What I appreciate about the article is that she's willing to go there so to speak. The rank divide amongst military wives seems like a taboo subject and I think it's healthy that she's sharing her experience. My own experience is one I would describe as a mixed bag at best.
My husband is in the military and what I can tell you is that it's usually tough regardless of your spouse's rank.
The military is an odd profession in that you pick up and move every two to three years. You're forced to make friends and spend time with people you wouldn't normally seek out. Sometimes it's an amazing experience and you meet a new lifelong friend. Sometimes going to social events makes you want to pull your hair out because you don't click with anyone and you feel alone. Note: There are some spouses who can make a best friend anywhere they go. That - much to my dismay - is not me.
Right, so I've definitely been in situations where I've been gossiped about or bullied. One of the worst situations was actually by a group of peers. Who knew that a group of military wives could be so vicious? I definitely felt alienated and singled out even though we were all "in this together" so to speak. Without going into details, I'll just say it was rough. And probably helped me develop a thicker skin, which certainly doesn't hurt (although it took awhile to appreciate that little tidbit).
But while I've met my fair share of rude officer AND enlisted spouses, I've also met some pretty amazing ones on both sides of the spectrum. There are plenty of spouses that don't fall into the drama of Army life and remain individuals with their own interests. I wish we could all get together and agree that we don't wear our husband's rank, we aren't responsible for the decisions they make at the office and at the end of the day, we're our own people.
I realize that at this point all I can control is my own behavior. So here's where I stand. I will spend time with, help out, befriend any spouse if we have similar interests. Hell, I'll help someone out if they need assistance even if I don't like them because it's the right thing to do.
Maybe if we all put a little effort into making one another feel like part of the team or the Army family, we'd all have a more enjoyable experience. Let's stop gossiping about one another or freezing out a spouse. We're all in this together and since our soldiers are gone so often, shouldn't we be able to rely on one another? Wouldn't it be nice to ask for help or go have lunch with someone without wondering if they're going to turn around 20 minutes later and talk about you behind your back?
I've been blessed to find a group of women (military and non-military) in our local area that I enjoy spending time with. It's drama-free and they're always willing to lend a helping hand. I don't want to get all mushy so let's just leave it with me saying I feel very fortunate to have them in my life.
And I hope that in the future, this is how it looks at FRG meetings and military events. Lots of people from different backgrounds having fun and helping each other out. Let's choose to be kind to one another. It would be a beautiful thing.