Trailing Spouse: the Pride and Joy of this lifestyle.

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Earlier this month I had an article published in the American Foreign Service Journal. It’s on a topic I sometimes address here, increasingly more now that my life is fully inundated into the Foreign Service lifestyle. I wrote about being a trailing spouse. It’s hard.

Check out the article, here.

I’ve been so happy that friends and strangers alike have reached out to me in response. It reminds me that I’m definitely not alone. I knew I wasn’t the only one in this situation, and that the women and men before me had it hard, too. But I’ve been reminded.

One email I received this weekend was from an ex-foreign service spouse, who told me about her own experiences, her own fond memories, and left me with a few bit of sage advice:

I just wanted to tell you that you will no doubt look back on these years with pride and a special joy in having lived an exceptional life, rich in experiences the average person can never attain.  Be well, be safe.  Be happy.

This note really hit me. Be happy! It’s a simple reminder to remember– even when I can’t find a job, even when I am going through pack out yet again, even when I am stressing about quality of medical care in third-world hospitals. And especially, when I complain about the quality of things like haircuts/manicures/internet speed.

Because I’m sure I’ll look back on these years with much pride, and great joy.

6 thoughts on “Trailing Spouse: the Pride and Joy of this lifestyle.

  1. Cabal! In El Salvador, people say that a lot — “exactly!”

    I think what makes being an EFM (or life, generally) hard is the constant comparison of oneself to others, via Facebook, blogs, real-life conversations, etc. At home (in the U.S.) I would compare my relationship status, career, apartment (i.e. lack of homeownership), etc. with peers. Abroad, it’s the same — just different comparison points.

    I’m glad you wrote this and have so eloquently expressed what so many of us “prevailing” spouses are feeling!

    • Oh Elizabeth, thank you! This little note means so much !(sometimes we can feel so alone and alienated, even though there are hundreds of us out there and thousands before us, you know?)

  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Being a Trailing Spouse | La Vie Overseas

  3. Wonderful article, perfectly put. My hubs always asks me if I regret marrying him and moving overseas and I always say something to the affect of: “Babe, if I had turned you down, I could have had a very successful career and a straightforward decent life in the States. Marrying you meant trading all of that for a big unknown but someday it will all make sense and the adventures I have in the meantime will enrich my life far more than 10 years of daily grind in some office in DC.” But you put it way better than that and I’m grateful!

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