Sometimes I wonder whether I am crazy to be trying to make a life with a military guy or whether the military life is actually making me crazy?
Not only do I have my own list of crazymaking behaviors from the military, but in this job I hear from military spouses with their own stories of military Catch-22s that nearly rival Joseph Heller for their crazymakingness. (Yeah, that’s not a word.) For example:
Publicly wail over the unemployment rate for military spouses, but then move me every other year so that I not only lose my job, but also lose the network I had to get a new job.
Change the name of the person who marries a military member from “wife”’ to “spouse” to acknowledge male spouses, then make sure every event involves a tea party, Bunko, or a manicure. And definitely keep coloring everything pink.
Tell me to start a business, send me to entrepreneur school even, then when I’ve got my business going, give the contract to someone outside the military community.
Tell me that the job is to take care of people and that spouses don’t have rank, then show me that you will fire a commanding officer for seeing his top enlisted and her family socially.
Tell me to pursue a portable career like becoming a nurse or a pharmacy tech, then transfer us overseas so that I can’t get a job at the base hospital because of the Status of Forces Agreement in our new country of residence.
Urge me to ask for help and swear you will my protect privacy, then make me beg for an appointment in front of everyone who knows me.
Approve of gay marriage, but deny a certificate to my partner at my retirement on a technicality. Oh, and definitely ignore my stepchildren, too.
Granted, these things don't happen every single time, but they sure seem to happen often enough to make you think you are crazy to try to have a life with a constantly deploying, PCSing, TDYing, late-night-working kind of partner.
Or is it the kind of thing you just learn to live with and shake off as the cost of loving someone in uniform? What would you add to this list?