According to dictionary.com the verb (which considers us an “object”) defines the term “trailing” as: “to drag or let drag along the ground or other surface….”(lovely!)
Secondly, the site defines the word “dependent” as an adjective as: “relying on someone or something else for aid and support”.
There you have it, from day ONE, a trailing spouse is already seen as the woman dragging behind their amazing, talented, incredible, purposeful spouse whom they are reliant on for their next breath! Ok, so that may be a little over dramatised but little wonder with a definition of a “trailing spouse” why there are so many amazing women out there who end up questioning who they are, or even worse having to justify their role as an individual, a wife and a mother. (Yes, I know there are also trailing spouses who are men, they are welcome to pick up this blog and change she to he and wife to husband)
Contrary to what the dictionary might define as the word trailing and dependent, from my experience as a fellow trailing spouse, a counsellor and intercultural trainer is that everyone else in the family actually depends on the “trailing spouse” during their transition for support! The trailing spouse is the one lifting her family up from dragging off the ground! She is the one who aids and supports her husband’s career, settles kids and pets (is there a difference?) into the new environment often at a great personal sacrifice.