Relationship Killer: 6 Deadly Sins of a Military Spouse
Married to or thinking of a future with a military member? 6 deadly sins for military spouses can be a real relationship killer! Go into your relationship knowing where some traps lay to avoid them.
Relationship Killer #1: Adultery
Let’s be brutally honest here: adultery is almost part of the military culture and an absolute relationship killer. “What goes TDY stays TDY” is a super common saying, and I HOPE for most people it’s nothing but a joke. There is also a lot that does happen when spouses are apart for deployments and TDYs. There are multiple myths about signals military wives do when their husband is out of town to signal that they are “ready for company”. On one base it was a box of Tide laundry detergent in the window. A painted red rock next to the mailbox signified it. On yet another, it was a porch light bulb of a particular color. Whether or not these actually happen, I doubt it.
The hard truth is that military relationships are HARD. You do have periods of time (sometimes up to a year). Long hours, being away from family and the stress of not knowing if your spouse is safe are all hard. Both parties are subject to temptation!
Designer cars, clothing, and purses…oh my. It always boggles my mind that the military tells families to be financially responsible but one of the only places to shop on base is much more expensive than stores like Walmart or Target. Keeping up with “The Joneses” or whoever you’re hanging around is also really tempting. Who doesn’t want to look successful and polished?
Reality comes knocking sooner than later though, and the truth is that if you look at the pay charts you’ll see there’s no room in the budget for a Coach bag. I highly suggest sitting down and analyzing your budget and bumping it up to your priorities. If you want to drive a Mercedes I’m not here to judge you! I just hope that you’ve planned for it so that it’s not hurting you in the long run. Apps like YNAB can help, and for more assistance reach out to your base’s family support center.
#3: Needing Mom and Dad Close
I’m not referring to school children here, folks. I know this might seem strange, but there are women (and men I’m sure but I don’t know of any personally) who go home to their childhood homes every time their husband is TDY or deployed. Much like a college student goes home to do laundry, this military wife gets overwhelmed and feels insecure without her doting parents to take care of her. What would happen if a washer or dryer should break and her husband isn’t home? Gasp!
Traveling back home to visit family isn’t a horrible idea. It breaks up the monotony and can absolutely be a fantastic idea. What’s the big sin then? DEPENDANCE. You decided to be a wife. Husband. Partner. Not a child. You should absolutely be able to take care of things (mainly) by yourself. Learn who to call when you need help but be a bit independent. Military spouses are tough and independent. Don’t be a weak link.
#4: Getting Hubby to Skimp on Duties
There have been many young wives who try to get their husbands to skip a day or work or be late getting to work. It can be lonely at home while he’s at work! Trust me…Daniel may be retired from the Air Force now but I can remember a certain someone who looked VERY good in uniform. We were both late to work on quite a few occasions as a newly married couple…but I digress.
Be the wife who sends him out the door looking sharp instead of wrinkled. Who understands that although missed, he is performing important duties. After 20 years of standing by and supporting her partner, that wife is appreciated instead of resented by her husband. Besides that…his coming home gives you something to look forward to.
#5: Cause Drama at Hubby’s Work
This goes hand in hand with what we just talked about, but let’s take it a step further. Mixing work and pleasure complicates things. Discussions (even over drinks) could absolutely be used against your spouse later. Be mindful that your spouse’s peers are (or will be) their direct competition for assignments and promotions.
Relationship Killer #6: Op Sec
“Loose lips sink ships”, right? That’s exactly what Op Sec is about. Op Sec is short for operational security. Bad players can misuse information such as day-to-day operations, upcoming missions, number of personnel, names, locations, and more to cause problems.
The United States military is a highly visible target, although the threats have changed since WWII. Cyber warfare and increased contracting with civilian businesses mean that information is the second highest item of importance. The first of course is the safety of our military members.