I was wondering if you can run some type of article on Veteran’s Day about all of us military spouse chumps?
All hell is bad, but I think a military spouse chump gets their own little level somewhere in there! On Veteran’s Day we see all the hero worship and it is a horrible trigger for us military chumps. They get free and reduced meals and all the thanks they get on Facebook. And I know a lot of them deserve it, however as we both know, there are a lot that do NOT.
Survivor and ex-military chump
Thank you for your service as a military spouse and husband appliance. Gah, what a shit sandwich. Of course, military service people write to me about being chumped too, like this Marine chump. I think what must make Veteran’s Day difficult is the emphasis on sacrifice and honor. Beautiful ideals. And so many FWs failing to measure up.
As I say here, it’s not the pain Olympics, but yes, there is a special place in hell for anyone who cheats on a military spouse, or a vulnerable, deployed member of the armed services. Because you’re part of something larger than just your marriage — you’re making a sacrifice for the well-being of our entire country.
It’s a shit-ton to ask of someone to move from base to base, uprooting their life, and their children’s lives, time and again because the military requires it. Military spouses often have to sacrifice their own career success. And they do it, not just to support the person they love, but because they believe in the mission. So it’s another level of betrayal when you find out you’ve been used and abused.
When you divorce out of the military, my understanding is you lose all those support structures. Plus you lose a whole identity.
I briefly worked at the Defense Department as a writer. I liked the whole suck up and deal ethos. I had to learn the lingo, but what particularly stuck out to me was an emphasis on “unit cohesion.” That you had to make decisions based on the well-being of the unit, not your individual desires. That this was a fundamental building block to any functional military. They say it’s why they shave new recruits’ hair — to strip down the individual and build up the whole.
Cheating is such a basic assault to unit cohesion. I know adultery is an offense in the military code (and rarely enforced, you guys tell me). Rules for thee but not for me? No trust? No one is giving up their life for that shit, knowingly.
Mike, I don’t know if this is the column you were looking for this Veteran’s Day. But I want you to know that you’re seen. Every time we thank a veteran, we should also thank the military family that’s doing the grunt work on the home front. And I’m sorry you were betrayed. You can’t be chumped unless you have a big, selfless heart to begin with.
Thank you for your service.
Friday Challenge — thank a military spouse, a veteran, and share your military chump stories.