Please, Tell Me Your Opinions About My Life
Most people I encounter are very sweet and supportive when they find out that my husband’s in the NAVY and we’re living separately. The majority will try their best to relate and more than likely will even throw in some encouraging words. Sometimes, they’ll even hug me and thank me for my service. I humbly accept their embrace and honestly feel appreciated for my roll in my husband’s life. Then…well, then there are those people.
Sometimes I will have the experience of encountering people who have nothing better to do than share their opinions on my life, my husband’s career choice, our living situation, and even cast doubt towards my husband’s future success in the NAVY.
These are all REAL things people have had the audacity to say to me:
“Oh, you don’t want to go to school anymore since your husband’s in the NAVY? That must suck, putting your life on hold like that for him.”
“Oh, wait, you don’t want to work when you’re a mom since you just want to raise your kids? Well good luck with that.”
“Oh, hold on, you think that you can honestly live a good, happy life living on just your husband’s military salary? They don’t make very much money, do they?”
“Oh, don’t you think you should be living together right now? I mean, what a shame that he’s not even deployed and you aren’t living with him. I know if I was in your shoes, nothing would keep me from living with my spouse!”
“Oh, he’s in the Aviation Rescue Swimmers program? Don’t all of them wash-out? I heard it’s a harder program than the SEALS. What’s your backup plan?”
“Oh, make sure he gets a good technical job if he re-classes since this is his career and no one wants him compromising his life while in a moment of weakness.”
And…my personal favorite: “Oh, I’ll bite my tongue since you’re so fragile right now.”
Seriously, how offensive. If I walked up to you and just started saying things to you about your life that included “Good luck with that, how much money do you make and what’s your backup plan for when you fail?” you would rightfully want to throat-punch me. Why is it that since I’m a NAVY wife, people feel like my life and our family’s decisions are open for discussion? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I am constantly being judged by civilians. Even the supportive ones say things like, “Oh honey, that must be such a hard life,” or “I hope that the time just flies by for you.” The thing is, if I go through my life hoping that it flies by quickly just because Kyle’s away, I’m robbing myself of the good things God has in store for my life today!
The moral of the story, kids? There’s a few:
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Let your speech edify your neighbor (Romans 15:2).
Don’t offer your opinion unless you are asked for it, and tread lightly. Imagine someone offering their opinion on your life and how vulnerable and defensive you would feel. Speak lovingly and offer the most understanding and be as supportive you can.
And at the end of the day, you end up saying something that came out wrong, apologize like you mean it and don’t lace your apology with even meaner things than what you were originally apologizing for! Seriously, where was your mother when it was time to teach kindness, listening, and how to apologize? Sheesh.
Am I the only military spouse who has experienced these situations? If I am, maybe I need to hang around the rest of y’all’s friends and families since some of mine are inspiring this blog.