A few weeks ago SpouseBuzz ran another Lady List -- this time on stereotypes military spouses hate the most. But what about us dudes?
The list I have compiled is a familiar list, things you don’t say to a military spouse because we hate them and it shows that the inquisitor is uneducated. But what do us guy spouses despise hearing? What is different about how we hear these stupid comments compared to the Lady List?
Here's my take on it.
Top 10 Stereotypes Male Military Spouses Hate the Most:
1. "So, who cooks and cleans at your house?”Implying I can do neither and that I am a lazy bum ... Really, people? Is it that heavily ingrained in our collective psyche that guys bring home the bacon, while wifey cooks and cleans? Do I look incapable? If you answer "Yes, Dave, you do," you will never get an invite to one of my BBQ events!
2. "Who wears the pants in the house, then?"I am pretty sure this is a good hearted jab, just poking fun at the old ways. But darn it, it’s getting old people! Besides, my wife can whoop your wife any day.
3. "Bet the kids get tired of mac and cheese, huh?"Two stereotypes in this one, one of which I already addressed, but the other – mac and cheese? Come on, let’s use some imagination here! What my kids are tired of is “fend for yourself." Hey, they are 18 and 14 respectively, so, ‘bout time they learned to cook for themselves. Make yer own mac and cheese, son!
4. "You're the spouse? Really?"
Um, duhh! I’m married.
5. "What is wrong with you, sending your wife off to war?!"First off, nosey person, not my choice. It was her choice to join, to continue her college degrees and help the military at the same time. I am a good husband, I support her 110 percent. If she goes to a battlefront, I want her to know she has nothing to worry about here at home. So don't be trying to make me feel guilty that war is bad. What does your spouse do? If I remember correctly, driving the freeways is way more dangerous than the battlefront.
6. "Didn't know you played Bunko!"I don't even know what bunko is! I hate this type of stereotype. It makes me think of other unhealthy stereotypes like “you lazy women, sitting around playing some weird female-only game." What is the purpose of playing bunko? Maybe we could substitute a good round of Texas Hold ‘Em or a round of golf or Call-of Duty…
7. The look of distrust.This stereotype is an unspoken one -- it's the look we guys get from the neighborhood women and soldiers in housing when we are seen outside during the workday, like we are some illicit lover or a crook. I hate that, people, I live here!
8. The color pink!Or mauve or salmon ... It’s still 50 shades of PINK! 'Nuff said on that!
9. "Wow, so glad you are here! How can we get more guy-spouses to participate?"Whadda I look like, the Answer Man? Ok, I am, but, still -- focus on keeping me involved, please!
10. "That's what you have a husband for" also known as "Can't your husband do that?"This is when we overhear civilian women talking to our servicemember wives -- as if we aren’t there, and should be ashamed we aren’t military instead. Some of us are veterans who have already served, or are in school learning a trade and plan to join up after the degree is completed. Don’t be making my wife feel like she needs to defend me to the uneducated.
I am sure there are other stereotypes that I have missed. But I want to hear them so we can compile another list for the list lovers out there, so leave them in the comments.
Keep your heads up guys, our wives are proud of us for standing behind them as they unselfishly place themselves into potential harms way. We are proud of them.
Dave Etter is a Naval Submarine veteran from the late ‘80’s who’s wife is a junior enlisted Army soldier at Fort Sam Houston (JBSA) in San Antonio, Texas. Married for 14 years, the last three have been as a military spouse, Dave helps other male spouses adapt to this crazy spouse lifestyle. Dave is an Army Family Team Building instructor, a Spouse Master Resilience Trainer, and was his wife’s FRG leader at their last duty station. He can be found online in the depths of MachoSpouse.com, his weekly online radio show, and occasionally on TV as an extra for some ABC productions.
Photos courtesy of Flickr users Kevin Cole, Trevor, AudioLucistore, Suzanne LaGasa, Karen Borter, Fricelecoq and Danielle Scott under the Creative Commons license, as well as the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force.