military spouse

There are certain stereotypes of military spouses just as there are stereotypes about all women. With the rise in social media over the years, certain traits start to develop in this newer generation of military wives. Here are some kinds of military spouses you may run into… but don’t be her!

The All-About-The-Military Wife

How to Spot: Look for her “I’m a (insert branch) wife shirt”, as well as the magnet on her car. She probably also has the camo bag to match.

Her life revolves around the military. She was most likely a military brat or sister. More likely than not, she has dated more than one service member. She bakes things for all the military functions even the ones she’s not invited to and shows up at the command or hanger unannounced.  She goes to every single FRG meeting, and volunteers to do anything and everything.

Annoying Rating: 1

Reasoning: She genuinely loves the military life and can be really helpful to newbies. Most of the time she’s really nice but can be a competitive know-it-all.


The Rank-Wearing Wife

How to Spot: She might have her husband’s rank embroidered on her bag, stuck on car, customized into a vanity plate, or tattooed on her body (no, really, that happens)

This wife is obsessed with her husband’s rank and yours too. She will introduce herself as “Mrs SGT (Last Name)” or “I’m Colonel (so and so’s) wife”. The first thing she’ll ask you is your spouse’s rank, maybe even before she asks you your name.  She’s always worried about socializing with those ranks below “hers” (because she thinks that she actually has a rank). And she will always ask for better housing/entitlements/treatment because of spouse’s rank.

Annoying Rating: 4

Reasoning: No life other than her spouse’s. She’s usually passionate about military life but you feel bad for her when you tell her that military life ends one day and you have to be in “the real world”.


The “Must Prove I Had My Own Life Before I Got Married” Wife

How to Spot: She’s usually very educated. Her conversation topic of choice is her life before the military.  She herself may have been a service member.

This wife has read about the military wife stereotypes and goes out of her way to prove that she isn’t one. She may have a hard time admitting to the fact that she was forced or chose to give up her career. When you ask her what she does, she gives you her educational background, full resume, and entire reasoning why she gave it up for the military.

Annoying Rating: 1

Reasoning: She seems somewhat resentful for giving up her career. She means well but can often come across as bitter.


The Drama Wife

How to Spot: She is the social butterfly but in a negative way. She has interesting stories until you realize they’re full of drama and she’s only trying to suck you in. She’s also very gossipy.

This is the wife that can tell you everything that is happening or has happened in the command. She knows who’s sleeping with who, who got chaptered out, and if there is even the slightest hint of wrongdoing on base.  You almost want to be her friend because you want to be in-the-know, but then you realize she knows too much. She’ll interpret something innocent and make it into drama. She’s the one who calls the MPs or housing security if something is not to her liking. She’ll also threaten to get the media involved if she’s really hung up. Avoid telling her anything going on in your life that you want to keep secret.

Annoying Rating: 3

Reasoning: This wife lives and breathes drama. Being in the loop is one thing, but too much drama causes negativity and makes for a toxic environment.


The Greedy Wife

How to Spot: She always asking for a handout or free stuff yet has the money to buy designers bags and smartphones. She pulls out the pity card and then drives off in her range rover.

You might not know she has kids because her kids are usually the ones playing in the park by themselves while she’s on the Military Yardsale facebook pages trolling for anything free she can get. She’s also the beezy that tries to sell those free items elsewhere for a profit. She throws a bitchfit when the discount isn’t applied to her on Veteran’s Day. When Sears has their Heroes-At-Home program, she hunkers down until she gets a spot. If she doesn’t get one, she takes to every media outlet to complain.

Annoying Rating: 5

Reasoning: She’s the wife that only looks out for number 1. She uses the excuse of her husband service to guilt or shame people into giving her stuff she didn’t earn.


The Hermit Wife

How to Spot: You don’t. You know she exists but you never see her.

