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Guest Blog: Eight Things To Know About Military Husbands

We always hear the words “men and women in uniform,” but we seldom come across the term “military husband.” It’s not that they don’t exist. They are out there, and there are plenty of them. They are just unnoticed. I am one of them. The following list reveals eight things people may not know about us:

1. Our number one trait is our unwavering devotion to our wives. We follow them wherever they may go. This is non-negotiable.

2. Our careers are second to the armed forces. Every three years or so, whenever our wives receive their new orders for a PCS, we also leave our jobs. We normally do not sustain a career, and this can go on for 20 years. Sending our wives to the frontlines while we stay at home can be really tough. This also means that we’re always the ones to miss work whenever our kids are ill.

3. On top of having to change careers every PCS season, a lot of our experiences can be emasculating. We are the man of the house, and we’re supposed to be the main breadwinners. But due to our love and obedience to our wives, we have to swallow our pride, leave our jobs, become unemployed for a while and just hope that we land a good job in our next duty station very quickly.

4. Yes, we are homemakers too! Some of us believe this is best for our families. However, people do not always match that profession with the word “man.” I am currently a homemaker because my children are on a waiting list at the base’s afterschool program, and we were told it could take a year for them to be admitted. So I have taken this opportunity to earn my second master’s degree while being a stay-at-home dad. My wife enjoys this set up because she gets to come home and enjoy a delicious dinner made by the best chef in the entire world – me!

5. We do not always fit right in. When my wife was away on a deployment, most of the events sponsored by her command were crafted for military wives and children. Do not expect us to show up for book clubs or to help make a quilt to be sent to our troops. A lot of times, we are the only male spouse at these events.

6. The military does not always have programs and support groups dedicated to male military spouses. We deal with separation and long deployments way differently than our female counterparts. Try searching for “depression” and “deployments” on the web, and you will find many articles that discuss this issue directed toward female spouses. There is way too little research done on depression of male spouses and partners.

7. We are military dependents, and we didn’t serve before. The very next question people usually ask after they find out I am a Navy husband is whether or not I have served before. Society still tries to find validation that though we are now dependents, we have at least done our uniformed service before, and this can be a really sad experience.

8. In spite of all this, we still love our wives and support them 100 percent. We can be as ecstatic as any military family member whenever our wives get a promotion or a commendation. We may not always show it the same way in public, but you can be sure we are leaping and screaming inside our heads. We do our best to continually empower, encourage and inspire our wives to excel in their positions.

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  • Excellent write up! It’s good to have this information available online to help make other aware of this non-traditional lifestyle of the Military Husband.

  • Sandy says:

    I just found your blog and I have to say it’s very well put together and completely articulates the experiences my husband and I are experiencing. I too would like to create more awareness for the “military husband” and would love to see at least one event a month for just the military husbands to get together. I was wondering if you had any thoughts and ideas on what military husbands would be interested in participating in? One idea my husband and I had was to have MWR offer a once a month “Mid-day Movie”, where a movie that you couldn’t necessarily take the kids to would be offered during the hours that the kids are at daycare or school. That way the military husbands could enjoy an action flick and break the insanity of being subjected to kid movies all the time. I’m just unsure how to go about getting this accomplished. I’ve already contacted MWR with the idea but they don’t seem responsive to it. =(

    Please keep doing what you’re doing … there’s quite a few of us out here that appreciates the resources and experiences you share. Thank you!

  • Liz McKee says:

    My Dad was an awesome military spouse to my Air Force Mom, and he was a stay-at-home-Dad. He was seriously the best! Now, as an Army wife, I’ve realized he probably had a harder time than I do now. I get questions all the time about when he served, and I just shake my head. His service was to our family, and that is more than enough.

  • Beckie says:

    Sandy, keep pushing for it! I’m fighting everyday to also get the marketing material on our bases to recognize male spouses and female military families. Many of the programs that Marine Corps Family Team Building have are directed to all spouses but the marketing gives a different picture. Hopefully with enough of us we can change the face of the military spouse.

