Insensitive Questions/Comments During Deployment
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Insensitive Questions/Comments During Deployment

Are there questions that simply should not be asked during a deployment? As soon as someone hears that your loved one is deployed, it opens that flood gate of questions; pushy, insensitive and prying.

While my husband and I were preparing for his deployment in 2008, I remember vividly the many questions from co-workers and acquaintances. Since my husband is Army National Guard, my everyday acquaintances were civilians not military. Many of the questions that I received were not only rude, but I felt were an invasion of mine and my husbands personal life. I kept telling myself that they just didn’t know any better, they were not aware that most of the questions they were asking, were indeed offensive.

I was asked everyday how I was doing, I felt like a puppy that everyone wanted to adopt – they felt bad for me and I hated that feeling. I appreciated the concern, but I was tough and I didn’t need the pity. So after a few weeks I bought a magnet and placed it on my overhead for everyone to see. The magnet said “Yes I am married to a soldier, Yes he’s deployed, Yes it’s hard, anymore questions?” A little sarcasm sure went a long way!

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Let me explain a bit better. I was not trying to cause any issues at work, but what people did not realize was that work was my escape for 8 hours a day. I did not want to be constantly reminded that my husband was gone, and I rarely wanted to speak about it. Work for me at this time really helped for the days to just pass by, and rather than sit at home and go crazy, nothing at work reminded me of my husband.

While I do believe that people do try their best to mean well and I in no way am forgetting the support and love that was given to me during my husbands deployment, I do want to review some of the questions I have been asked, and how they affected me. Perhaps some of you have come across these as well.

Do you trust your husband all alone in another state/country? Aren’t you afraid he will cheat on you?

Not only is this question intrusive, but it is truly hurtful. It makes me want to ask them “do you trust your husband when he goes to work?” Because regardless of how long my husband is gone for, this is his job and within our marriage we have trust and faith in God and each other as human beings. We are open and communicate when something is bothering us, if we didn’t then we would be like so many other marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce. Sad, but true.

Oh I know what you are going through. My husband goes away on many business trips.

My husband’s civilian job at the time also required him to be away for months at a time, so I can truly say that there was no comparison between the two. Although I was nervous while he was gone, never did I think his life was at risk. And when he was deployed I went to bed and woke up each morning praying to God that my husband was okay and that I would hopefully get a call to confirm this. These are two completely different situations for both your soldier and you, so my answer to this question is just a simple, no comparison.

I don’t know how you can handle going through this. I would never in a million years be able to do it.

Trust me there are times when I feel like I don’t want to either, but I knew what I signed up for. I am privileged and honored to be a military spouse and stand by my husband as he serves his country. We don’t have many choices in this lifestyle but there is one thing we must do, be supportive of our spouse. We are truly a breed of our own.

I can’t believe how calm you are, aren’t you scared? Do you want him to go?

This question was slap in the face, especially since it was asked by one of my husband’s sisters. My answer was, “How should I act? Should I wrap myself around his leg screaming “don’t go, don’t go!”One thing we know as spouses is that there is no time to lose it! And why would you? This won’t stop your spouse from deploying. My main concern is ensuring my husband’s mind is clear of any worries so that he can concentrate on his job and return home to us. And yes we are scared, but during this time the best way to handle ourselves and think positive. And of course when no one was watching and my son was asleep, I let myself cry – it helped and it released the pressure of always needing to be strong for those around you.

So, do you support the war?

Dropping my husband off at his unit one day, there was a large crowd of protesters with signs that said “You should all die for supporting the war”. How is this peaceful? These people are claiming peace with a sign of hate? I resisted the urge to run them over with my car, kissed my husband and said our goodbyes in front of these people.

One thing I wish people would understand is that there is a large difference between supporting the war, and supporting our troops. I am married to a soldier whose boss is the Commander in Chief, our President. My personal views on this war have absolutely no effect on how I will support our troops.

What kind of insensitive or personal questions have you been asked? Share them in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “Insensitive Questions/Comments During Deployment”

  1. Angie, I love your new web site. The best of luck with it. I know I never asked you any of these questions,but I hope you know I was there to support our military & you as a friend & neighbor. I felt your pain because I saw your tears when you missed your husband. I hope I was able to be of some support to you when you needed a friend. God Bless our military!!!!

  2. First deployment in 2003-2004 I had people ask me why I was so upset about hubby being deployed b/c “they would like to send their husband away for a couple of weeks” I found it rather offending!

  3. Ahh..I am going through this now! With all the questions. My husband is about to deploy for the second time,he volunteered for this one. The first deployment we were just dating.

    I’ve been asked all of the same questions as you.

    The one’s that really get to me are “Why don’t you get pregnant before he leaves? Aren’t you scared he won’t come back?”

    “Are you afraid of him cheating?”

    “How could you agree with him volunteering?”

    blah blah blah. I get so tired of them, and yes civilians don’t understand. My husband is in the National Guard also so we don’t get the full military life and we are around more civilians. It is very frustrating though.

  4. Thank you so much, Angela. Reserve wife here, about to experience our first deployment, and I get the second question ALL time time from my civvie friends. I know they mean well, they really do, but one of these days I’m afraid I might explode, “Well, YOUR husband isn’t in a literal WAR ZONE, now is he?” Or something like that.

    I’ve also been asked a couple times, “Can you go with him?” To a war zone? Yeah…no. I’m kind of surprised I even get this one, because I honestly would have thought it was a bit of a common-sense thing.

    I guess three and four don’t bother me so much, because for most of my friends, I’m the ONLY military wife they know, and I know they’re really trying to hard to pay me a compliment (with three) and to understand what I’m feeling (with four). But that’s just me.

    I’ve thankfully never been asked the cheating question, but that’s because most of my friends know him, too. I think if I did get asked that, I really WOULD be ticked off.

    Sorry this comment’s so disjointed, just some thoughts!

    1. Welcome to the HUN and thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are never disjointed and always appreciated! 🙂

  5. I Hate the are you afraid he’s going to cheat question!! A coworker was asking me a bunch of questions about my husbands upcoming deployment a few months back and he pretty much insinuated that my husband was going to cheat because all men cheat, and then he went on to say that I would probably cheat… At the time I was 8 months pregnant and I couldn’t believe the nerve of that man, hes lucky i kept my hormones in check! How dare he act like my marriage meant nothing, and the vows we took were lies!! The part that really bothered me was that this man is like 15 years older then me… Way to act like an adult.

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