouse who is a helicopter mom or a chick who wears pearls and a twinset or a couple of poor things scuffling through the Exchange in their PJs and no bras and I will tell myself hotly, I am nothing like them.

Who is “them” exactly, Jacey Eckhart? Where did you get the idea that somewhere there are military wives who are all alike agreeing on the rules of what it means to be a military wife and finding you wanting?

This is not a club. There are no “Old School” wives sitting around by the hundreds talking about you.

Instead it only takes a wife or two to set off that “I am nothing like them” feeling.

Why is that? Write me when you have an answer, would you? Because I would like to never have that feeling ever again.

I am like “them” in the only way that matters:  I am building a life with someone in the military. And it is what nice people call “a challenge.”

3. We think they are angry.

On our site last week, one of our bloggers wrote about having a difficult pregnancy and getting care through the military health care system.

Most of the replies were from other spouses commiserating about their difficult pregnancies and how weird it is that the military thinks getting pregnant at 31 is advanced maternal gestation.

Yet, one guy had to go on the attack:

“The article sounds more like thinly veiled whining covered with a bit of sarcasm disguised as humor,” he wrote.

Yeah, buddy. There is, actually, quite a bit of “sarcasm disguised as humor” in that article. Because often that is how we military spouses deal with the things that make us angry.

Even though there is plenty for us to be grateful about in our military lives (personally, I am just glad my husband still thinks I am cute enough to kiss every night), there are plenty of things to be angry about.

But we can’t bear that. We can’t bear the anger of a military spouse because emotions are catching. If they are allowed to be angry maybe we would see how much we have in common with the angry wife and we would get angry too. And it is hard enough to keep yourself together much less someone else.

4. We think ‘Military Wife’ is not a role in life.

Nothing brings out the ugly in readers like a military wife who implies that she, too, is part of that big thing we call the military. This is one of our worst failings.

I can’t tell you how often I hear people say that being a military spouse is no different than being a doctor’s wife or a cop’s wife or the wife of someone who travels for business a lot.

There is a difference.

Sociologists in universities all over the country agree that there is a constellation of five factors that make military families unique.

Sure, you can find other jobs in which their partner is in danger, or is frequently absent (maybe not for 15 months at a time, but still absent), or moves the family a lot, or lives overseas, or experiences a lot of social pressure on their family.

But you don’t find all five factors running up and down the chain of command.

When study after study shows that military families cope with deployment as long as the caregiver (mom or dad or grandparent at home) copes with the deployment, why can’t we give even the tiniest bit of credit there?

Why aren’t people allowed to have a little pride in singlehandedly pulling a family through a deployment? Or arranging all the specialists, therapists and education for a special needs child after a move? Or wringing a career out of the world even through nine moves? Or helping another family in the unit through the worst time in their lives?

I don’t understand why these things make people hate military spouses so much. Do they think spouses are going to be a burden on society if they aren’t schooled about how useless/worthless/angry/bitter they are?

The thing is, I know plenty of spouses who go through periods of rage and disappointment and despair, but no one gets through this military life without getting mired in their own crap every now and again.

Why is it so hard for people to see those ugly stages as just stages?

Why can’t we see if we just stay with each other through the hard bits — the parts when they are trying to figure out who they are and trying to understand why their particular guy can sacrifice so much and be gone so often — then we get the whole story.

This is why we SpouseBuzzers don’t hate military wives.

I’ll take them bitter. I’ll take them whiny.  I’ll take them in their pajama pants and their despair.

Because I know that eventually, most military spouses pull through all that. They get to the other side.

When it comes to building a life with someone in the military, you either get over it, get through it, or get out of it.

Nothing comes easy.

I respect that.

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.

36 Comments on "Why We Hate Military Wives"

  1. Oh, the drama! Life is what you make it. The military lifestyle is just different not better or worse. People need to see the trade offs between military versus civilian living.

