8 GIFs that perfectly match the way enlisted spouses feel about these stereotypes


(Photo: US Navy, Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Khor)

We know that there are stereotypes about everyone in the military. There are ones for each branch, for every job, and for those who are enlisted and officers. And of course, there are stereotypes for spouses as well. Enlisted spouses and officers’ spouses know that there are certain ideas and myths that come with the territory. But dang, some of those stereotypes get annoying after a very, very short time. These are some of those common stereotypes about enlisted spouses. . . and how it feels to field those comments:

1. When someone thinks you married for the money. And you’re like, “Have you seen the paychecks?”

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2. When people think that “enlisted” automatically means “uneducated”. . . but your spouse has (at least) one degree.

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3. When people think that “enlisted spouse” automatically means “uneducated”. . . and you have degrees of your own.

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4. When folks assume you married young.

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5. When someone asks you when your spouse will become an officer. . . and don’t understand that some service members want to stay enlisted.

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6. When folks think that officers’ spouses are worthy of careers and career opportunities, while enlisted spouses should be happy with whatever opportunities present themselves.

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7. When people automatically assume that enlisted families that need WIC or have a hard time making ends meet just need to make better decisions with their money.

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8. When people think that your drive, ambition, or dreams are limited by the rank of your spouse.

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By J.G. Noll

3 Comments

  1. Wow! I keep finding myself flabbergasted by this rampage against anyone other than enlisted sailors and their spouses (and in particular, officers/officer’s spouses). It seems that these are the folks being stereotyped here. Do you really think we feel this way about the amazing enlisted sailors and their spouses? This could not be any farther from my truth. I wish this exaggeration would stop. You are actually creating more controversy here.

  2. I’ve been on both sides (hubby enlisted right out of high school and had the opportunity to do MECEP). As an E spouse, I know that there were people felt that way, but I wasn’t concerned with them. As an O spouse, I don’t think about it at all. This seems to pigeonhole entire groups of people. Of course, there are outliers for everything, but so what. What others think of you is none of your business. Not everything needs an article about how mistreated you are. Let it go and move on.

  3. What is with all the bringing up the division between officer and enlisted spouses? I personally believe that the more it is brought up the more it is on the forefront of everyone’s minds and the more they are to pick up on small unintentional slights right? I was active duty and my husband was a mustang, recently retired, so I have experienced the wife thing from three different perspectives. First off an active duty female is not after your spouse, even if she was, what does that say about your husband if something were to happen? He is the one with the famished is putting in jeapordy. So quit with the side eye and get to know the females that your husband works with. Enlisted spouses, who cares what anyone thinks about you and what makes you think an Officer spouse believes she is better than you? Have you ever had the conversation with her? If all you are going to do is assume then you are the problem. Get to know the people around with you, the spouses of the people that work with your spouses. It will make you more informed about what is going on and who doesn’t want information? Officer spouses, you are just another face in the crowd of people. Stop with the thinking that you can’t get to know all the spouses. It isn’t true any more like it used to be. You are an extension of your husband but you are still your own person.So stop listening and reading these articles that divide us. Now get out there and start extending hands to each other. We are stronger together and that is what is important.

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