Blame it all on the war
From one of our contributors who prefers to remain anonymous – Anonmilwife. She is a military spouse who has been through deployments, PCSs, and all the rest of the military spouse life.
Thanks to the well-publicized mistakes of a few high-level officers, military marriage has come under the mainstream media microscope recently. Some of this examination has come from those with no ties to the Army; some has come from within.
It’s hard to take the outside commentary very seriously, since much of it is nothing more than anthropological voyeurism: Observe the exotic military culture and its mating habits! Whew, glad we’re not them.
The inside commentary has tended toward what I would consider common sense: Marriage is marriage, no matter what your job is; there’s nothing that makes either the servicemember or the spouse inherently more susceptible to infidelity.
But just as we milspouses don’t march in lockstep on much of anything, not all of us are seeing infidelity as something that occurs in a vacuum. The new question is, What did you expect after a decade of war?
The problem is that instead of a question, it sounds like an excuse. Not only does it give military marriage (a phrase I’m beginning to resent) a bad name, in addition to labeling it as special, but it cheapens the experience of those who have the true torment of PTSD. Combat is a monster, and I don’t see how anyone who survives it could not be haunted to some degree. I see it in my own husband. What I don’t see in my own husband is adultery. If I did, I’d be less inclined to blame his multiple deployments and more inclined to question his moral character.
It’s a very human and understandable reaction to blame a personal struggle on an outside, larger-than-life influence. If you do that, you don’t have to assign fault to yourself or someone you love. People get married for all kinds of reasons, and they stay together or part ways for just as many reasons. To lay everything at the foot of war is not fair. Sometimes you just have to admit you married an asshole.