Wednesday, March 30, 2011

military life wednesday: spouse clubs

I have always heard lots of wonderful things about spouses clubs. Camaraderie, understanding, knowledge, and support. Even though I have been a military wife for a few years, only recently have I had the pleasure of being a part of the spouses' groups. And let me say, I love it!

When Matt and I first met he was on a ship, but it was not for very long. And since I was a girlfriend, not a wife, I didn't get very involved in the support groups the ship had. Then we moved to DC where Matt worked for the Pentagon. This was a Joint Staff position, and there were people from all of the military branches, not just the Navy. It would have been great to be a part of a group there, but it didn't function like a ship and I had no idea if there was a spouses' group. When we found out we were going back to a ship in San Diego I didn't really know what to expect. I read books that talked highly about the spouses' clubs and while I was hoping to make some friends with people on the ship I wasn't counting on it. I had lived in San Diego before and I had friends there already. My sister lived around the corner and we had some other friends that would be moving there a few months after us. Basically, in the friend category, I was covered. I had the attitude that I didn't really "need" any of them. I was fine on my own. Boy was I wrong!

Even if you think you don't "need" them, you do. Finding a group of people in a similar situation will allow you the chance to express your frustrations, concerns and fears with other people who will be sympathetic to those reactions as well. They are the only ones who truly understand what you are going through. Their husbands are underway or deployed at the same time yours is. Or they have been through the situation that you are currently in. The more experienced wives can offer you a lot of great advice. As a new spouse, you don't have all the information to navigate the maze that is the military life, and the other wives are there to provide help and support you. They keep you busy with volunteer activities and evening wine and lunch outings when your hubby is off doing his job. And the people you meet, the friendships you make, can last a lifetime. You may even find yourself planning your relocation road trips around where your friends live. Quality time and a free place to stay! :)

My advice to any new wives: get out and get involved. Make friends with the spouses in your command. Find out if there are other groups out there you can get involved in. (I'm a part of he FRG, the Wardroom, and the Fun Bunch!) It's scary being the new person and not knowing anyone, but that will pass. Don't stay cooped up in your house. Don't secluded yourself from the other wives. We are in this together, we are here to support each other, and we can all use more friends! I'm glad I got over my "I don't need you" attitude and put myself out there. I love hanging out with all the spouses. It keeps my mind off deployment and I have met some really amazing ladies! :)


some of the wonderful fun bunch ladies!

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