Army Husband Experiences

Bill’s Story

I am not an Army wife.

The heading of this section, “Experiences of Army Wives,” is why I’m writing.

I am an Army husband.

Consider the stresses of the Army wife, loneliness, abandonment, and jealousy of their husbands’ freedom in their huge Army family.  Add the worry and the doubts about how important you are to the person who leaves so often.

Then add the simple fact that at least 99% of support is for women. Your wife trains with body armor and 50 cal machine guns, and you’re at home making sure the kids have food, clean clothes, and get an education.

I’m more “liberated” than most, but after a while, it makes you start questioning your manhood. You joke to others about wearing an apron, but you can’t avoid the embarrassment.

Who can you call for support? An Army wife? No – – – – – not a good idea for so many reasons. Even if you find another male in the same situation, men find it hard to talk about feelings.

Army wives feel more and more distressed as deployment time approaches. This is understandable, but it also happens to men.

But the people around him are less accepting if he, a man, shows how he’s feeling or, God forbid, looks for support. Of course, this is stereotyping, but you can never completely be free of it, if not you, then in others.

If there’s a point to this, it is: Be aware of the Army husband and his suffering too. Do what you can reasonably do to lend support if you’re inclined. And maybe think of Army spouses as humans experiencing much of what you do, regardless of gender.

******

Clenton’s Story

Hello, I am new to the Army Spouse world, and I am an Army Husband with two kids. I was originally going to be the one to join the Army, but due to a medical condition, I was unable to pass the physical.

So my wife told me she would like to join and that this is something that she would love to do.

I tried everything to talk her out of joining because she was joining in a time of war, and she then told me her reasons for wanting to join: to provide our family with a better life and give our kids a better future.

One rule of being married to someone is to support and back up your spouse in any decision they make, and this was something she wanted to do, so I started supporting her and even helped her study everything she needed to know before she joined, I would even quiz her on the info we had been studying.

I got called all kinds of names, from Army Wife to House Wife, by friends and co-workers, and I would joke back with them, but after a while, it got old. But I didn’t let them drag me down; my wife and I didn’t make this decision to impress anybody, we made this decision to better ourselves and our family, and it has.

My wife and I had only been married for 5 yrs, and we had 2 beautiful children when she decided to join. But while she was gone for boot camp, I began to realize not only everything she had done for this family before she joined but also how much I didn’t do, and it was a big wake-up call for me.

So not only am I having to take care of everything she did before she left and take care of our two kids, but I have enjoyed it. It has given me a chance to bond with my children. I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss her, and it has not only changed me as a person but made me a better father and husband.

After a while, you adjust and get used to the change, but it is not always easy. My wife was OSUT, meaning when she left for boot camp, she didn’t come home after boot camp; she went straight into AIT, about 17 weeks total.

She graduated and was able to come home for Christmas for 2 weeks, then had to report to her duty station without the kids and me, and we had to wait in our home state until we got a house on base before we moved to her location.

Well, her first day at her duty station was difficult for me because I was so used to seeing her every day, and she wasn’t even able to talk much because of the briefing she was going through.

When I finally was able to talk to her later that night, she told me that they said that her unit would be deployed soon to Afghanistan. They told her that her first day back from training.

Yes, we knew it was a good possibility of her being deployed. Still, I figured they would let her at least get her family moved up there with her and her be there for a few months before deploying her, so I am needing some words of advice, and I want to know how other Army Spouses handle the news of their spouse being deployed.

I know it is very common for a soldier to be deployed, but this will be the first time for our family, and I am trying to find a way to prepare myself and our family for this mentally.

But it doesn’t bother me to be called an Army Spouse; I am proud of my soldier and will support her in any decision she makes.

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This article was written by a visitor to the site. All of our contributors served in the military, are married to someone who serves in the military, or have a child who serves in the military. These Army soldiers and/or family members enjoy helping others by sharing their experiences.

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21 Comments

  1. I am commenting here, because I am looking for Army Husbands who would be willing to share their stories with me. I am a theatre artist living in San Diego, California. I am in the process of writing a play about how technology affects the ways we communicate as a family, and specifically how it affects military families.

    The play will be directed towards family audiences here in San Diego, which is a huge military town. Our goal is to accurately reflect the voice of military families, and more specifically military fathers. It is a play that is being created through a collaborative process. I am mostly serving as the playwright although the words are created through improvisations and collaborations with other theatre artists, teenagers, and real-life military families such as yourself.

    A little about myself: I am a theatre artist who lives in San Diego, California. I am not from a military family, outside of the fact that my brother was enlisted for about 2 years or so. That said, San Diego is a big military town, and I am very interested in telling stories that are less heard.

