The rank elephant in the room

There are tens if not hundreds of blog posts and articles and memes saying categorically, without a doubt, that your partners rank has no relation to the importance of you, his partner.

They stress that there is no connection  between his rank and your importance. 

We are told time and again how it doesn’t matter if he’s the lowliest AB or the kiss hug man! Written articles reassure you over and over that you two gals (as partners of said AB and XO) can get along and soon become best buds. Swapping hilarious stories and confiding in each other over Facebook chat. 

Even if one of your hubby’s spends his days ironing the others blues. 

Even if your hubby is responsible for cleaning out the COs bath. It shouldn’t be awkward at all for you all to sit around and have a good giggle about it over a moderately priced bottle of wine.

You can all be friends!” Spout such blogs. “Their ranks don’t matter!” They quip. Dripping in positivity and all American wholesomeness. 

Well how come, in reality, it does seem to matter?

Why are these dynamics getting written about, again and again? Surely if it was such a non-issue then they’d be writing about other burning military spouse problems like….

 Erm, like…. I dunno, “10 homecoming haircut tips” or “20 ways to get him to notice the new deployment you” or how about “get a leg gap in just 100 thigh crunching  steps”or “101 ways to sob down the phone without snotting into the receiver”. Or “phone card sex: how to get him off before you’re cut off”. 

(Btw that’s why I don’t ever attempt serious blog posts- they would suck).

Why  do women, wives, girlfriends and parents having the same old cat fights and arguments and name calling and bitching over and over again- the world over?! 

Why? When we are told over and over rank doesn’t matter?

I have a theory. 

Bear with me.

1. We all know it’s completely batshit crazy to think for a second that our Popeyes rank somehow elevates or lowers us in the eyes of other military wives. It’s ludicrous.

And yet we are so. Freaking. PROUD of our sailors. We are proud when they get on the signal and then pass one of those god awful promotion courses. (Those evil promotion courses that turn even the most placid, loving sailor into a complete and utter selfish, tunnel visioned, uncaring twat-yes you know the ones). 

2. We are so proud of ourselves that we didn’t dump them or kick them out (or we’re proud that we let them back into our lives after going on the course- toma(y)to/tomato) .

So somewhere in the back of our mind we want a little tiny speck of recognition. Just a bit. Just a little pat on the back to say “jeez well done. You’ve survived FOUR promotion courses and a boarding party course.” Hardcore wifeydom right there.

3. It makes sense that at some point some peoples wires get crossed. And they start to feel entitled to the respect their sailor gets onboard from us- regular scummy civvies. Doesn’t make it right but it seems foolish to deny that it happens. 

We shouldn’t give women respect based on their hubby’s rank because- well let’s be honest we all have to survive horrible courses. And we all have to do deployments. And we all have to listen to our sailors bitch about the navy over and over but do nothing about it. We all do it. And we all have our own lives to lead. 

So what I’m suggesting is that instead of insisting (like other blogs or articles tell you to) that we must all be happy clappy wives and girlfriends holding hands across rank, race and creed- we all just step back for a moment and get along with the other wives and girlfriends that we actually like.

Shocking I know. 

The idea we may genuinely not like the wife of our hubbys boss. 

Or we may really get along with the ships doctors missus. 

Or we may have a blood-feud-vendetta with the girlfriend of the matelot in charge of the gangway. 

Or think one of the engineers wives is so dull you want to poke your eyes out every time you speak to her just so you don’t fall asleep. 

Whatever. We are all grown women who can form our own opinions of these other women. We can judge and think for ourselves based on these women’s actions. Not the actions of their husbands.

I do not think we all should forget about rank. We should be aware it does mean some women may go a bit psycho with assumed power. 

It does effect some (not all!!!) relationships. It makes some women go weird. 

I think less of the women who feel a sense of entitlement or superiority due to their husbands rank. But this is more about their personality than their husbands rank or job. 

To suggest we should all get along is quite patronising and simplistic. And it simply does not happen! 


4 thoughts on “The rank elephant in the room

  1. insert applause here. it’s important to stress that it’s not the husband’s rank that comes between some women being friends, it’s the women’s personalities in general. That First Lieutenant’s wife likely would be snooty even if her husband was a Private First Class.


      1. it can be. maybe I’m hard wired differently than the other wives on post here but a lot of them tend to blame rank on not getting on with certain wives. like, no I don’t get on with you because you’re a nasty spirited person not because my husband is an e5 and yours is an e4 or what have you.


      2. Exactly- take that rank away from their hubbys and their wives would still be the same people! That’s why it’s not a good idea to define yourself with your husbands career. It’s part of your life, it shouldn’t be our whole lives!

        Liked by 1 person

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