  • Marcy says:

    I am very happy a man know how we feel! I hope other men understand how military spouses feel.

  • Heather and Victor says:

    Just wondering if you have a military husband blog site? I would love to have my husband more connected to other military husbands.

  • Jeff Smith says:

    As a “army husband” I have seen more than my fair share of of what you are talking about.The male soldiers look down on you and ask why I didn’t join.The job search is worse the older you get, I once thought i was a shoe in for a job but as soon as he found out I was a spouse the interview was over.I knew it when he asked how long we had been there.I went back to school and of course as any school does they ask you how many of you are active duty, retired, spouses and when I raised my hand the professor looked at me and said “so you’re the one getting the free ride.” When the soldiers including my wife were deployed I joined the FRG and of course was the only male.One wife showed up at my door one night and when I said something to the FRG leader thinking it would be handled discreetly, well I was wrong.She went straight to her which of course she got angry and confronted me about what she was up to. i have never gone to another FRG meeting since.You try to fit in but as a military husband you find it may be better to sink into your chair.these are just some of what I have seen but these times have sucked the life from me in away I could not foresee.

  • Mike says:

    I feel ya! We are a newly wed couple her 30 myself 27. She’s Navy as well. I use to get upset when we would meet new people and the topic of work/ careers came up. I suppose I have hot use to it and doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s a shame the society is open to so many new ideas but this one hasn’t spread much. Thanks for the article it was spot on!

  • Jay says:

    I to am a military husband and have been quite active is the spouse club. Although I attended Bookclub one year all the reading material was centered around what the female spouses wanted to read (as I was the only male in the group) I found even though I tried to let the spouse club know there are male spouses out there almost all events were still catered to the female spouse and yes most programs and support groups are designed around the female spouse. I believe at one point I was the only male spouse amongst 150 – 200 female spouses and at several events I was 1 amongst 50.
    As my wife is the breadmaker I am the homemaker, so she gets to come home to home cooked meals (good thing I was a cook /chef at several restaurants prior to meeting her) as well as need not worry about taking the kids to a doctors appointment as I got that covered too. As for PCSing yeah, I’m almost an old hand at that, doing my 6th move in which the last 2 I had to handle to entire move and the kids while my wife was away and yes I still love and support my wife 100 percent.

  • Jeff says:

    And not all military husbands are straight….and they don’t receive benefits!

  • Hey everyone:

    I just read your comments and I am so very thankful for all the words of encouragement, not only for me, but for all the military husbands and dual military families. I just want to make a quick reply to most of your comments:

    Frank: Military OneSource is a great online tool and I am thankful for their support in raising awareness and support to all the military husbands. I believe there are other non-DOD official Facebook groups out there.

    Sandy: I agree with Beckie. Keep on pushing for it. Perhaps rally the support of other military families. Mid-day movie is such a great idea. Perhaps the base or MWR could also sponsor a free child care voucher for a couple of hours a month specially for military husbands, so that they can have a free time for themselves esp. when their wives are on deployment? I know that when my wife was away, this was one of the nicest gifts I have ever received whenever someone agrees to look after the kids, so I could go to an electronics store or a book store to “window” shop and have a free time for myself.

    Liz: I am thankful for your dad’s service in support of your mom (and to you as well).

    Beckie: I agree. Raising awareness is just the beginning. We will keep marching on!

    Macy: Thanks so much!

    Heather and Victor: I blog at Thanks!

    Jeff S.: I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had worse comments, but I just think of the sacrifices of my wife and be thankful to be able to support her.

    Mike: Thanks for reading. When I mentioned to my kids’ piano teacher that I am a homemaker, he mentioned that he also knows other homemaker dads who bring their kids to him. Good to know that we are being recognized beyond what our careers might be.

    Jay: I attended the book club here on base and most of their books were geared towards the female readership, I suggested a John Grisham book for summer, but I guess I was outvoted. That’s okay, though.

    Jeff: You are absolutely correct. This article is also dedicated to military male partners.

    Thanks again everyone!