As a military spouse, I’m often faced with good-intending yet frustrating questions from civilians.  Not frustrating because of the innocuous questions themselves, but frustrating because I just can’t answer them. I either don’t know the answer or I’m sworn to OPSEC secrecy or it’s impossible for civilians (myself included sometimes) to truly understand the sacrifices our service members make for our country.  So feel free to ask me one of the following questions, but don’t expect an answer.


10) How long will you live here?

9) Where are you going next?/When will you get orders?

8) Where exactly is your husband?

7) When is your husband coming home?

6) How often can he call/email/Skype?

5) Don’t you wish he had a normal job?

4) Doesn’t it bother you that he misses out on so much of your children’s lives?

3) Why doesn’t he just get out of the military?

2) When is he going to retire?

1) Did you watch the news the other night about all those people who were killed?  Your husband isn’t there is he?

To all my mil spouse friends out there, what tops your list?

30 Comments on Top 10 Questions NOT to Ask a Military Spouse

  1. AMEN! I do have a one-word answer for #6 though…"YES!"

    My top dreaded question is "How do you DO it?" (referring to deployment)

    There is no answer that can adequately describe the insanity that is my life during deployment. I don't even know how I do it. I just know that I do, and I will continue to, because I LOVE MY MARINE.

  2. How about these… "How do you feel knowing your husband has killed/may have to kill someone?"

    "What will you do if something happens to him?"

    "How do you feel about the war/the president/anything political? How can you support what they're doing"

    "Aren't all military wives cheaters?"

    People are idiots. And that's not even getting into some of the questions I've been asked since his passing… one of these I'm gonna lose it on some "well-meaning" civilian hahahaha.

  3. Numbers 6, 7, and 8 kill me. Also what Mrs. P said about all military wives being cheaters. It's a job like anything else. People need to shut it!!

  4. my fave, "what about your kids? isn't it tough on them?"
    and, "don't you and the kids miss him?"
    aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!!! drives me nuts! lol! so nice to see another milspouse venting over it, too 🙂

  5. I'm like you, I hate the questions I don't have answers to. Ask any other person the same questions, and the truth is they don't know either. And Mrs. P's questions. I'm happy to discuss my feelings about things and all of that, but beyond that, they better be ready for disappointment.

  6. I love the "I just couldn't do it – the moving all the time. I would miss my family too much". Well, yes, we do miss our friends and family! We are normal people, just like you! You don't pick who you fall in love with. You just deal.

  7. My roommate's brother is going into the military and we try to keep everything as positive as we can…for her sake and her family's.

    I can see how hard those questions can be to answer.

  8. This is a conversation I have with people all the time:

    "Do you know where are you going next?"
    "No we don't know yet"
    "When are they going to tell you?"
    "I'm not sure about that either"
    "So they don't tell you anything, they just send you?"

    And my favourite:

    "So they want to send your husband to Iraq?"
    "Yes, he's leaving in June"
    "He's eligable for retirement, why doesn't he just get out?"

  9. ahh…great list…
    I get asked #7 and 8 so much that I want to scream … I mean really…people just do not think before they speak…

    thanks for another great post =)

  10. I've only been in this a month…hubby's still at BCT but the one question that's been asked most often is "Why would he join now?"…usually either refering to the war or Obama depending on their particular policitical preference

  11. Here are some of my *favorite* questions, with the answers I WISH I had given.

    Q: What does he think about the war?
    A: What do you think about the grass?

    Q: Has he killed anyone?
    A: Nunya bidness (OK, I did give this answer)

    Q: Does your daughter miss him?
    A: Would you miss your head if I knocked it off?

    Q: Don't you hate moving? deployment? base?
    A: Not as much as I hate answering silly questions. Don't you hate having such a boring life?

    Q: Do you know Joe Schmoe? He went to boot camp 4 years ago and is in a completely different service, but he left out of CA to go to Iraq. Maybe you met him?
    A: Do you know Mary? She drove through your hometown the last time she moved. I'm sure you ran into her.

  12. "Does your daughter miss him?" Ummm…do you miss your brain?

    "Has he killed anyone?" Nunya bidness

    "Do you know Joe Schmoe? He's in the Army. I know your husband is in the Marines, but Joe went through CA on his way to Iraq one time." Right…my house is the central processing center for all branches.

  13. I hate it when people ask me how I am feeling right after my Hubby has shipped off. I want to say- "I feel really GREAT! It's wonderful for myself and my kids to see him leave!" DUH! And the other question I hate- "How do you handle him leaving all the time? I could never do that!" Obviously I am functioning and carrying on- just like everyone else. And the last comment makes me feel like they are saying they are better than me because they don't "let" their spouse leave them. Phooey!!

