This paper explores the lived experiences of military wives and the archetypes that guide the community norms and expectations of military spouses.
Military spouses are situated at the junction of the military and civilian worlds. They provide necessary support to military strategic and operational objectives and are also expected to perform a traditional spousal role of the ‘good’ military wife. This article demonstrates the existence of strong military partner archetypes which guide military community norms and expectations of spousal behaviour. In 14 qualitative interviews and five focus groups with Australian military partners, participants revealed many different, yet firm, sentiments related to identity, including fierce independence; a sense of belonging; self-reliance; a desire to help others; belief in fairness and pragmatism. The archetypes outlined in this article shape how partners see their role, and how they interact with other non-military partners and the military organization. This research delivers insights into optimizing military partner services to better support spouses through deployment, relocation and other military experiences.
Johnson A, Ames K, Lawson C. Archetype Profiles of Military Spouses in Australia – Identifying Perfect Partners and Mean Girls. Armed Forces & Society. June 2021. doi:10.1177/0095327X211029318