Page 40 - Foreign Service Journal - December 2012

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40
DECEMBER 2012
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
the working spouse as soon
as he or she comes home.
Te working spouse often
has had his or her own
share of problems during
the day. Both partners may
be looking to the other as a
source of emotional nour-
ishment, when neither feels
they have much to give.
When we don’t have support outside our primary relation-
ship, we run the risk of putting too much strain on our mar-
riage. One or both partners can become alienated from the
other at a time when support and comfort is needed most.
So what to do in a new city without your usual support
system in place? You might make a call, meet someone new
for cofee, and get involved in something you feel passionate
about. If you fnd you are still feeling alienated or isolated, it
may be helpful to seek out professional help, either within the
State Department or outside
of it.
Coping Strategies
Finally, to happily man-
age the cycles of transition
of a Foreign Service career,
we need to hone coping
strategies that have worked
in the past and on which
we can draw again. A few examples include negotiating, taking
optimistic action, seeking advice, asserting ourselves, using
humor, suspending judgment, accepting change and rearrang-
ing our priorities.
If we’ve not used particularly efective strategies in the past,
we may want to seek help to develop new methods of coping
with difcult situations. By learning new coping strategies, we
can move beyond returning to homeostasis and can allow real
growth to take place.
n
The waiting period between
bidding for posts and
receiving notifcation of
acceptance can be a time of
stress, as well as anticipation.