Why We Hate 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.

92 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.

    • You ignore the author's point entirely: military wives are discriminated against and unfairly generalized by low-intelligence, malicious people, much in the same way as minorities in this country. The problem lies with attitudes like yours, not with authors highlighting their points.

      As someone who had a civilian career, a military career, and is now a military spouse, I more than understand the "trade off" between lifestyles: I lived them.

  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.

    • sabrinacking | September 3, 2013 at 9:23 am |

      I appreciate your first paragraph very much. I actually, didn't want to go to the commissary grocery shopping this month. True story. After shopping there for years, and then the onslaught of articles I read on here regarding how apparently some people spend all day every day doing nothing but judging how others dress…I actually didn't go to the commissary to shop. I thought "Screw it, I will take my flip flopped feet somewhere else to shop, no one needs that sort of scrutinization." But my soldier got the better of me and we went anyhow…we lost count somewhere around 40 pairs of flip flops. I think no one else got the slip flops as faux pas memo either….snort.

    • You should write a guest post. If you are going through something, other people are too. Strength in numbers! You don't have to use your name.

    • I'm a military wife of 15 years and nothing irritates me as much as when wives forget that they started as girlfriends. They should be a little less judgmental, but what do I know? I have a career, 3 kids, 3 dogs and a husband in the military, I don't have time for that kind of ridiculous behavior or pointless gossip.

      • When I was a military wife, there was all kinds of judgement. I had less judgement and saw less judgement from officer wives than from enlisted wives. I think because there was a greater majority of the officer wives who either had careers or did have a career. But, that is my opinion and my experience may not be the norm. I did have an officer wife call me to dis-invite me to a speaking event. Why? Because it was around Valentine's Day, and I was going to be attending the event solo. She went on for a half hour how the event was for couples and only couples should be attending, that I had no business attending if I wasn't going to be there with my spouse – I had to remind her the event was to hear the speaker. After she wouldn't let up, I politely ended the conversation and called a friend. She put a stop to it and reported it to the Wive's club president. It was unfortunate that it came to that.

        On the flip side, I was fortunate to meet some wive's not into the drama and they made the military experience a positive note. It made up for all the waste, fraud, drama going on by the others. Some of them were quite immature and their actions and behavior reflected it.

    • This article is irritating! Whoever wrote it is most likely not married, and never should be.

  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.

    • NewMilitarySpouse | September 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

      I agree completely! Ignore the haters, We aren't here to be accepted or to make friends. If we do then cool, but we are here as spouses to the one we love and help them through their hard times. My husband is a marine and I know he doesn't love it, I'm not to fond of it either, but it is a choice he made and a choice I have accepted. Some people don't realize that some military spouses don't even want to be, but they love their other so much that they are willing to go through everything to be with them. I have known my husband since we were 8yrs old and it killed me when I found out he decided to go into the military, but I was willing to make changes (scary changes) in my life so I could be with him and help him through it all. I'm glad there are people out there who know that not everyone is what one rotten person makes them seem like :)

  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.

    • Your post made me think back to some one-up-manship that goes on with military spouses. My rule is never assume anything about what I spouse knows or doesn't know. I know many spouses keep up with military issues. In my experience as a prior active duty military spouse, I have had run ins with a few senior enlisted spouses, who seem to think that they like their active duty military counterparts have some kind of authority over the younger, stupider officer's spouses (that they feel are superior to them, frankly the whole superiority and inferiority complexes should be left at the door). Anyway, I had a run in with one, that your post made me remember. She was insistent in getting into a strategy debate with a former military officer. Needless to say, it ended badly. She went into how "I" was going to lose money on my home that we had in Minot, ND because Minot was on the BRAC list, and I stated that "the United States would never close a strategically important military base like Minot, because it contains 2 legs of the nuclear triad, and the location makes it out of range for most rogue nations." The only bases that could hit us are Russian. Not saying that I know all about the military, but seriously, why do spouses do this? I know that it is some strange pecking order thing, but I'm not interested in being above or below anyone. I got out of the military, remember?!