  2. It irritates me how much spouses (some, not all) seem to want to criticize one another for their choices or attitudes. I had a friend who tried to branch out and attend an officer spouse club function to get to know people, and said she just felt judged because she didn't finish college, and wanted a tattoo. The other spouses said a tattoo would reflect badly on her husband (who has tattoos of his own) and she shouldn't ever get one. I had another friend warn me to stay away from the wives' club because I'm only a fiance, not a wife, and that I would be "looked down on" because we weren't married and hadn't gone through a deployment. Sure, I'm not a veteran and I'm still learning a lot, but why not be welcoming to newcomers? Whether it was actually the case or not, that's the impression a lot of wives have.

    Even here on Spouzebuzz, some people get so outspoken and hurtful with their comments that it makes me shake my head. We're not a big group, why do we have to try to fragment ourselves further by being so judgmental? I've contemplated writing a guest post before but always talk myself out of it, saying "no… this is personal and I don't want people critiquing me on something so close to me." We know that MilSOs go through plenty of hard times, so why can't we be respectful and understanding? I remember the recent article about what to wear to a military ball. Some people started saying it's only the lower enlisted spouses that dress like they're strippers, then someone came back and said that officer spouses were just as guilty. Why does it matter? How about spouses do it and it should be avoided? There ARE ways to disagree and be respectful, but it seems like a lot of people must've missed that day in school.

    Again, it's not the majority that acts like this, but one bad apple spoils the bunch.

  3. One thing I have noticed is that you can take any topic on the Internet and turn it into a group of haters that make broad sweeping generalizations about a particular population of people. For example, my son has autism, any time I read a blog post, new article, or even a bulletin board posting regarding autism, a few things arise.

    1. All parents with children on the spectrum are Jenny McCarthy wannabes who blame immunizations for their child's condition.

    2. All parents with children with autism are just out for a diagnosis, so they can live off the government (see a trend).

    3. Anyone who is an adult with autism (I am) should be neutered, because of the genetic link between having autism and having a child with autism.

    The same thing goes for any wide range of topics. Haters be hating. My thoughts are to ignore the haters, because calling them out just makes them more vocal. I know that I am not a glorified welfare recipient, I know that as an active duty member- I served my country, just as I serve my country as a spouse, that every member of a community is a valued member of that community, and the same spouses that pass judgment on people who wear yoga pants and flip flops to the commissary, would judge a spouse if she were wearing her Sunday best. I'm not out to impress anyone, and I don't feel the need to justify my existence to anyone.

  4. I love my twinset and pearls : ) (I also love this post!)

  5. sabrinacking | September 3, 2013 at 9:12 am |

    Number 1 and number 4…make me number 3…frequently. You need a like button for these posts Jacey, because I have nothing new to say on my soapbox of the wives I know are amazeballs and the belittling of, demeaning of, and disrespecting of them…not just on SpouseBuzz..because at the end of the day, SpouseBuzz is an internet site, its not real life. But that attitude about wives, bleeds over into our very real lives and causes all sorts of issues from our ability to get help for our servicemembers, to our ability to get employment. I have only had it with two types of wives: the martyr wife and the "I was prior service so I know everything and you know nothing" wife. Both of which I think cause 9/10ths of our problems as wives.

  6. I don't think people (active military, and other spouses) hate Milspouses I think that they just frown HEAVILY on the new behavior some spouses demonstrate. Jacey although you won't admit it there are spouses that describe their life like they run in the trenches along side their spouse. However, I think although there are some spouses that need help/guidance because (some are extremely young and with that naïve) they often want to be carried and that is a HUGE difference than needing help. There is no "try" anymore as often as spouses move from their parent's home, to their spouse's some never learn how to be alone, take care of the home or their selves or gain experience to stand on their own two if need be. Not all spouses are like this and are awesome but there are truly some bad apples that ruin the bunch.

  7. Guest #2 Cont. | September 3, 2013 at 9:29 am |

    No two spouses are the same. For example, I feel weird when fellow civilian tell me thank you because I think I'm doing what any spouse should do and feel that those thank you's should be reserved for spouse that have lost their member or are caring for a wounded warrior. Some spouses soak it up. I have a career of my own and I feel that it is frowned upon I don't always move with my husband and I'm looked at as weird because I haven't embraced this life at full capacity. As far as the sociology studies, I don't need it to validate that this life is not easy but it is definitely not the hardest ,it's all about perspective. I have worked with Cancer patients and wounded veterans that have a better outlook on life than some of the conversation I've experienced with some milspouses.

