- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am not used to this Air Force lifestyle. I beg my husband every day to let me go back to Philadelphia where life was normal and sane.

The wives in the military are so competitive, especially if you are an officer’s wife. It doesn’t matter if you are an Army spouse, Air Force, Navy or Marine, they are all the same. It is sickening.

The officers’ spouses refer to the other wives in their unit as “their ladies” or “their spouses.” Excuse me, when were they given ownership of the other spouses? Every time they hear about an event or anything the wives did in another unit, they have to do something to top it.

It’s gotten so bad that now they are competing about cooking, who can get the most spouses to exercise at the gym and how many people came to the Friday-night cookout. They even pass the word about how much money they raised at the unit bake sale.

I just can’t take this any more! It is so childish and ridiculous. I refuse to be a part of this petty mess, it’s just not me. My husband says I have to attend a lot of these functions and ceremonies with him. I refuse to attend anything unless it directly relates to him. It would have to be his promotion or something like that.

Ms. Vicki, is there a code for military wives? I don’t get it, it’s like these women act like being a military spouse is their job. Am I wrong for feeling the way I do? — Fed Up With Officers’ Wives

Dear Fed Up,

Believe me when I say I receive letters like yours each week. The only recourse you have in this situation is not to get caught up in the competition. Spouses and wives choose to live their lives and choose their activities. Guess what? You can do the same.

Choose not to look around and pass judgment (and I say pass judgment lightly) on what everyone else is doing. Find your purpose and what it is you are passionate about. When you figure this out, you will grow immensely as an individual. You also can use your purpose and passion to make a contribution in your community.

Find a network of support to carry you during the tough times, when you are feeling like you are the odd man out. Many times, my support has come from other military spouses in my community. However, with every duty station, I build a network of support within my civilian community, too. You can do the same.

Don’t leave your husband alone; that would be very immature of you. Have more discussions with him about the way you feel. Continue to support him in his career and request that he give the same support to you.

Hi Ms. Vicki,

I really could use your help and support. I read your column every Thursday and I like the way you lend a listening ear and how supportive you are to your readers.

I fell head over heels in love with my Army boyfriend. He was everything to me. We did everything together. We took vacations, spent holidays together and participated in various sports together. We never missed an opportunity to make love. Life was great.

So what’s my problem? Well my boyfriend of two years decided to stay with his fat, unfit wife! I was shocked. All the time, he told me he had filed for divorce and it would be final any month. This man even met my family and spent time with all of us.

Ms. Vicki, he was always talking about his wife in a negative way. He said she was too fat and unattractive, she was unfit, and could not participate in outdoor activities that he enjoyed. He said they could no longer communicate because of the arguing. He even said he didn’t make love to her because she was overweight.

I am everything she wasn’t. I’m very attractive, physically fit, educated and can keep a man very satisfied. I’m mad as hell because I deserve better than the way he treated me. Is adultery still against the law in the military? I’m really contemplating reporting him. I have plenty of evidence to prove I had an affair with him.

How can I move on from this Ms. Vicki? Will my anger toward him last forever? — My Lying Boyfriend

Dear Lying Boyfriend,

I get so sick and tired of self-entitled hootchies like you who date married men then become scorned when they realize they’ve made a mistake, dump you and stay with their wives. In my book, you deserve nothing and I don’t feel sorry for you.

You say you are very attractive, educated and physically fit. If you have all of this going for you, then why do you have to date married men? Obviously, there is something wrong. You are smart, but you keep doing stupid things.

Stop judging his wife. You have no right to talk about her. Your boyfriend was wrong for discussing his wife with you and he should be ashamed. I’m sure he was telling you the same lies that every married man tells: I can’t communicate with my wife, my wife has let herself go, I’m not having sex with my wife, I’m not in love with my wife, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line is you got played.

My advice is to seek the help of a professional counselor. If you’re a civilian, contact your health care provider. If you are a service member, there are many options.

You really need to discover why you would think so highly of yourself, but become involved in relationships that are detrimental to you.

Send e-mail to dearmsvicki@yahoo.com.

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