My husband and I are waiting for board results right now, which means I’m obsessive compulsively refreshing discussion forums for news that the results are posted. He’s deployed right now, but if he weren’t, he would be sitting next to me obsessive compulsively checking on his computer. We did the same thing last year while we were waiting for results for a program he’d applied to.
While I was checking the posts this morning, I saw that one of the Sailors waiting had posted that he was surprised that so many wives were waiting for results and he doubted that his wife had any idea results were supposed to be posted soon.
Now I am prone to going overboard and I will readily admit that. I just can’t help it... and it’s not just with military stuff. When I got into hockey, I could list off the complete roster of my favorite team as well as their stats from the season. When I got interested in the Cold War in college, I learned to speak Russian. When someone bet me I wouldn’t last as a vegan for a week, I went vegan for a year. See? I go overboard.
So when I married a Sailor, it was natural that I learned to speak Navy fluently. Heck, I’m even conversant in Army since we’re stationed on an Army post. I’m tapped in to my husband’s career to the point that I once knew he was deploying before he did. (And as a sidenote, that was a very weird role reversal, complete with him saying, “Are you sure? When am I going?”)
But honestly, waiting for news – whether it’s news on advancement, dolphins, training programs, or just orders -- never hit me as part of my going overboard. He’s anxious about it, so I am too. It’s important to him, so it’s important to me. Those things affect my life just like they affect his! They play roles in his deployment schedule, where we live, and whether I have to make a run to the uniform shop and pull out the sewing machine for last minute uniform updates.
Knowing about and understanding how these things work is also my way of grabbing control in a lifestyle where not much is in my control. I may not have any say in whether he gets the orders we want, but I can make sure I understand his rotation and know the available billets for his rating. I can’t control when he deploys next, but I can get informed about the factors going into the decision. And I can’t decide if he’s picked up for programs, but I can know when the results are out.
I kind of assumed that knowing those things is just part of being a milspouse. We're in this together, right? Or maybe I’m just justifying my excessiveness...
Now if you’ll excuse me, that forum and my F5 button are calling my name.
How much involvement do you have with your spouse’s career? Do you work on a need to know basis or do you know the ins and outs as well as your servicemember does? Do I need to form a Milspouse Anonymous group… would I be the only member?