She rarely leaves the house. When she does, it’s only to drive and pick up the kids, or to go get food. She is always online though. This is the wife that also talks shit about other military wives or a duty station but makes no attempt to venture out and actually explore and meet new people.

She’ll exchange pleasantries to you at events but will most likely by staring at her smartphone the whole time instead of socializing.

Annoying Rating: 1

Reasoning: She may have a lot going on in her life and you certainly don’t have to befriend everyone in the military. However, she can’t complain how she has no one to help her when she makes no attempt to reach out.


The Complainer

How to Spot: She’s on the phone or on social media griping about anything and everything. At events, she’s the one talking to the host about what they’re doing wrong.

This wife is the one who calls the command because her husband’s late for dinner, or puts in 10 ICE comments because her food arrived late from the Officer’s Club diner. God forbid she or her kid is sick, because then she’ll post to every social media outlet about the ailment before actually calling a doctor. She then blames it on housing. The military never does anything right by her. She is the one that complains about the long wait in line for a FREE Christmas tree or she bitches about how she only received an email for Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  If you come in contact with her, she’ll talk your ear off about everything that’s wrong with the military and she can’t wait to be done with it.

Annoying Rating: 4

Reasoning: Nothing’s ever good enough for her. And how inconsiderate of her to be talking crap about the same military that your family is proud to be a part of?
Have you ever encountered THAT military spouse? Were you close to being one yourself?

18 Comments on Don’t Be THAT Military Spouse

  1. Well I am DEFINITELY a hermit wife haha! I am trying to branch out a little though and go to some of the events the FRG puts on….does that count for keeping my annoying rating at less than one??! I love talking about stereotypes if only because it helps me see the annoying tendencies in myself!!! 🙂

    • Absolutely!!! I find myself heading towards hermit especially during deployment. And then I complain about it, which is no good. I have to force myself into getting out there too!

  2. I was digging this list until I got to “The Hermit Wife”. Seeing as how I’m introverted, enjoy social media, and would rather eat razors than take a phone call, I guess I would put myself in that category. I think you got most of it right except the bitching on social media about other spouses or the duty station. Sure as a spouse we’ll all have gripes about something, and it’s only fair we each have our turn to have that pity party or bitching sesh. We need it. As an introvert and a hermit I use my words to communicate. You won’t catch me at an event ever talking just to talk, but I will more than likely convey my thoughts through written words more often than not. I’m the spouse that isn’t on the base spouse Facebook pages because people like you don’t understand me. You assume this is how I am because I don’t take the time to get to know anyone. When in fact it’s not that at all. Most people like me are terribly shy and it would take some coaxing to get us out of our shell. Don’t assume that because we have an affair with technology we’re major bitches who want nothing to do with anyone. That is not the case. We’re shy, lonely, and if not for the wonderful invention of technology we’d never interact. Be gentle with us hermits, don’t assume we’re all bad. Try to get to know one of us and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Sorry for the novel, I hope I made sense. It’s late and I’m quite tired. 🙂

    • No worries, I turn into a hermit when it’s deployment time, or we just get to a new duty station. I’m just as guilty of a bitchfest… but then I have to realize that does nothing to help the situation (although it helps me feel a little better), so I have to force myself to get out there. Thanks for stopping by!

    • So true. I’m a bit of a hermit myself and I hate social media and gossip, and bitching about anything to anyone other than my mom. I’ve always had a hard time fitting in or making connections with other army spouses. I try but I’m not very interesting! ^.^’

  3. Hermit wife lmao, that’s me!! I’ve had my share of psychotic spouse friebds and I’ve learned to keep to myself now!

    • It’s ok, I was a hermit too… slowly trying to break out of this shell. It’s just so comfy though… and the crazy spouses scare me back in! lol.

