Dear military spouses on Babble and everywhere else,
We’ve all learned some tough lessons in the past week, and I cannot seem to get it off my mind. Typically shying away from controversial topics and discussions, this is one I feel compelled to write about. Last week, there was an article posted on Babble entitled, My Solider is Leaving me, Again: The Realities of Being an Army Wife. This article created a fire-storm within the military spouse community, and it generated over 700+ passionate, thought-provoking comments.
There are valuable lessons to learn from this military spouse article on Babble and the subsequent comments.
At face value, you may see an article that was written off-the-cuff and a furry of comments that too were written off-the-cuff. While I’m not going to dissect the article, nor the comments, I am going to encourage everyone in the military spouse community to take a look at the bigger picture here. For a moment, let’s explore what is really going on here…
1. The military spouse community is hurting.
As military spouses, we’ve all faced immense challenges and hurdles in military life. None of us are strangers to deployments and family separations. These challenges left us with emotional wounds, and sometimes deep scars, many of which have yet to heal. It is most obvious that these wounds are not healed when you take a look at the comments from this article. We all share our trials and tribulations in a cross-fire with other military spouses, as if our experiences surely trump the other. It could not be more apparent that the wounds in the military spouse community are wide-open. When we look at the bigger picture, it’s important to reach out to other military spouses, to encourage them, and to help them heal. We all need each other.
2. Empathy is so important.
Sometimes, I think we all have to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Haven’t we all been there, saying or writing something inappropriate or inaccurate? Truthfully, it’s my greatest fear as a blogger that I will write something that is ridiculous, and everyone will hate it, and they won’t be afraid to share with me so. In times like these I’m thankful to be a small blogger because I have the luxury of making mistakes without a huge backlash. We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. We are all imperfect. Offering a little bit of empathy to fellow military spouses can help bring the community back together.
3. All military families weather tough circumstances.
Family separations. Deployments. Moving. And so much more. If you are a military family, you’ve faced a lot of very tough circumstances that most others would surely avoid. From one military family to another, it is most helpful to relate our struggles among each other, rather than compare against. If one family endured seven deployments and another family endured one deployment, it isn’t healthy for us to compare them to each other, saying one is struggling or hurting more because they endured more. At the end of the day, more or less shouldn’t matter, because let’s face it, we’ve all had it tough. We are all hurting. And we all need to work through this together.
4. Be a friend, stop bullying.
Nextgen Milspouse posted a great article entitled, Are you ‘Telling it like it is’ or are you Just a Bully? As adults, I think it’s always important to ask ourselves ‘Am I the adult I want my child to be?’ We don’t tolerate child bullying. We’ve all seen the horrendous and horrifying consequences of child bullying. I think it’s important to proceed with caution when we use our words to fight against someone rather than work with them. The Nextgen article is right, we shouldn’t just standby and watch another military spouse suffer through a barrage of bullying, or even worse, start participating in the bullying ourselves. We are all bigger than this. We are all in the same community, and we should embrace it.
So here we all are, standing here as military spouse community one week later. Are we all better off than we were one week ago? Unfortunately, I think the answer is a resounding no. We are divided. We are against each other. Our words are written, and we can’t change that.
What we can change is how we step forward from this day onward. As a military spouse community, we can all commit to helping each other heal. We can commit to empathy. We can commit to weathering tough circumstances together. We can commit to being friends. That’s the community that I enjoy being a part of. That’s the community I love. We are one community.
What do you think about the military spouse community hurting? Empathy? Or bullying?
Want more on Military Life?
- The Deployment Diet No One Talks About
- What Military Marriage Really Looks Like
- I’m Terrible at Being a Military Spouse
- 43 Awesome Tips for the New Military Wife