What You’re “Owed”

Hello, hello! It’s been a while, sorry, y’all. 

Life’s been pretty hectic over here, with me growing a human and courses and church and pets and visits and all! To catch you up: I’m almost 22 weeks pregnant, so over halfway there, thank goodness. My mom came to visit, our nursery furniture has been built, I’m planning a trip back to Texas (mostly to eat, but also because I miss my people 😉) and summer is right around the corner. 

I’ve got a sister graduating high school, a husband gearing up for deployment, a body that no longer belongs to me (no joke, I feel like a host sometimes), and a really clingy dog and cat. My house is permanently a mess, the nearest Chick-fil-A probably knows me by my car now, and all I want is to find a bikini top that fits and won’t give me weird tan lines. 

Everyone’s having babies, and I’m in LOVE with Emma, Stevie-Lynn, Liam, Levi and all the other kiddos. Makes me super impatient for Everett to get here (oh, yeah…it’s a boy, by the way!) both because I want baby snuggles and also because my hips feel like they’re going to pop out the sockets. 

Now that you’re mostly caught up, let’s talk about something that has left me scratching my head. 

It’s common knowledge that if you divorce while your spouse is in the military, when they retire (assuming they’re career and qualify for retirement benefits), the spouse who didn’t serve is granted alimony from the veteran’s retirement pay. Even if you divorced 13 years before retirement. There are exceptions, of course, but this is what commonly happens. 

Personally, I already find that strange. Why would I be entitled to money that my husband earned, when we’re no longer married? But continuing on. 

In a recent Supreme Court case, a veteran’s retirement pay took a slight pay cut because he started receiving disability and that money- the disability pay- is untaxed, so in order to prevent “double dipping” his retirement pay changed slightly. His ex-wife sued him because her alimony from his retirement pay also decreased, and she felt entitled to a portion his disability pay. 

Is anyone else a little appalled here? Is it just me? Your ex-husband is receiving disability pay because of injuries sustained while on active duty. Why in the world would you ever be entitled to that? 

The state courts ruled in favor of the wife, but when the Supreme Court got the case, they ruled in favor of the veteran. As they should have. 

Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m all for the “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine” mentality when you’re married. You vowed to care for and support your spouse. But when you decide on divorce, unless there are children involved, what makes you think you’re entitled to anything your ex is making? 

Lots of military spouses are really upset with this new court ruling- but why? You aren’t the one serving. You don’t go on field ops. You don’t spend months training or on deployment. 

Do you have a job? Yes. Being married to the military is a type of job- it makes our marriages a little harder than most. We spend nights, weeks, months, sometimes more than a year alone. And I commend us for that. That’s hard. I’m doing it, I’ve done it, I understand it. But our job of being supportive and making sure home life is slightly easier than work life does not compare to our spouse’s job. They’re doing something selfless, and it’s harder than what we do. We are granted certain privileges (commissary, tax free PXs, Tricare, etc) because of what our spouse is doing. It has nothing to do with what you’re doing, kiddo. 

While scrolling Facebook after reading about the Supreme Court ruling, I came across several posts on several military spouse pages. Examples: 

“I hate LMH. Housing is a joke. My concession checks are never on time; I never get what they owe me.” 

“Tricare sucks. The naval hospital really sucks, it’s a teaching hospital.” (News flash: lots of civilian hospitals are teaching hospitals as well, sweetheart.) 

Just the complete and utter unhappiness is beyond me. Housing owes you nothing, dude. The only reason you have the option to live here is because of what your spouse is doing. If you hate it, go live somewhere else. Oh, wait. You like the fact that we don’t pay water or gas bills, and have the opportunity to get reimbursed for energy usage, and certain neighborhoods give you a portion of BAH back. 

Tricare? Dude. No insurance plan is going to be 100% what you want. Why? Because things like medicine cost money, and it’s got to come from somewhere. Personally, I love Naval. I’ve been here almost a year, seen multiple doctors and been to multiple departments within the hospital, and I’ve not had one bad experience. My prenatal care has been fantastic; I love my doctor. She’s actually PCSing before my due date, and is helping me see the doctor I want to see/she recommends, even though he’s pretty solidly booked. 

Hospitals anywhere are going to have good/bad doctors. Instead of being upset that you don’t like the naval hospital, maybe be grateful that you have the option to be seen at a civilian hospital if you so choose. 

Getting married to someone who is serving does not make you entitled to anything. Today’s generation are entitled and spoiled and don’t want to work for anything. 

Issues like this make me mark down the things I want to teach my son- work hard, don’t expect things from people, and don’t think you deserve anything. Do I think you deserve the world? Of course I do, I’m your mom. But am I going to let you get away with not learning the value of a dollar and hard work? Sorry, kiddo. Get ready to wait some tables and make some coffee like your mama did. 

Whether you agree or disagree, you still read it, so 

Xoxo, 

Em. 

Also here are pictures of life recently. 😘

 (I just love his little feet.) 

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