  8. Often it seems that women are just cruel to each other. I don't know if it comes from self-esteem issues, passive-agressive personalities, or competitiveness, but I have observed it over and over in many situations. I have even deliberately sought out work situations that are more gender equalized to avoid the drama I have previously experienced in predominantly female groups.

    If only we all could remember to treat others -especially other women- as we wish to be treated.

  9. JillofMostTrades | September 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

    I actually found this article entertaining. It makes me happy when someone calls out all the trolls on a website. :P
    Me personally, I'll continue to wear my pearls, boots, and leather jacket (when it's cold :P) and spend 30 minutes getting ready just to go to the commissary. Why? Oh just because :P Plus it's fun to use the commissary as a way to test out an outfit, pair of shoes, or makeup style.
    There shouldn't be so much of an issue to be honest. If someone is asking for help or advice that's what they are looking for. A person doesn't need to be cut down and "beat up" verbally just because they need somewhere to vent. For some people, friend-making does not come easily and EVERY MILITARY SPOUSE EVER HAS HAD TO VENT OR ASK ABOUT SOMETHING AT SOME POINT TO SOMEBODY (no exceptions) so in order to find a way of maintaining sanity and not holding in emotions the spouse will need to vent somewhere or get that advice needed.

    My advice?
    Spouses: Take a deep breath…Find a good support source, use the internet if your not a social butterfly (My daughter and my trainer are the only reasons I'm social :P). There are some very good forums out there that are very active and incredibly supportive. Also I would recommend a book called "Married to the Military". It's VERY HELPFUL!

    Trolls and Compainers: Take a deep breath before you even look at your keyboard…. Type out what you are going to say but DO NOT CLICK SUBMIT! … Walk away or internet surf for 30mins to an hour or so… then reread your comment. Think it sounds mean? Inappropriate? Unsupportive? Negative? Would you get upset if someone said that to you? … if you answered yes to ANY ONE OF THOSE (or more) then delete it. Do not click submit. Think of others and the effect that your words will have on them.

  10. Married with my husband for 8 yrs and learned to SUCK IT ALL UP all the way because if not I will find myself whining, complaining or bitching pretty much about everyrthing…I LEARNED AND GREW FROM IT. Otherwise, it is truly a great experience and adventure….

  11. As a Navy Wife of only 16 months, I have to say that EVERY single time I go into the MCX here at Parris Island theres ALWAYS at least one of the employees giving dirty looks or judgemental looks at me (probably cause I have so many tattoos). I reckon they think they're cute with their snide remarks and judging eyes. So Im going to say this and HOPE that one of those women that judge me every time Im in there sees this comment. GET OVER YOURSELF. You dont KNOW me. You only SEE me. You dont know what GOOD I do in the community Im in presently. Good that maybe even benefits YOU. Yeah, Im fat and I have tattoos. SO FREAKIN WHAT. Thats something my husband LOVES about me. So, next time you judge someone, LOOK AT YOUR OWN SELF FIRST.. Are YOU perfect? NOPE! and BTW. My tattoos are from BEFORE I MET my husband. ;)

  12. As a Navy Wife of only 16 months, I have to say that EVERY single time I go into the MCX here at Parris Island theres ALWAYS at least one of the employees giving dirty looks or judgemental looks at me (probably cause I have so many tattoos). I reckon they think they're cute with their snide remarks and judging eyes. So Im going to say this and HOPE that one of those women that judge me every time Im in there sees this comment. GET OVER YOURSELF. You dont KNOW me. You only SEE me. You dont know what GOOD I do in the community Im in presently. Good that maybe even benefits YOU. Yeah, Im fat and I have tattoos. SO FREAKIN WHAT. Thats something my husband LOVES about me. So, next time you judge someone, LOOK AT YOUR OWN SELF FIRST.. Are YOU perfect? NOPE! and BTW. My tattoos are from BEFORE I MET my husband.

