Thursday, September 20, 2012

Officer Wives vs Enlisted Wives

Maybe I'm living in a bubble on a cloud in my own little world, but I seriously didn't think that the whole officer wife and enlisted wife being friends thing was an issue anymore. It's just something that I've never really thought about when meeting new people and making friends. A friend recently told me that a couple of the girls that I considered friends, feel awkward and like they have to act "proper" around myself and some of the other girls because our husbands are officers. In all honesty, I was almost offended by the comment. Why would what my husband does, affect my friendships and how I treat others? It doesn't. My husband being an officer doesn't make me any better than anyone. I'm not the one with the rank on my chest. When we got married, Hubster was an E-5. Him being commissioned didn't change me at all.

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I might understand if maybe I was something like a 40 year-old Colonels wife, however in this case, we're all around the same age with kids who are around the same age. Our husbands are all deployed together so the fraternization issue that would arise if we were hanging out as families doesn't even apply here.

The decal on my car may be blue, but I still buckle my kids into their baby seats like anyone else. Empty Capri Sun containers can be found on the floor of my Tahoe. My kids go to the CDC for daycare. I workout at the gym on post. Grocery shopping, and pretty much any shopping, is done at Walmart. Lunch and dinner usually consists of something along the lines of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, because lets face it, I don't feel like cooking for real. The majority of time, my living room floor is covered in toys. I have to wash my own laundry. And dishes. And vacuum. I even do my own yard work.

I would never want or except my friends to have to feel like they needed to act differently around me. Making friends as a military spouse is already difficult enough, we shouldn't be making it even harder. Have you noticed a divide between spouses when it comes to the rank of their service member?

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  1. Im new to the lifestyle but one of my friends who has been in the lifestyle for 7 years warned me about this. At the AIT graduation the spouses panel proved that to be correct speaking of "bad apples" it's sad that wives are alienated.

  2. Yes!!! I 100% agree with this. I hate that I get looked at differently because my husband is an officer. Fraternization applies to him not me, it can be really frustrating.

  3. My husband was enlisted in the army, and then decided to switch to active duty navy. With that switch, he also commissioned and became an officer. When he was enlisted, it never occurred to me to find out the rank of the husband because it didn't really matter to me. I became friends with the wives who were compatible with me. On the officer side, I haven't really interacted with enlisted spouses only because there aren't a lot around. My husband is still in flight training which means I am surrounded by other wives whose husbands are in the same spot. However, when he finishes training and we are at a real base, I will apply the same motto I had before: If you are fun to hang out with, then so be it. Rank doesn't matter to me.

  4. Rank has never mattered to me. My husband is enlisted and our very best friends from high school and college are now commissioned. It has not changed our relationship one bit. Once some wives realize that so much more than money factors into switching over then things may get better. I think some wives automatically assume that when your husband is an officer it means you have a life full of luxuries. I am pretty sure there are some wives of officers that will tell you differently. I bet there are also some wives of enlisted service members that will tell you there life is great and they don't have a care in the world. People shouldn't base their friendships on what someone else's husband does for a living, but unfortunately in the military world some people do make that mistake.

  5. I love this post!!! My husband's unit only has 3 officers and the rest are enlisted. I told my husband from the beginning I will hang out with whoever and whenever I please. I also try not to be identified by my husband. I don't like when women as me my husband's rank. I want to know that they are my friend because they want to be, not because of my husband's rank.

  6. You're right, it is very hard making new friends going to new duty stations all the time. Rank for wives does not exist. I have several friends that are active duty enlisted and/or that are wives of enlisted. Most of the time it surprises the wives when I answer there "what rank is your husband" question and I answer with his officer rank. They were new friends before finding out and once they did they seemed a bit edgy... Until they saw that it has no bearing on who I am or that I am not the uppity prissy type that many seem to make officer wives out to be. Yes there are still many of them out there, but this little old lady & SAHM is not one of them. Great post!


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