Active duty military spouses know a secret: Mark Twain was wrong.
Yes, death and taxes are still on the list of life’s certainties -- but there is one more thing that for us should be there: moving.
While we talk a lot about the personal challenges that raises (skyrocketing stress level, packing and unpacking, creating a home atmosphere for our families, attempting to find a job, making new friends), there’s one topic still untouched: fitting in with a new civilian community.
I received an email yesterday from a reporter asking for our input on this very subject. He said he’s heard that:
... Many military spouses have a problem finding acceptance in the civilian community in which they live. Often times spouses feel like the community thinks they are only temporary, migrant community members and they will move on as soon as a partner is deployed or moves bases. Spouses have a hard time making solid connections in the community because of this perception.He wanted to know if I think what he said is true. Honestly, in my experience it is not. If I don’t connect with the civilian community around the base (with the exception of the job issue), it’s probably because I haven’t tried. Any acceptance problems I have found are based on a misunderstanding of what the military is all about, not on a fear from the community that as soon as we become BFFs I will up and leave. They are a bit startled when I announce that we are suddenly moving to ____ (insert seemingly out of the blue location) -- but it never keeps folks from being friendly and welcoming in the first place.
Has anyone out there felt a lack of love from the civilian community based on the fear of your eventual relocation?