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Mum's not the word

The Washington Post reported this week that military spouses are mum on the subject of marital infidelity.

I beg to differ. It is true many of us withhold comment or judgment on specific families in respect for their privacy, and rightly so.

However, the larger conversation -- about the demands of military service on a marriage -- is one we need to face head on in our community and in our own lives.

Stars and Stripes asked me to contribute a spouse’s perspective for the Opinion page this week.

Other spouses have been no less outspoken, both in conversation and in print. Read what these spouses have to say: Jacey Eckhart in the New York Times, Alison Buckholtz in Slate and Siobhan Fallon in the Huffington Post.

Each provides her own perspective on the issue. Each points out the evidence that military spouses are indeed talking about and dealing with all the challenges of mlitary life, that infidelity is no more common inside the military than outside, and that the exploits of our troops overseas deserve more attention than the private exploits of a few generals.

Mum is a better word for media outlets who have abandoned the scandal -- and with it any meaningful conversation about military life -- now that it is last week's news. We can only hope that the Post and other news outlets will follow up on the salient facts of these incidents, even if they turn out to be less scandalous than first reported.

Join the conversation and share your voice.

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About the Author

Terri Barnes is a military wife and mother of three living in Illinois. She writes "Spouse Calls" weekly for Stars and Stripes and is the author of Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life. Leave comments on the blog or write to her at spousecalls@stripes.com.


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