WSA coordinates a network of peer support groups for well spouses and spousal caregivers. Our Support Groups are open to all WSA Supporting Members as a membership benefit (please contact the WSA Office if membership is a financial hardship).
These support groups meet on a monthly basis in person, by Zoom, or by phone. Join a local support group, or join one of our nationwide support groups, which are listed below.
Click here for our calendar of WSA Support Group meetings.
When is the right time to join a WSA support group?
- You’re starting to realize you’re a well spouse or caregiver. Whatever disease or injury your spouse or partner is facing, and whatever your age or family situation, there will come a point where you realize your life has changed and you self-identify (or others label you) as a well spouse or caregiver.
- You see signs that you need more support. There are danger signals that say “I need help!” or “I can’t do this anymore!” Sometimes we trudge on under unbearable conditions because of pride or a feeling of hopelessness. Often we simply don’t realize we are taking on too much responsibility until it’s too late. Signs that it's time to reach out for support include:
- No matter what you do, it feels like it isn’t enough.
- Your partner’s condition is worsening despite your best efforts.
- You feel you’re the only person in the world enduring this.
- You no longer have time or a place to be alone for even a brief break.
- Things you used to do occasionally to help out are now part of your daily routine.
- Your relationships with family and friends are breaking down because of caregiving pressures.
- Your caregiving duties or emotions are interfering with your work and social life.
- You realize you’re all alone – and doing it all – because you’ve shut out everyone could help.
- You refuse to think about your own needs and desires because that feels like a selfish act.
- Your coping methods have become destructive. You’re overeating/under-eating, using drugs or alcohol to cope, and feeling anger, anxiety or depression. You may take things out on your partner.
- There are no more happy times with your partner. Instead of loving and caring, you feel exhausted and resentful. You no longer feel good about yourself or take pride in what you’re doing.
Find support with the WSA community
You’re not alone, and our caregiver community can help. Our peer support groups meet bi-weekly or monthly in cities and towns across the US. We also have nationwide support groups for special populations, including one for younger well spouses (ages 20-50+) and one for former well spouses (due to death, divorce, or separation). Everyone who leads our support groups or attends our meetings is either a current or former well spouse or caregiver.
The support group meetings may meet in a restaurant, church basement, school, or by Zoom, but they are all small communities that are non-judgmental and safe havens, and they are part of our larger WSA community. What you say, and what others say, at each support group meeting, is confidential. You’ll be welcomed no matter your situation, and be able to tell your story - maybe for the first time, maybe for the hundredth time. You’ll find people who understand.
Sometimes a support group doesn’t feel like a good fit. If that happens, try a different WSA support group and see if it fits better (even if it’s not in your local area). Sometimes people try a support group meeting but decide it’s not the right time for them to join WSA. WSA will be here when the right time does happen.
Continue attending our support groups, and you’ll find that by taking better care of your needs, you’re taking better care of your partner’s needs too.
Which support group should I join?
Join a local support group if one is located near you, or join one of our nationwide groups: