What to Do About Toxic FRG Members?


When do you move??  For the past 12 years, I’ve volunteered with the local installation or the Family Readiness Group wherever we have lived.

When I meet a truly negative spouse in the FRG, I’m able to retract and wait for one of us to PCS. Or I divert my efforts and attention elsewhere, away from conflict with the toxic FRG member.

But this time it is different.

This time our unit has a spouse who is spreading a wave of negativity, distrust, and animosity across the entire organization. Her sly comments and catty behavior are dragging everyone down. What can we do?

She makes many passive-aggressive and demeaning comments made towards the FRG Leader, the Command Team and the other volunteers. The derogatory statements have pitted several spouses against one another and left the majority of them to withdraw from the FRG.

She recently had the audacity to tag me in a comment on a post about resiliency and the FRG. "This is exactly what my vision for our FRG was. So sad things worked out the way they did!" she wrote.

The information the FRG team shared with her in the beginning of her participation explained our desire to move in a direction similar to this ... we brought her into it, but she makes sure everyone thinks these were her ideas.

She talks down to the FRG leader, and constantly criticizes her. She asks WHY things weren't done a certain way or WHY she wasn't included in the decision-making -- despite the fact that she holds no official position.

This is why I don't participate in the FRG

Please don’t reply that ‘this is the reason I don’t participate in the FRG.’ Anyone can say that. I think it takes more fortitude to work on interpersonal problems and come to a solution.

So I am really looking for advice from people who have encountered the same kind of person and figured out what to do. Is there something I might have done wrong that permitted or encouraged this behavior? How could I have prevented it? How can I mitigate her toxicity moving forward?

Nikki is an Army spouse currently living on the west coast.

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