I am not sure what to do. I am the very rare and hardly noticed male military spouse. I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. My wife is always being invited to both military member events and spouse events because they mistake her for the actual dependent. I feel like I have lost myself within a world that does not yet accept male spouses. I love my wife and I love the military life, but how do I work on getting people to understand that I go through the exact same problems as female spouses?
Left Behind Male Spouse
Dear Left Behind Male Spouse,
It is a huge struggle to be able to compete with a world that was known as military “wives” for so long. I myself am of the female variety. It is so common that it will take persistence and patience to be able to overcome such a stereotype within the military community. Most events you will find are catered toward female spouses because it has been that way for generations.
I even had to go to an outside source to be able to answer your question properly. My friend, Chris Pape, named 2014 Air Force Spouse of the Year by Armed Forces Insurance and this amazing magazine. Chris is the founder of Macho Spouse. Macho Spouse is an educational video series and online resource for male military spouses and their families. Their content is relevant to all male military spouses, female military members, children of military families, and stay-at-home-dads. You can follow them on Facebook MachoSpouse Facebook and on Twitter @MachoSpouse.
We also suggest you speak to your Key Spouse/ Ombudsman or spouses’ leadership as well and let them know how you feel. They can be great resources in helping Male spouses integrate into the spouse community. Especially if there are more male spouses who feel the same way you do. This is so common at all installations and with the help of other male spouses, I believe you have the drive to help make that change in your area because you took the time to write to me.
Many male spouses feel the exact same way that you do and with organizations like MachoSpouse and people like you, a change can be made to make the military community more male spouse friendly. All spouses, male and female, play a key role in the successful operation of the home front. Our service members rely on us to keep things running smooth while they work to defend our country. I am so proud of each and every spouse that does everything they can to ensure the quality of life for those within the military community.
Do not let the female spouses get you down, they just may need a little reminder that not all spouses are female and that people like you deserve a chance to feel welcomed and connected! Good luck and remember if you ever need anything I am just a quick email away.
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