  13. I am often criticized because I DO tend to believe that "military spouse" is a job. But that's because that's the way that my husband and I chose to live our lives back long before we were even in the military. We have a lot of kids, and those kids have some special needs. When we first met, we both worked outside the home; that was impractical, because those special needs kids required one of us to be available during the day to deal with problems with school and health issues.

    We went through a period where he was out of work and I went back to work, so he was the stay-at-home dad. I hated it; I didn't like having all that pressure to be the provider. I was good at it, but I didn't like it. He hated it; he didn't like being home with the kids all day. He was good at it, but he didn't like it. So we went back to me being a stay-at-home mom and him being the provider.

    But we have ALWAYS looked at things as a team effort. Even before he was in the military, we always agreed that he was the one drawing the paycheck, but that my "job" was to support him. That has carried over into our military lives. I do believe that my job is to support my Soldier, and part of that support entails being familiar with the military, helping out other military spouses, and becoming part of the military family community. But that's just an extension of my choice to make a career out of supporting my husband's career.

  14. the first mel | September 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |

    I don't hate military spouses. There are some that I will steer clear from, but in general I don't have issues with the majority of them. If they constantly complain or whine, I stay away. If they think they are all that because of their husband's rank, I stay away. If they look at me with disdain because of how I look or because of my husband's rank, I stay away. Basically, I couldn't care less about what others think about me and since I have limited free time to socialize, I would rather spend my time with people I enjoy instead of spending time with those who slowly suck the life out of me.

  15. I’m so confused! Where do any of you get the audacity to criticize.Being the spouse of a person in the military is only a fraction of what I am. I’m a physicians assistant with a secondary degree in health care management.
    I’m also mother to a 16 year old girl who can play flute, clarinet and piccolo by ear. I’m a daughter, a friend, a lover and a confidant. If you looked at me at the commissary I probably have sweat pants and sneakers, you could never tell my soldier is a major with a PhD. ( the only title I’ll emphasize) as he earned it.
    He is a soldier.. My job ..support!!. Bitch about what? A fellow service men’s wife in flip flops? Why? I’m so busy doing me I didn’t notice your flippers.
    Where’s your own identity? You choose or need to be stay at home mom , I don’t..
    You choose to go home during deployments, I’m proud and happy you have a support system when your spouse is gone.
    For those that don’t like this life, a darn good one too, get out. We don’t need ya.. It’s your choice and you could be so much more than so and so s wife..
    There’s my caa , federal pell grants, academic scholarships available to you!!!
    After that ramble I just want to say , get a life!!
    This I say that 29 days from my fifth deployment..

  16. Holly… Dear you hit it!! A team.. There's no he or I it's we, and that's why 19 years in this and 22 years with him, I do it. It has surpassed love a long time ago, it's now responsibility. I'm the words of my husband " hold it down" " I'll be back"…

  17. Having been a Navy wife in the past and now engaged to another Navy man, I still see the same thing 15 years apart. I see every type of spouse… Ms Bossy-Know it all, Ms Has No Clue, Ms I'm my Husband's Rank, Ms You're not the boss of me. It's hard to watch and even harder to be around because you're right, women are catty and typically trying to race to Alpha Wife status. I married and now am engaged to a man in uniform, this is his job/career and my only part in this is to be HIS SUPPORT at home… I do not wear his uniform, his stripes and I'm not on the ship with him when in potential danger.. I've happily helped wives that are not as versed in how things work or need a shoulder when their Husbabd is deployed – the hard part is when these same women have fallen into the "Navy Wife" clique and let things go to their heads and they bash on the wives like me without children, without the urge to join the group think mentality or jump in on the bashing bus… Wives like me that helped them without question or judgement who now are the" enemy" because we do believe we are an extension of our husbands image and we do have an obligation to follow the rules of the military on base as it relates to dress code or behavior. While I didn't enlist in the military, I did agree to support my man, his caree and help in his successes. The wives that bitch aabout these very things or bash women who feel like I do and don't want to jump on the hater band wagon are the ones that are the minority and ruin it for the rest of us.

