10 Things I know now about being a Navy Wife

I invite anyone else to continue with this tag and share their pearls of wisdom


1) Joining the military was like going HD: my husband is the same warm, kind, and creative person as before.  Only now he is organized, has more free time, and better grooming habits!

2) Plans mean nothing: Think you’re going to be living somewhere for 4 years- Guess what? You might wake up a year later with new orders for a new home.

3) The Commissary is AMAZEBALLS: As someone with very high standards of food quality I though I’d never step food in a commissary.  I imagined them to be castles full of Cheesy Hot Dogs and Wonder Bread, I couldn’t have been more wrong! need cucumbers, no prob there’s 3 types: regular, english, and persian for snacking!  Dislike chemically enhanced food? No problem- you can get a whole organic free range chicken for $7.00.

4) Allowances are a beautiful thing: Never in my life have I had a job that after relocating me said “jeez you’re right. the rent is too damn high let us pick up the tab!”

5) Many People spend way too much money being flashy: Headphones, clothes, and cars with big price tags are the trend.  Even in the Navy Exchange you can purchase diamond anything, designer sunglasses, and $1000+ hand bags by the dozen.  Just because you have cash in the bank or credit approved does not mean it’s a good idea…

Below is something I’ve noticed.  It is my sincere hope that I’ve just seen some sorry situations and this has not been everyone’s observation of military culture.

6) People Can Be Cruel:  Maybe it’s just due to immaturity or a culture of hazing but there are many days where my husband comes home confused how he went from being a college educated artist with a kick ass work ethic and uncanny ability to grow a full beard in a single day to a hipster vegan fag.  Much of it is in jest but as an outsider I do see the slow toll it takes on morale.

7) RACISM is alive and well:  People tend to self segregate despite having wide exposure to diversity in the workplace.  It’s not uncommon for my husband to be called white boy instead of his name.  At multiple social occasions I have heard comments surrounding the fear of other individuals based solely on racial group… honestly I didn’t know that shit existed outside of senior centers?   I find this factor pretty odd because I do believe multicultural families and mixed race relationships are more common in the military than many communities in America.

8) SEXISM is alive and well:  Being educated in a fine arts university equal gender rights wasn’t an issue- it was a celebrated tradition.  Witnessing and learning to react to sexism {both passive and aggressive} has been a big adjustment.  It is not uncommon to hear the sentence “That’s why I hate chicks in the military” or “that’s why women shouldn’t be in the military”.  To hear female service members referred not just physically, but mentally as less capable is deeply disturbing.  Rank doesn’t matter when referring to a woman the word “Bitch” is a perfect descriptor capable of seamlessly replacing first and last names.

9) HOMOPHOBIA is everywhere:  {For example} On one occasion I was invited out to a dinner with 8-10 sailors.  In attendance was a closeted sailor and his lover who were currently under investigation for {young and dumb} inappropriate romantic conduct (unknown to the rest of the group).  Without anyone questioning for even a moment who may be among them the group when into great detail playfully accusing each other of being “faggots” and threatening to sexually assault each other for fun.  This was my only my intro into what has now become a long list of anti-lgbtq moments in the navy.

10) It’s always just the tip of the iceberg: Everyone has so much going on behind the scenes… there are so many personal problems and sad stories they keep from the group to protect themselves.  Remember above all else to always be nice to the people around you… even if it’s hard.

Maybe a guy {who’s wife secretly left him to go back home} teases you about your nicely packed lunch.

Maybe someone {who is secretly getting med-boarded} is going cling-tastic is always wanting to hang out.

Maybe a woman {who’s lying cheating boyfriend doesn’t have the balls to dump her} is giving you the “dependa treatment”.

The point is everyone has their problems, so just be persistent, because kindness in contagious.


4 thoughts on “10 Things I know now about being a Navy Wife

  1. Eek! Thank you for candor, but unfortunately that behavior is not solely endemic to the military. Sigh. Can’t we all just get along?!?

    1. True true, ugliness hides everywhere in the world.
      I think some of it was just a surprise to me (I’m a little sheltered)
      luckily everyone still gets along enough to stay professional and make the world work

  2. I completely agree with everything on your list! Yes, it’s true that these behaviors can also be seen outside the military lifestyle.

    I can say that I have seen military families living well beyond their means… it just angers me. Commissary can be good because there is no tax, but often food is about to expire and shelves are empty. I guess it depends where you’re stationed. BAH is AMAZEBALLS! Making plans is also useless. That’s why I have learned to live for the present, not the future.

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