    Why I am contacting you: Would you be willing to speak with me over the phone or through skype regarding your experience as an army dad? It is critical that this play not only rings true for families everywhere trying to find the balance with technology in their lives, but that also rings true to military families, and specifically the less-heard voice of stay at home military fathers, such as yourself. If you are willing, please email me at crystalmercado@gmail.com. Also, here is our blog which has been documenting the play creation process: http://opehqueh.wordpress.com/

    thank you, and I wish you and your family the best.

    -Crystal Mercado

  2. Thanks for sharing guys. My wife goes to bootcamp in October and I am running into the same thing you guys are… There is something romantic and idealistic about the husband going off to war while the little woman waits at home.. Not so for a husband. As men, we pretty much suck it up and get on with our lives and don’t get a T.V. show made about us.. I think that people just expect us to spend that time drinking beer and playing video games… My wife still has months to go before she even puts on a pair of combat boots and I’m already worried about her. Plus, when you read the stories of how the U.S. Army thinks rape is an appropriate form of recreation for servicemen, it really makes you worry, she will have two enemies to deal with.

  3. I’m a new recruit both as a husband and army husband. My wife and I have only been dating for six months with the ticking clock of her having to leave for boot camp hanging over both of our heads. We are used to seeing each other every day now. It’s gonna be tough sending her off to an uncertain future so early on in the relationship. For the six months we’ve known each other it will take six months for her to complete boot camp and her training, and I too have heard stories of rampant sex and rape in the barracks. I trust and love my wife but worry that she’ll either get caught up in it or, when she comes back, how the relationship will have changed by then. It’s such a new relationship I worry that we haven’t fully settled into ourselves yet as husband and wife. I’m a writer. I’m not very athletic, and I don’t fit in with the testosterone-filled atmosphere the military seems to attract and breed. I worry she’ll meet some buff army dude and want to ditch me. I joke about it with her and make light of it, but the fear is there for me.

  4. I am replying to this post because even though I didn’t finish reading it I would like to share a story.

    My now ex girlfriend is in the MA Natuonal Guard, she got deployed to Qatar, everything was working out fine until she left for her deployment. We dated for a while, moved in and lived together for a year, her deployment came and I even went to see her where she was aclamating in MS before leaving to Qatar.

    Once she landed in Qatar everything changed, even though we skyped, called each other by phone, wrote emails and tried to communicate, it didn’t stop the regular Army “breaking family” bullshit.. I learnt through a buddy of mine that she cheated and has been even seen “fraternizing” with a lower rank dude. I thought of exposing her and get her kicked out, but I didn’t feel douche bag enough to do it although she deserved it. Now she says that she wants me back and wants to retake out lives when she comes back. She apologized for what she has done there and now wants to start from scratch.

    My question here is: “isn’t deployment supposed to be a job that soldier go do and come back?”. Also: “why is it that when you research online all you see is ARMY WIFE CHEATED, but rarely see “Women soldiers often do cheat on their husbands while they are on deoyment?”.

    1. You have to realize that being national guess i like living two totally different lives because you are a civilian most of the time and you always have that comfort of your family or spouse, you still come home and are only away small periods of time. On the other hand you have to bounce into a serious state when you are on duty and especially being deployed. It is culture shook for most military, but more of a shock to reserves and national guard since they are not used to that everyday training environment like active duty. She is only human, ppl make mistakes it is human nature to seek that comfort and physical stability. It is a common reaction to find someone to talk to about your feelings when on deployment, and in some cases it leads to other things. Still you have to put yourself in her shoes, she got through her deployment came home alive and maybe that took the emotional support of another man. And fraternizing with a male is not hard to do when you are a female on deployment. The ration of men to women is almost 100 to 1. Fraternization is only a big term for being seen talking, walking, or writing each other. If you love her, you have to forgive and forget. If not than its not meant to be. She didn’t fall on love with another man, she obviously loves you.

  5. I am an army husband. I have been with my wife for 4 years and we have a beautiful little girl. She got news that her unit was scheduled for deployment in November 2012. After the state cut back over half of her company, she was told that she was not going to deploy anymore. We had discussed getting married, but had agreed that if I did deploy it would be best if we waited until she got home so we wouldn’t have to rush anything and spend our first year of marriage apart. After she got what we thought was the final word, which was that she absolutely would not go due to no existing slot for her that corresponds with her job as a mechanic for the last 6 years. We decided we would get married like we wanted to and she would finish her degree. A month after our wedding she received a call to report to her duty station because she was being deployed as a last minute add on. 14 months total, I will be a stay at home dad for a two year old that is definitely a mommy’s girl. My wife leaves in two days for MOB. She had to withdrawal from her last semester of college two months before her scheduled graduation, and will have to finish her two whole classes and an internship in a year and two months. She has worked in maintenance for 6 years and her unit is making her deploy as an ammunition specialist in an attack battalion. This is only the beginning of the story. She will fly out in less than 48 hours and I will not see her for 14 months, our little girl will not be with her mommy for a very long time.

