Thursday, January 26, 2012

Never compare

A lot of women, in particular military wives, spend a lot of time talking about their struggles, sacrifices, and challenges. A few people may think of it as whining, but often its a combination of venting to friends and lending advice. Veteran wives often use their experiences as examples, or a how-to-deal manual for newer wives. Often we get caught up in "comparing" what our husbands do and how much we have been through instead of supporting each other. 

Its very important that we remember it is our husbands who do this job, not us. We are vital to our husband's career - but not to the military. How we respond to challenges affects how our husbands respond and deal with those same challenges. We need to be strong, supportive, and flexible. We need to be consistent, understanding, and level headed. But most of all, we need to stand together. We need to remember that the words we say to other wives, while they may make us feel better or make our husbands sound important, can hurt others. 

Usually, starting something with "I need to vent" sets the tone for the conversation. It lets your listeners know that you are not really complaining, you just want a listening and sympathetic ear. We all have that one friend who we can vent to about anything. It doesn't matter if her husband has been gone months and yours is working late, she'll understand, let you vent, and tell you what you want to hear. But not everyone will be that person, so venting to everyone may backfire. 

Bottom line: All military spouses know this is a hard life, and some days are harder than others. But as the picture above states, its not a competition. We have our own stepping stones in this journey and we all handle them differently. And, of course, don't equate a husbands job with their wife's feelings.

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