  4. Hmm. I think I’m close to the “Must Prove I Had My Own Life Before I Got Married” Wife, but it’s a bit more, “prove I have my own life and worth outside of the military and it should still matter ” wife. I see so many wives who fit the above or who don’t work and who shun those of us who do that it makes me resent anything related to spouse events. I get invites to events that I can’t attend because they’re held during the day and I always have to decline them because of work. I’m never rude about it, but note that “I would love to do that, but I can’t make the daytime events. Please let me know when you do this after hours or if it’s on a weekend” and get so many negative responses about how I should put my husband’s career before mine or that I’m selfish for working. I think many spouses who are career minded get so much backlash about it that we inevitably turn into the stereotype above. It’s probably a bit of a passive-aggressive stick it to you response that we’ve developed trying to maintain a sense of personal worth when we feel smothered by our spouse’s job/rank and we really probably are bitter/frustrated because we really did give up a lot in order to maintain a marriage. When people nag at us for working, it only reminds us that we’re working, but in a job that we probably don’t like and at a level below where we want to be. I recognize this personally and try not to talk about work or where I would like to be in my career around military people because of this, but that’s a really hard one. If all six of your other stereotypes didn’t nag us for working, we probably wouldn’t be listed. And yes, I’m laughing at myself for totally fitting that stereotype with this rant!

  5. Ugh….. the life before my husband joined the military….. ugh that’s me! My husband is only in Basic Training now, but I’ve been working toward my career for years and years and I hate the thought that I might not be able to work when I get out because he’ll be stationed somewhere that doesn’t have any employers in my field. It doubly sucks bc my career makes a lot of money starting out…at least double my husband’s salary. But I fear I would be expected to put my life and ambition on hold for him.

    • Yeah, not gonna lie to you, keep a career as a military spouse is tough. Try to make it work though. There are plenty of milspouse career success stories.

  6. I believe the longer my spouse is in the military the more I find that I have shifted through all these that you have mentioned. 1. All about the military – I was a military kid and I am a military spouse. I have seen it, lived it or experienced it. 2. GUN HO spouse . I was that spouse on the third deployment he had a purse made for me. I had the stickers on the car. I wore the t- shirt. 3. Rank wearing wife. Honestly, my car has his rank on it because it allows me to park in the slot he has earned. Hell I have earned it. People don’t like it bit me. 4. I hit the I had a life before I got married phase about 10 years ago. When I had my second kid and realized that I needed to rethink my attitude 5. The social butterfly (however, not the negative side) after his third deployment. I was like yeah. No more deployments I was so excited. totally foolish on my part. 6. The hermit phase and the complainer phase has finally hit me. After 20 years of marriage and another deployment in a month this is the 5th I am NOT the in the best of moods. I avoid people. I am now on anxiety meds. People avoid me because truth be told their spouse has NEVER been tasked to deploy. So, I am little bitter. (I find that I have had to stop myself from saying must be nice to have all the perks of the military and only work 9-5. But again I stop myself.) My spouse is/has been in senior leadership for MANY years. So, I know my place. But it doesn’t make the hurt of him missing our daughters graduation from high school with her AA, her senior prom, college orientation and the presentation of all the scholarships she has received for college. Right now he is at training. This is week three and I have yet to receive a call from his Boss or the office staff. So, I ask where am I on the list now?

    • Hi Julie, You must now be in the middle of deployment (as am I). Like you, some of the above rang true for me too. Phases are natural in all walks of life, I guess, and ancillary military life is no exception. I hope your daughter is enjoying college and that you are hanging in there. Thanks for the sacrifices your family has made for all of our freedom. Sending hugs & best wishes, Becky

  7. What about the wife who lives off of base – and rarely, if ever goes on base for anything other than maybe using the base exchange or gas station if over seas.. Your hubby’s unit members wonder if he’s telling tales because no one has actually ever seen his wife! She loves her husband, supports him and doesn’t cause him troubles – but she’s living more or less as a civilian… She has a job off base too… sometimes making twice what he does in income. What would that be? A hermit? Or just a non participant by choice?

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