Military Wives Go On Full Alert


Major General David H. Petraeus, US Army.

Major General David H. Petraeus, US Army. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Military wives have gone on full alert as the David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell scandal unfolds! There is even more to be concerned with now that we know General John Allen was carpet bombing the exotic Jill Kelley with emails. What’s happening with these powerful men in positions of trust?


A column by Jacey Eckhart in the New York Times highlights her uneasiness as she considers her 25-year marriage to an officer with multiple deployments. Jacey muses that her husband resembles Cary Grant, while she admits she’s not exactly Paula Broadwell. She wonders if the ground rules she and her husband have worked out to avoid infidelity will be enough to shelter their marriage.

Meanwhile, radio talk show hosts are busy declaring that any wife who turns into a Holly Petraeus dumpling deserves what she gets. They’re asking ridiculous, sexist questions like: Can’t an older woman take care of herself? Is it impossible to keep her weight down? And for God’s sake, can’t she at least put a color rinse in her hair? (One look at any of these broadcasters indicates why they made a career in radio.)

These comments manage to blame the victim while missing the point. Which is, there is an age-old tradition among military men posted to foreign lands of “getting some strange.” No, it’s not right or moral. But it happens. Which means it wouldn’t really matter if Holly had kept her youthful shape, colored her hair back to her original blonde, dressed “younger,” etc.

Let me break it down for you. General David Petraeus, a Power Guy in the danger zone of 60ish, was overseas spending a lot of time with Paula Broadwell, an attractive young biographer. Combine temptation with opportunity, and pour in the fantasies of an aging male to boot. What you’ve got there is a muy sabrosa margarita mix!

Military wives, consider this scenario: Let’s say after getting some strange, hubby actually leaves you and moves in with “Hot Stuff.” Delectable as she may be, will she actually know which toilet paper irritates Power Guy’s tush, or will she pick up a 30-pack of sandpaper at the local big box? Hah! And wait till she finds out he prefers to eat early before falling asleep on the couch. What happened to the fun guy from Company G?

By the way, does Ms. Sweetcakes have any idea how to bake your man’s favorite cherry strudel, or is she too busy writing his biography? Did hubby’s mom pass along her precious strudel recipe to you or to Sweetcakes? Food for thought indeed.

And if Sweetcakes is a Jill Kelley-like hostess with outstanding “credentials” up front, just remember she likely didn’t prepare those pigs-in-a-blanket herself like you do. And I know you don’t tilt your head to the side which could get way annoying over time.

So relax, ladies of many deployments. The aging ship of state may pull in to some exotic port for a night or even a few months of carousing. But ultimately it will make its way back to the home berth, very likely bearing gift-wrapped jewelry in the cargo hold.

Put down the rolling pin and think things through before crowning the guy with flour. You’ve been through so many years, so many deployments, and the albums with memories are stacked high on that bookshelf. Besides, if you leave him, who will be around to drive you nuts in your declining years?

Will you do me a favor? When you get a chance, pick up some sparkly blue or black polish for your toenails. Yes, I know you don’t paint them anymore. Trust me, Biographer and Credentials never skip their mani/pedi.

You go, girls. It’s margarita time.


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