The PCSing Spouse

Where Spouses Help Spouses

Square Peg in a Round Hole

Have you ever heard the saying “it’s like trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole”?

I’m the peg. The military is the hole.

Don’t get me wrong. If you met me, you wouldn’t think that right off the bat. I LOVE what the military has given us. I love my country, and I certainly love my Airman.

However, I don’t exactly fit the mold of a traditional military spouse. I’ve always struggled to fit in with the other spouses. I understand what it’s like to be the outsider, the odd man out, the minority.

There are many ways that I fit the military spouse stereotype. I got married at 21, in a courthouse, at my husband’s first duty station. I have learned to PCS with the best of them, and I have handled our 6 deployments like a champ.

But that’s where the similarities start to fade. I do not have any children, nor do I want any. Try saying that to a group of junior enlisted spouses at a baby shower at the community center on base. I have- the reactions were priceless. Some people nod and smile. Others outright demand that I will want them some day. Well, I’m now 36 and someday never happened.

 

I am highly educated. Now, I know lots of spouses are educated. In fact, military spouses are more educated than their civilian counterparts. However, I have a PhD. My husband is enlisted. I have yet to meet another military spouse with a PhD whose husband is enlisted. I KNOW they have to exist (someone leave me a comment!), but I have yet to meet one.

I also work. A LOT. With travel! *gasp*. That’s right, folks. I leave my husband at home to fend for himself while I go to other cities to work. He can do his own laundry. We have completely separate bank accounts. *another gasp*

Here’s the thing. I know all of the norms I am breaking are just stereotypes of a milspo misunderstood…but it’s still all good.

Not all military spouses have children, stay at home, and don’t go to school. I know that. But when 9 out of 10 spouses you meet fit that mold, you start to feel like an outsider.

I’ve met other military spouses “like me” and most of them totally shun anything to do with the military. They don’t volunteer, they don’t join the spouse’s group, and they certainly aren’t Key Spouses.

I decided, you know what? I am not going to ostracize myself further! I want to show other outsiders that they can be insiders. I joined all the clubs- spouse’s club, book club, food club, you name it, I joined it. Squadron needs Key Spouses? Sign me up! Need food for the squadron picnic? I got you!

And guess what I found out? I am not different from anyone else. I have made the most amazing military spouse friends from ALL walks of life. Stay at home moms, spouses that work, active duty spouses, and they are all wonderful! You just have to put yourself out there and accept people as they are. Just as I hoped they’d accept me.

A square peg can fit in a round hole, you just have to keep hammering it in there.

***Welcome**** To our newest Blog Teammate Georgia Jones

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11 Comments

  1. I mean, I don’t have my PhD…. but I have my MS and my husband was enlisted. I know how you feel. I often felt as if I didn’t fit the ‘milso’ role either. At first it bothered me, but then I realized it was my own insecurities allowing it to bother me. So I changed. Like you, I immersed myself into spouse groups and volunteer opportunities. It didn’t change that I was still the odd woman out, but I developed a really neat tribe of friends! Hoping you can do the same with branching out!

  2. Joy

    Nothing wrong with not having or wanting children. Just think of all the tropical vacations you and Bryan can enjoy by yourself. Kids are wonderful but let me tell ya they can caused lots of stress. Be you! I’m proud of all the activities you schedule in a day as a Military spouse!

  3. You go girl! I love that even though you feel like you don’t fit the mold you still get involved. No one said you can only be friends with people just like you, right? And I know how you feel about feeling like the only one without kids.

  4. I can completely relate! I married my husband at age 36 (both our 1st marriage), he’s enlisted, I just graduated with my MA, and we do not have children (not by choice but by circumstance). I have felt very much like an outsider, but I continue to get myself involved and embrace this world I am now a part of. Slowly, I have begun to find friends from giving groups and people a chance. Thank you for sharing this persepective and please know you are not alone.

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