Life as a military spouse can be complicated. From moving every couple years to learning all the acronyms, there’s a lot of adjustment for the typical civilian. One of the most difficult aspects to adjust to is the irregular absence of the active duty member. With TDYs (and what does that stand for?) and deployments increasing, many spouses are adjusting to life on their own. Any experienced military spouse will tell you that it never fails, as soon as the active duty member leaves, cars break down, washing machines go out, the kids get sick, and natural disasters hit. Most spouses are far away from the friends and family they would normally rely on in these scenarios.
Alone and somewhat isolated, these types of events have pushed many spouses to tears. But there are resources available to spouses to help get through the tough times. The trick is to maximize your networking options, in short make friends. No man is an island, and that goes for spouses too! But the truth is that it’s easy for spouses to slip into an isolated bubble, all alone in a crowd. It can be tough to make friends, after the first PCS it’s easy to slip into a why try, their just going to leave’s mentality. After six PCSs I’ve worked out a system for making friends in new cities. First, maximize your resources on base. Go to squadron functions, join the base spouses’ clubs, see what the Airmen & Family Readiness has to offer for classes and events. Attend Heart Link & Right Start every time you move to learn about your new city. Get to know your key spouses. Second, focus on your new community. Join book clubs, if you live off base make an effort to meet your neighbors. Volunteer with organizations that support causes you believe in even when you’re pressed for time. Find Professional Organizations you can be affiliated with like Toastmasters and Rotary Clubs. Join playgroups and find a spiritual organization that supports your belief system. Go to the Chamber of Commerce and see what the city offers. Take fun classes at your community college. In short, make it a priority to meet people and establish lasting relationships. You never know who will be a positive addition to your relationship network and hopefully you find meaningful relationships at every location. It takes time and energy, but relationships are the one investment you can’t afford to miss out on!
You may want to check into seeing what other military spouse programs are available in your area as well.