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Military Family

Military Wife Friends Only?

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military momWhen your spouse, fiancée, or significant other joins the military, you’re suddenly faced with a multitude of information about where to find other military wives. Bases and posts include all kinds of groups and get togethers that you’re able to join. FRG (Family Readiness Group) and other programs offer meetups to interact with other wives. Facebook is filled with groups for the company and battalion.

Because our lifestyle tend to include many different things than civilian couples, I often wonder if it would be easier to have all or mostly all military wives as friends. Not many other wives have their husbands gone for months or a year at a time, or deal with him leaving at 4:30am and getting home around 6:30 that night. Or his rules of work impacting your life. Or moving every few years to where ever you’re told.

I’m not complaining in the least – but it’s something to ponder. Is it easier just to keep your friends who get it closer?

On the other hand, there are drawbacks to this. What if you become friends with someone and your husband is disciplined by theirs? Or vice versa? How would it feel to know the couple you invited over the other night is partially the reason you now have less pay each month?

In the Army and Marines (I can’t speak for other branches), it is strongly discouraged to befriend your superior. So my husband can’t hang out with his colonel, because it presents a strong conflict of interest when it gets down to business. This takes on a different meaning if one spouse in a couple friendship gets promoted above the other.

There are pros and cons to each. I have to admit – in the Marines I knew no other wives. None. We lived out in town, I worked full time, and I didn’t get involved in any of the events.

Here, in the Army, I have spent the past year a little more involved with events but never really got to know anyone until just these past few months as we dealt with the loss of our twins and Sam’s work stepping in to help. I’ve found women who read my personal blog that also are Army wives, and they reached out to me. It’s a different experience. I have civilian friends as well, I find and make these easier because we live out in town, not on base, and we go to mostly off base activities.

I feel comfortable getting more involved with military wives the longer we are here. I see how much we have in common almost immediately – we understand this sometimes hard to explain lifestyle and that we may only know each other for a short time. It’s a different kind of friendship.

So tell me – are your friends mostly civilian? Military? Was it a conscious choice or something you did based on where you lived? 

Comments

  1. Julie Provost

    September 25, 2012

    Most of my friends here are Military wives because of the activities I am involved in. We are meeting more and more civilian people. I like having a mix of the two.

  2. Liz

    September 25, 2012

    My husband and I have been at two bases together. On the AF base in Montana, I was mostly friends with other military wives & girlfriends simply because it’s Montana and there isn’t really anyone else there. Also, there was a strong support network for spouses. Now I am in DC and, for many reasons, my friends are mostly civilians. One reason why most of my friends are civilians is that I went to college in VA and so many of my college friends are here in DC. Another big reason that most of my friends are civilians is the nature of my husband’s job now. He works out of a huge army post, but his job is so secretive and involves a mix of military, civilian, CIA, etc that there is no FRG for us, no squadron spouse’s group, etc. I am lucky that I know a lot of people from college, otherwise this might have been a lonely tour for us!

  3. Carla Jo

    September 26, 2012

    I have been a Marine Corps spouse for over 5 years now (eeeek). At first my friends were a mix between military spouses and civilians (both married and unmarried). This was because I held a full time job and met people outside of the base we were stationed at. But we also had friends from my husbands unit where I became better friends with the wives than my husband was with the other Marines. When I quit this job, most of my “work friends” fell away and therefore most of my friends became military spouses I met through events or my husbands unit.
    Now that we are stationed in Japan, unless you can speak Japanese, your friends are most likely going to be military spouses or military themselves. I do not have any friends here that are not affiliated with the military in some way. I even have a job on base and the people at work are all military spouses. Although in Japan, you meet people and have friends from all branches of services as we are all packed into this little island.

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