Thursday, March 4, 2010

Things You Should Not Say To A Military Spouse - Part I

"This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it." 

A civilian friend of mine is in her first relationship... ever.  During the summer, her boyfriend of seven months went away on vacation for ten days.  The day before he was to return back to the states she had the audacity to tell me "This separation is more difficult for me and Tom because this is my first relationship and this is our first separation ever.  You and your DH have been together for a long time and this is your second deployment, so it's easier for your guys..."

I was blown away by her comment.  When my DH is deployed, I put up a front for my friends so I don't burden them with my disappointment, anger, resentment, and bitterness towards my relationship, my DH and the Army. 

I acknowledge that this was this girl's first relationship and understand how difficult it must have been for to be separated from her first boyfriend for the first time especially since they've spent every day and every moment with one another. 

However, is is never ok to comment on my personal experience.  You don't know how I am dealing with my spouse's deployment.  Yes, I have finally learned to cope; to sleep alone in my bed, to stop feeling anxious about every news report, to stop worrying so much that I lose sleep at night.  Most of my civilian friends don't understand how difficult this time is for me; especially because I live off post and I don't have a strong support system of other military wives.

Please do not compare your 7 month relationship to my 5 year relationship with my DH (BTW we were married longer than the entire length of their relationship) and rationalize that your experience is more difficult than my own.


Scatterbrain said...

I havent had to deal with a deployment yet, but I dread it already enough that it really shocks me that anybody could be so insensitive. Maybe your friend had a dumb moment, but geez... how hurtful and rude that was!

Burger said...

Oh man, yeah I would have probably lost it on her. I know what it's like keeping all that inside and it's pretty lonely and dangerous for anyone who makes a comment like that. My hubs isn't deployed but we live 1200 miles apart for almost a year now and don't talk much. I can't imagine what a deployment will be like. But stay strong. You give all of us hope for our deployments!

Kayla said...

Hi! I'm a newcomer to your blog, but I wanted to say I LOVE YOU! You made me laugh out loud with this post. I probably would have exploded in your friend's face. How ignorant and insensitive of her! Well, I'll be following you for sure! :)

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Don't you just love that? I think it's their way of trying to relate, but it ends up being soooo wrong. You are right. There is no comparison...

Riding the Roller Coaster said...

Hello! I just found your blog on, and I'm your newest follower. Nice to meet you! Oh man, I have a whole list of things civilians shouldn't say to a military spouse...we're in a league of our own.

Hannah Noel said...

I feel ya, sister. I haven't dealt with deployment yet, and I'm dreading it. However, My entire dating/engaged relationship with my husband was long-distance. My friends would break down and bawl like babies when they hadn't seen their boyfriends for five days. I honestly just wanted to smack them and tell them to grow a pair.

Cara Taylor said...

I'm with Hannah, I haven't been through deployment yet (soon to change though), however, the entire dating relationship with my DH was long distance and it used to fire me up when people would whine to me about missing their significant others for "a whole weekend". Many of them, though, when they found out my DH was a) in the Army & b) stationed in another state, most of them would tone-down their complaining.

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