Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wives VS Girlfriends... Military Style

Today I was told that Military Girlfriends have it harder than Wives. No problem that she thinks that.. but she's also looking at if from the perspective of a girlfriend, who has never been a wife.. a Military wife at that.

I do think that Both Military Girlfriends, and Wives have it hard. With some of the emotional dealings.. we may be on the same page to an extent. But me, Personally.. I believe wives have it much harder than someone who is just a girlfriend. I mean that with no offense to anyone. I have been both. So, I am talking from personal experience here.

Most of you know my beliefs on marriage. I'm one of those "Marriage is for life", "Divorce is not an option" gals. I was told by this same Girlfriend that "Wife" is just a title that doesn't mean anything more than "Girlfriend"... that nothing extra comes with it. For me, it's more than my religious views on marriage.. it is also part of my morals.. and everything I have been brought up to believe. I have his last name.. He is mine and I am his. I am very old fashioned when it comes to my beliefs on marriage. Thankfully, I'm married to a great man who feels the same as I do. Back to the point..

Girlfriends have it tough, we all know it can be rough being the significant other to a service member. BUT there is a reason you have the title of just 'Girlfriend'. That is between you and your boyfriend.. whether he hasn't popped the question (he's not ready..), the two of you are waiting, etc. That's between the two of you. BUT you have it no tougher than a wife who is dealing with holding down the homefront. Just like I KNOW I don't have it harder than a military wife with children.. and I'm sure children have it harder than wives emotionally.

The title of a wife means a lot more than just being a girlfriend. Sorry if I trampled anyone's feelings.. this is my belief. Marriage is the unity of 2 families. Being a girlfriend is the beginning state to what COULD possibly turn into something more.. a beautiful marriage.You can be madly in love with each other, but the title of "wife" or "Husband" IS supposed to mean something more. Sadly, too many people take that for granted now days.

I'm told that Girlfriend's don't get the support and respect that wive do. But in all actuality.. You can have just as much support, just depends on where you go to get it from.. and what you do to get it. You have access to the same online forums and support groups as military wives do.

As far as respect.. That's going to be anywhere and not just with a military relationship. Girlfriends are not wives and are seen as being expendable. Tough to swallow, but it's the truth. And I know our FRG will allow girlfriends to the meetings. So will many other Command Family support groups.

Wives ARE held to a higher standard than girlfriends, as they should be. Marriages are supposed to be forever, girlfriends are the trials to finding the one you want to spend "Forever" with. That's how it's supposed to go. On top of being married to the one we [wives] love, we are also married to the military and are held responsible for so much more.

I asked on Facebook "Who do you feel has it harder?". I got a couple Girlfriend votes, and many many wives votes. As already stated, I'm on the Wife vote. For the most part, people seem to feel that it's harder on wives because of everything we deal with on the homefront as well as the emotional aspects of it. Some feel that Girlfriends have it harder because for some there is more distance. I have some that said being a girlfriend was easier because the were apart and were use to the distance when deployment came. Etc. If you are my friend on Facebook you can read the responses. I'm not going to post them here as I had originally intended because this post would become a mile long.. and it's getting there already.

To sum it all up..

We all face some of the same issues emotionally. So, who's really one to say one "Title" ups the other.. however in my situation and many others.. Wives feel we have it harder even emotionally.. and then with all the things that marriage bring as well, bring more challenges than that of a military girlfriend. However, being a girlfriend is hard as well. It can be emotionally draining. It is hard. We both have some stress and anxiety. Some deal with it better than others. For one wife it may be easy to deal with, she is use to it.. and for another, it can be agonizing. The same for the emotional standpoint for a girlfriend.

We're on the same team, don't turn this into a cyber fight.
Either way, we are all in this together. We all make sacrifices for the lifestyle we are apart of.


  1. To me a spouse is a spouse. I am a fiance. Who knows when we will marry. We can't find his ex who was an abusive pyscho and he went into hiding from for 5 years. If he could find her he would be divorced and we could be married. The only difference I personally see is those who live with their spouse and those who don't. Those who live with their spouse is used to having them home and deployments you have to adjust.

    However there shouldn't be a "well I have it harder mentality". We are all spouses who love and care for someone who is in the military. We all have taken the commitment to this life and we should all support one another and be there for each other. Not try to one up each other on who has it harder.

  2. What an interesting topic! I was never a mil fact I had no clue what I was marrying into because the military didn't enter our lives until 2 years after our wedding. I think ANY association with the military is tough. Whether we're wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers,'s just tough. It never occurred to me how difficult my husband's deployment was on both his mother and my mother until I read an article about military moms. And then I read another article written by the sister of a service member. I think the most important part is making sure that whatever our affiliation with the military is, that we seek the support we need to get through it. Great, thought-provoking post!!!

