When you think of a military spouse, you think of a service member’s biggest fan, largest rock. An overall support system. And while we are all of these things, they are definitely not always easy, nor are they done in a care-free fashion.
To be quite honest, there are things about us that you probably DO NOT want to know, but that you MUST know.
1. We are always at our limit.
One of my close military wife friends said this to me and I have never forgotten it.
“Just because we appear to have it together during tough duty stations (see #7)…laughing things off and trying to make the best of everything, we are always at our limit. We have to look like we have it together. There are times we are raising our kids alone, and we cannot, even if we wanted to, get a hold of our spouses…for weeks. So we have to have an answer for everything, or at least know where to find one, and that amount of stress is deafening.”
2. Leave us alone.
Don’t read too much into this one. We are happy to help out a friend, do someone a favor, and generally be a good person, of course. But, especially during deployment and particularly difficult duty stations for our spouses, we cannot do too much outside of continuing to do what we’re already doing.
And, (see #1) even though it looks like we’re doing great (and sometimes we are…see #4), sometimes we’re just barely holding on. Don’t ask us to make elaborate plans, take elaborate trips, or do something that you know is going to create stress.
Every spouse has a few things that causes them stress. Don’t add to the issues by asking us to do what you already know we don’t want to or can’t do.
Just leave us alone. If we can attend events, go on vacation with you, etc., we will let you know.
It’s not about you. It’s not.