AHAHAHAHAH, I died laughing, man
That's exactly how it is, some guy saying that he has to take time out to "tuck his wife in"... oh man, it's true, it's so true *wipes away tear*
An operation is a raid, yes, but it's different from a flashpoint. It involves 8 players with a group usually comprising of two tanks, two healers and four DPS. Since they're endgame, they're only done once you reach level 50 and it requires you to use everything you have learned about your character and their skiils as well as being able to work with those 7 other people in a team to complete the Operation. The name of the game is cooperation, skill and knowledge of their class, other classes and the enemies and challenges you face in the Operation.
Earlier I mentioned that if you're part of a good guild with a lot of great people, then there's really no grinding that needs to be done to get to a point where you're ready for Operations because any grinding that is involved has already been done by someone else. With my Vanguard, the gear I got came slowly, however, months later when I took my Gunslinger into Operations, she ended up getting a tonne of gear all at once because the people around me in my guild were able to support me.
As with everything involving MMOs... it's a social event based around cooperation in a social game... and it's a hell of a lot of fun, especially when you have a good group you're playing with.