    1. My thoughts are with you, Derek. Deployments are tough but especially with a little one. I hope you have a support system in place.

    2. Hi! I’m not sure if you will even still see this because it was so long ago- I’m a mother and wife and thinking about joining the national guard in my state. I would join, go to basic, then do OTS on weekends once I returned. My husband and I have a 2 YO and she is a mommy’s girl also- but definitely loves her dad too. I have gone out of town for a week or so here and there and she has been fine. I’m a little worried about my husband being able to handle our child, dog, and household. His parents and two brothers live literally 5 minutes away and are very supportive. We are over at their house at least twice a week anyways and go to church with them on sundays. My husband and I are Catholic and have very strong faith lives so I’m not worried about infedelity. He definitely wouldn’t even have time with work, our child, and our dog (plus laundry, cleaning, cooking, bills, etc.). I work full time and have since my daughter was born- she goes to daycare full time and is very social. I’m just wondering how your situation planned out? How did your daughter take your wife being gone for 14 months? How was their relationship when your wife returned? Thank you!

  6. So my husband and I have talked about me joining the Army. I have always wanted to be in the Air Force, but I wanted to be a pilot, and so being a pilot requires at least a 20/20 vision. 🙁 So I decided to join the Army instead. However I am worried about my husband. We have no kids, we’ve been together for 3 yrs and married for 2. He used to be in the Army.. but a whole bunch of crap went down, and now hes honorably discharged. I just don’t want him to feel like he’s less than me because now Im going in. He says he supports me and everything I do.. I just worry about whats going to happen to us if and when I come back. Any of you fellows have any advice?

  7. I am an army husband and use to be in the army a few yrs back and I like to say it seems like all the support is for women. Can you please look for more support for the husband

    1. I appreciate your service. I would love to be able to provide additional resources for Army husbands but as an Army wife, I can’t write from that perspective. My husband was in an all male unit (special ops) so I don’t have that experience to draw from even with just being around those married to female soldiers. However, anyone is welcome to contribute articles, blogs, etc about the subject and I’m more than happy to post them. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  8. I’m not a husband but a long time boyfriend. My gf will be attending basic training then straight into ait like 10 months total I think I’m worried she will just forget about me and find someone else, maybe someone else in the army I don’t want to think of that but I had a coworker that happened to him. I love this girl with all my heart and have been in love since day one and I know SHE is the ONE. she says I can write her letters but I I’m 100% supportive and respect her decision but not seeing the love of my life for like almost a year, I don’t if I can do that with out going crazy. Ahh this has changed my life need advice and maybe if I can ever visit or attend graduation idk I’m new to this. Considered joining the national guard when I was a young lad but checked out thanks

    1. You will be able to attend her graduations, etc. Also, if her AIT is ten months, it is generally less strict and she will have some time off and you would be able to see her more after the first phase if you’re able to travel (she will likely be restricted from travel). Think positive! Hope all works out for the best!

  9. So I am posting on here because I am in a rough spot. My now Fiance and I have moved to her first duty station. Nowhere close to where we are both from. We have been arguing about petty things and I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong. She says she loves me but she says she wants to end it. She distances herself physically and mentally. Shows no feelings towards me. About a month ago she was saying how excited she was to be able to live together and she wants to start a family but now it is the complete opposite. I have to ask for a hug and kiss before she leaves for base. I knew the military would change how she views things. I don’t have a job out here yet. And she wants to end things between us. I can’t even afford to pack my things and go home because I spent thousands moving her and my stuff out here. I am crushed by this and as a guy who has dropped everything to go so far and to do it to be with her. And not have anything out here but her.. I just need pointers on how or what you suggest I do. To try and make this work between her and I.

  10. I recently came across this site.
    Wow I thought I was the only one having these thoughts and feelings.
    A little about me.
    Im new to this Army life and learning so much.
    My Husband and I have been together for 6 years and Married for 1 yr. (Now thats its legal)
    He is currently at AIT and has a couple weeks to go.
    The thing is we have had numerous heated discussions on where I fit into his new Army family.
    I trust him. I dont trust others.
    I have seen first hand some of the stuff that goes on at AIT.
    I have personally witnessed things that should have never happened.
    I have had female and male soldiers ask my husband for sex right in front of me. Knowing we are married and very dedicated to each other.
    I have thought about going to his Commander to discuss these issues.
    My husband tells me not to because it will get him in trouble.
    I have tried to get support in place but there is not much for husbands out there.
    Dont get me wrong in no way am I bashing the Army or any Military branch.
    I would just like to know where we as supportive husbands can go for support.

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