“It’s too political.

“Those women are catty.”

“They’re so cliquish.”

“They all wear their spouses’ rank.”

You’ve heard it-I’ve heard it.  Spouses’ groups…why would anyone ever want to join?

Many of us have the view that spouses’ groups are relics of the past and all about gossip and garden parties-things we simply don’t have time for in our busy, modern-day lives. The thought of women sipping tea in long white gloves, discussing ranks (yawn), or what the Joneses are doing just doesn’t appeal. Thankfully, if that was ever an accurate picture of spouses’ club (and I highly doubt it), that is NOT what spouses’ groups are about now!

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t participate in spouses’ clubs until many years into my husband’s career because of these misperceptions, and only then because of an invitation from another spouse. I’m not sure I would have ever ventured forth on my own.  I certainly never thought I would be writing an article listing all the benefits of a spouses’ group, but here I am!

So what changed my mind? Why spouses’ groups? Why bother at all?

Support and socialization:  When you arrive at a new assignment, who will tell you the best restaurants, great local activities, and what to avoid? Sure, there are online resources and ways to connect virtually, but there is simply no replacement for meeting people face to face. Spouses’ clubs also offer play groups for your kids, smaller groups like wine or book clubs for you, and a chance to get to know others in the same boat. Aside from socializing, spouses’ groups are often the first in line to provide real support and help to deployed spouses, families with new babies, or in the event of an illness or death. They often act like a well-oiled machine in those circumstances, simply because they’ve been-there-done-that many times.

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