Recently a post came across my facebook newsfeed from a spouse whose post had been DELETED (gasp!) from the officer spouse page. The nerve. Apparently she had raised a question regarding military healthcare that was somewhat lacking in tact. This was seen as an affront to the medical corps and taken down.
What’s funny to me is that I’ve had countless conversations with spouses and active duty members regarding healthcare, and many are dubious of the quality of care provided at military facilities. I myself have had scheduling issues, impersonal doctors, and at least one corpsman who seemed to be checking out more than my pulse. It’s not a novel issue but instead something I’ve heard dozens of times. That is why the option exists for family members to choose providers off base and accept a copay.
The problem with this post seems to be twofold. It lacked tact, and it was in a public forum. It’s kind of like how it’s ok for you to make fun of your own little brother in private, but as soon as someone else does it in public, then Heavens to Betsy they had better say their prayers.
And thus a melodrama unfolded in the 40+ comments made.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the military healthcare debate. Deciding on a provider is a personal choice and to each their own. What I find fascinating is the intense drama that frequently arises on spouse pages.
It’s such a problem that one local page eloquently states at the header: “This is a place to meet new ppl and make new friends. So mind your manners, keep your drama on your own page and remember the golden rule! were all adults here so lets keep it positive and hopefully have some fun!”
You heard it ppl. Keep your drama on your own page.
This header aside, I’ve seen more catfights break out between spouses on facebook than I can count. It seems nearly impossible to make a post that says more than “hello” without hurting someone’s feelings. But why?
My husband tells me that when he first joined the military he felt an immense sense of belonging. He was part of something. With that feeling of belonging he felt acceptance. The military indeed strives to foster a sense of belonging that I think extends to military families. What my husband didn’t initially realize was this sense of acceptance didn’t necessarily extend to his personal beliefs and views on decorum. It is indeed one military, but its members come from different backgrounds with varying political, religious and cultural views.
We have to remember that while military members and their spouses all identify in the same general group, we’re culturally diverse. There is no singular correct form of address or even tact, and it’s easy to get hurt feelings. I am from California. Much to my mother’s Southern chagrin, I am not overly ladylike. I burp uncontrollably and have a colorful vocabulary. While I in no way find this behavior offensive, I can understand that others might. This is one small example and countless more exist. Likewise one spouse might think it totally acceptable to outright dis military healthcare, while another might see it as an affront.
My prescription for this malady of misunderstanding is this: take a chill pill. Seriously, relax. Usually people aren’t actively trying to be terrible, and if by some chance they are, it’s no use arguing with them.
The amount of drama on facebook can honestly be really off-putting. Especially as a relatively new spouse, I was actually a little afraid of other spouses when I joined my first spouse related facebook group. The in fighting is unnecessary and unwarranted. So let’s all try the benefit of the doubt going forward.