Sunday, March 6, 2011

Things Not to Say?

Lately I have been seeing many Military wives, girlfriends, fiances...etc. posting things "Not" to say to a military SO.. those things being said also having responses. I read the "Things not to say" and some of them.. I see a different response. I don't get annoyed or irritated by the questions. I really think I just view Military life a little differently than a lot of people.. Maybe I have a better grasp on my emotions, I'm unsure what it is. BUT I don't let all the little things people on the outside of Military life say bother me. Sometimes the judgments on the military and military family life, Do irritate me. So, in a sense.. Somethings are better not said to a Military SO, but those people making those judgments don't know. They are ignorant to military lifestyle.

I'm unsure of the site this was pulled from.. or who originally wrote this one. I have seen several of which pretty much say the same things. Look for my added notes to each thing "Not to say to a Military Wife". My notes are in red to the Question/ statement and the response to those.

  • Do you miss him? No. I love being alone. The silence is warming. I enjoy fixing everything that breaks and cuddling with my pillow.
Of course we miss them. It is a given that we do. If we didn't, something would seriously be wrong.

  • My boyfriend is out of town on business, I know how you feel. Yes I hear there is a huge mortar problem in Michigan.
Correct, this person does know how we feel in terms of MISSING someone.. Missing is missing. And, quite possibly.. they may know what it's like to worry about their boyfriend. You don't know what kind of business they are on. Military is not the only dangerous job. Seems both sides are too quick to judge.
  • Aren't you afraid he'll die? No, I had actually forgotten that that was a possibility, but thank you. Thank you for reminding me.
Although, Not the best question to ask.. But are you afraid your loved one will get killed in a car wreck on the way to work? The possibility is there for both Military and Civilians to have life taken away at any given moment. 
  • I don't know how you manage, I couldn't do it. Thank god it's not you then. Phew.
This is one thing I hear most often. And the response irritates me, not the question. Anyone can do this life. It's a choice. You'd be surprised what you can and will do for the one you love and want to spend your life with. If you can't handle it, GOOD for you for admitting that. There are people that need more of a physical relationship, and military lifestyle wouldn't be ideal for them.
  • At least he's not in Iraq/Afghanistan/Qatar. He’s not!? Shit, that changes everything.
The statement somewhat gets under my skin, but it's the fact that unless that person is directly involved, they aren't going to know what situations are faced, where and when. They are only going to know what they hear, what they see on the news and what they read. This is where we as Military SOs need to be the bigger person and maybe educate them a little bit instead of being overly sarcastic.
  • Do you think he'll come home for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary? I don't know yet, he just put in his leave request to the Taliban, we're still waiting for a response.
This question has never bothered me. Some  do get R&R and sometimes.. they are lucky enough to get R&R on a special occasion. OR maybe that person is wondering if Deployment would be over by one of those times. Yes, our SOs are going to miss dates that are important. It's part of it. But we are on the inside of things. We know how things run... someone else who is not "in the know" isn't going to always know how things operate. 
  • What are you going to do to keep busy while he's gone? I don't know. Since he's been gone the house cleans itself, the bills are magically paid, and the kids are angels.
Why are we flaming the person asking the question here? I personally ask this question, and have been asked this question many times by other Military wives. Yes, we still have our every day duties, but it is obvious things are going to be different with time. There is going to be more time to yourself, or to yourself with kids that you didn't have before. I'm sure you planned things with your Significant other often.. even if it was just lounging together at home. So, What are you doing to keep yourself busy while he's gone? I've set goals to accomplish by homecoming. Lots of projects, both big and small.
  • How many days until he gets out? Depends. How many days until you join?
Another question with no reason to be snappy or sarcastic. Not everyone joins the military with a career in mind and some join with career in mind and choose otherwise. I have military friends that ask this question all the time. Just because it is a civilian, WHY is it any different? Answer, my husband is in for career. 
  • You'll get used to it. Yeah, the rigorous schedule is something I get used to. I'm actually a robot. I love watching the news, and the surprise missions are like tiny birthday presents from hell. Yes, I'm getting used to it like I get used to a tooth ache.
"You'll get use to it". Some do and some don't.. and there are some that don't allow themselves to get use to it. I am one that fits the statement.. I'm already use to this military lifestyle. I'm use to him being away. For some.. they will never be use to it. Everyone handles it differently.
  • What is he doing over there? Knitting.
This is an honest question. Not all deployments are war missions. Some deployment are peace missions, to help people. Military isn't just about fighting and I believe there are some military wives and civilians alike that have yet to realize this. My husband is just doing his job over there.
  • He signed up for it. It's his fault is anything happens to him. Yes, and it's your fault for any teeth you're about to lose.
Irritating statement.. but I'll give it to you. In a technical sense, you are correct. He did sign up for the military. I wouldn't suggest saying that to someone whose SO is deployed. Not going to say I disagree with the response- I actually found it to be humorous. 
  • That's awful, I'm sorry! Don't be, he looked hot doing it. He's good. Did your husband fix your sink?
When talking about deployments, It is common for an outsider to say "I'm sorry". No harm in it.. and the response almost seems to belittle the one making the statement.. or her husband anyway. My response would have been, "No need to be sorry, we signed up for this lifestyle. He's doing his job just like your husband goes and does his. Mine just chose a career path that takes him on long business trips. He's doing what he loves and I'm supporting his decision.".
