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Just tell it to me straight
Military spouse
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When it comes to how much a spouse wants to know about their soldier’s deployment, there seems to be a fairly even split. Some prefer to be left in the dark completely, while others would like to hear every detail, no matter how gruesome.
I was recently discussing the commonly used phrase “ignorance is bliss” with some fellow military spouses and the arguments supporting “wanting to know” and “not wanting to know” both seemed pretty valid to me.
I’m a want-to-know kind of person. I love learning things, from books or lectures or real-life experiences, regardless of the subject. So when it comes to my husband’s experience in Iraq, I’d love to hear every detail. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll love every detail I hear, just that I’d rather know.
One woman I spoke with said that she would rather have vague, sugar-coated stories while her husband is away, then hear the truth in all its glory once he’s safe at home. Another said she’d rather not know at all because once he’s up for his next deployment, that’s all she’d be able to think about. A spouse who is also a veteran, previously deployed to Iraq, said she sometimes wishes she had the blissful ignorance that some military spouses do, but she knows better from experience.
Now, obviously there are things we simply cannot know. Operation security is a very serious thing, and I think we can all agree that the safety of our soldiers is far more important the our knowledge of what they’re doing. But for me, I’d like to know as much as possible.
The way I see it, if I’m going to worry anyway — which I promise you, no matter how many safety assurances I receive, I will worry — I’d rather know what to worry about and when to do so. My imagination tends to be far more dire than the reality, but I can better limit my worries if I know the truths.

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