Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time I went to those pastor wife thingies, conferences or retreats or whatever they're called. I went to them at fancy conference centers in big important districts, and I went to them at churches and camps in a small backwards district. I went to the meetings at the pastor thingies that they held for wives in adjoining rooms. I went either because I wanted to be where my husband was, or because other people told me it was a good idea to spend time with other pastor wifes.
Putting aside the fact that the prevailing pieties at these things in any district were not varieties I could easily stomach, the events were unhelpful to me. Why? Because I don't mind being married to a pastor. While there are the occasional annoyances, and they occasionally become acute, it's just not difficult for me overall. As I've mentioned before, I actually like how it entangles our family in the life of the church. I don't need a retreat from pastoral wifery any more than I need a retreat from changing my socks.
So when the other wives start sharing their troubles, which is common and often becomes quite emotional, I can't relate. Then it's a short trip for my not relating to become despising them for their complaining and oversensitivity and selfishness and for crying out loud CRYING. (I should mention also that I've never borne the cross of being in a very messed up parish.) Why don't they just shut up and deal?
Easy for me to say. The things that torment them usually don't even bother me much. But it does me no good to hang around there, since it just tempts me to be impressed with myself for being such a great pastor's wife. Me, the strong! Me, the perspicacious! Me, the virtuous! Me, the wife all those poor slobs married to whiny crybaby basket cases wish they had! Too bad there's only one of glorious Me to go around. I also walk really well and can operate a mailbox!!
It's not exactly bearing their burdens for me to hold others' burdens illegitimate either because I don't find those burdens all that burdensome or because I bear my burdens differently. The last thing these sad people need is for me to hit them when they're already down with such helpful insights as, "What's your problem? That's how it goes so you might as well just handle it. Grow up and shut up."
The moral of the story: Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow. Wait, that's something else. The moral of the story is that I don't go to pastor wife thingies any more. The End.