  14. I get the "Why can't you say where he is and when he's coming back when I see it all the time on other wives' Facebooks and on the news?"

    My answer: other wives may not have their spouses on submarines, which are more secret. Also, those wives really shouldn't be putting that information out, it puts lives at risk.

    I also get the, "How can you go two months without any form of communication with him?" Uh, I dunno… I do because I have no other choice?

  15. I LOVE THIS!
    It rings true, every one of them. I hate when people ask me if I can just tell my husband not to go. Or the people who assume that just because my husband is going to Greenland not Iraq it doesn't hurt that he is leaving for over a year. Well guess what? I miss him anyway!

  16. I dislike a couple of things….one being folks that bring up that their taxes pay for our hubby's salary and ask stuff like "You know we pay for all your free health coverage and all those benefits don't you?" As if we don't pay taxes. That is…unless hubby is gone away from our family and in harms way…then maybe not.

    Also they say…"don't you hate it when you have no idea where he is or what he is doing? Doesn't that drive you crazy?" No, it doesn't. He has been in for 18 years…and I know better than to worry about the things that I cannot change.

    Good questions. Now I am hot under the collar. -lol

  17. Up until recently, we were stuck in flight training limbo such that we didn't know where we were going or even an approximate timeframe for finding out. I got unbelievably sick of answering the "Where are you going? How long will you be there?" questions. Since we just transferred to the new squadron, we're still in the honeymoon phase where we can say, "We found out we'll be here for X years!" and most family members and friends are satisfied with the information.

    I figure we've got at least a year and a half before the questions about the next set of orders start popping up in earnest. 😛

    The other question of which I'm beginning to tire is the one about not when he will deploy, but if he will. (I mean, it's only the reason the Navy has invested so much time in his training. Why would they want to get some return on that investment?) The question caught me off guard, as I had thought we'd been pretty clear that deployment was a given. At no time have we implied that it's a "maybe," or so I thought.

  18. I just moved from Los Angeles (home) to Hawaii- almost daily I get the "when he deploys you are coming home right?" or "just cause he has to go away doesn't mean you have to, right?". it comes from a good place, i know my peeps miss me ( as I miss them) but the fact is–this is my life, my life is with him and his life is not in LA anymore.

    • If I had a dollar for everytime I heard that question I'd be doing well! And they just don't get it when you say No I'm not coming home when he deploys.

  19. "So when he goes to Iraq do you get to go with him???"

    "… So like, how does that work, does he come home every couple weeks, or what?"

    Don't you just love clueless people? Wish they'd watch a little more CNN, and a little less E!

  20. I am 18 and a senior in high school. And I am married to a military man in the Navy. All these questions get me fired up. Since im around a bunch of kids who enjoy telling me its not going to work and asking me why I did it when I knew we both were going to suffer. But just what someone stated up there in the posts. I can pick who I fall in love with. And it happend to be him, so I deal with it. Because every second of waiting and hurting is worth having him in my life forever.

  21. I'm not a military wife, but a military mom. My oldest son left for boot camp the day he graduated high school. It has been incredibly hard knowing how fast & hard he has grown up. He has served 3 1/2 years now & is preparing to deploy again to Afghanistan. I just left shopping when the cashier asked me why because "all the soldiers have been brought home". I hate how ignorant people are about what is going on. I had to explain/teach her that Iraq & Afghanistan are two separate countries…Also, when people ask "Aren't you worried" or when other teens ask my tow youngest kids (teens)"Has your brother killed anyone yet?" Oh, last time he was deployed, I kept being asked "Isn't he coming home for Christmas" during the holidays, as if they are going to stop the war & let them leave. Thank you for your blog! It really helps to vent. Proud Marine Mom!

  22. I am the wife of a retired military soldier. He has been retired a long time, and we were very fortunate, that while he was "in the field " alot, he never had to go where there was conflict.While our time in the miltary had it's own variety of challenges, I think it is much harder for spouses today than, when we were in.
    My husband got orders for Germany in the early '80's and both my children were in special ed, and after many phone calls with people from DOD, they could not guarentee that they would be in an equal progam there, we decided it would be better for me to stay where we were, and keep them in their current school. Many of my civilian friends, would say to me, "Oh, I couldn't do it if my husband was gone for two years." Well, what other choice did I have, the Army was still sending him, and our lives had to go on, till he came back. Great article.

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