    If you live your husband, fiancée or boyfriend (or their female counterparts), suck it up and just support them and all who offer/provide support on the home front and stop tearing down others that are walking through same walk you are!!

  18. love this. Way too much hate going around, and sadly, most of it is within the military spouse community.

  19. I think for the most part this is something that we should embrace not only to milSOs but also people in general. We are a judgment based society. We hate everyone. We believe we are better than everyone. We judge people at the grocery store or at the movies just by what they wear, how they talk, and the like. People we don't even know. I'll admit it. I'm guilty of it. Instead of giving into the urge to be disgusted by someone, I have to constantly ask myself "What exactly is this person doing and is it affecting me in a negative way?" If the logical answer is "no," I move on. It's not a simple process and I fail sometimes, but at least I'm trying. Will all of you try with me? "We cannot control the actions of others only our own actions." – Unknown

  20. A Humble Spouse | September 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

    You say this, but then spousebuzz runs pieces about how military spouses who dress a certain way look like whores, how military spouses who put their own careers first are wrong, how military spouses don't measure up to your imaginary standards of what a military spouse should be.
    So color me confused batman. You can't really be peace, love, flowers, and then turn and rip on any spouse who dares to do it differently.
    I know you guys think you're all inclusive, but the fact of the matter is that if any group of people I work with ever behaved or spoke to each other the way I watch military spouses denigrate each other I would be absolutely flabbergasted. You guys need to get out there and realize that we all are different and there is no one right way to be. But saying that and then pulling up the next milspouses suck because X article is not going to sell your point.
    Sorry. I'm just not buying it.

  21. No one puts together action-packed military wife movies.

    Clearly the author has not watched We Were Soldiers.

    Or Army Wives

  22. I just want to know what the male spouses do to fly under the radar? Jeremy, the Macho Men Group, somebody please write a blog spot.

    And another question… why does it seem like having a career or not having kids is not welcomed in this community with the female spouses?

  23. I'm surprised to read this. I'm a retired airman's wife. I was married in 1968 and had 2 children before my husband was PCS'd (not deployed) to Thailand in a support role for the Vietnam War. He'd been gone 4 weeks when I found out I was pregnant, a HUGE surprise. I lost that baby at five months. That was the worst part of being a military wife. Not being pregnant. I looked forward to my baby's birth. But, I went through that huge loss alone.
    Vietnam was very unpopular, but those I was around never looked down on me. In fact, they encouraged and supported me.
    One of the things I really hated was that we were considered "civilians." Tell me, how does being subject to the USAF's rules, regulations, orders, etc make me a civilian. I did what the wives were told to do. I went on all accompanied PCS transfers. I stayed home and took care of my kids without a husband when he went on TDY's and that year-long PCS. I spent Thanksgiving day without my husband because a commander decided to have a recall that day. I worried about him when he had to go to base from Minot during a blizzard because of a recall. Everything the USAF required of my husband, I was a part of, even that year apart. I'm glad I didn't live through deployments as you now do, but what I did was tough.
    God bless our servicemen and retired servicemen, and God bless the military families, who I will never consider to be just "civilians." And I will NEVER look down on any military spouse, because I've been there.

  24. wanda morrow | September 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm |

    I don't hate military wives just some ex-wives of military men who have cheated, had kids by other men while their spouse were deployed and never supported their husbands. Now they are drawing a nice check. That only happens in the military.

  25. No, the one's I disliked when I was active were the "Do you know who I am? I Mrs. CPT John Smith!"

  26. The author forgot two key reasons military wives are often not liked.

    1. Some wear their husbands rank and accomplishments. While it's fine to be proud, some wives lord it over other wives or especially loathsome, active duty troops as to who their husband is, what unit he's in etc. BAD, and it creates an enemy for life.

    2. Cattiness and gossip. It's not just a characteristic of women but it's predominate there. Any group that acts like a bunch of crabs in a bucket pulling each other down deserves a fair amount of derision.

