Trailing Spouse Syndrome Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Trailing Spouse Syndrome

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A man carrying a child pulls his house along on a cart.

Trailing Spouse Syndrome relates to the temporary sub-class of married partners whose spouses have been caught up in the current demand for mobility in the corporate world.

This sub-class of trailing spouses, although relatively unknown a mere half century ago, is growing at an alarming rate, as a result of corporate transfers. Actual numbers of trailing spouses are unknown due to the constant instability of this sector of the population.


  • Inventive advertising skills must be exercised daily to hype up the move for any children still living at home. This is one of the most fundamental duties of the trailing spouse. Overlooking or delaying this groundwork will cause children to be unco-operative, the bane of any transfer.

  • Impressive people skills are needed to allow immediate bonding with people in a variety of regions. This is best approached by adopting a chameleon attitude. Care should be taken that during the guise of happily fitting in, the trailing spouse still pays strict attention to demographic reports and trends.

  • The ability to purchase a house or make temporary living arrangements within a 24 hour period after deplaning in a new region should be second nature.

  • A moderate to extensive ability to understand and deal with building contractors. In the case of a female trailing spouse it is imperative that she can read and realistically alter working blueprints without appearing to consult her spouse. Failure in this will result in the building contractor refusing to make requested changes without the approval of her spouse, thus slowing construction considerably.

  • Supervisory skills are essential, and must be meticulously put to use during the actual move. Failure in this area will result in the loss or breakage of personal property.

Top Trailing Tips

  • In most cases, the transferring spouse will need additional support during this transitional period. The transferring spouse has usually already moved to the new area and is thus relieved of daily family decisions. A perceptive trailing spouse develops vast coddling skills to convey the impression that the family indeed does not function normally without the spouse.

  • Before the transfer is announced to any children still at home, the trailing spouse should take advantage of any advance knowledge of the new area. Particular attention should be paid to any theme parks, waterfront parks, zoos, malls, and arcades. Under no circumstances should the words 'cultural hub' be used when hyping the move to children.

  • It is advisable to make ready a packet of supplies as soon as the transfer is announced. This packet should include several real estate contacts in the new area, as well as demographic reports, lists of both public and private schools, a cellular phone, and maps highlighted with the nearest McDonalds' Playland.

  • During the duration of the transfer, it is easiest to ignore one's long-term memory regarding personal dreams, plans or accomplishments. All plans should revolve around the family unit. Once the transfer has been completed the trailing spouse will need to adjust all personal plans.

  • No matter what the preferred decorating taste, an astute trailing spouse will take advantage of generic knock-down furniture purchases. This is, of course, in preparation for the next transfer.

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