Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dictating our lives

I have literally filled this text box to the max and "ctrl-a,  del" so many times now that I can't remember... I know there will be people that don't sympathize using the age old argument, "well you knew what you were getting into when you married him." But in this case I cry "lie!" I had no idea that the military would dictate my friendships, the social circle I could be in, who I am allowed & not allowed to go out to dinner with, etc. I knew that officers & enlisted friendships were a no-no, what I was't aware of is the inner breakdown...
  • Junior Enlisted
  • NCOs
  • SNCOs
  • Warrant Officer
  • (Then obviously officers...)
My husband recently got promoted; however, with this promotion & the upcoming "wet down" there have been multiple briefings on company fraternization. Basically how it was broken down to us is - even though you've been friends with so&so, hung out with them at the beach, had them over for dinner... Since you are in two different inner enlisted groups that has to end. Wow. 1.5-3yrs of friendship just cut-off. Like we aren't emotionally invested. Like we aren't humans, just the chevrons on my husband's collar/arm. The worst part is that they are telling us it doesn't matter what branch of service either, so our best friends in the Coast Guard & Navy somehow count as well. *sigh*

But I know somewhere one of you is saying "but wives don't count!" Or "stop wearing your husband's rank you aren't in the military, he is!" Am I right, were you the one saying/thinking that? While this IS true, while I do know women married to men of every rank, including officers, the hurt and separation still remains. While the men are deployed it's easy - we hang out, go for brunch, have ladies nights. But the entire dynamic changes when they return... Someone married to an E-4 simply cannot go out on a double date with someone married to an E-7 within the same company. So that best friend you made during deployment can be your best friend only if your husband's never hang out. Which no offense to her but I enjoy going out on group dates, hanging out with mutual friends. I love girl time, but when my husband is home (which seems so rare lately) I want to hang out with him too!

We have "family day" coming up... I never used to complain about company events, I thought it was nice to meet the other wives in the battalion... But this time around I'm being selfish and absolutely don't want to go. I don't want to make anymore "friends" that I'm technically not allowed to hang out with while our husbands are involved.

Today the USMC fraternization policy is really bringing me down. I don't know who initially got in trouble in my husband's battalion & brought this hammer down... But even though I love Hawaii, I'm desperately missing the camaraderie we had at our last duty station.

Have any of you been at a unit with such a focus (or crack down) on the company fraternization? 
If so, how did you handle it gracefully?


  1. I get it. My husband isn't that high yet but we still have to be careful. My best friend here is married to a LCpl who works with my husband, a sgt. We hang out together but we have to be careful. At work luckily they maintain complete professionalism but it is rough. I recently met a wife here who's husband is an officer and we want to all get together (luckily he is a a different base) but its still difficult and we could have issues. Sigh. I totally get you!

  2. We have a friend who was striped of rank for this very thing. He had a friend and one day it was fine to hang out with him, the next day it wasn't. The real kicker, they weren't even in the same battalion. So, no chain of command conflicts. It's sad for the guys. But, I agree it sucks being a wife too. I have very little friends because of it. I don't click with any of the wives Daniel's rank. And, the wives I really do click with it's the same thing as you, we can be friends without our husbands, but that just doesn't work.

  3. That's a bit ridiculous and I've never heard of it to that extent, but I get it. The majority of my friends have husbands who range from SSGT to MGySgt, with a couple Captain's thrown in. No one has ever said anything about the ranks. I don't even know if the husbands all know each other's rank. We used to have really good friends that were 1LT and Capt, we hung out all the time with no issues. They were even in the same unit as hubs. All my friends now are scattered across the base. I'd be livid if I could no longer be friends with my friends.

  4. That would drive me nuts, but mostly make me sad. I guess one of the only pluses to being Reserve is not feeling that part of it.

  5. I'm so sorry the Army is wrecking havoc on you! I hate when it does that! Luckily we are at a base that is so small that it's almost impossible to keep us segregated. Our housing isn't even strictly separated. We have O-3&4, WO2-4, E7 & civilians all living in our little area. It's nice not having that part of our lives dictated to us right now. I'm sure this will not be the case at our next duty station so I'm trying to enjoy my freedom while I can!

    I hope this gets better for you!


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