Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence Uncensored: The Lonely Military Husband

Every week, Danny Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss a Prudie letter. This week: I’m stuck at home with the kids while my wife is doing military training, and I’m lonely and jealous.

Nicole: Awww, jeez, it’s really hard to function when one spouse is off for training. I think he needs to disable notifications and tell his wife he needs more established times for them to talk. Right now he feels like he’s second fiddle to her classmates (while looking after three kids) and if he says “let’s pick 3 nights a week to really catch up over Skype,” he’ll be less nervous about her getting drinks with coursemates. They are supposed to be bonding, it’s part of the whole idea of the training. But for heaven’s sake, do not have the notifications coming to you!

Danny: Also, why are you trying to talk to her MOTHER about this?

Nicole: I’m glad he didn’t send the letters to his wife.

Danny: Certainly, by all means talk to her about how you’re feeling! But not in letter format, because I imagine you two don’t normally communicate via letter, so it’d be a very weird shift in medium.

Nicole: I think video-chatting would be great. It can help to see each other’s faces when you’re talking about difficult things. And you don’t have to lead with “You’re neglecting me” when you can just say “I want to talk more regularly.”

Danny: Sure, and if she says “I’m too tired,” say “that’s what I wanted to talk to you about, let’s agree on a time well both be awake and alert and have a talk”

Nicole: Also that her mother was like, “Here, have a boundary.”

Danny: There is no reason to talk to your mother-in-law and not your wife about a problem you’re having with your wife. It’s not even your mother!

Nicole: YUP. Oh, man, I cannot imagine having shared social notifications with my husband? It sounds like her received texts are popping up on his screen, which is a) NOPE and b) a privacy violation for her friends who probably don’t know they’re being automatically seen by their friend’s husband.

Danny: Get rid of those immediately, they’re an ill wind that bloweth no good.