Happy Monday, readers! This week is my first full week at my new job, so I'm passing off the baton to a few of my favorite bloggers. Today's guest - Mrs. K! I love this girl. She's so sweet and a great mama. So glad we've become blog buddies. Enjoy!
Hi, Local At Last readers! I’m so pumped that Meagan allowed me to take over her space for the day. I’m usually found over at Mrs. K and Captain J writing about anything and everything that comes to mind. Come on by and say hello if you’d like. I love “meeting” new blog pals. And I’m not always so serious…
Today I thought I’d talk about that ugly stereotype that often comes with being married to the military. You know the one:
It’s so easy for military spouses to cheat.
Last week when I polled Twitter for topic suggestions for this very post, a non- military affiliated person suggested I discuss extra marital affairs and being involved with someone in the armed forces. I’ll admit, my first teeny tiny reaction was to be a little offended. I’m a little offended every time I hear this misconception.
My second reaction was that maybe I should talk about my thoughts on this issue and here we are! Are there any civilian families reading today? Have you heard this rumor? I know those of you who have significant others serving in the military have heard this from time to time. Does it bother you or do you brush it off?
I get why people may believe this, yet I shudder upon hearing the word “easy”. Is it easy to cheat? Of course, I can only speak for myself when I say this, but it’s absolutely absurd. Stepping outside of a marriage is awful in any situation, but to imagine doing so when the service person is off sacrificing his (or her) life just breaks my heart.
It has been my experience that being a part of the military community, going through deployments, and spending a lot of time apart for training has made our relationship much stronger. Sure, my husband is gone two weeks out of every month due to the nature of his current job, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t connected as much as possible. I’m sure Meagan can attest to the notion that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” as she also dealt with a long distance relationship for years. The truth is that my spouse often doesn’t know where I’m at or what I’m doing. A certain independence comes from dealing with this lifestyle day in and day out. I don’t consult him when I need to make a minor decision nor do I contact him to tell him where I’ll be throughout my day. Unfortunately, I rarely have the option to call him at work to let him know these little details of my life. It doesn’t mean that I’m keeping secrets or that ‘while the cat’s away the mice will play’. In actuality, my days don’t feel like play at all when he is gone. I miss his presence as my best friend. I miss his help and comfort in caring for our son. I even miss his stinky uniform strung across the floor of our house, but I’d never tell him that!
Military couples are bombarded with many stereotypes, but perhaps this particular one is on the outs. The Journal of Family Issues recently reported the findings that while service members when compared to civilians are significantly more likely to be married, they are NOT more likely to be divorced.
This means that despite the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the stresses that serving in these wars may bring to the family, military couples are getting stronger and stronger. Collectively, we’re no longer at a higher divorce rate than the rest of the population, according to these findings.
When I married into the military, there were so many things I had yet to learn. I didn’t know how hard it could be. I didn’t know that I’d have to immerse myself into this foreign culture of ranks, branches, and acronyms. I had no idea my one year old would crawl into our room in the morning looking for his daddy who spent the night in the field the night before preparing other soldiers for their upcoming deployments.
But I did know that cheating wouldn’t be easy. It’s not easy to stomp all over the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with- military or civilian alike. I’ll be glad when this misconception is tossed for good!
What’s your favorite military stereotype you love to hate?
(Journal of Family Issues Reference: http://jfi.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/30/0192513X12439690 )