  3. I think that wives have to be tough. Im a second wife and I am in my second marriage. My husband and I both understand what it feels like to have a marriage go south. We firmly believe that we had to endure alot to find each other. I am not a military wife (yet!). But I do know that wives are held to a higher standard, and I applaud you for standing by your man. Keep it up!

  4. I believe wives and girlfriend equally have it hard, but in my opinion girlfriend don’t get as much respect. Like you said in posting ‘wife’ means something. To most people 'girlfriend' doesn’t, People see girlfriends as expendable. What many wives forget is that they were once girlfriends. So all I ask is that they try to understand where we are coming from. No matter what our circumstances are we love men just as much as wives do.

    By now I’m sure you can tell I’m a PROUD girlfriend :-)

  5. I've had all the titles... friend, girlfriend, fiancee, and now wife. I completely agree with you, esp. on the marriage meaning more (my views on marriage seem to be the same as yours with God).

    I've been through all the emotions, separations, etc. They are different at each level. I'm glad you posted about this.

  6. I have been both the girlfriend, and the am now the wife. I've seen a lot of this lately, and even posted about it a few days ago. There seems to be a bug going around. The debate was settled on a forum by someone stating the only difference is rings and a piece of paper. WHAT? I completely agree with you: marriage is FOREVER! He better be prepared to beat me to death in order to get out!

    I thought maybe I was the only one, but I definitely feel wives have it harder... and mothers, I don't want to think about being a mother during deployment and explaining to our children where daddy is!

    Agree: girlfrieds are the trial. I knew that as a girlfriend: he was my trial too! Luckily, we picked each other! It's different holding down the homefornt and going on a date by yourself.

    Thank you for this well spoken post! Love it.

  7. Being a girlfriend, I don't have the necessary experience to weigh in on both sides, but I can say this: the hard part about being a girlfriend is not having the military community and benefits to back you up. I don't have an FRG or health care or any financial help.

    I think gf's and wives go through the same things emotionally and within their relationships. I don't think it needs to be a contest at all. In fact, if we just all love on each other and give the other the good things we have, we can all get through this crazy, roller coaster ride together! :)

  8. The more I try to reach out and get different points of views from women involved with men in the military(wives, fiances, and girlfriends) the more I see that this can be a touchy topic. I'm not sure why.
    I agree that we are all in it together and we should stick together.
    But I also agree that wives have it much harder(well I added the "much")
    We have a lot to deal with. If they should die in battle it's US who take care of their final wishes. When they are gone it's US who pay all the bills and do all of the household chores.
    Not to mention being left to raise the kids(if you have them).
    I do respect ANY woman who stays true to her love and stays with him through his deployments and the hard times. As long as you stand by your man you're o.k. in my book.

  9. The way I see it is like this, saying a wife has it harder then a girlfriend is like saying an Army wife has it harder then a Navy wife because Army deploys much longer then any other branch of the military.

    It's a crock. It's like someone is trying to turn something into a pissing contest.

    Girlfriends have it just as difficult as a wife (of any branch). We all go through the same emotions, we all worry day in and day out about our men's safety and well being. We send care packages to our guys to give them a little morale boost and to show them that there is someone thinking about them and missing them.

    I've seen it time and time again where the FRG will let the girlfriends take part in the meetings, but the wives snub their nose because she's just the "girlfriend" - they aren't married. That really rubs me the wrong way.

    I've seen it as a soldier, and as a wife.

  10. What a great post, definitely something to think about. I think they are both difficult, but personally, I think a wife might edge out the girlfriend in this category, speaking from a wife of course :) I feel the same way you do about marriage :) There is definitely a difference, it's not just a title

  11. I will say that I have more respect and a heck of a lot more support now as a wife than I did when I was "just a girlfriend."

    During our first deployment (when we were bf/gf), hardly any of my friends or family inquired into how he was doing or how I was doing, but the second we got married people took things a lot more seriously. I had people—friends and family—calling, emailing, and physically coming over to my house to see how I was doing.

    I can see how it's tough from both sides...why does one side have to be harder than the other, though?

  12. Hmmm...this is an interesting topic. I myself am just a military girlfriend and it's hard. I miss him so much...and the fact that we are in a "trial" area of our life makes it even harder for me personally. I am here, somewhat pining for this boy who I am crazy for, hoping he meant all the words and letters he writes me...I am completely faithful and I have put all my trust into him and this relationship. We both have a good feeling about us, but only time will tell. I want to be there for him, I spend a lot of time wishing I could be closer to him and help him when he is emotionally drained...I do my best 13 hours away, but it's still hard. I know it's going to be even harder if I get the honor to be his wife one day...and I really do admire all the military wives out there, I don't think any of us really have it easy....

  13. As a current VERY NEW Military girlfriend turned Fiance I feel that it is definitely harder for the wife. Like you said, WIFE is permanent. You don't just have the option to 'leave' like the girlfriend does. You know. I agree with what you say completely.

