I just don’t get it. It may be the fact that I have been married to the same man for over 24 years, or that I’m too busy to waste my time and energy on drama, control and unwarranted jealousy, but I’ll never understand the irrational juvenile games that I see in my military life. Military spouses can be the best battle buddies, we can be strong and independent. But recently I have seen drama that is so toxic that I can’t help but shake my head and wish I could find a way to help them get that this life isn’t just about them – especially for situations like the you better answer when I call game that I see happening in military families no matter how long they have been together.
I see it all the time the service member who assumes their spouse is hurt because they aren’t answering, the spouse who can’t reach their significant other and within minutes are in a spiral creating all kinds of drama. In our instant access society too many of people jump to the wildest of assumptions when someone doesn’t answer their text or call immediately – And I have something to say about that:
Military Life Newsflash #1:
If your other half doesn’t answer your call or multiple text messages after you’ve tried to reach them countless times over the last 10 minutes; do you really think they are going to pick up the phone if you call again?
Did it ever cross your mind that they may be busy and unable to answer or that they will call you back as soon as they are able? Have you forgotten that they are working or taking care of any number of duties that they are faced with day in and day out? Just because most of us have our phones with us all the time, doesn’t mean we are or should be available for “instant access” whenever you decide you want to chat.
Currently my husband is in the final stages of master gunner school, and my house has been taken over by a group of 6 soldiers who are for lack of a better word walking zombies; surviving on caffeine and working with a focus like I’ve never seen before. They rarely take a break, and other than the sound of my fingers across the keyboard you could hear a pin drop in my home. But someone keeps calling and blowing up one of the phones and I’d like you to know that your drama is toxic.
Trust me it’s not helping your cause, in fact it’s hurting it. I don’t know a person on earth who will respond to the barrage of messages demanding a response. If it’s an emergency say so, and if it isn’t it’s time you understood that now is not a good time. And just so we are clear, when you question why they didn’t answer your call or text just wondering “how it’s going” it REALLY pisses them off. But you don’t see that. You assume that he is ignoring you, and well you are right.
Military Life Newsflash #2:
You are being ignored because you are being rude.
You are being ignored because you are dramatic and your spouse doesn’t have time to succumb to your “pay attention to me” game. You are being ignored because your spouse knows that if they answer that you will create even more drama that frankly they can’t deal with right now. And just in case you missed it, calling over and over REALLY isn’t helping, but you don’t see that.
Here is the reality: Your spouse is here at my house busting his butt trying to finish so he can get home to you as quickly as possible; he would do this project at home, but my guess is that you would provide to many distractions and he wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline. So he comes here where he can do what he needs to do as quickly as he can. Contrary to what you might believe, he knows you have been picking up the slack while he’s been working so hard these last 4 months, and the sooner he can get this done the faster he can come home to you. But you don’t see that.
Frankly I don’t blame him for being frustrated, and I feel bad that he feels that you just don’t get it. Have you bothered to consider that there is a reason why this school is known for its difficulty? Trust me he’s just trying to make you proud and do what’s best for the family. But you don’t see that. You are so caught up in the game playing and how it’s affecting you that you don’t see that you are making it harder on everyone; and that can be toxic for your entire relationship in the long run.
Maybe it’s the fact that you are tired of feeling like you are not their focus right now, or perhaps you need a break that they can’t give you. I get that, heck I’ll be happy dancing with the best of them when this is over. But I also know that playing this “pay me attention” game isn’t helping your cause.
Military Life Newsflash #3:
If you want your spouse to respond to you the first time you call, STOP calling for stupid things. The soldiers who’s spouses call for the important and necessary reasons or text with a simple “love you can’t wait until this course is over” are the ones whose spouses answer every time. They are the spouse that is respected because they show respect, and by doing so they earn an appreciation that will transcend through the relationship in an amazing way.
So stop playing games and you just might be surprised at how quickly they answer the next time you call. And remember that your drama is toxic.
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com