T Nation

Life With a Military Wife?


#1

I am recently married, Feb. of this year and my wife use to be in the Air Force. She has been out for a year and a half and is thinking of going back in. Now, I told her before I married her that I would never marry someone who was in the military. However, after some discussion i'm trying really hard to stay open minded about this.

The reason for this thread is to get some opinions on what people think it would be like for me being married to someone in the military without having any military background myself. I read a statistic that 6.9% of military spouses are men. I guess i'm just wondering what it would be like for me if we were to do this.

Personally, I would think that it would be hard for me to make friends with other guys that are in the military. Any info or responses would be much appreciated..


#2

Emotional forecasts differ from weather forecasts in one significant way: they're usually accurate. If you tell yourself and everyone else that you're gonna hate something, you most likely will.

Since you know nothing about the military, how do you know what your feelings will be once your spouse goes back in?


#3

In my opinion it's just a job.
I've been in the Air Force for three and a half years, and I haven't seen many military wifes with civilian husbands. Would trust be one of the issues that you have in this discussion? I know it is for many of the men that marry women in the military. The ratio is like 4:1 men to women. I still feel weird bringing my wife on base and knowing her ass is being checked out everytime we walk by someone.

The base I'm stationed at has a military spouse meeting, where they tell you what to expect as a spouse, PDA, all that great stuff. Me personally, I wouldn't mind being married to a woman in the military if I was a civilian (which MY wife is). As long as she doesn't make you get on your face and do push-ups for not taking out the trash or something :sunglasses:


#4

Exactly, I don't know what my feelings would be and that's why i'm trying to really keep an open mind about this.


#5

All of that stuff, though important, is secondary to deployment. I don't know if she would be doing a job that would get her deployed, and I also don't know how long AF deployments usually last, but if it's like other services she could be gone for a year. That, in my opinion, is the hardest part--especially for newlyweds.


#6

So, do you know any guys who are married to women that are in the Air Force but they aren't in? If we lived on base how do you think the guys on base would be towards me? From some threads i've found at other sites, some guys who are in the situation I might be, say that the guys look at them differently. Like almost look down on them. That's what i'm worried about mostly. I've never had any problems making friends. But I think I would definitely feel out of place in this situation.

Hey, atleast I would be in better shape if she made me do push ups! LOL


#7

And that right there is my number 1 problem with this whole idea. It's not that I don't trust her, because I do. I just hate the idea of being away from her. Especially for up to 6 months at a time. She would be on deployments but she said they would rarely last more than 4 months. I don't think I would like her to be gone for 1 week, let alone 4 months or more!!!!!


#8

Well, the 4 male to 1 female thing should illustrate something to you.

It generates a response similar to a good looking female correctional officer gets from inmates. IE: might as well not have any clothes on, IE: you as a husband will not get any respect for being married and you probably WILL get into some *hit and tiffs over your own GOD DAM wife.

Also there are many rumours and truths to the military "soldier" lifestyle, not sure if it is the same for "officers". In any case I'd suggest you research this before you dive in, it might be a more than you are willing to swallow.

Maybe things have changed for the better when I was in or in contact with those who where, or maybe it got even worse.

Some of the stories are pretty rediculous. But the stories are so common, you gotta wonder what the stats are.


#9

Being the spouse of someone in the service is tough for a man or a woman.

If possible I would try to avoid putting your relationship in that position, especially if you are a younger couple.


#10

Well, that makes me pretty dang nervous. I've never hit another person in my life and I sure as heck don't want to start now. And the no respect thing is what I thought would happen. Like I said, I have no military experience but a lot of the guys I know who were in the military were the macho type. I'm not trying to stereotype anyone. Lord knows i've met plenty of macho guys who weren't in the military. And I also have a ton or respect for everyone in the military.

I just don't know if it's for me. But at the sametime I want to support my wife and make her happy. We aren't going to rush into this decision. And she said she wouldn't do it unless I was 100% in it with her.

I also have talked to people who were in and they have said the same thing about the rumor mill. That would be hard to deal with. Having her deployed somewhere and hearing rumors about what is going on.


#11

I am 28 and she is 25.


#12
  1. Don't let your wife or prospective wife run you. You will get no respect from her or her peers, and you will be in a situation similar to prison. IE: she will have peers and social outlets, btw also having people to keep tabs on you. You will have your civilian job, her and her peers.

