My Husband's Better Than Your Husband: Dealing With "Bratty" Military Wives

Yes it's true. Sometimes, every so often, as you move around the military or associate with people in the military, you will meet her. She's the one who is stirring up trouble in your neighborhood. She wears her husband's rank. Her kids are more well-behaved than yours. Home-schooling makes them smarter. And when you meet her, you will know. She's the one I'm warning you about.

It is unfortunate in our wide and wonderful military, there are some spouses who don't realize they did not enlist nor did they earn a commission to serve. Yes, our position as "Spouse" is one of great importance, but there's no compensation for that, other than the hearty hand clap at the occasional military ceremony that honor us in conjunction with our servicemember's accomplishments. The "Spouse" position is certainly honorable, but it's not one that merits discourteous behavior, rudeness, and down right snobbishness. And the longer you stick around, you WILL meet meet her...or them. So how do you deal with the spouses who act as if they know more, have been more places, who wear their husband's rank and think they have it so...together? It's simple if you're prepared and not put off by the situation. I've put these offending spouses in some categories that you may find helpful. Here's what I suggest when dealing with:

1. The Terminator.This one wants to save the world and eradicate all evil, and that would include you (in her eyes). She assumes that because you may be new to the military, that automatically means you were born yesterday and is on a quest to fix you up or kick you out. In her efforts to help you navigate the military system, she is also destroying personal relations and any future hope of building a friendship with you. If you find yourself in the path of The Terminator, you have to deal with her directly. Be kind, but firm. Let her know you appreciate her knowledge and store house of info, but you do have some things under control. Don't be confrontational with a Terminator...it can only end ugly and unsavory. You don't want to burn bridges, you want to build a relationship. I'm not suggesting you become anyone's project, but know your boundaries, stick to them and make sure The Terminator knows where they are with you.

2. The Superwoman. She can be quite intimidating with her cleaned up kids, her spotless house, the schedule that is never comprised, and yes, that perfect figure. Don't you be fooled! Even Superwoman has weaknesses and the grass is not always greener. The problem with Superwoman is not really with her. It is you. Be comfortable with YOU and where you are in your military journey. Stop the comparisons with her and her household. Do what you can do and do it with excellence (NOT perfection) and you will be a much happier woman.

3. Desperate Housewives. Now, these are the white picket fence ladies that you will probably need to be the most wary of. They've got the skinny on everything and everybody...promotions, demotions, assignments, reassignments, deployments, the war on terror, who is sleeping with whom...you get the idea. Don't succumb to this group! If you're in a circle of women who talk (and you know we can talk), you can be assured when you're not around they'll be talking about you too. Gossip is probably the lowest form of conversation and puts to poor use your time and energy. It is unnecessary and just bad behavior. Keep your distance from the group who tears down other people with words. Put simply, if you don't suit up for the game, you can't be expected to play.

Clearly, all military spouses do not fit in any of these three categories. Spouses are not all evil, vindictive, or manipulative. And as you transition through the military, you'll learn how to deal with all sorts of people in many situations. The beauty of it all? If you do encounter women like these, one of you will be leaving next summer anyway.

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Comment by Monica Lynne Bennett on September 26, 2010 at 10:28pm
I love this! I have been with my husband for about 2 years now and married a year and have not really made friends with too many wives yet. Mostly because my stepdad was in the Air Force and all the spouses from his unit were not so friendly to us. Mostly because we came into his life near his time for retirement and so new to the whole military thing. But it has put that impression in my mind that most wives are, for lack of a better word, snotty. It's made me wary to go out and mingle with my husbands units wives, or go to LINKS and other organizations for spouses, becuase I'm afraid I guess that I won't fit in because I don't know all the ins and outs of everything. I'm slowly getting over it. Moving on base has definitly helped with that becuase I know my neighbors are Marine families just like us. But thank you for this post. I know not EVERY spouse are in these 3 groups but it's still reassuring to read :)
Comment by Samantha on September 25, 2010 at 5:41am
So true. Love this post!
Comment by Antoinette S on July 31, 2010 at 1:23am
Very well put!
Comment by Amity Chase on February 3, 2010 at 2:52am
Uh-oh. I think there have been people who've placed me in all 3 catagories! I certainly try not to, but ...well, ever find yourself talking to someone and see that look on their face like they are labeling you as you speak? And there's no way to take back the phrase or words you just said that made them think that of you?
Thanks for the reminder to be careful about how we come across to people!

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