      • I tend to think with the "I was prior service, or am currently active duty so I know everything" spouses it must have something to do with just how difficult it is to be a female in the military, period. I have them come at me all the time on here, and they presume, for whatever reason, I am anti females in the military…which nothing could be farther from the truth. I also don't think, as a spouse, any of us have any authority over any other of us, period. Having said that, I think once you have been around the block five or ten times, you tend to have more insight not just in military life, but in all life that rings true. The truth is though, that insight usually runs toward: people think they know concretely all sorts of things, that just aren't true. The older I get, the less I am sure I "know". When you're younger it is also easier to say "I will never"…as you get older, I think most of us can contest…its much more likely…ya just never know, until you know.

      • Oh, yes, the military wives that thought they too held their husband's rank. How could I have forgotten? I do not miss that. When will they learn that it is the active duty spouse that holds the rank, not them?

        • It seems they never learn – things don't seem to have changed. This prior service female, for one, must have reached that age where, well, ya don't know until ya know…to quote an earlier post…there are way too many females hating when we should all be sharing and learning with and from each other, not proving how much we supposedly "know."

  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.

    • jacey_eckhart | September 3, 2013 at 11:00 am |

      OK, I will admit I have met a handful of nutterbutter spouses over the years who act like they were hired by the government to be a member of the military unit along with their service member.

      I consider that an unfortunate personality problem. They have my pity.

      But I still stand by my contention that the vast majority of spouses don't live that way. We just don't see them living their lives because… they are out there living their lives??

    • Just spit balling here, but there is actually nothing wrong with moving in with parents during a deployment. I did it twice, because the military bases I was at could not provide the support I needed. The first deployment, I could not move home, because I was active duty, but there was a major train accident outside of my home dumping a cancerous substance, I got so sick from it that I was nearly medical boarded out. The second deployment, I was out of the military, but had a brand new baby, and had PTSD from my experience with the train accident, and moved to my parent's home, because we lived in Germany, and I didn't think I could get the support I needed there. The third deployment, I moved again to my parent's home, because son was diagnosed with autism two weeks prior to him leaving, and I tried to get support having PTSD and a child with autism, and I was told by the command to leave, that they didn't want to "deal with me." This deployment has been something else entirely. I did not move to my parent's home, because I would not uproot my family like that, but to say that military spouses who move home aren't trying, is just plain ridiculous to me. Why on Earth would anyone judge someone for making a personal decision like that? I'm from the school of suck it up too, but this is the root of the problem the poster is talking about. Needlessly judging a military family on personal decisions. How do you know that there isn't something more going on? For me, after getting diagnosed with PTSD, I got an autism diagnosis (myself) and ADD diagnosis on top of that. With those two diagnosis, I get respite care and help that I did not receive the first several deployments. As you said in your later post, no two spouses are the same, so why judge someone for what you perceive as not trying?

      • Understandable JoJo613 but that type of moving is not what I'm speaking of. I'm talking about being 18-19 moving from home in with your spouse before you ever experience life, or learn to take care of yourself or found themselves for that matter. That is what I mean by try momma and dad took care of me so it's time for someone else to do it not trying to see how you can do things/manage life on your own.

        • And there were quite a lot of them. Unfortunately, some of them, instead of sucking it up, moving back with parents for awhile, instead brought in the temporary spouse – the boyfriend while husband was deployed.

        • I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. I moved in with my spouse when i was 18 straight from home. It s not just military spouses who do that. All kinds of people do that. There is no law that says you have to live on your own first and "find yourself" thats ridiculous. No I did not move with him so he could take care of me. I moved with him because I loved him and we chose to get married. Just because you feel you should be on your own first doesn't make it the right thing to do. You people are missing the whole point of the article, and it's sad.

  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.

