Ten statements only military spouses see as “optimistic” 29


“Zac only peed his pants once today”, I enthusiastically shared with my friend who was pregnant with her first. Before she could even respond, her mixed expression of disgust and confusion said it all. “That’s good news?”, was her polite reply. But, I know internally she was grossed out and slightly afraid of what awaited her in the near future.

I realized that, at that time, she didn’t get it. My victory was real, because up to that point, my potty training son regularly peed himself at least three times a day. So, this was huge for me. Flash forward a few years, and this same friend now happily shares her own potty training war stories with me and we can laugh at our mishaps. She gets it now.

As fellow parents, we understand where another parent is coming from and what their daily life entails. We empathize with their struggles and share in their joy when they they manage to get their child to eat a carrot.

In a different realm, I’ve noticed a similarly unique culture among military spouses. Our triumphs and trials are different from those of other spouses. We find ourselves making statements that sound absurd, maybe even depressing, to “outsiders” but to us are actually good. Someone who doesn’t live within this lifestyle may politely respond to our proclamations with a polite, “that’s a good thing?”. To which, we all probably think, “you have no idea”.

So, in my own personal reflection on my husband’s military career and the numerous oddly optimistic statements I’ve made over the years, I’ve come up with my own list of comments I’ve made that, perhaps, only other military spouses will also see as actually a good thing (in a sarcastic sort of way):

  1. “I’m so spoiled, my spouse has gotten home by 6pm every night this week” (as opposed to the usual 7 or 8pm or later)
  2. “I can’t believe my spouse has been home for 4 months straight without going on TDY/deployment/duty training somewhere remote”
  3. “Well, at least he made it to the birth of our other child” OR
  4. “Maybe he’ll be home for the birth of the next baby”
  5. “At least the deployment is only 4 months this time” (because so often they are 6 months or longer).”
  6. “My spouse is actually home for our anniversary/kids birthdays/anyone’s birthday this year!”
  7. “It looks like we’ll actually get to live in one spot for three years this time!”
  8. “My spouse will actually be home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!”
  9. When your military spouse leaves for work at 8am instead of the usual 5am, “Wow, you’re going into work late today!”
  10. “We only had 2 major items damaged/destroyed/lost in this last move”

Maybe you can relate to one or more of the above statements. If so, then I am thankful that we share this journey together and can hopefully encourage each other along the way.

Do you have your own strangely optimistic statements that only other military spouses might truly appreciate? Share them below! I (and other military spouses) would love to hear them!

If you like this article, you may also find that you can relate to our “Dirty Clothes and Laundry” article and our “News Flash: Toddlers Throw Tantrums” article. Check them out and we would love to hear your thoughts, too!


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29 thoughts on “Ten statements only military spouses see as “optimistic”

  • Elena

    I was at a school conference once and they asked if they would be able to also speak with my husband and informed them that he was gone until after the end of the school year. They were all shocked. I replied oh don’t worry he’s only gone 3 months. I realized by the looks on their faces that i was dealing with civilians who had no military connections at all.

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      Yes! The looks people give say it all. There’s really no way to understand unless you’re going through it, too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      Yes, I’ll admit, there’s a lot of that, too, at times. 🙂 But, mostly it’s trying to look at the positive side of what might otherwise be a really frustrating or difficult situation.

  • Jet

    we retired last year, I just last night told my husband that he’s been a bad influence on me (maintainers wife…) and that going to school full time at the university left him home to often……and I’m spending to much time with him 😉 hahahahaha

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      We get used the them being gone all the time that sometimes there’s definitely an adjustment period when they’re home for a long stretch, or even permanently after retirement.

  • ann

    well my husband never went on a 4 month deployment but he is about to be back in 1,5 week from his shortest deployment yet ! 9 month instead of 12-15 month and I was excited about that

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      Congratulations on his upcoming homecoming! Yes, so many deployments are excruciatingly long. the 15 month deployments are just the worst. I hope we never have to do that again.

  • Reashea Thigpen

    My favorite is, ” Hi this is so and so from blah, blah, blah, may I speak with (insert spouses name)? Well he isn’t here right now, this is his wife how can I help you? I’ll just call back, when is a good time? Probably around the end of June

  • Hunter munsterman

    My husband and I just laughed hysterically! We’re in the middle of a PCS and have been in temporary lodging for a month. I’m waiting to see if #10 is true this time.

  • Teresa Moore

    My husband rarely was around to go to any school events. ..people/teachers always assumed I was a single parent (which technically you are alot of the time) I was always at everything so when he did show up at a few things and I would introduce him…there was always a strange look on their faces! It was always priceless and made me laugh…others probably would be insulted but oh well thats how it is and I survived 28 years! Enjoyed your blog!

  • Regina Davenport

    After 32 years of my husbands military life and 21 years of my dads military life, I really do understand each and every one of these comments. However, it’s still a great life and I wouldn’t change any of it, now. We made it through and 45 years of marriage. Ladies, you can do it and be a very strong, independent woman as well as a loving, supportive wife. GOOD LUCK!!

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      I just love your comment! Thank you for the encouragement! I wouldn’t change it for the world either. I’m also a lifetime military brat. I didn’t know what to do when they took my ID card away when I turned 22. I felt like I had been kicked out of my family. 😉

  • Roberta

    My man will be home this year for our daughters 17th birthday. I can’t remember the last time he was home for it. May have been her 9th birthday. We are all a bit excited! After 23 years I don’t always remember what he has missed.
    This was a fun blog that had me laughing. Thanks!!

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      Congratulations on him being home for her birthday!!! That’s such great news!

      I’m so happy that the article could bring a smile to your face, too. 🙂

  • Carrie Eggelston

    My husband has been away for the last 5 1/2 years consecutively. He has never been to a concert for our son, a ski meet or any other school activity. I think the teachers and coaches think we are divorced!! When I fill out contact information, for his phone number I put don’t bother unless you have “skype”!

    • Amy Rowland Post author

      LOL! So true! My husband has his off during the day so there is no point in even listing it on anything because he can’t answer it and I’m not allowed to share his work number. 🙂