Thursday, April 09, 2009

How to be a good milspouse

OK, now I didn't believe this the first time I read it... and I still don't. When I described it to someone, they wondered if it was copied from some book in the 1950s... You be the judge.

Try This


Jennifer said...

That has to be a joke, right?

Somebody's Princess said...

This quote comes to mind: "People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization" - Agnes Repplier

She should step aside for the greater good of humanity, female progress at the very least.

RangersGirl said...

O.k. I'll cut her some slack. She has the "Instructions" Partly correct.

#1) His job is more important than yours IF he is the primary bread winner. I have friends where the wife actually makes more and has an employer that allows her to telecommute (gotta love tech jobs). So when he made a career move that would benefit his family and his boss told him Careerwise that would be a bad move and he needed to think of taking care of his family, he responded with, "My wife makes more money than I do right now, so if I only make it to Major after 20 years, I'm o.k. with that, financially, we'll be o.k.

Regarding the when duty calls part, she's right on. I can't stand military wives that bitch and complain about their husbands having to go into the field and getting deployed. It sucks- - I give you that. But that is part of his job and most of the wives married their husbands when he was already in the military. So you knew what you were getting into. Conversely for me - - I had a soldier husband who bitched and whined and cried me a river whenever he had to go anywhere. I personally lost a lot of respect for him because HE knew that was part of his job. Suck it up big boy! (I was probably a horrible military spouse)

On #2 - - Wives are a direct reflection on their spouses, regardless if they are in the military or not. If a man's co-workers see his wife treat him with disrespect, they will treat him disrespectfully. If your husband tells you the wrong time for his promotion ceremony and you show up when he told you but its half an hour late, he yells at you in the parking lot and you enter the building copping an attitude (which I did in this situation) your spouses soldiers and commanders, who only know you from this situation, will think you are a selfish bitch - - and I had a Sgts wife tell that to me to my face - - to which I responded she was getting only half the story and THAT didn't go over well. Likewise, if your spouse doesn't tell you about the family functions and the wife's tea at the commander's house and you don't show-up, they think you are a snob. I could go on and on.

#3, she does have a point there. But what she should really concentrate on is we should be more concerned with being healthy and taking care of our outward appearance. I gained 20 pounds within the first 6 months of my husband's (now X) return from Korea because all he wanted to do was eat out and would get mad if I didn't eat or just ate salad. In my opinion he had no right getting on my case about the 20 pounds which he also gained. There are some men who like curvier women. I'm not a size 6 but I'm not fat either and some of us with high paying jobs have to work late and can't always make it to the free gym on base - - or at work. But anyway - - I'd rather be a healthy size 10 or 12 with real boobs instead of an unhealthy stick with fake boobs. As someone who has dated military men since my divorce, I am ALWAYS insecure about this especially when it seems like they end up going out with and then marrying some one 10 years younger and much thinner. Men are visual. It really stinks but its true. You have to hope over the years that they love you for your heart more than looks.

#4 - - She is dead on there. People gossip, especially on military bases. I've seen people start rumors like that when the guy visiting was a father or younger brother.

liberal army wife said...

you've pushed a few buttons here. But - hey, you can have your opinion, and I'll have mine. but I will say - my husband of 31 years does still love me for both my heart and my looks. How shallow must someone be, to not love their partner because they don't look like Barbie anymore. I don't think I'd want to be in a relationship with that person.

As for "you knew what you were getting into"... if I'm not allowed to bitch about 12-18 or in my case 22 month deployments... who does? If you believe that, then no one is allowed to complain about anything in their lives that they made a choice about.. their hair colour, their car, their job, their boss, their house, their kids, their dog/cat/ whatever. Doesn't fly, sorry - just doesn't fly.

Tucker said...

Have I ever told you how awesome you are LAW? Hilarious post and great comment. I will ALWAYS reserve my right to bitch about the Army... mostly because of the spectacular array of sh!t the put us all through! And if you don't want to hear it? I don't want to hear about your job or hubby or kids or ex either. Because we all chose it. The end.

Anonymous said...

All people physically change, and you have to have a relationship that is based on more that looks for it to sustain. Sure if you are in a relationship with a shallow person, then yes when you gain weight, they will have an issue with it. But when someone really loves you for the person you are on the inside it wont really matter. Men and women will gain weight over time. Its call aging and genetics. People have a hard time with this, but its a fact of life.

I think the situation would be different if someone "let themselves go" and gained 100 pounds. But thats not often the case. Just sayin.

Anchored Away said...

Whoa. I'm about to get my snark on. This is not a personal attack, but the eHow article and the "you signed up for it" comment have pushed my last two buttons tonight. So here goes. Quit reading if it's possible I might offend you.

Those instructions were written for someone who 1) is a woman (she genders the information and makes no gender-role-appropriate allowances for a male milspouse), 2) derives her entire identity from her husband's job, 3) is stuck in a relationship based entirely on lust and convenience, 4) married a loser who would believe bullshit rumors and can't hold his own against adolescent ribbing, and 5) watches Leave It to Beaver with a wistful gleam in her eye.

