7 Tips for Attending a Spouse’s High School Reunion

by Chris on July 30, 2010

7 tips for attending your spouse’s high school reunion.

spouse's high school reunion, Atlantic, Iowa

Attending your spouse’s high school reunion can be a daunting experience. You’re faced with lots of people you don’t know, in a situation that can be high stress, depending on how your spouse felt about high school. Insecurities can easily re-emerge when you come face to face with past.

Luckily, my husband had a good high school experience, so he didn’t have the same anxieties at the Atlantic High School 30th reunion that I’ve seen others go through.¬† But if your spouse is a little neous about facing those ghosts of hallways past, here are a few survival tips.

1. Do some advance research. These days, most classes set up a Facebook page or a website for their reunion. I had already asked my husband about some of his old friends who had posted comments on his wall and learned some of their backstories. Closer to the reunion, he shared the class website with me so I had the opportunity to learn more names. The advance research helps when you’re presented with a bunch of new faces.

2. Mingle on your own. Don’t spend the whole reunion glued to your spouse’s side. Walk around, get some drinks, give him or her time to catch up and get in the zone. (Of course, this goes out the window if you see them throw you a “help, get me out of here” look).

3. Look your best, but don’t get neurotic about it. Like it or not, reunions are prime places for some judge-y behavior. Everyone is checking everyone else out – and the people with them aren’t immune. Head it off at the pass by looking good, without overdoing it. And remember your spouse is the star of this show. Give him or her feedback on their outfit if they ask for it, but keep your own insecurities to yourself¬† (this isn’t the time to whine about your pants making you look fat).

Class of 1980 high school reunion, Atlantic, Iowa

4. Talk to other spouses. Feeling left out of the jokes? Chances are some of the other spouses are in the same boat. Seek them out and start some bonding of your own. After all, you may end up seeing them decade after decade.

5. Man the camera. My husband loves to take photos, but I took the camera away from him so he could socialize and took some snaps. Walking around with a camera is a great ice-breaker too.

Class of 1980 high school reunion, Atlantic, Iowa

6. Be a cheerleader. A high school reunion isn’t the place to voice all your dirty laundry with your spouse. Even if some things they do drive you nuts on a daily basis, keep it to yourself – especially if he or she encounters any teasing from classmates. Present a united front.

7. Don’t drink too much. Let your spouse be the one to cut loose. A night or two as the designated driver won’t hurt – and will allow your husband or wife a chance to blow off steam with old friends.

Do you have any more tips or fun stories about going to a reunion? Share them in the comments.

| Chris Gray Faust is a veteran journalist, travel expert, social media butterfly - and editrix of this site. Like what you read? Check out her writing, editing and social media services.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Berg July 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Hi Chris,
Having gone to several reunions as both the alum and the spouse/partner, I’d also add “show sincere and positive interest in your spouse/partner’s (high school, college, law school). Don’t make fun of it as being slacker, bottom choice, last place you’d want to send your child…etc..it is what it is, good or bad, someone either chose to go there or went because of circumstances outside of their control. And be real, you’ll have no say it where your kid goes and if you diss it too much, they will go there just out of spite and being negative reflects badly on you.


Don McKinnon August 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Well I was a non-American attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington DC and graduated with the class of ’56. So by accident I heard about the 50th reunion in 2006 and went along with curious enthusiasm. I had not had contact with anyone since I left the DC in 1957. You walk into a room not recognising anyone until I saw the name tags. It was great and my wife not only enjoyed it but became one of the official photographers and had a great time. as a spouse she’s awaiting the 70th !!! DM


Chris August 4, 2010 at 1:34 am

Don – How nice to be able to go back after so long and reconnect! Thanks for sharing your story here.


Chinamatt August 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

I don’t think my wife’s schools do reunions…but I have met plenty of her former classmates. We missed my reunion, but I didn’t feel bad about it. I really don’t care about seeing most of those people again.


Chris August 6, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Matt – I’ve actually never been to one of my reunions either. Maybe the urge to go back increases with age – people do get a bit more nostalgic, I notice. And actually, now that I’ve friended a lot of “lost” classmates on Facebook, I’d be more inclined to go. We’ll see. My 25th will be in a few years.


Helen March 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

My ex sister-inlaw went to a school reunion last may in 2010 and persisted for her husband not to go with her, as her husband he wanted to go so after arguing and whatever he let her go. He ended up getting so upset he went for a drive with my other brother and met her there for a drink stayed a little and left. After the reunion she was very cold and mean tiwards her husband and after about 9 months of putting her husband throu hell and putting him down everyday she decided that she didn’t love him anymore so she wanted to move out! They broke up and she started abandoning her 2 children all the time she was always going out not caring about her kids! In the end we found all her messages in the computer she was seeing her ex boyfriend from her high school! They met each other at the reunion and it started from there! Her 17 year old son found all her messages in her mobile phone from the guy she was seeing and cheating behind her husbands back for 9 mnths and she still denies that she has done nothing wrong! It makes me sick to the stomach how some man u havnt seen in 20 years comes along and she broke up her family and marriage for someone she doesn’t even know! I think If you are married or have a partner and you have a school reunion you should go together or don’t go at all! She should be ashamed of herself at 41 yrs old!! To say she wasn’t happy in her marriage? She had everything and anything she wanted because my brother was a hard working man and gave her the world! Now she’s with sone low life bum that had nothing and she can’t even afford to live! She deserves everything that comes her way now!


Chris March 27, 2011 at 11:02 pm

@Helen – Wow. That’s what you *don’t* want to happen at a high school reunion.


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