  2. There is a 4 men to 1 women ratio. This is going to be a situation approaching that of a good looking female prison guard. IE: she will be looked at sexually by almost every man she come into contact with. Get comfortable with it. In the past at least the marriage was not respected by the outsiders. The situation would be better if you the "civie" was also in the military. To help your odds, I guess you would be a cop or some position of authority so you can't be pushed around as easy by the majority.

  3. There have been many common and repeated stories about the military marriage. I'm not trying to knock it, but having heard the same stories from many different groups of people around the country, IE you have to assume some of it is going to be true. Its not going to be easy. Like I said, your odds will be better if you are also in the military or have a post of authority that would pose some sort of threat.

  4. If you are young, and she is going to go on long range deployments. The risk for affairious action goes up exponentially. Keep in mind affair doesn't just mena your woman slept with someone, it could mean another relationship which could end up in danger to your welbeing.

I just think its riskie for her to be in and you be a "civie". Like I said if you where a cop or some sort of agent it would make your life easier. But if you go to work every day in an accounting dept, live on or near base, you are going to be an outsider and it will be harder changing than if you were in yourself.


#13

I thought about this but I didn't want to mention it. Being in the military is like being married, so your spouse is married to you and the military.

You are not first, the military is first. If your spouse is deployed, you may not see them for awhile. A lot of people are okay with this, so it is a personal choice.


#14

First of all, thanks for you detailed replies and advice. I appreciate it.

  1. I'm not letting her "run me." I'm just trying to keep an open mind about this instead of just saying NO. And that's that. I really want to look at this from all angles and make an informed judgement.

  2. That's exactly what I thought. Being a guy myself I know how other guys think. And it's usually sexual! The 4-to-1 ratio is not good and would make me nervous. I also thought that I would be looked at as an outsider and not receive any respect from anyone.

  3. That just sucks.

  4. Yup, like I've said before, that is my number 1 fear. The long deployments and time spent apart. I just think that would add too much stress and put each person in a bad position. Not that anything would happen, but like you said, it increases the chances of something happening exponentially.

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond and for the advice. You have reinforced what I thought and my concerns.


#15

Please, don't hold back. I would like to hear all opinions and thoughts.

That is a good way to put it about being married to the military. I never looked at it that way.

Thanks for the reply.


#16

DT20 said it pretty much right.

Once you understand this, it might be better waiting until the military obligation is over with until considering marriage.

I don't know too many who marry to be 2nd. It seem that it would be more common in this situation to marry and think you will be first, and later find out the truth you are 2nd or 3rd and get out of it.

Its not what the marriage construct was designed for, but like DT20 said it is the way it is for many jobs.

All jobs aren't the same, when it comes to a position where you are a deployable resource DT20 nails it.


#17

I got out of the army about 2 years ago so I have some experience to guide you. First of all, relax! The military usually gives married people the option of living off base. They will give you a housing allowance to pay for an apartment and even some food. Secondly, it's the air force! I've been to several air force bases and they were really nice. They didn't have the ghettos like all of the army bases I've been to have. Beside all of that, it's a good job with great benefits and you will find it easy to meet people that you can befriend just as easy as anywhere else you go.


#18

This is true story that happened to my client. She is a Naval Officer, her husband is an officer as well. They were both deployed, separately. We all know what happens with the ratios and the guys, this is a given. She was harassed by some other guy on the ship, calling her, calling her husband and saying that they had hooked up while he was deployed, on and on. He eventually wrote a letter to her husband trying to tell him all of this. My client said, and I beleive her, that she did nothing with anybody at all. This has had quite a toll on her and her husband.

The other military guy(s) did this to her husband, and he is military. I would be very hesitant to see how they would act towards you. Not trying to scare you off or preach. Personally, If it were me, I wouldn't do it.


#19

ybethere1 is implying that Air Force personall as a general rule are more civilized than army folk. Never thought about that one.

My insight applies to army, and for that case probably similar for the marines.


#20

Finally, someone who has something positive to say! LOL My wife told me about the housing allowance and food allowance so all that sounds great. The benefits sound awesome as well. As does the ability to travel and live different places.

I guess right now i'm letting the fear of the unknown get the best of me. I'll try to relax like you said. Thanks for the reply.