Things NOT to say to a Military Spouse or Girlfriend!

This was written with an American perspective; however, with some minor changes here and there could apply in the UK or anywhere.

Things NOT to say to a Military Spouse or Girlfriend!

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"
(This one ranks in at number one on the "duh" list. Of course we're afraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds ---but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. "At least he's not in Iraq ."
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?"
(Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.)

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there's a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored.)

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you've gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband's three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a ford taurus with mercedes convertible.)

9. "Wow you must miss him?"
(This one also gets another big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they're now divorced.)

10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
(I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in the papers every day ---and on maps everywhere.)

11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fighting for your freedom.)

12. "Don't you miss sex! I couldn't do it!"
(hmmm, no i don't miss sex. i'm a robot. Seriously...military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn't withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

13. "Well in my opinion....."
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn't ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we're trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.)

last but not least....

14. "OH, that's horrible...I'm so sorry!"
(He's doing his job and he's a badass. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you. After all, we are sexually deprived for your freedom.
Never tell your spouse not to worry about the disturbance allowance on your payslip as "You have already paid it".

Someone will bubble you!
Ha! That gave me quite a chuckle.

While not totally relevant, a question that's apparently asked around a lot here in Australia is "Have you killed anyone before?"

What a question to ask anyone, let alone a junior reservist. We've agreed to suddenly give a glassy look, tap out an imaginary cigarette and start with something along the lines of: "...there was this one time in Baghdad..."
And of course the old favourite, when arriving at your folk's home on leave, "when are you going back?"
But sometime people can be very nice. In 1990-1991 I lived in a very left of centre city in Massachusetts. Rumour had it that the Republicans in the city held their annual meeting in phone booth. When the wife (ossifer, USNR) was acivated, given the obligatory 1001 vacinations and deployed to the Gulf I expected nasty comments from the parents at my sons school. All I got were kind comments, pans of lasagna and other assorted casseroles, and offers to babysit, pick up the son at school etc. The only thing I minded a bit was the apparent assumption that males are too stupid to cook. This did not keep me from accepting and enjoying the food, some of which was quite tasty. Even the very left wing social worker or psychiatrist types were nice. It may have been that the kindness related to the reversal of the usual roles.

I knew she was in a fairly quiet spot. The only thing that worried me was learning that due to a shortage of security troops all members of her unit took turns standing guard. I knew she well qualified with the .45 M1911 then in use but I knew she had never used an M16. She did, thankfully, return without shooting 1) her foot 2) a sailor 3) her CO. (Not that thankful about no. 3, always was an arrsehole and probably always will be)


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"Hi love, a few lads from the Sqn are coming around to watch the footy, shoot out and get a couple of crates of beer" All ways best on Saturday afternoon when she planning a shopping trip.


"That new couple in flat 3! She's quite fit isn't she"

Both followed by radio silence!!


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
As a military spouse (I prefer the word husband) who's wife is about to go away I don't particularly want to hear anybodies opinions about the rights or wrongs of women being sent to war zones, anybody gobbing off about the rights or wrongs of 'the war' or anybody saying isn't it nice that she has got someone to stay at home and look after the house and cats!

I think what used to hack her off when I deployed was people saying things like, 'you've only just got married, it isn't really fair of him to leave you for 6 months now', and people who pointed out that there are women in the army and how did she feel about me deploying with lots of women'.
Your sisters a better shAG than you, and she sucks C0ck a hell of a lot better, and I have bummed your mum.
"I know that they say that inside every fat woman there's a thin one trying to get out, but are you sure there's just the one in your case?"


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
2Does your husband know you are wearing his Ron Hills? Yes I know they are stretchy but there is a limit to their elasticity."

On a serious note the article that trip wire quoted tells you what not to say, but what should you say?

During TELIC1 1 remember being irritated by people who asked where the Mrs was and on being told looked blank, or mumbled something like oh dear, and then went chuntering on about whatever niff naff and trivia concerns they had. In particular I remember someone complaining that there was not light green bog roll in Tescos... So I suppose there probably is not a lot one can say. Unless yuo've been there.

We also serve who only wait!
For the single soldiers out there, always avoid showing a military wife photos of her husband on deployment that might include any of the females he works with, especially the attractive ones! trust me, I learnt the hard way on R&R from Iraq when I showed my friends wife some photos that included one of him stood in a group shot next to a very attractive 18 year old female soldier. There was nothing going on, but it gave the wife an extra thing to worry about.
BuggerAll said:
As a military spouse (I prefer the word husband) who's wife is about to go away I don't particularly want to hear anybodies opinions about the rights or wrongs of women being sent to war zones, anybody gobbing off about the rights or wrongs of 'the war' or anybody saying isn't it nice that she has got someone to stay at home and look after the house and cats!
I'm in the exact same situation as yourself. The thing that I get from civilian acquaintances is "Will she be alright?" (Well, how on earth am I meant to know?) and equally bad "She'll be alright!" (Yeh, right).

Still, it's likely I'll be off later in the year so it'll be her turn then.
Why's your c*ck bigger than mine
"If he dies can I have his new boots"

This I have actually used on mates missus. Needless to say it went down like a sh1t butty but his dad (Ex REME) thought it was a corker!
The RAF Tristars are always on time.............. :wink:


Kit Reviewer
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TheBigUn said:
The RAF Tristars are always on time.............. :wink:
Anybody who ever used that line would find that their credibility was completely shot!

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