    Military wives are great in general. They do much for their families and spouses but some can spoil the whole groups reputation. The same phenomena surrounds officers. It's part of the burden of being in that group.

  27. vnoifvet7006 | September 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

    Today's "Military Wives" don't seem to be very proud of who they are or whom they represent. The "Old Military Wives," walked, dressed and behaved very proud of their spouse. You wouldn't see a family member at the PX, Nex or Afx dressed in their pajamas shopping, or their kids half naked. I can't tell if it's the base commander's fault for being too soft or the dress code on military bases have gone out the window. Military Wives kind of take it for granted their being a military dependent and think they can do whatever they want on military base and so do their kids. The "Military Courtesy" on base is no longer there. I remember shopping at the commissary and the isles were designated as one way to avoid clutter and give courtesy to other shoppers, there was a "silent acknowledgment" of belonging to the same "military team." Now, there's no common sense or common courtesy shopping at either commissary or at the PX, NEX or AFX.

  28. I am nothing like them… is there a cure? I don't know. For me it is not how they are dressed, but how they act. Some of my closest friends are women that I am nothing like…in appearance. But the ones that stand outside gossiping with malicious glee over the misfortune of others, the ones that cheat on their deployed spouses, those are the ones I'm nothing like, and I don't ever want to be.

  29. I use to be a manager at a storage facility that a lot of military personnel used. When I say that when their husbands get deployed that SOME of these ladies get straight buck wild, I wouldn't be be lying. I was just amazed at what these ladies would straight up tell me what they had been doing since their husbands been deployed. I mean, they were saying things with no shame whatsoever. I mean it was like real entertainment when they would come in to pay on their monthly storage bill. The worst part about it was , when their husbands came back from their mission or whatever I had to look them in the face while their wives are kissing and hugging all on them and stuff. I would just shake my head and , just smile. IDK, maybe they had some agreement or something when they left, I'm no judge, but if that guy was killed in combat, maaan, straight scandalous. Again I am saying SOME of these women, not all, but very entertaining to say the least. Deuces

  30. My Military wife has been with me through thick and thin. For 8 years in Germany ever day in garrison she was up at 430 with me to egt me out the door and when I was gone for months at a time she ran the family, and still does. Without her support I do not know how I would have made it 20 years. Now since I Retired in 1986 she has been right beside me, although I do not get around much and am mostly sick or having problems she is still right there. When I was in bed for 5 months, she was there and still is. The Military and our Country gets a real deal, 2 bodys for 1 retirement pay. For all she did and does she does not get a red cent on her own. She just gets part of mine. Military wives are an over looked part of the Military formular, they work for and support for free and while raising a family and moving around the world. Best damn women in the world, the Military Wife.

  31. In fact, there are at least two kinds of military wives:

    Those that adjust to the life style and frequent separations from their husbands due
    to assignment to a location that does not allow "family members".

    The second do not adjust to military life which frequently required long periods of
    separation from a spouse to an isolated area – where family members are not allowed.

    The frequent separations when a spouse is assigned to an "unaccompanied" military
    installation (no family members allowed) caused a number of serious problems that
    one finds in long periods of separation from a spouse.

    It ain't easy.

  32. SFC Alan Stahl | September 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

    I think that Military wives are just as inportant as the Solider is. They may not go to war but they sitll are just as inportant as the anyone. I did 21 yrs in the army and she was just as inportant as I was. She had to listen to a lot of young spouses and help them the best she could. If it wasn't for the wives a lot of the Solider's would have a alot more to worry then when they got to home. My wife had to travel to Germany with three kids age 4,2,and five months. To me she is stronger than any person in the world. She never said a word when We had go train. She supported not just me but other young wives that had no firends or family. So take good hard look at yourself because she may one that stopped her world so you could still live free. A spouse to me is justt important as the Service member that kept you and child
    Safe.

  33. This was an amazing post. :D I agree with everything. Thank you for putting it into perspective. There is so much negativity in the MilSO community, it would be wonderful to see more Internet support.