    I also agree with the fact that you say WHO CARES who has it worse??! LOL. What does that matter?! Silly.

  14. I Love everything you said and i firmly believe everything you said is right. As I too have had every "title" girlfriend,fiance, wife.And i will be completely honest with this, As a girlfriend i knew we could walk away from eachother at any point in time and it wouldnt matter, the day he asked me to marry him, all of that changed, my mentality changed, his as well. When we got married, we promised eachother the rest of our lives, said our vows to eachother etc etc. As a girlfriend you dont know if youll last, yes you want to..but theres no promise there. being married is a promise a commitment for eternity, in my eyes any ways. i dont believe in divorce. I also think that we do have it harder, as a gf you arent really around your man that much unless he has the weekend or a 72 or 96. as a wife, your together 24/7 well..when your not working..but your together none the less. you get attached to eachother you get used to the daily things you do with eachother. you grow more and more in love, and once they deploy all of that is gone. when our men deploy as a gf, you go home to whereever you came from, us wives, we go home to OUR home, withOUT our husbands, we go home to every single memory weve made over the years only to be alone. PROPS to the wives that are also mothers. i cannot wait to have children but dread deployments with kids. those women are heros in my eyes! but i do believe we have it harder, and as gfs you wouldnt understand it and once (IF) you become wives, youll all agree as well...once you live it, youll understand it much more. im not by any means saying gfs, fiances dont have it hard, i know it was tough being away from my man when we were only dating..ive been there. i know.. but i also know being married and him being gone is much harder..

  15. When I was a gf I still had my own life. I went to school and worked and went on dates with Spouse but we didn't live together or even in the same state, so I didn't have to deal with the reality of military life. When you marry into the military it hits you in the face. You move, leave your friends and family and it is definitely harder. When he leaves, you're alone unless you go back home. It affected me considerably more when we got married.

  16. Nicely said :) I have also been all 3 (wife, fiancee, and now wife) and think that wife is the most challenging of the 3.

  17. Ive been girlfriend, wife, and wife with kid, and with kid is by far the hardest! Theres less time to reach out and form friendships/support help when you are busy with a little one and also personally it can be pretty exhausting doing it all on your own, little things like mowing the lawn become a nightmare (how does one mow the lawn with a one year old on the hip!?) Ive always needed my husband emotionally but never so much physically to help me as much with a kid.

  18. i'm a military girlfriend so i can't state which is harder. but then again, it isn't a competition. i don't see why we need to make comparisons and statements of why and who has it harder. the fact is that we are all in love with me who are owned by the government. our relationships, married or not, are controlled by his career.

    i understand as a wife you are perhaps more reliant on him since you have made the committed to share your lives together. i can see how deployments, etc would be a lot harder on wives since i imagine you are left feeling alone.

    but at the same time, girlfriends can't optimize their time when their men are home. they can't live together.

    i believe everyone in love with a military man has it hard, and each of us our own unique set of issues to deal with. i think it's unfair to belittle one or the other.

    i took offense to this post, especially when you call girls like me, "just a girlfriend."

  19. kelsey lauren, feel free to fell offended, but you're getting worked up for no reason. I was once "JUST a girlfriend".. as are all wives.

    I also stated that both have it hard, and it's neither the wives nor the girlfriend's place to say who has it harder because different people handle things differently.

    I stand by my thoughts.

  20. I have been with my husband for 5 years in all, almost 4 years of marriage, and we have a little boy. He was not in the navy or even considering it when we were dating. This is all pretty new to us. I agree very much with everything the wife who wrote the blog said... everything. I believe the same as you, about marriage being a forever thing, being a wife is more than just a title, and that its emotionally draining for both girlfriends and wives. But when you made that commitment to be with the one you love for the rest of your lives, and some have children who don't fully understand where daddy is, its really, really hard. Your love has to be very strong to be apart so much and stay fully committed to your man. I wish good luck to all of you... girlfriends & wives of sailors or military men alike! God bless you!

  21. Harder? I don't know, honestly. Somehow I don't think having that promise of forever, his ring on my finger, or his last name, will make me any MORE afraid of the unknown. Neither do I think those things will make the time with him away any easier. I miss him, I will miss him when he is gone.

    Having made it through trails together, that is where the respect comes in.

    I'm sure you are not saying I should have any more respect for a woman that "Married in Vegas" after knowing each other for three months, than I would for girl who hasn't been asked yet, because he wants to do it right... and that means waiting to propose until he can get back to the states.

    I think that might be were the disconnect is. When you are "just a girlfriend", you feel like somehow people are telling you your pain is less valid, not as real.

    Children, well I honestly think that must be the hardest. Your own pain is one thing, but seeing pain in your child's eyes.. that takes a whole new level of strength.. and I do not think that has anything to do with the military.