While we're at it, why don't we add the following instructions:
5) Have your house in order at all times. After all, you never know when another wife might stop by for tea and fresh-baked muffins. You wouldn't want her telling all the other wives that you're a sucky housewife.
6) Breed, and breed often. The more babies you have, the more content you will be. After all, it's very lonely when your husband deploys and leaves you all alone in your spotless house. Anklebiters mean the difference between peace and solitude (the tools of the Devil), and a dissonant and chaotic life that leaves you thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day.
7) Always remember to wear your husband's rank. Nobody likes a woman who doesn't know her place in this world!
8) Keep a ready supply of the following: hose, pearls, recipes, vodka, xanax (but hide those in the back of your naughty underthings drawer - wouldn't want anyone to know you need help!), mindless giggles, inane commentary, blank stares for use in current events conversations, and a current Republican voter's card.

As for "you signed up for it," I also signed up to be a parent, but I'll still bitch about the poo diapers. I signed up to be an author, but I'll still bitch when my publisher offers me a shitty contract. I signed up to marry a guy in the Navy, but I'll bitch when the Cowboy in Chief overtaxes the army, forcing my sea-going husband to deploy to a land-locked country and make over 100 convoys - and there's no ship in sight. I'll also bitch when shit breaks during the deployment. When the deployments stack up shitty and there's a surge deployment, and work-ups and underways and actual deployments mean my husband is only home a total of five months in two and a half years, I'll bitch. I signed up for a lot of shit, but I wholeheartedly reserve the right to bitch when I'm overwhelmed, stressed, shit on, or feeling pissy. It's how I vent. Of course, anyone who feels like they have no right to bitch because they signed up for it, have at the silence. They should rock their silence for all its worth. However, they should remember they signed up for a lot of shit, too, like living in America (so no bitching about someone else exercising their right to whine), working (no "my boss sucks!"), not working (no "OMG we hates the laundry, precious!"), their weight (despite the advertisements, Twinkies are actually optional), their husbands (no "if he leaves his skid-marked underwear on the floor again, I'll..."), etc.

Ugh. Can you tell I'm sick and effing tired of hearing folks tell me to STFU b/c I signed up for this life? Gah.

(army)Wife said...

The funny thing is, the author says she is a military wife as well as a soldier in another "How to..." article. Interesting. I almost don't believe that though.

I hate hate HATE "You knew what you were getting into." Seriously?! Yeah and I also knew that when I got pregnant I was going to have to push the baby out of a teeny tiny hole or get a C-section, but that doesn't mean that I don't get to say having a 10-inch incision across my uterus hurts like a !@#$*&%!!!!

Anonymous said...

High five, Anchored Away.

High five.

Linda said...

I'm sorry, I couldn't make it through with all the pathetically poor language skills showing. Want to be a good example of a milspouse (particularly if you're blogging about it)? Learn proper English. Nothing impresses people more than your lack of punctuation, misspellings, and general lack of the grasp of the English language.

That being said, I much prefer Anchored's version. However, like you, I think we are entitled to bitch about deployments...everyone does. But becoming a whiner every time your spouse goes out the door for a TDY or FTX or anything becomes old fast.

And I'm sure that any man who only loves his wife because she's a barbie will not have her for long. Even if we gain weight, as long as we keep ourselves from looking like slobbish pigs in public (I've seen an overweight spouse show up to her hubby's promotion ceremony with greasy hair, in a stained t-shirt and ratty sweats/jammie bottoms, flip-flops. And they had no kids, so she couldn't use that as an excuse...she just didn't have pride in her appearance. You CAN be overweight and look good!) And I don't live on post or anywhere near the post, so the "free" gym isn't worth it for me.

(hey, my word verification is ranatick - is that a ranting lunatic???)

Michelle said...

I think there's a difference between bitching about the military and whining about it.

Bitching is what grownups do (most effectively over a glass of wine with girlfriends and some laughs and tears.)

Whining is what children do.

liberal army wife said...

I don't think ranatick is a ranting lunatic - but hey, it sounds pretty good!!! I agree, looking like a dirty slob is one thing, but the person who (so badly) wrote that piece didn't make that distinction.

Free gym... well only if you live ON post, only if you don't work outside the home and don't have a commute, or you aren't busy at home as so many of "us" are with either home schooling our children or having a home based business to try to help with household expenses.

As for the gossip - it's not just a military family problem, folks. Ever lived in a small town? ever lived on a college campus? Ever lived in an apartment complex? What I found so objectionable, was the attitude of you are only there to be the wife (since she made it very clear that she was only talking about women) and that she obviously wanted us to either stay in place or jump back to the 50's. No thanks.


jlc said...

This reminds me of "Idiot's Guide" How to be a Military Wife!

Kid you not.. it exists!! Amazon has it.

Nomad Librarian said...

While stuff like this annoys the crap out of me, what annoys me more are the spouses I know IRL who take this kind of b.s. and treat it like it some sort of holy writ.

People who think this is how the milspouse world SHOULD be are the ones that make me want to avoid spouse functions and live off-base. Which is sad, because, in general, the qweepy spouses are few and far between...but they can poison a whole group of women, fast!

Kanani said...

Her post made me sad, because truthfully I wonder if she isn't in need of some career counseling and also evaluating maybe if there's some educational training she can pursue.

I think in order to be a good milspouse, it's essential you work on career skills. There's a very good chance that one day she'll be the breadwinner --and maybe instead of letting him worry about getting his butt to work on time, she should have worried about getting hers there instead.