    • "I feel weird when fellow civilian tell me thank you because I think I'm doing what any spouse should do…Some spouses soak it up"

      Why are the only options the two extremes. Why is it wrong to graciously accept that these people are acknowledging that spouses sacrifice so their husbands can do their job? This is something that drives me crazy about mil spouses, it always seems to always be an extreme.

      • I guess it's only if you feel that it is a sacrifice. Am I grateful sure, do I feel that I need to be thanked not necessarily, but that's just me, don't let how I feel about this affect how you feel about a thank you as I said no two spouses are the same.

    • Nicely said.

  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.

    • This might seem out in left field, but its interesting enough I wrote a research paper on it in grad school. Its not just humans, I have witnessed as a farmer first hand many female species do this "pecking order": goats, pigs, cows, fowl, rabbits…it has something to do with competition for males. Generally in most populations there are fewer females than males, so we have developed a Darwinian predisposition to infighting amongst ourselves. Its one of the more interesting nature vs. nurture aspects of the gender.
      And like you, I have on more than one occasion said "give me 80 men to manage inlieu of 3 women any day".

      • I typed that backwards…there are usually fewer males to females by ratio.

      • That is really interesting, and not surprising.

        I even noticed it amongst my husband's female relatives. He has 3 sisters. One of them is getting married, and it is an endless competition and comparison. At one point in time, she even said that she missed him more than I did, because he was missing her wedding. I said, "really…" I just wonder if it has something to do with mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships.

        But I noticed it's always who knows more, who suffers more, who has more, etc… That's why I loved being in the military. With very few exceptions, men were honest and straightforward.

        • To be honest, my days as a contractor for the Army working with nothing but men…were the best of my career. In the private sector was my first experience of working day in and out with other women…and I HATED it. I had an employee have a nervous breakdown at work over her cat died. I had tow female employees get in a knock down drag out cat fight over a male employee at a company Christmas party. I had female employees taking pictures of themselves in bubble baths, using them as their at work avatar (seriously)…I think there is a lot of truth in as women we are all a bit nutter butter, myself included.

          • We are truly a stupid sex… I'm sorry. We just are.

          • I am not sure stupid is the right word. We're certainly as intelligent. But I think its a misnomer to think males are the more aggressive or more competitive of this or any species. I just haven't seen it play out as true. Not when farming, and not when managing people. Women are very aggressive, very competitive and undermine one another in the workplace far more than I think we are undermined by men.

    • One finds an enormous amount of TRASH wives in the Military, as anyone will find in the Civilian world…Marrying too young, immaturity, lack of sufficient formal education, and even less advanced education…. RHIP should never apply to the wives clubs, but in the Military, Commissioned Officer's wives are totally separate from those of the lesser pay grades, learn to accept that and one has made the hurdle to get along…. Not all are "cut-out" to be in the Military, and shame on those that are not….and make life miserable for others who are!

  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. ;)

    • I'd bet it's more the fat then the tattoo thing…the military members tend to be a bit more fit so it's awkward to see a "fat" person. I also have tattoos, never once gotten a weird look

      • Are you serious? I see way more "unfit" wives than not. Your comment was pretty rude actually. Usually I star at people with tats because I want to get to courage to go ask them where they got them. I have 2 and have a hard time finding an artist I like. That's just me though.

    • And it's probably the fact that you're on one the strictest bases in the country (Parris Island). USMC bases are among the strictest as far as rules and regulations versus USN bases or Army bases. I've seen a Col yell at a private about walking and talking on his cell phone (while in civilian clothes) on Parris Island and Pendleton. I mean, seriously?! It's the number one reason I have always told my hubs that if we can afford it (which often we have not been able to), we will live off-base. There are base rules that I don't agree with personally but having these facilities on base is a privilege and there are rules that have to be adhered to. And it's not just milSOs that have rules but also the service members. My hubs has to shave everyday if he wants to go into the commissary — even if its for a gallon of milk. So if he doesn't want to, we either don't go to the commissary or wait until he has shaved. If you are following the rules, I am sorry that others have judged you harsher than you deserve. Keep your head up and know that no one has the right to look down on you.

