There are great support groups out there…

  After much debate and a long run around my husband finally wound up on the USS Needs A Lot Of Work. I hadn’t heard anything about their family support group but figured there must be something since it is an active boat. Little did I know how great the FSG would be.

  Just a few short days after my husband reported to the NALOW and a few days before our thrid anniversary (yes, we’re the young newbies) I was pleasantly surprised to see a card from the CO’s wife wishing us a happy anniversary. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is different, on our old boat we never would have seen anything like this.” It was a nice gesture but I didn’t expect much more than that since there wasn’t a very good FSG on our previous boat.

 Later in the week I had a message on our answering machine from the CO’s wife extending an invitation to meet myself and our son. I called back, a little nervous because I wasn’t used to being so informal with the CO’s wife. I had a nice conversation with her and learned what kind of FSG they were looking to put together and the things they are hoping to do. She also makes a point to personally meet each new family and gives them a welcome bag full of goodies. What a huge change that was from the last FSG.

 So, on that note, I just want to tell you all to give your FSG a try. Who knows, you may have a great support group under your nose and you don’t know it… but then again, it may be unorganized and not focused and could be a bad experience. But, give it a shot. I know so many wives who are anti-FSG because they have had a bad experience with rumors and rotten people. Just give it a try and don’t let one bad experience ruin FSG forever.

Expectations…

The holiday season is here again. With that, some of us will probably be spending time with family and friends. During this time we have to deal with people we may not want to deal with and hold expectations of how things should be or turn out. For me, this is especially true when it comes to my in-laws.

My mom is one of six and we are all very close. Since I was a little girl my mom’s brothers and sisters would (still do) meet every afternoon at my grandma’s house for coffee, cookies and conversation. Every Sunday my grandma would make breakfast and lunch for everyone so we would all gather again and spend time together. My dad is one of five and though they aren’t as close as my mom’s family, they still get together for the holidays and birthdays. Because I’ve grown up around family togetherness, that is the type of expectation I want for and from my husband’s family.

My in-laws think my family is weird because they love one another and enjoy spending time with each other. I’m not saying my in-laws don’t love their family members but they can’t spend as much time together without getting tired and annoyed with one another, or at least that is what was said one evening. My in-laws see family togetherness and conversation as a once in a while/need to know basis, anything more than that is unnecssary. I take offense to that because I want them to be involved in our lives and call us and be in contact with us but I feel it is always our job to call and iniate contact.

During the holidays it is especially hard because I just don’t feel comfortable since I’m used to so much family togetherness. So, with that, I get stressed out and dread the holidays… especially when we go back home. Last Sunday at church I was discussing my feelings and situation with other members of the church and I was reminded of keeping my expectations in check.

We all come from different walks of life, different families and different traditions and when two DIFFERENT people join in marriage, two different familes become one. I was reminded that I can’t change the way my husband’s family is or what they do, the only thing I can do is understand the difference and accept their differences. Although this is hard for me I know it is the only thing I can do. I can’t expect things from other people, I can only accept things from them.

So, for those of you who might find yourselves in the same situation, remember that we can’t expect others to change or do what we expect them to do to make us comfortable, we can only accept the differences and move on. I’m not saying this will be easy because it will be difficult for me to do this holiday season, but to keep peace during an already stressful time… just try and go with the flow.