I’ve heard so many different stereotypes on what someone thinks a military spouse is like. The first picture that comes to my mind is a young, pregnant wife, holding a screaming baby and laid up at home. The second would be a tattooed, potty mouth wife cursing like a sailor in a bar. Or wait, maybe combine the two! Any of those ever come to mind? Yes, we are all different. But for the majority of us, I guarantee you we do not fall under the stereotypical “military spouse” misconceptions. Here are a few of what I think are the most common misconceptions of a military spouse.
Military spouses are uneducated and have no careers.
84% of military spouses have some college education, 25% hold an undergraduate degree, and 10% hold a postgraduate degree. While it may be hard to find jobs because of frequent moves, plenty of spouses have jobs and or play an active role in their community. I understand that my husbands job takes priority right now, marriage takes sacrifice, but that in the future, my job will one day take precedence. Whether that be a full-time working spouse, stay at home spouse, or military spouse of the year!
Military spouses get married young for the money.
I definitely didn’t marry my husband for his paycheck. Even with benefits, many service members do not make what their civilian counterparts do. But what about all the benefits, you ask? Yes, the benefits like free healthcare are great but we don’t get to choose our doctors sometimes and we might end up in an area where we don’t like the doctor we have been assigned to. How would you feel if you didn’t know or like who was going to be delivering your baby? And let’s not forget the fact that we sacrifice a lot for those small added benefits. Does the military offer great retirement benefits? Yes. But you’ll need to stick it out for the full 20 years!
Military spouses do nothing but spit out babies.
I for one can tell you that this is definitely not true! We waited six years after getting hitched before having our first child. We wanted to be financially and mentally ready first. Everyone is ready at different times of course, but many spouses have goals, dreams, and aspirations- not just to be a “baby maker”!
Military spouses are cheaters.
Unfortunately because our spouses are deployed quite often and for long periods of time, military spouses have gotten a bad rap for cheating. Do they cheat? Sure. Some spouses weren’t cut out to be a military spouse and survive months of solitude. But I promise you that way more civilian spouses cheat and their spouses aren’t even deployed! Cheaters are few and far between but get the most attention. Negativity usually does.
Military spouses knew what they were getting into, marrying a service member.
No one really knows what something is like until they’ve experienced it. Traveling the world and a steady paycheck might be enticing to some, but when you really experience it, military life is not for the weak. No one can prepare you for 7 month deployments, frequent moves, making and leaving friends, the stress that our spouses experience in their jobs, raising children alone, being away from family, and dealing with the highs and lows of our spouses careers.
For the few spouses that unfortunately fit some or all of these stereotypes, remember that they are not the norm. Because believe me, there are some awesome military spouses out there! I married Logan for the type of person that he was, not his career. I was proud that I was marrying someone so strong and tough that he would die for me and our country. Would it have been great if he were an architect that made lots of money and was home all the time? Of course! But that’s not what God had in store for me. I believe that God picks a special someone for each of us. I know that he would never pick a spouse that wasn’t strong enough to marry a service member. Military spouses have to be tough but know when to also put the tough card away and be sweet and loving spouses when our service members are home.
I am proud to say that I’ve worked my way up along side my husband in his career. I’ve gotten to experience the ups and downs with him, watch him grow as a husband, Marine, and father. We may not be rich but we have a great life and get to travel and experience living in different places. The past ten years have been hard at times, but I’ve enjoyed throwing all of these military spouse misconceptions out the window!