By Angela Caban
Has anyone ever come across a male military spouse? When people think about military spouses, they assume that they are women. I have always referred to my audience as “military spouses”, because I do not believe in just referencing to women. We are all in this together regardless of gender. I think that most spouses, whether male or female can relate to my articles because of this. Today, there are more than 6% of male military spouses, and still there is little to no recognition for them.
Coming across many support groups online I often see the note “Women Spouses Only”. Why is it that so many groups are hesitant to allow male spouses to participate? If I were a male spouse I would be very upset by the discrimination. This would leave me feeling so unappreciated and with lack of support. Just like women spouses, male spouses also have needs and need the resources to meet those needs.
Male spouses can feel out of place at a family meetings or asking for counseling and support, if they are the only male spouse. Keith, husband of Army Specialist Susan G. from Fort Polk says “I am the only military male spouse on base. I do not attend meetings for the awkwardness I feel being surrounded by women and their problems. I feel like I have no right or business attending those meetings. And at the same time feel as if no one even cares if I show up.”
Of course there is one issue that a military husband may deal with that perhaps a military wife does not. As Keith G. stated in a private interview, “Military wives husbands go to work with men, and my wife goes to work with those men too. So yes there is a bit of a jealousy issue there”. Keith is like many military wives, he is a stay at home dad. “I deal with a ton of things around the house like cooking, cleaning, and shopping”. So what is his method for coping as a military husband? “I love my wife and support her completely. I am very proud of her and we have mutual respect for each other, while living this lifestyle.”
The best thing for male spouses is to get out there and let their voice be heard. Whether you make your way to a family meeting or show your concern with your local family organization office. Perhaps start a support group of your own for other male spouses on post. Do what you need to get the proper support needed.
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