  • Why don't you just go see him? They frown upon strangers 'round those parts, but by all means, go visit and let me know how it goes.
Again, SOME people just don't know. Why let it bother you because they honestly don't know what it's like? Would it not be better to educate them on the facts?
  • Don't worry, he'll be home soon. Really? I thought we had 8 months left. Thank goodness you reminded me.
Would you rather them say, "He's never coming home."? Although, it may seem like a long time, every day that passes puts them to being home "sooner".. there is one less day than the day before. Although it may not be "soon enough".. It's not forever.
  • How do you go without sex? Luckily we hold our relationship to a higher standard than simply our physical contact. Oh, and I have self control. Oh, and I only want one man. It's super easy that way.
I'm just going to stick with the statement reply on this one. I agree. A military relationship needs to be more than a physical relationship to survive. 
  • Could he not finish college? Nah those Taliban guys don't like to negotiate.
This is a common ignorance question. Some see the military as the easy way out.. a job for those that had nothing better to do, no other options, or joined to go to school. But there are many who chose to join when they finished their schooling. There are some that joined without making the decision of going to school right away because they knew the military was the career they wanted. Some don't realize that Military IS a job.. Some seem to look at it as something different, something other than a choice.
  • How can you support someone that kills people? It doesn't count if it's in a different zip code.
This is one of those questions that do get under my skin. It's best to just ignore the question and leave it be- at least for me.
  • Don't you worry he'll cheat over there? Yes, I'm super worried that he's going to want to sleep with a woman who isn't allowed to speak or someone he works with and risk losing his job. That's what I'm uber worried about.
Counter the question. Are you worried your SO will cheat? If you have no worries, why should I? If I had worries, then I wouldn't Trust my husband. I'm not worried because I TRUST him. Just because he's military, doesn't mean he'd cheat any more than if he was a civilian.
  • How can you be with someone who is gone for so long? At least we don't spend 12 months thinking up new ways to hate each other like....oh...sorry.
Simple answer is always sufficient. I love him. This ties into the "I couldn't do it" statement.
  • You look tired. Yeah unfortunately the middle east is in a different hemisphere and no one will move it.
Why is this something not to say? IF it's because I was awake emailing back and forth for any given time.. Then I would smile if someone said I look tired. I actually got to talk to my husband for a few minutes.
  • You never know what goes on over there and his buddies aren't going to rat him out. Yeah, because they're all eating and sleeping.
 Refer to the "cheating" question.
  • The time will fly. Time will fly, pigs will fly, hell will freeze over....I'm still waiting.
 Yup, I agree. Time WILL fly- but that depends on the person, what they do to make time go by faster for them. Time is Flying for me.
  • You're lucky. ....compared to.....?
You are SO right. I AM lucky. Deployment is teaching my husband and I so much about each other and allowing us to fall in love so much more deeply. I am lucky, and I'll hear this one any day.
  • Did you hear about the soldiers killed in - Awesome, thank you. I was hoping someone would slip that into conversation today.
Not a statement I prefer to hear.. but at some point, someone is going to say it. And it very may well be it could be a Military wife friend who says it.. It's all part of it. Being in this lifestyle, you're going to be prone to hearing such things more often than not.
  • Can't you text him? Why didn't I think of that!?
 Actually, YES! I can.... But not in the way you would think. I can send a text to his email and when he email's back, it comes to me as a text. A lot of people don't know they can do this. Some service providers may not.. but Verizon does.
  • That sucks. Well aware.
Nah, it doesn't suck. It's part of the job... and I like connecting with my husband so deeply.
  • Are you pregnant!? What if you don't get another chance? Do I look pregnant?
I haven't heard this one before.. I don't know if it bothers me.. Or even if I have anything to think about it. 
  • Oh he's in the military...the easy way out. Do you take automatic weaponry with you to brush your teeth?
This one bothers me some. I've had a friend from my hometown say this. And it beyond irritated me, and I did my best to educate him on his faulty statistics he pulled out of nowhere.. but With some people.. it's best to shake your head and leave it be- IF they don't want to listen or change their opinion on a topic they know nothing about.
  • You deserve someone who can be there for you. Well mine has special powers that yours doesn't.
This is when I say, YES! You are right. I DO deserve that. And because he's away, Doesn't mean he is any less here for me. Someone can be with you physically and still "Not be there for you". My husband is always here for me.
  • You should spend more time being proud than sad. I tried that and it sucked, so now I'm taking the Ben & Jerry approach. Feel free to ride your butterfly out of here.
I agree with this statement. We should spend more time being proud than sad. Let yourself have some bad days, but why would you want to let every day be a sad day? Be proud.. because that's what we should be.. Proud of our husbands, boyfriends, fiances, brothers, sisters.. etc. 
  • The front lines are the most dangerous. Dammit, I thought they aimed for the back.
It's all dangerous and we don't need reminders to know it any different.
  • If there's anything I can do, let me know. I hope you're a magician with unlimited minutes.
Why would this be something not to say? This is something that you should WANT people to say. You're going to want someone to talk to .. someone to listen. Why not say thank you?
  • How do you do it? I haven't written down the process yet, but I'll get back to you.
Refer to earlier questions, as some tie into this one. I like this question.. and if Someone asks me.. I don't get upset, or irritated. I smile and give my response. It's not about "How" you do it. It's "Why" you do it. I love him and that's more than enough reason to do it.


