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Lives of Doctor Wives: Newly Meds, I mean Weds

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Newly Meds, I mean Weds


I am a newly wed doctor's wife (four months). My husband is a trauma surgeon and works four overnight shifts per week. We are in a new town and I am rather shy. Needless to say I am getting a bit clinger that I would like.

I love him and miss him a lot. His work precludes us from spending a lot of time together. If I feel this bad now, what is going to happen in the future?

Any suggestions,

PS You know, it is really funny but when people find out what my husband does for a living they are always so impressed. They say, "Oh wow! you married a doctor," I tell them, no I didn't marry a doctor - I married a man, a very wonderful man that I wish I saw more.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is an ER doctor. He is currently rotating with the trauma surgeons. He tells me they have a tough life and a really tough schedule. At that particular hospital, the trauma surgeons maintain a tough schedule throughout their career. It may be different at other hospitals, but I feel your pain with missing your husband. It is hard because you are married but feel like you are single most of the time!

January 24, 2010 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Carol Clayton said...

In some ways it gets easier - I think as expectations are adjusted and life ikeeps moving forward. I was also newly married and living in a new city (new country!) and had to quickly learn to be more extroverted in order to survive. I immediately got involved with a local church and started volunteering in my community. That way I wasn't just sitting at home pining for my busy husband. Hang in there, you can make it through!

January 24, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are now a doctor's wife! Just like my mother, and just like my wife. Is he in residency? If he's in residency, then there's a chance he'll move to an easier schedule once he finishes residency or even as he advances within the residency years.

Unfortunately, though, if he's working 4 nights a week, he's probably surrounded by equally hard-working people and you and he need to be in agreement about your expectations for the rest of your life together. As an attending physician, he'll have options for trading to other work environments where his hours are fewer and he's home more, but that might mean sacrificing his prestige and/or ego to work at a less "important" job. It probably won't mean sacrificing pay, by the way. This is not about you being "clingy"--it's about you being happy. They set work hour limits for us in residency now so that we don't work over 80 hours per week.

Now that he's an attending, there's no limit to how many times he can raise his hand and say, "I'll take that shift" or "I'll work that holiday/weekend". If he doesn't get himself out of the hospital, then the only person in his life, probably, that can get him out of the hospital, is you.

If you think it's hard now, wait til you have kids! You'll wear yourself out living as a single mom. He has responsibilities in the home, and the two of you should establish your expectations early on. Your happiness depends on you feeling that you come before the career.

January 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should evaluate if it's simply an issue of aligning your schedules. If he's free and awake at home, try to make yourself free and awake at the same time, even if it's at 4,5,6 am.

At least then you have some time to talk.

January 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

I can't say what the future will be like but I encourage you to try new hobbies and do new things you always wanted to do but never had the time. (Knitting, yoga, cooking, photography, a new language, take a class). I say this because although you may be your husbands first priority that doesn't mean he can still spend as much time as he would like with you and you do not want to get resentful that he is gone.) I also encourage you to try and meet new people - do they have a spouses group at your husbands hospital? Often times doctor's spouses make great friends because they can relate with the hectic schedules and the sacrifices you have to make.

Another great forum is:

January 24, 2010 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You should look into the local Christian Medical Association and see if they have a group of spouses that get together. In my area the women meet once a month and support each other. Even though I'm not big on the 'fellowship' activities, I love the women and they are all very nice and welcoming.

January 25, 2010 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Kathi the wingspouse said...

Have you asked him if he thinks this is a temporary state? I got through the early years by having an end point to look forward to... of course plans change and that's another story (see my blog if you want to know more) but communication is the key.

If he thinks your situation is a permanent one, you better let him know you're not onboard with that and see what compromise you can make (maybe agree to that this is acceptable until residency is over, then he agrees to start taking you on regular dates again).

In any case, now is not the time to demand he change. He's in the toughest time of his career with lots of pressure, stress, and demands from others. I think I addressed this in more detail on a Survivor Saturdays blog on this site. It may give you more insite into what he's thinking right now.

January 26, 2010 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger JLee said...

Just make sure you talk about it before your 1st year of marriage is over. After one year, most habits stick around for good and are very difficult to change!

January 27, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger R said...

I agree. Set the precedent now for all your expectations and roles. Who The budget? Date nights? etc.

After the first year of marriage it's pretty set unless life circumstances change (i.e. kids, graduation, etc.).

February 2, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger R said...

That said, the first year of marriage is the toughest, so stick it out and try to communicate (even if it is through text pages, or emails, etc). You just had a major life change and are getting used to everything.
You can do it!

February 2, 2010 at 2:41 PM  

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