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Lives of Doctor Wives: Living through him

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Living through him

Do any of you ever get the feeling that your living through your husbands dreams. I fully support Damian but there are days when I fell kinda bad thinking that everything I do is focused on his career.


Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Absolutely - I think I am fortunate in that since we do not have children yet I can focus on my career, but really I know that my career will always take a backseat and that everything I do is in reaction to or in support of his career goals. I also realize though that when the time comes to sacrifice my career I won't mind too much because I look forward to the day I can become a Mother... I think the fact that you may have not gotten a chance to do you thing makes it more of a sacrifice for you - but thats why I think when your girls are in school you should make sure you do something for YOU!

May 5, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger CC said...

Of course I do Leidy! Think about it, we have altered our whole lives, even if for a few years, to support someone elese's dream. That's the true meaning of love. I think it's totally normal to stop and step back sometimes and realize that. Then, give yourself a pat on the back! My husband's residency road has been a little longer than we anticipated and when I get frustrated with it, I have to realize that even he didn't plan it this way. It's a long road and when it's not your dream that you are chasing, it's really hard sometimes.

May 5, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger botanybabe said...

well, here is the catch...i am a selfish person. i wish i could say that i sacrificed all for my hubby so that he could live his dream, but that just is not true. it took me a long while to be fully behind hubby for med school. and what made me fully back him???? when i got my first crap job and i realized, i don't want to have to have crap jobs for the rest of my life. i wanted to be able to do what i WANTED to do. and what would allow me to do that? not relying on MY financial contribution to the family. so i realized that by hubby fulfilling his dreams, i could fulfill mine. that is what gets me through it all. bad, i know. if i had to tell you how many times i have repeated...3 more years, 4 more years, etc. so in my mind, in X amount of years, i can retire and do what i want. i don't have to take whatever job to make ends meet or allow us to have health insurance. then it is his turn to bat.

May 5, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger EthidiumBromide said...

110%. And the problem is that I am so afraid that I am going to resent him for it later, because I have worked my ass off for my own career -- HARDER than he has. 4 years of medical school for him; 6+ years of graduate school for a Ph.D. in biochemistry/biophysics for me. 1 year of internship, 4 years of residency for him; I'll have 2 4-year post-doctoral training fellowships that I'll need to complete. After his residency, he'll be an attending; I'll have to go through years of being a junior faculty, and then working up through a tenure-track job if I want to be at a Major Research University and have my own lab; he acknowledges that I have it MUCH harder than he will... but because he'll make more than I will... I'll always have to take the back seat to him. But because I'm the wife, that's what I have to do.

May 5, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

EB - I don't think taking a backseat or a sacrifice should be because you are the "wife" or the "woman" I think it should be because it is what is best for your marriage/family. Also it shouldn't be something you HAVE to do it should be something that you want to do (or know you should do) because it is best...which still isn't easy. Becareful because although there will be days you wish the situation were different, resentment over an extended period of time can mean major damage to your marriage. Perhaps your husband needs to give you more credit because you shouldn't HAVE to do anything!

May 5, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I have never thought that my dreams where taking a back seat to Tommy's career, but that might be because of my point of view on what a wife's job is. God says that we are to be keepers of our homes and to be a helpmate to our spouse. I went to college, I have a degree and if I never get to work outside the home again, I am fine with that. I started working when I was 13 and have never felt like what my career/job/degree was ever made me "who I am". I am happy that I get to support him as he will always be the one supporting our family. Now there are times when he is gone a lot and I wish he was home more often, but I never felt like he was "living" and I was trapped at home. I have always been involved in his work, the community, the church, and many other groups and projects, so I've always felt fulfilled. I feel fufilled when my hubby comes home to a clean, peaceful home where he can rest after a hard days work. I feel fulfilled when my son says a new word or learns to do a new task. I feel fulfilled when I finish a project I've been working on or when the organization I've volunteered with meets it's goals. Marissa has a great point that if you are feeling resentful or lacking, that can put great stress on any relationship and you need to make sure everyone's needs are being met. I love to be busy and work, but again, I love my job at home with my household duties and the kiddos, so I've never really felt like we were always focused on Tom's career. When you choose to marry someone, it is never about "you" or "me", it is about US. Your priorities have to match what is best for your marriage and your family. You can't sit there and say "I don't get to do what I want" or you will only build that resentment and it can poison your relationship. Re-evaluate your life and make new priorities, ones that will honor God and your marriage and He will provide all the happiness and comfort you need. Again, that's how I feel.

May 5, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Leidy said...

Wow Alexandra, great perspective! =)

May 5, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Kathi Browne said...

I struggled with that too, since I left a thriving career to follow my husband around. I had an epiphany, one day that changed my attitude. Care to read about it, check out my blog post "Having it All" http://wingspouse.com/blog/?p=178. Would love some comments.

May 5, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Leidy, this is such a common complaint among doctor's wives! You are not alone. While they do need our wholehearted support and respect, you have to find ways to be who you are created to be. It's so hard when they're in training b/c you have no time and no money for anything BUT his career. Dive into yourself and find out what your passions are, what you love, what you are really good at doing - then find ways to channel those things. Marissa and Alexandra made some great points: "it is about US" and uncommunicated resentment will eat your marriage alive. I agree 100%. I love what my friend Jasmine told me (I quoted her in my post on "What I Have Learned..."). She said that you have to work to make sure "both people to fit into the marriage so that one person isn't sucking up all in the air in the room. We, too, need to breathe.”

Take care of you - literally!

May 5, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alexandra, excellent point.
I also like to focus on my job as helping our family versus focusing solely on my husband's career. Just as I know his job and duty in his mind is for our family...not necessarily for his career. (although I am sure it is that too to an extent).

Try to focus on whether something is right for your family...in the end it is likely to make you the happiest...whatever you end up doing. If you don't focus on your family, you may not have a family to focus on for long...resentment is pure evil to a marriage. My parents just divorced last year over a bunch of pent up resentment...they had been married for 20 years. (he was my stepfather--I was almost 9 when they were married)--

Now, please don't think I mean "forget yourself"...it's not that. Your marriage happiness goes hand in hand with how happy each of you are. Just know that there is give and take...and decide how much you are both willing to do.

May 5, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger sylvia said...


May 6, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Ditto, Sylvia.

May 7, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend is a resident and will be going into his last year soon. He is waiting to match for fellowships and has asked that i move with him if and when he does. The thing is that i have a career and make quite a bit of money and money has never been the issue for me. I want to live. He has asked me for a 5 year commitment to wait for him while he completes his fellowship. I'm 31 and want to get married and have kids, sooner than later. He thinks we can do it all in a few years. The thing is that he isn't around and when things happen in my life like the death of a family member, he is not available to provide the kind of emotional support I need. My issue is communication with him and his understanding my perspective and valuing it and trying to figure out workable solutions. He thinks that just because he is barely trying to survive that I don't have the right to talk about my needs. Is this common?

May 7, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I agree with Jennifer that you need to find your own passions and ways to express yourself. It helps you get through the loneliness of call shifts and also allows you to create your own identity (and become more independent). I've discovered a lot of new hobbies throughout my husband's medical training, and I've really found I can be an independent person as well as be his wife. I understand how it feels as though everything is centered around his career, but believe me, it gets better over time! Good luck.

May 7, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

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