We all have arguments with our military spouses. We all experience times when they do something so ridiculously stupid that our mind is blown. It used to be that we would call up our bestie and vent, get whatever issue we have off our chest and we would feel better. No one was hurt and we often found out that our relationship was completely normal because your best friend and her husband had the same fight last week.
However, today’s society feels that we need to document every aspect of our life online to share with everyone. For some people, sharing everything online isn’t enough; they tell every person they meet their story…neighbors, strangers at a party, bank teller (I was one and the stories I could tell you!), whoever will listen. But when it comes to your spouse, especially a service member, there are some things that should not be advertised online. Once you cross that line and begin dissing your spouse to everyone, the consequences are endless. The military marriage has more rules than mainstream society.
Here are 6 reasons why you should zip your lips when it comes to trash talking your partner:
You’ll be THAT Spouse
At any type of get together, you’ll be the spouse the others talk about after you leave. Things like, “I can’t believe she told us that about her husband” and “She would be so embarrassed if she knew what he was saying about her” will be whispered behind your back. Then at the next family event, when they see you coming, they’ll either forcibly smile at you and listen in pain as you, again, blab all of your personal details or you’ll see everyone quickly scatter to avoid you. And in shock over the personal details of your life that you reveal to people you or may not know all that well, other people won’t trust you with anything personal about themselves.
It’s a Small, Small, World
Sure, there are hundreds of thousands of military families spread all across the world, but the longer you are in the military the more you realize how small of a community it is. Just like a spider web, each person you know is a link to someone else you know or have known, and then they know someone that you know, and so on. Even people you don’t know (yet) will know of you and your marriage secrets; because as we all know, word travels fast when it’s juicy gossip. Which brings us to our next point:
Once It Leaves Your Lips, You Have No Control Over It
There’s no takebacks, no do-overs and no claiming you didn’t say something when your spouse’s coworkers tell him that they heard there were problems in the sack from their spouses. And by that point, whatever is being spread around is probably not what you even originally said (remember the game Spoiled Telephone you played at slumber parties…there was a lesson to be learned there.)
When we are in the heat of the moment and feel passionate about something, we often feel like we have to have an immediate release and go run and vent to someone. That ‘someone’ today is social media, where you’re telling everyone.
If you decide to post whatever issues you have with your spouse on Facebook, you still don’t have any control over who sees your comments and where that information goes either. Sure, you may post things to your “friends only,” but if your friends’ privacy settings aren’t secure, then their friends can see that they commented on your post and can then view said post.
Related: MilSpouse Cheat Sheet–Love and Marriage, Military Style
Breaking the Bond
Your spouse, no matter what rank, has other service members who depend on their guidance, knowledge and skill to accomplish the mission at hand– deployed or not deployed. Your loose lips could damage the trusting relationship between your spouse and his fellow soldiers. If you can’t trust your spouse and tell the whole world, how can they trust him/her with their lives? If you distrust your spouse so much that you start showing up at their work unannounced and cause a scene, then you’re getting in the way of their work. The other service members may begin to leave your spouse out whenever possible to avoid you and any distractions.
You’ll Be Called to the Principal’s Office
Remember that feeling in school when the receptionist would come over the intercom in your classroom and ask for you to come to the office? All the other kids would look at you and say “OOOooooo,” in sync. Well guess what!? Even in the grown-up world you can still get called into the big kahuna’s office. Except this time, it’s your spouse’s command. Depending on what type of ranting you do on Facebook, someone could genuinely be concerned for the situation and report it to the Family Readiness Officer or directly to someone in the Chain of Command. Any mention of suspicions of an affair, personal safety for your or your spouse, anger/depression/PTSD issues or OPSEC violations are just a few things that will guarantee your spouse and probably yourself, a first row seat in the Command’s office. Unless you are truly concerned for your safety or your spouse’s safety, there is no need for the Command or anyone else to know your petty marital drama. With drawdowns still occurring and people being handed pink slips daily, the last thing you should want to do is put your spouse’s career in danger because of your rant over the dishes not being done one night.
How Will Your Spouse Feel?
Betrayed, angry, deceived, hurt…those words immediately come to mind when I think of how I would feel if my spouse aired our dirty laundry. When we are in the heat of the moment and feel passionate about something, we often feel like we have to have an immediate release and go run and vent to someone. That “someone” today is social media, where you’re telling everyone. You’re taking something private and sensitive and making a public spectacle of the situation– in no way can that make the situation better. Not only do you have the original issue at hand to deal with, now you’re betraying your spouse and have a whole new issue to try and deal with.
Even if you kiss and make up, people rarely forget what was said or how poorly a situation was handled and your relationship just won’t be the same. Keep your dirty laundry between you and your spouse. Not you, your spouse and 548 of your closest “friends.”
How do you avoid airing your marriage’s dirty laundry on social media?