I Can’t Talk About ‘Dependa’ Without Cursing

I Can't Talk About 'Dependa' Without Cursing

Service members, military spouses and civilians alike have taken to calling military spouses throughout the Armed Forces any one of the many variables of the slur “Dependa.”

Some may feel that categorizing dependa as a slur is too harsh. But I feel the title fits.


a :  an insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo : aspersion

b :  a shaming or degrading effect :  stain, stigma


The working definition of a dependa is a military spouse that just wants free child care for the dirty children she neglects, base housing to destroy and a poor unsuspecting service member to suck dry.

Yep, slur sounds about right.

I despise the term dependaI truly can’t talk about it without cursing.

This term is used to insult and degrade military spouses. What the f*^% gives?

I Can't Talk About 'Dependa' Without Cursing

Here are 4 reasons why people need to stop using the term dependa.

Dependa is a disgusting gendered slur.

Although the number of male spouses continues to grow, dependa continues to be reserved specifically for female spouses. The same spouses that volunteer as FRG leaders, Key Callers and the bulk of the homefront’s volunteering force?

Nope, not having it.

If you wouldn’t say “dependa” to a military spouse’s face, with their service member at their six, you need to have a f*^%ing seat.

Dude, where’s my free child care?

Anyone who knows anything about military life knows that free child care is a myth of epic proportions. Do some people come into the military lifestyle with misconceptions and misinformation?

Yes, but that doesn’t make them a dependa.

It makes them human.

And those limited-use Child Development Center passes some spouses receive when their service members deploy are the equivalent of dropping the kiddos off to your Nana’s house for 3 hours…once or twice…a month. Chill with the f*^%ing judgment already!

Take me to your cleaner.

If you take 2.5 children, add a fur baby, multiply a f*^% ton of military gear, a full-time job and then divide your time across regular life activities you too may have trouble creating what equates a “clean home.”

And yet somehow military spouses find a way to create beautiful spaces in their homes and communities everyday. White Walls, anyone?

Our service members love us.

How can anyone claim to support our service men and women while denigrating their life partners? That’s not how any of this works.

The men and women of the Armed Forces come home to partners that are black, white, Asian, Native American, Hispanic, and of Middle Eastern descent to name a few.

They love us short, tall, fat and thin. Our relationships and daily routines are none of your damn business.

At the very least….keep dependa out of your mouth.

Military spouses have unique experiences, perspectives, goals and relationship dynamics. We would all do well to support each other as we uphold the men and women who service our country.

How do you build up the military spouse community?



  1. I was honestly cursing under my breath at the DMV today when I was asked if I was a dependent of a service member. It was not even a form of are you married to a service member. I know I am dependent on him at times, but he also knows I am proud of being able to take care of myself if need be. I hate being called a dependent and not what I actually am, HIS WIFE.

  2. You are so right, Emily. We are actually spouses and life partners. I think the term ‘dependent’ may be an antiquated way to describe us.

    If I were queen for a day I might change the question to “Are you married to a service member?” or “Are you under the care of a service member?” for children.

    How would you change it? Would you change it?

  3. Exactly. Just simply ask are you married, and then is your spouse a current or former service member. And whether or not you are married to one if you are not filing taxes (as that really should remain as “dependent”) they should simply ask how many children do you have. Unless filing something for them at DEERS or scholarships that are only given to military children, there is no reason that I can think of why any agency needs to know what the parents do exactly.

  4. I like the term Military Spouse – let the children be dependents. The problem is with those who are applying their own definition, attitude or feelings to the term. We can change the term as often as we want, but people will still have their own opinions. And I can’t change how people think in their own heads.


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