When 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?