I just don’t fit in…

Sep 23, 2015 by

I just don’t fit in…

I may be married to a soldier, but I am not an “army wife”… the other army wives most definitely roll their eyes at me because I am so far from perfect at this task I’ve taken on. It’s hard enough most days to just be a WIFE not to mention tacking on the stigma of all the rest. There are a million reasons why I’m not perfect at this job of being a soldier’s wife, but the list grows even longer due to the ways that OTHER SPOUSES make me feel inferior. The way comments are made and insults are handed out are often subtle but none the less there.

 

You see, I’m not an expert at all things army. I wasn’t raised as an army brat as many women who find themselves in this circle are, and I am not involved in things on post.  We don’t have children so I find myself excluded from many events and get togethers, similarly I don’t attend holiday functions advertised to have bouncy houses and visits with the Easter Bunny.  Because of these and many other reasons, I have been made to feel like I am not a good wife to my husband, and he’d be the first to tell you: that is just not true.

 

There’s been a time or two when I’ve felt like I’m letting my husband down… Click To TweetI don’t make cakes in the shape of his team’s insignia for Friday night happy hours like another guy’s wife does. I’m not Betty Crocker, and I barely have time to make dinner for the two of us most nights, so Pinterest-worthy cakes are not in our immediate future. There have most certainly been times when the wives of my husband’s coworkers have looked down on me for my lack of involvement. This used to hurt my feelings in a major way, but as I’ve grown into this role, (and become more comfortable in my marriage) I’ve come to terms with what items we need to make sure are a priority in our family. Post-wide barbecues are not on the list.

Dealing with other spouses when you aren't good at typical army wife roles | www.lovetheeveryday.com

Other reasons why I’m a failure at army-wifedom:

  1. I don’t speak Army: Like at all. Don’t give me any of that Alpha, Bravo, PCS, ACU, FRG alphabet . I will have no idea what you are talking about. I simply don’t have the need or the time to figure it out. When people ask me what my husband does in the army I don’t list his rank and title either, I generally refer to him as a “special forces ninja with mad skills in army stuff” and leave it at that. (I told you the other wives roll their eyes at me). It’s not important to us or our relationship that I’m able to recite army nonsense back to someone. I know what is important and necessary to know. In my defense, the same is true of him in my career: I don’t expect him to know what an IEP, MTSS or 504 plan is.

  2. I don’t play the Army-Wife-Game. That is, I don’t care about ranks and I don’t do FRG. Some may say that this makes me a horrible person however I feel that it is best that I know my skills and my weaknesses…volunteering with the FRG and planning/hosting events is not in my skill set. However, I am perfectly happy to befriend the team sgt’s wife even though her hubby outranks mine because she’s a pretty cool lady.

  3. Uniforms: Although I do admit that my husband looks really-incredibly-hot in all things army issued. I have no idea what those things are called, what piece goes with what, and I get really irritated by all that Velcro in the washing machine sticking all together and what-not. Side note: he gets particularly perturbed when I call them “outfits”… this may be one area that I need to become more informed on.

  4. PCS:
    I don’t know why this becomes a status symbol among army wives. We have never PCSed and apparently that means I am missing a certain badge of honor. I consider us blessed because we love our current duty station, but according to some of the wives I’ve met I am not allowed to participate in this particular pissing contest. Somehow being lucky enough to stay in one spot makes me less of an Army-wife, less strong, less capable than those who have transferred a lot.

  5. Homecoming: I know, I know, I know, I am somehow a social pariah here. I like quiet homecomings at my house, with my crappy welcome home sign that I’ve scrawled in expo marker across the bathroom mirror. I do not like giant army-wide homecomings with elmer’s glued glitter signs demanding kisses from my long-gone husband. I like to hug and kiss and cry in the privacy of my living room and settle back into life.

 

All that being said, I am so incredibly proud of my hot, hunk of a soldier man and I support our troops, their missions and their families 100% of the time with my whole heart. I’m not interested in the politics and the hoopla, I am not a perfect army wife, but I am totally committed to supporting the lifestyle and the career that my husband has chosen and I will not be shamed by others for choosing paths that make our family happy. So, I’ll fly our flag in the front lawn and hug my soldier tightly, I’ll tear up a little when my students sing the star-spangled banner, and I’ll politely decline the FRG bake sale. What about you?

 

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14 Comments

  1. Hi Molly,
    I really enjoyed your post. I have no clue about army-life and all related but love reading army-wives’ blogs. You definitely stand out in the crowd. I respect your courage to write so honestly and openly about what seems to be imperfection…but after all…it is just being who you are and not giving in to so called expectations.
    Jenn

  2. Oh.. my goodness. I have no idea how I even came across this post but I love it. You are the PERFECT military wife. I am a military wife and an actual person in the military as well, and my husband and I have run into the most terrible of military wives… Some of them are just terrible! But you… are the best. I love this post, and you know what, I think it’s great that you don’t fit in, because who would want to fit in with those monsters. (Not all of them are monsters but most….)
    -kissingtheshorelines.com
    xoxo

  3. You are brave. You can also add articulate, darling, bright and charismatic to the reasons why they dislike you. Keep your priorities clear and find your own tribe.

  4. Oh, Molly… I want to reach through my computer and hug you so badly! I have so much respect for your desire to do Army wife life YOUR way, but I can read the heartbreak in your voice that those choices aren’t honored among the other wives. It sounds like a very difficult culture to live in or around. As if sharing your husband with a whole country isn’t enough, to be snarked at/about by other wives is just sad… they of all people should know that you do what you have to do to survive the stress, the separations, and the “fishbowl.” Reminds me in a small way of the whole “mommy wars” online… good news is, this Army wife nonsense ought to have you prepared for that by the time/if you have kids 😉 Keep doing you, keep loving that hero, and keep in mind that YOU are a hero, too. <3

    • Oh man. Katie, you just made me tear up a little bit. Thank you so much. I totally needed to hear that today! I’m so grateful you stopped by to share a little sunshine in my day! I was just about ready to pour myself an 80th cup of coffee lol to get through the rest of the afternoon, but that might have been just the pep talk I needed. <3

  5. My mom was an Army wife who never quite felt like she fit in. Although my dad was never away from us, we lived on an Army base in Europe for

    years. The feeling of being an outsider was hard on my mom. Stay true to yourself, you married a man, not the military. On the plus side, you have your blog and ways to connect to other groups of people!

    • Thats’s a really good point that I have never thought about. I love connecting with people here! Thanks Beth!

  6. Neely (@Neelykins)

    This was such a great post. I wish I could relate to it but you are awesome for writing about something so personal

  7. I think growing up overseas left me completely impervious to feelings of ‘fitting in’ or not. At this point, I’m perfectly happy that we’re all unique in our own ways and I always want to encourage others that being themselves is a much better way to live than to force themselves to adhere to an arbitrary standard of “normality”.

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