Soldiers are the ultimate task-masters. They appreciate black and white. They understand clearly stated objectives and how to meet them. I've found over the many years I've been married to a soldier that it's difficult -- if not impossible -- for them to leave this trait at the office or in the field. While having a solutions-oriented husband is a big plus in many ways, most in fact, sometimes it's a minus. This realization clubbed me over the head in a very real way recently when my husband and I were sitting on the patio after dinner and I began telling him about a professional irritation I had recently experienced. My frustration began pouring out, and it was a cathartic experience. I immediately felt better just telling my husband what had happened and talking through possible ways I may handle the situation.
My relief turned to despair when my husband proceeded to offer suggestions with all the seriousness of a drill instructor whipping his recruits into shape and taking the "this will make you better" approach. By the end of our conversation, I fully expected I'd wake up the next morning with a Field Manual, SOP memo, series of "taskers" and a power point presentation on the way forward. Perhaps, too, there would be a plan on psychological warfare.
If someone wants to know how many pieces of equipment are necessary to meet a stated goal, or how to survive in jungle, desert or mountain terrain, my husband would be a good person to ask. He has a little experience in this area after 20 years in the Army. If, on the other hand, someone wants to vent and is not in the market for a solution, my husband becomes a bit disoriented. His first instinct is to attack the problem, just as he has been trained to do.
I love my husband. I truly do. But I live and work in the world of emotions and personalities, not numbers and strategy. Sometimes a talk is just a talk. I don't expect or want him to fix everything. Although, I must admit I love the fact that he wants to....