Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell: Military Spouse Edition

No ask, no tell Milspouse

A relationship is based on trust and honesty, right? Sure… Unless your husband’s in the military. Then there’s all kinds of added layers of crap that you get to toss into your marriage. Yaaaaaaaay /sarcasm And it’s hard. It’s another disadvantage military marriages have over civilians. Because you want to share all aspects of your life with someone. But that’s not realistic when that someone leaves for months or a year at a time. And while you definitely don’t want to lie, or blatantly disregard your spouse’s feelings, sometimes you have to not dwell on those omissions. You know some of these things. They know you know. But talking about them doesn’t help anything.

Porn

Ugh. I hate talking about this. But let’s just all own this monster, shall we? Deployed members aren’t supposed to have or watch porn, yeah? Well, (shocker) they do anyways. And you think, “My husband doesn’t watch porn!” Well, he may not… while he’s home. But he probably does after being alone for 6+ months. Cut him some slack, yo. All alone, like you. But in an absolute shit hole doing a shitty job away from everything good in the world. Just don’t talk about it. Don’t make it awkward and ask him about it. Don’t say stuff like, “OMG, did you know ____ has an external hard drive with 75 gigs of porn?! That’s disgusting!” He’s going to avoid eye contact and he’s going to change the subject and everything’s going to be worse for talking about it.

Danger

Trust me, Lady. You don’t want to know. He has a couple combat medals? Don’t ask about them. He says he’s had a really rough few days? Ask him if he wants to talk about it. He’ll probably (if he’s smart) say no. Don’t push. First, he may not even be allowed to talk about it. Stop trying to get state secrets out of him. (Ha) But also, he’s probably not going to want to talk about it. Because living through it was probably rough enough. Plus, if he really loves you… He won’t want you to worry. I have a good man like that. He shoulders it all for me.

The other barrier to successfully putting your head in the sand is the single people. (She says with a disgusted voice.) These are the fellow crew members or squadron members who don’t quite understand that you shouldn’t talk about the dangers in front of the wife. Like, being shot at. Or bombs. Or antiaircraft missiles. Just … for Pete’s sake, don’t talk about it. Your’e gonna worry enough without knowing the details.

TDY fun

Temporary Duty (or TDY) has a reputation for being pretty awesome. My husband’s gone TDY to some of the coolest places in the world: Bermuda, Sicily, Greece, Ireland… And while he’s there… I’ve been cleaning vomit out of my hair because my toddler’s sick. It’s not his fault. And he’d be stupid not to enjoy these opportunities while he has them. But I don’t want to freaking hear about it.

Of course there’s also the saying “What happens TDY stays TDY.” But that’s a justification for cheating and that’s bullshit, so I’m not even going to talk about that. That’s not an innocent omission; that’s being a twat.

Friend’s husbands extra marital affairs 

Another ‘ugh’ one. This is so hard. But don’t get involved in a couple’s divorce. Or the not-divorcing-but-they-shoulds. Even if they’re your friends. But if hubby finds out, he’ll probably want to tell you. If you find out, you’ll want to tell her. And now you’re involved in he-said-she-said and congrats you’re a drama seeker. I say this because I’ve been in this scenario too often. I feel like military divorces are more common because of the “While the cat’s away the mouse will play” and again with the “What happens TDY, stays TDY”…but that ain’t any of your business. You’re there for support. And you can’t really do that if you know things they don’t about their own marriage. Just trust me. This situation sucks all around. It’s better to not know these things.

When thy shit hath hit-eth the fan-eth

This one is when hubby’s deployed and wifey is at home. When something happens back home and they can do nothing about it, don’t tell them, man. They don’t need to know unless there’s long term impact. If someone has been diagnosed with something serious, let them know, sure. If someone’s dying. Yeah. Tough call, because it’s going to be hard on them if they can’t come home, but he’ll be devastated not knowing something important like that.

But if his family keeps messaging you to tell him he said/she said bullshit… Just don’t even bother. Play interference from his crazy family. It took me a very, very long time to realize this one. Don’t engage. Don’t try to fix. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

 

If you read all that and still thought “My husband and I are totally strong enough to withstand those conversations!” Good for you. Seriously, my hubby and I are, too. But if you trust him and he trusts you… If you share everything else in your life…  Why? Why put yourselves through that? Why bother with the annoyance of these conversations? If it comes up, don’t run from it, okay; makes sense. But I hope your hubby does what mine does: not bring it up. Then you can do what I do: not ask.

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