  34. I have been a military wife for 6+ years and I haven't really received dirty looks or anything. I actually got more positives than negatives. There should be no reason to *hate* a military wife UNLESS she cheats, steals or anything that could harm her or her husband and family. If they give you dirty looks or whatever
    it means that you have what they want and they cant get it. HATERS GONNA HATE!

  35. Like attracts like; meaning if you seek out the good , you will find it. And if you want to be negative you'll find that too. It's true for any situation. My first MilSPos experience, 5 years ago, was not an easy one and I was open to meeting women in similar situation (husband deployed). I kept my mouth shut and eyes open and took it in. I learned which women could be friends and which I had nothing in common with. Just celebrated 5 years w/my Navy husband and over the summer attended SpouseBuzz event in Norfolk. That was a positive, supportive, engaging experience which helped refuel my duty as a military wife and mother. I was social with many wonderful spouses. More events like these bring us together as a community.

  36. My husband recently made me aware of a saying used in the military to describe women who don't work and rely mainly on their husbands for income…the are called "Dependpotamuses", referring to the word dependents that the military uses to describe all people in a household under the military members benefits. I started thinking about this word and what it really means. I am by no way an extreme feminist by any means although I was brought up by a strong, independent, stubborn women who always told me to never rely on a man for money. I have always lived by this mantra and in doing so have become a successful Registered Nurse. I lived by myself before meeting my husband and changed my own oil and even started changing his once we were married. Like I said, I don't rely on men for much. So this word "Dependapotamus" really struck a cord within me. At first I thought it was funny and then I started to think about my own life as a military wife and the lives of other women I know married to the military and it started to become less funny and more hurtful. You see, as an RN I am pretty lucky in that no matter where we move I can pretty much get a job immediately and with a decent salary. Many women are not as lucky as I and have had to completely give up their careers in order to move with their husbands. My friend has a Masters Degree and was on her way to having a great career with the University she had graduated from when she was uprooted from her home and relocated with her husband to an area in the country where there were no career possibilities for her in her specialty. She is now a retail specialist in a clothing store and I know that her story is just one of many for military wives. I myself had always dreamed of working as a flight nurse or possibly as a Nurse Practitioner. Those dreams were quickly brought back to reality when I realized how much time was needed to work your way to the top of becoming a flight nurse. You spend years on ground transport and only a select few will make it to the top as a flight nurse. Equally, the schooling for nurse practitioner requires that you work with a mentor Nurse Practitioner for about 2 years before receiving your degree. These dreams take time to make them into a reality and time is definitely not on your side when you are a military spouse. I quickly realized that I would probably never get promoted from the positions I will hold over the upcoming years as we are usually only in one spot for a year or two before relocating again. Most of my coworkers won't even remember my name come next fall as I would have only been with them a short while and just learning the ropes before we are moved to the next spot. I will always be the "new kid at school" as I am constantly relearning computerized charting programs at each location or in some cases, learning how to paper chart (which we were never taught in school in Florida as we were told "no one uses paper anymore"….WRONG!). I see these experiences as learning opportunities for my future; how many people get to see how nursing is done all over the country? However, my strong independent side is fiercely pissed off that my dreams and goals are put on the back-burner while I follow my husband around the country so that he can achieve his. It's a constant internal struggle that I deal with on a day to day basis. I have to remind myself that this is the life I chose and I knew this going into it. I wouldn't trade my husband for any other lifestyle out there and he has been amazingly supportive of any of my career choices I have made. I am lucky in that I am able to only work part-time now and enjoy our new surroundings and care for our home and pets. He has put my happiness on the forefront of our lifestyle and I have realized that have a little extra free time to pursue my hobbies and interests makes up for the fact that I will never be the next Nurse Manager at my job. I have traded my career ambitions for more personal ambitions and this in turn has made both of our lives more fulfilling.
    Not all "Dependapotamuses" are women looking for a free ride from a military man. Many of these women had ambitions and careers prior to marrying into the military and not all are so lucky as to be able to continue to follow these dreams in the cities they are relocated to. Our men make sacrifices every day for our country and we wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes we need a little recognition ourselves as to the personal sacrifices we have made as women so that we can be with our husbands and create a home where ever this life takes us.

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