  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.

    • What you're describing would be the same as any other spouse – military or civilian. The "job" of a spouse is to support and help them, the community, and your family. So, there's no real difference between being a military spouse and being a civilian spouse.

      • sabrinacking | September 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm |

        We just came home from a long drive out through farm alley. Miles and miles of corn and little generational American towns. Its about the only thing I do like about being up here in Siberia. But it orchestrates beautifully the true opportunity cost of being a military spouse and how it differs from being a civilian spouse. In large part, choosing to be a military spouse is foregoing the American dream all together, so that others, can live it.
        In these little towns people live generationally. We give all of that up to be military spouses. We give up the family home, where our children are born and raised and give birth to grandchildren. We give up the same pew at a parish we were married in, and see each of our children christened and confirmed in, all over or relatives funerals at. We give up the school we went to, and our parents went to, and our children go to. We give up belonging to a literal and not ever changing figurative community. We give up having roots.
        We in many ways give up the very American Dream our spouses serve so they can have. Its not a sacrifice they, or we should take lightly. And that is what makes being a military spouse so unique.

        • the first mel | September 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm |

          And some of us are totally ok with leaving that behind. With the introduction of motorized transportation people have been given the freedom to go beyond the confines of their home towns. We no longer have to stay close to home, because when we are needed we can get there within hours. An evolving society has produced the spread out family who can maintain a connection via a cell phone or a computer. Granted, some long for that familiar connection but there are others who see their destiny unfolding away from "home".

          • sabrinacking | September 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

            I am not saying your definition is any less than…I am saying it is what makes military life unique. Continuity, stability, groundedness in time and place. Those are things as military spouses we forego to follow along here, there and everywhere. And it has nothing to do with whether we work r don't work. I have always worked, I am about the farthest thing from a 50s housewife out there, what I am saying is…our gypsy existence is very different from Joe public. If you think its not, you're kidding yourself. Have you been home? Where ever that is for you? We went home, we no longer belonged. People have been there, in that same town since high school. Their lives are rooted there. And I have many friends in our same stage of life, retiring, nearing retirement who are experiencing the same…no man's land phenomenon. I am not saying some people don't like being a gypsy, I am saying by and large America is not a nomadic country, and that nomad-ness makes military life unique.

          • the first mel | September 4, 2013 at 7:14 am |

            First, I didn't make any reference to work/not work in my comment. Second, I didn't make any reference to you being a 50s housewife. My point was that there are many families scattered across the country, because many no longer want to stay "home". They want to create "home" elsewhere due to whatever reasons they have. This occurs in the civilian world, not just in the military community.
            To answer your question, yes, I have been home. Yes, I also did not belong anymore but that's what happens when you leave. That hole gets filled up as people keep moving forward with their lives. I haven't lived at "home" for over 24 years and if we do ever go back, we will have to carve out a place for us in our families' daily lives.

          • sabrinacking | September 4, 2013 at 7:22 am |

            I was referring to the post directly after yours. I understand your sentiment. It doesn't change the fact…even if they scatter themselves to the four winds: they do it to a place of their choosing, and then while there most of them will build community grounded lives, in towns or cities alike. The difference in military life is we have little choice over where we go. And no choice over how long we stay there. Both of which affect all sorts of things but the primary of which is continuity. That affects financial stability, it affects career trajectory, it affects educational opportunity for our children and ourselves. Saying none of that is asking for any entitlement. It's stating a concrete fact. And for those sacrifices, yes, being a military spouse or child is quite different from the general population.

        • You "give up having the American Dream" as a military spouse, you are NUTS!!!!! Military spouses adapt, they build their own "American Dream" communities are always changing, the fact that you have a 50's stereotypical housewife definition of "American Dream" is your own fault, the rest of us create our OWN dreams

          • sabrinacking | September 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

            I have never been a housewife…but thanks for playing.

