The real heroes in the service of country and mankind – the military, is the wives. The other half has a battle greater than their men may encounter on the front line. There’s no end to the struggle for the ladies – each day comes up with challenges, how do she balance everything?
This is a brief outline to what it takes to successfully date, and keep a military man.
First off, make an effort to learn. Read all you can about the military, and a soldier’s role. Learn about what your husband does. You need this general knowledge. Why doesn’t your husband meddle in neighborhood wrangles and riots? It’s not cowardice – nope, the law doesn’t let him help quell the riot in the street. The law, and common sense.
You need a ton of patience. Typical soldiers are trained to shut up about what’s going on in their daily life in the office. There’s a maxim that goes: ‘The Need-To-Know-Basis’. Simply put, if you don’t need to know something, you don’t. Plus, there’s no glory in telling your spouse after a mission, “Babe, I shot dead a few mutha’fuckas. Picked them off like flies…”
Unfortunately, a few guys may find it hard to differentiate work and family issues. It’s not uncommon for a soldier to shut up on both counts. If your soldier boy doesn’t open up on family issues, just follow cue. It’s the training. Do not nag, dig and question. Be patient.
Dear wife, do not criticize the profession. It doesn’t matter how awful an opinion you may have on what being in the military makes a man. It doesn’t matter if your dad is a retired soldier, and he spent the better part of his career drunk or being abusive, just let it be. You are dating a single man, not the entire military.
Appreciate him for who he is as a man, first. Then, love him more, for being a soldier.
Massage his ego. After a long day at work, dealing with a long line of demanding superiors, massage his ego when he gets home. Thing to remember: military superiors aren’t installed on virtue of merit – sometimes, a modern soldier is on average better educated than his superior – so, your husband has spent better part of his day cowering before a superior he deems intellectually inferior.
Massage his ego back to normal. After work, it’s not the time to remind him that he hasn’t visited your mother for a while. Those visits cost a fortune.
If you want your relationship to be a success, be wary of neighbors. Soldiers come from different backgrounds – patriarchal families, rich families, business families, et al. They may receive exact salaries and bonuses, but your neighbor will buy a car (and a 52’ Smart TV) before your hubby has cleared the weekly bill at the grocery.
Your hubby is no less a man. It’s the background. Just mind your own business, run your household. If the Jones’es next door love taking their car on long road trips, it’s their life.
Do not make deep friendships with your hubby’s mates. Just be casual – greetings, that’s it. In the occasion that your hubby goes on an extended job assignment, that means less distractions and temptations. There’s no greater betrayal than cheating on your hubby, while he’s risking his life for others, out there.
Be fun, be silly – while with him. Make him miss home, not the detour to the neighborhood pub after work to hang out with buddies. He’s spent the day with the same buddies he’ll meet at the pub, remember? Learn tricks that will have him rushing home after work, not dread it.
Learn to manage money. In the military, cash flow is limited. The job hardly gives him time to make other hustles – so income may be limited to salary. If you ain’t in a position to supplement the cash flow, at least respect the salary, and manage your household to live within the means. Help your soldier husband avoid debt. You’ll be happy – even with a 14’ TV – at least it’s a flat screen.
Oh, one last thing. Beware the In-laws. You didn’t marry the darn clan. You married Wafula. Ignore the clan, listen and guide your Wafula. You do not owe the clan any chicken.
Happy KDF Day.