I’m not the only dude who feels this way!
As a male military spouse, I can say that most of us have gotten used to being the only guy in the room when it comes to active duty spouses, however we do show up anyway.
We show up, give our tax deductible donation when warranted, attend meetings when we can, participate in events when we can, and (yes), we put in our two cents whether it is asked for or not.
Yet, HOW is that barrier still there?
That “barrier”, most times, comes in the form of saying “Good Morning, Ladies,” or organizations titled “Military Wives’ Club” or other gender specific terminology.
I do have a suggestion or two on how to capture the male military spouse should you wish to invite us into your wheelhouse.
Is it possible, when you’re planning events to include us in the process? We might be able to assist in creating posters/flyers or other military specific activities. I don’t suggest adding us to the planning process just for us to order you around, but more to provide a bit of perspective.
For instance, a pink poster with the words “HEY LADIES” on it probably wouldn’t catch our attention the way it would catch the attention of our female counterparts.
Another suggestion would be to talk to us when we show up to an event.
I must admit, it can feel odd when my fellow male spouses and I show up for an event where no one talks to us (except maybe the people that sponsored tables for the event).
Feel free to approach us or thank us for taking the time out of our day, just like the rest of the attendees who are there to support your group/club etc.
My final suggestion is this: PLEASE do not get defensive if we ‘call you out’ about either of the above examples.
The response we typically get when this happens is “But guys are ALWAYS welcome! We never have any (male spouses) attend so we don’t normally include you.”
Honestly, we just want to help.