Military Men: Better Ways to Communicate with Wife

Ladies, this article is for military men to read.

Military Men - AdobeStock_191803334Men: You may be thinking, “The less my wife knows, the less she has to worry about.”

This approach is very typical of men who truly just want to make their wives happy. Unfortunately, men and women deal with stress differently. Military men often encourage their wives to “go with the flow” and expect to be sent to Timbuktu. Yet no comment will anger your wife more because she wants to feel control over her destiny.

The family strategy approach suggested herein will allow her to feel in control of the situation, even if you aren’t actually in control and don’t get the billets you want. It’s the communication and compromise that are important. How does this work?

For Military Men: A Family Strategy Approach

First, understand that by insisting your wife accept lack of control over the situation, you are indirectly telling her that her dreams don’t matter to you or the military. By allowing billets to dictate your family’s direction, you are saying your job has priority over her dreams.

By contrast, your wife wants to know you are listening to her dreams and priorities because they count for something in your marriage. And when you listen to her dreams, you are informing yourself about what kind of billets are acceptable to her. Then you can come home and say, “You know how you’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii? Well, I’m not sure the rumor is true, but I heard today that there may be a position opening around the time I’m supposed to get my next orders. Let me find out more information so I can see how likely this would be, but I wanted to let you know.” You will get the best sex of your life.

What happens if that Hawaii billet isn’t available? Keep her posted on what information you learn so you can manage her expectations. Don’t try to shelter her by saying nothing if you hear bad news —share it with her. What’s most important about this process is that you are letting her know that you are doing your best to make her dream come true. If you’ve done what you can and the billet doesn’t come through, she will know how much you love her and appreciate the effort.

Billets for Military Men

In the meantime, you should also be discussing her priorities on billets you know will be open. When those billets show up on the list of options, your wife will be prepared to accept them and confident that you have made the right decision.

Notice how none of this has to do with actually controlling the billet situation. Instead, this is all about actually controlling the billet situation. Instead, this is all about perceived control over the situation because you both have a genuine grasp of what your priorities are as a family. By listening and showing appreciation for your wife’s dreams, you are giving her a sense of control. And that makes her happy!


Never say:

“Go with the flow.”

Instead, say this:

“These are the duty stations that are likely to be available, given my career track. Which ones are you interested in.”

Never say:

“We’ll never be able to get a post at…”

Instead, say this:

“To get a post at… it will mean I have to do X, Y, and Z, and we will probably have to live at A. That seems like quite a challenge for our family. Are you sure you want to do that?”

Never say:

“I don’t know what billets will be available. No one ever does! I don’t care what your friends say.”

Instead, say this:

“It’s hard to say at this point, but given my career track, I’m likely to get billets at A, B, and C. Which of these interest you?”
— or
“Let’s go through the possible scenarios.”

Never say:

“I refuse to live there!”

Instead, say this:

“I really do not want to take that billet. The job is really bad and would require me to do X, Y, and Z. I could see my unhappiness would really make the family miserable. Isn’t there another billet you might find acceptable?”


Never say:

“I know you heard there might be a position open at X, but there’s no way we’ll get it.”

Instead, say this:

“Interesting news! However, I have heard that that position requires someone with more qualifications than I have. Why don’t I do some more research and see what I can find out?”

This article comes from the book, Married to the Military: A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform, written by Meredith Leyva, published by Simon and Schuster. This is not a Christian book, but it has a lot of good information that you may gain from reading. Just make sure you pray, read, and glean through the information, asking God to lead you to only embrace truth.

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One response to “Military Men: Better Ways to Communicate with Wife

  1. I’ve been a military wife for 20+. Some things were fun, but I feel now that the kids are almost gone… my spouse did not make our day to day relations a priority. We had more a roommate arrangement than a relationship. I was not emotionally nurtured, emotionally cared about; I feel it was a loveless painful marriage. I didn’t feel loved in sex either I was more used as a cheap physical relief, and I rarely had any satisfaction.

    My spouse just looks at it from his prospective. My anger grew & grew, I basically have endured all of my marriage emotionally neglected. This caused me such deep depression. Also I haven’t met my husbands expectations as a wife, mother, or lover. I have been so emotionally traumatized that I was inches and seconds from ending my life. Some men have no idea the degree of pain it causes a women who feels unloved. It made me bitter and angry.

    It also contributed to completely sucking the joy out of raising children, since I had no encouragement compliments or appreciation parenting was just a chore that I was a failure at to my husband. He worked it so that I did the discipline and he did the fun stuff. So basically my children HATE me. Whenever we had a fight my husband would get the kids to agree with him. I didn’t even feel like an accepted member in my own family anymore. Since my husband is an expert at avoiding any chance of going over things that hurt me deeper than any pain… will never be reviewed & genuine remorse and a satisfactory apology never happens.

    As a result, I have big pile of hurt that’s never been resolved or healed. Worst of all he feels completely righteous & justified & I carry all of the blame. As the years have multiplied, I keep hoping and praying, distracting myself with work & hobbies. I feel like marriage is the most painful horrible experience I have undergone. Counseling was never truly embraced by my husband. I followed him and had to keep starting over every few years with a new job in a different place, more than 1/2 were very undesirable places.

    I revolved myself around something I haven’t had any fulfillment in. I just want to cut the ties now. Having hope but everyday I’m let down. I don’t want hope anymore because it has proved to be a torturous chamber of agony. Husband doesn’t care. I’m not worth any effort to make changes. I just want to leave and run away as far away from him- the whole family! I’m done. I don’t have anything good to offer anymore it’s all been stomped on. I just want God to heal me. Give me a fair divorce and move on with my life. There’s no solution when husband will never have a conviction to what he has done to me as a person.