  1. I totally agree with you on most of these. I feel like some people take things too personally when people are JUST asking a question. I also can't stand when people get mad when non-military people say they miss their boyfriends. I know I missed my Dad when he went away on's natural to miss someone when they aren't with matter what their job is.

    Great post :)

  2. AWESOME POST! It is women who post these that make me feel bad for missing my husband when he has duty, or underways. I miss him no differently on one night, than on one hundred.

    The military lifestyle is not lived by many people and our civilian friends don't always get it- they ask questions and say things because they are trying to help- not hurt us! I've been guilty of saying these things to friends- not because I'm mean, but because you don't know what else to say sometimes! There's no reason for the sarcastic approach these responses and most military wives behave.

  3. "At least he's not in Iraq/Afghanistan/Qatar..."

    I wish people would realize that there are missions that are just as dangerous, but not as public because they are covert. Just because my husband isn't in the middle east, doesn't mean he's not in danger. He's submerged for six months with a nuclear reactor, for chrissakes!

  4. Finally a mature military wife out there. Just because we are military doesn't mean we are more 'special' than civilians. Civilians can have tough jobs too. It's okay to miss your loved one. Whether they're gone for a couple days to a couple of months or a couple of years. There are in deed plenty of differences between civilian life and military life, but since this is what we chose, we should not be annoyed by anyone's questions. Rather, explain to them how you do things, etc. I feel flattered when people say they don't know how I do it with 10 month old twin boys and a 2 and a half year old son on top of it. My husband was in Afghanistan for a year and just came home in November and is now about to go out to sea for 7 months. He's only been home for 3 months and while that is tough, it is what I chose by marrying him. I support him to the fullest and I have a great support system! Civilians and not. :) So yes, well said. Thanks for posting this.

  5. Love this!! I totally agree, I have a best friend who tells me "I couldn't do what you do.. how do you do it? I just couldn't date/marry a man in the military" UGH! haha but this is great :) Thanks for sharing!

  6. I'll be posting about an award I'll be giving to some of my fave blogs this week, and yours is one of them. :)

    Email me at to get your award.

  7. I just love your blog. You are so much like me with the laid back approach to military life. I've been through more than my fair share of deployments in my dating life and have been told I'm not upset enough or worried enough because I take the same go with the flow approach you seem to.

  8. I don't really mind any questions, because it's usually that people just don't know any better and I am happy to educate them.

    What I can't handle is ignorant commentary. If you don't understand, ask and we can discuss it. But if you're just going to make rude, uneducated comments about my life, take it somewhere else.

    But really, like you said, most of the time, people just don't know any better. Just be patient, there's no reason to add more stress to your life because you get your undies in a wad over someone else's comments. Silly waste of energy!

  9. I agree with this post!! I think all too often as military wives we take it too personally or we lack patience with those who don't know.

    The only ones that irritate me are the ones who make ignorant comments like he joined the military because he couldn't go to college or about his ability to be faithful. Then I agree with the concept of educating people.

  10. I have to agree with you! While some of the questions/comments can get old (especially coming repeatedly from the same person) most of the time its because they are TRYING to help in their own way and just don't know what to say. The only comment that has EVER gotten me riled up was when someone said something about my husband being a murderer, oh and the time someone told me that my husband was selfish for doing what he does and that obviously our marriage has problems because he's gone so much. Other than those two issues I just let the stuff roll off my back. :-)

  11. Score! Thank you for writing this. You just made my Tuesday.. I think I am going to print this out so I can keep it as a "cheer-me-up".

  12. I too agree with pretty much everything you said. Yeah, some days it sucks but I knew what I was getting into. I live in a city where people aren't very military savvy but when they ask questions sure they might not be the best worded or most sensitive sounding but at least they are asking! I know being a military SO has some unique situations to deal with but doesn't every relationship?
    I'm so glad I found you're blog!
    --Erinn @

  13. sooooooooo true