When I became a military spouse, there was already a list of things I didn’t want to be based off of the common stereotypes and myths I had heard about military spouses. I have had people who, once I heard that my husband was in the military, give me a look, as if they figured out exactly the type of person I am based off of my status: a cheating free-loader. How more wrong could they be?
I’ve been a military spouse for two years, still basically a newbie, and I have moved about three times already due to my husband’s job. I have been lucky enough to meet other military spouses who are sick of the stereotypes and people looking at us sideways for no reason other than they think they know us. So here is a list of misconceptions and how I feel about it (because this blog is all about me).
- Military Spouses are more prone to cheating
Yeah no. This is quite an outdated stereotype. It also applies to people in service. But just because one is in the service or is married to one in the service, it doesn’t automatically mean we have this insatiable lust. All humans are prone to cheating on their significant other but it depends on one’s mindset. As my papa (who served) told me one day over the phone: “If it’s not in your mind to cheat, then you won’t. It shouldn’t even be thought of.”
- Military families are completely taken care of
Military offers many perks, such as being able to pay bills and have groceries covered as well as childcare being available to those who ask depending on the duty station you’re at and health care. However, many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Budgeting is a monthly if not a bi-weekly activity. Even if you budget for a potential disaster such as car troubles or an unexpected trip to the ER where the medication needed is not completely covered by Tricare, you can still end up in the negative. If you have children, it gets slightly worse especially as they get older and goes to school. Many military spouses I have met have jobs of their own that helps pay for small luxuries like new clothes for always growing children or paying off old debts or even more food than what the food budget can allow.
- Military Spouses are just freeloaders
Yes there are freeloading spouses but I have yet to meet one (and no, I’m not one of them). Stay at home parents are not automatically freeloaders so get that out of your head. Those who don’t have children still go to work or they go do something (usually within the budget) to take up their time such as volunteer on base or somewhere else. Those who do have children and who stay at home spend most of the day debating whether to start cleaning or wait until after taking the child to the park to tire them out so they can clean without “help”. They also are trying to make sure that their spouses uniforms are clean (not that those who are in the service can’t do it themselves) so it’s one less thing to worry about. There’s meals to plan. Budgets to figure out. Appointments to be made. This also applies to those who work but have children in day care. The last thing I would call a military spouse is a freeloader.
- Military spouses know a good amount of what’s going on
Hahahahaha. Yeah no. Military has security clearances for a reason and despite many of us spouses wanting to know if there’s something dangerous going on, our servicemen won’t say a thing. News is where we get the information that we are allowed to know. I, personally, get very confused about statuses and military jargon no matter how much I try to study it. I think that’s just something I’m going to have to learn in time in order for it to stick. Luckily my husband is more than willing to point what words and jargon applies to when I ask.
- Military spouses know what they’re doing
Hahahahahahahahaha. My blog doesn’t have the word “uncertain” in it for no reason. Trying to navigate the rules of military living (and there is quite a bit, each duty station has more or less than each other) can be stressful because what we do reflects on our servicemen and we want to make sure they look good (for our sake and theirs). So a lot of times I’m walking around unsure if I’m breaking a rule or if I’m not doing things right (so far I haven’t broken any rules). Learning the rules for each duty station can be helpful but in my brain’s case, I won’t always remember them. So I barely know what I’m doing.
So there is a few misconceptions I have become acquainted with in my past two years as a military spouse. If you’re a military spouse I understand your pain of being stereotyped, I know the struggle. Luckily, we can count on each other to make sure we don’t fall on our faces.
Thanks for reading! Peace!