Friday, February 10, 2012

"I feel like I'm getting set up for a friendship" --George Costanza

If I had to sum up how I feel about all of this "military wife" business, I think George C.'s quote says it best. It's not that I don't like it, but I definitely don't like the feeling of trying to force a friendship with women just because our husbands have the same job. And of course this is a predicament for many spouses regardless of the job, but I feel like it's more shoved down your throat when you're involved in the military because all of these wives functions, societies, groups, etc, is rooted so far back in military tradition.

Overall, I had a great time at the general's house the other night, which really was my first military function for just spouses. When you hear "the general and his wife," it sounds so intimidating and hoity toity. But I was very much pleasantly surprised when I met them. They were great hosts, and were very natural in their conversations. They showed genuine interest in their guests, and I would love to do something with them again.

The part of the evening that I had a love/hate relationship with was the conversation with the wives. I met some very nice women. And maybe if I were ten years older with 2 or 3 kids, we would be fast friends. Multiple times in the evening would I be chatting with a couple of women and then quickly be left to that awkward point of sitting there while they talk all about their kids/schools, etc. It was very uncomfortable. And I didn't enjoy it. I never enjoy trying to mask my discomfort with a smile and fake interest.

The dinner the other night has just been a culminating event to me finally talking right now about how I just want some friendships that come naturally and are with people/couples in the same situations as me and my husband. As a brand new wife, these last six months have been a really hard time for me socially. And it's actually harder to talk about right now than I thought it would be. I'm so used to always being around people who are my same age and my same stage of life. And I bet there are those that that will think I'm crazy in saying this, but I REALLY miss being in a singles/student ward where you're surrounded by young people. In a singles ward, the purpose of the ward all revolves around socializing. Both dating and making friends.

I think only at BYU do married people have the luxury in being in wards with other young married couples. Victor and I were immediately flung into a family ward where the socializing part is only a minor purpose of the ward. We have a good ward, and it could be a lot worse, but it's just been a real big adjustment for both of us.

For the last few months, I have confided these thoughts to only a few people because I didn't want to sound like I was just whining and not making an effort. I feel like I have been making an effort, but I know that I can always try harder. So I'm still going to attend these wives functions with a smile, and hopefully as I go to more, the smile will become less and less fake. And I'm still going to try to be more involved in my ward (and maybe also pray for more young married couples).

Sitting around whining won't make it any better, but being able to at least admit it right now on my little blog is still pretty cathartic.

So those of you who asked to hear more about dinner with the general's wife probably got A LOT more information than you may have wanted, but I just have a lot of feelings (name that movie). And I'm really dying to know if any of my young married friends who read this experienced the same thing and how you coped. If you never felt this way, very well then. Maybe I'm just slow to make friends. In that case, tips on how to make more friends would also be appreciated.

Thank you for reading. I love you all!


  1. That is exactly how I felt before Steve and I had kids. The fire department is very similar to the military in that the men are all brothers and they want their families to get along. I always felt awkward when I failed to fake interest in the other wives conversations about their kids. But I usually tried to steer the conversation in a different direction. I still find it hard and awkward now, because his department is in Salt Lake County and we live so far from everyone, I feel like I'm the wife that gets left out. I think for a good majority of my marriage, Steve and I have been in a different stage of our lives than all of our friends, especially right after we got married. So sad to say, it's normal, but happy to say that being married is worth the awkward moments of loneliness and eventually you just figure it out.

  2. Mean girls. Speaking of, our BYU married ward was ok. I felt like it was the most cliquey situation I have ever been in because everyone was looking for their married best friends. But we did make some friends that we are still friends with and it was fine. I think the best you can do right now, is love every second together and start inviting families from your ward to dinner. It's not easy, but it gets the ball rolling. Sorry for the novel. Love you.

  3. Get a job and get busy! Love you! MOM

  4. I'm so sad Juju beat me to the Mean Girls quote.
    I don't have advice. But I know things get better.
    In the mean time, just come visit your sisters in Utah!
    I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU! Love you!
    Good luck packing! I know you need it.

  5. Oh, I love your mom's comment, but a job won't change anything as far as missing the social part of being single. Even though I work full-time, I totally feel the same way. It's like all the young mom's in the ward are friends with each other because they do play groups and their kids are friends. Then sometimes I feel guilty for missing being single because it makes it sound like I don't like being married, which isn't true. So, I think you're's the social life we miss.

  6. Isn't a newly wed suppose to just want to play with her husband and could care less what anyone else is doing or in making friends? I think a lot of people feel this is true so they don't want to hang out with you. As soon as you let them see that you in fact would love to socialize, they will respond to you better. Ask them to go on a group date. You may have more in common than you think and they may have something besides their kids to talk about. In fact, it may be good for them to actually go on a date and NOT talk about home and kids. Just a thought. I'm not the expert.