Deployments are a huge part of life in the military. And they suck. No one wants to be away from their loved ones for months at a time. You know what sucks even more? People who say stupid things to military families when their loved ones are deployed. So with a little help from some awesome military spouses, we’ve created a list of the top things not to say when a loved one is deployed. Listen to our advice, because no one wants to be that person.
1. Aren’t you worried he/she will get hurt? At least the military takes care of you if they do.
Wow. Just, wow. We know it’s hard to believe, but we didn’t marry our spouses for their severance package. But thanks for making it really easy for us to decide if we should keep you in our friend circle. Buh, bye.
2. Aren’t you worried they’re going to cheat on you?
Well, aren’t you a Debbie Downer. Listen, it sounds like you’ve got a few of your own insecurities you need to deal with. Don’t project them onto our relationship. Also — we’re awesome. So no, we’re not.
3. You signed up for this so don’t complain.
Oh, really? So because our spouses decided to join the military we can never complain about their job? Alright, then we never want to hear about your spouse being late for dinner or missing your kid’s soccer game. You signed up for it, right?
4. Why can’t they come home for Christmas/anniversary/holiday?
You know it’s so weird, we called the bad guys to ask if they could take a break so our spouses could come home for our birthday, but they didn’t pick up. We left a voicemail though, so fingers crossed!
5. I totally understand what you’re going through. My spouse had a long business trip and it was awful.
Oh honey, no. Listen, a business trip is nothing like a deployment. A business trip means staying at a Hampton Inn and getting free breakfast. A deployment means body armor and sand in places you can’t reach.
6. Why don’t you know when they are coming home?
First of all, the military is weird. Sometimes we get a month’s notice, other times only a few days. It’s a frustrating waiting game that would make anyone irritable. Second, thank you for being excited that our loved one coming home, but when we finally get our spouses back, we like a little time just for ourselves. We’ve spent more than a few months apart so excuse us if we don’t want to share them for a while. But we’ll definitely let you know when we’re up to feeling social. Drinks on you, right?
This op-ed was submitted by a member of the Sway community who prefers to remain anonymous.