Every once in a while I see blog postings and articles regarding the topic what not to say to a military spouse. Last time was a few days ago when I saw one of these postings titled ” Top 10 Dumbfounding Things NOT to Say to a Military Wife ” on SpouseBuzz.com. Yes, military life is significantly different from civilian life: where civilian counterparts meet their future spouses in college, get their degrees, get married, buy a house with white picket fence, get a dog and then two kids – and live in the same area for decades, military families pick up their lives every few years, and bloom wherever they are planted by the line of service they are associated with.
Those two worlds can be -and actually are- very, very far from each other. It can be difficult for civilians to understand what the military asks from the service members. Why people voluntarily sign up to put themselves in harm’s way. Simply, why they do what they do. But I don’t think military spouses should get irritated when our civilian friends ask questions about our life and lifestyle. In fact I find it annoying when I see these articles advising what not to say to military spouse. Both military and civilian life have their ups and down, own unique challenges.
I do not mind if someone asks me how I deal with my husband being gone every once in a while. Or when/if he is planning to retire from the military. Or if someone invites me to visit, or wants to visit me when my husband is gone, I am more happy to take the offer. Obviously I am not thrilled about him being gone but on the other hand I have been gone quite a bit for my work as well, so as mature adults we just deal with the separations caused by our careers. At the end of the day, we chose this life: my husband wants to serve the country that we both dearly love, and I chose to marry him, knowing his dedication for our country.
I must have most awesome friends on earth because I have never had to think that they are asking dumb questions about military life. Even if they have asked questions such as the ones mentioned in the article on SpuseBuzz.com. Actually, quite opposite: I am happy to answer their questions, and I am glad they ask. That tells me they are curious and most importantly they care. And time to get off my soapbox.