          • Umm yea, I didn't call you a housewife, I said you had 50's housewife ideals….which pretty much confirms my point that you are NUTS. Create your own dreams, and your own life

          • sabrinacking | September 4, 2013 at 7:09 am |

            You know nothing about me. I have had my own dreams and my own life. I am 40 years old. In that time,I have earned 2 Bachelors and a Masters. I worked for the DoD for a decade, I worked in the private sector the next decade. I have been published in academic journals and periodicals. I have been paid to do speaking engagements. I have owned two businesses…and I have raised two pretty amazing kids. I think you would probably have fallen down dead from exhaustion trying to fill my "no life, no dreams" of my own shoes.

          • WOW! You sure do know how to toot our own horn, don't you? Don't get so riled up, calm down. This is, after all, others posting their own opinions. Chill out!

          • sabrinacking | September 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm |

            I don't have a problem with anyone's opinion. I have a problem with the tone of her response to me. She called me nuts…twice. She also thinks mistakingly my opinion stems from being some sort of imprisoned house mouse.

          • This imprisoned house mouse enjoys her job very much, thank you.

      • Well, there ARE differences, and it IS a unique situation. If I was supporting him in a retail job, I wouldn't pay attention to the spouses of his co-workers. There'd be little need to! Where we lived before he enlisted, everybody had family nearby or old high school friends. In the military lifestyle, we often live in places where we have no family support and not a lot of friends; it is therefore incumbent on me to make friends and help out others wherever I can. To me, that's an extension of "supporting my husband" that I wouldn't feel the need to do if he was a civilian.

        There is a kinship among those in uniform. There is SUPPOSED to be. Before he enlisted, my husband was always fascinated at how I could sit down with another veteran and within 10 minutes we'd be swapping stories like we were old friends. Now, he gets it. My husband's brothers and sisters are the men and women who stand with him in uniform. Therefore, their spouses are my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. They're family. And family takes care of each other.

    • Love what you described!! My husband and I pretty much do the same thing. I see it as my job to support him :) Not really enjoying some of the negative Nancy comments others made to you. Granted I may not support all of his decisions… Sometimes they just put the family in a weird situation that could have been avoided, but you'll have that in a marriage. I go to school full time for graphic design, full time mommy to a beautiful little girl, work out 3 days a week on average (sometimes more), I build a lot of our furniture (sometimes my hubby helps), I sew, I crochet, knit, I repurpose and reuse things, manage the budget and make sure all bills get paid (he makes the dough, I just make sure it goes where it needs to).
      I also don't think it's "Tooting your own horn" to be proud of your accomplishments nor is it being a "dreamless house mouse" to enjoy working as a team with your spouse. I mean isn't that what marriage is all about anyways? Working as a team regardless of you and your spouses chosen lifestyle.

      All I have to say is that my hat goes off to you. You keep being that amazing super mom :D

  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

    • Lori, you said it. Everbody hates everyone. What gives?

      It sure would be nice if we all started expending our energies on being kind to each other and supporting each other instead of dismantling each other, brick by brick. It's so much more fun to compliment and help other people – we always feel great when we do. So why is it that we see so much of the negativity?

  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.

    • And God bless our servicewomen and retired servicewomen too!

    • I, too was an Air Force wife for 23 of my husband's 24 year career and I loved every minute of it. Yes, there were days that were especially challenging but the good always outweighed the bad. The commraderie between spouses was one of the things I loved most. We took care of each other, taught new wives what to expect and were there for each other when a spouse was lost to combat. We were and are FAMILY!!! If there is really as much judgment being spewed from military spouse's mouths as you all make it sound like, then I feel sorry for all of you. Being in a military family is a special thing and should be treated as such instead of judging each other and trying to "one up" this wife or that wife! We are such a small family compared to the rest of the people in the country, let's be proud of who we are and start looking out for each other and stop tearing each other down!

  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

  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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