gunningwithscissors

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2018
4
5
So I’ve gotta think this sort of thing happens from time to time, given the sort of forced camaraderie/stress of intern year. But I’ve found myself crushing pretty hard on someone in my cohort. This would be all well and good except that I’m married. Have others encountered this and generally found it to be a temporary no-harm no-foul kinda thing? Or is it possible this could intensify and have implications on my level of commitment to my spouse.
Thanks guys
 

smq123

John William Waterhouse
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2006
14,321
4,622
Status
Attending Physician
So I’ve gotta think this sort of thing happens from time to time, given the sort of forced camaraderie/stress of intern year. But I’ve found myself crushing pretty hard on someone in my cohort. This would be all well and good except that I’m married. Have others encountered this and generally found it to be a temporary no-harm no-foul kinda thing? Or is it possible this could intensify and have implications on my level of commitment to my spouse.
Thanks guys
You make it sound like you have no control over your actions or emotions. Things can intensify...if you let them. Just because you have a crush on someone doesn't mean that you have to act on it.
 
About the Ads

TraumaLlamaMD

Licensed to chill
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2014
517
951
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
As a new intern, you may well be seeing your co-residents more often than your family. More than likely, if your marriage was previously happy, your crush is just a subconscious means to cope with all the time you now have to spend at work, away from your family. Your brain wants to be spending time with someone you like. Try taking some special time to go out or do something novel with your spouse, even though you’re tired as hell. As to whether things will or could intensify with this other person, that’s 100% dependent on you.
 

Chemist0157

10+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2007
7,513
1,767
Status
Attending Physician
I think you need to line up some time with your spouse when you have a chance. I would tread very lightly with this co-resident. Do not become another statistic.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Goro

hallowmann

Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2012
6,205
7,069
Status
Resident [Any Field]
OrnateCraftyHarborseal-size_restricted.gif

You make it sound like you have no control over your actions or emotions. Things can intensify...if you let them. Just because you have a crush on someone doesn't mean that you have to act on it.
100% this. I would also bet OP is confusing liking a coresident they're spending a lot of time with with something more.

OP, if I were you, I would run, spend some time away from this person, and spend more time with your spouse if possible. Even if things don't work out with your spouse, ending things over a coresident you've known 2 mos would easily cause problems during residency and reputation-wise in the hospital. No good can come of this, so again, run.
 

GoSpursGo

Allons-y!
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
30,225
4,847
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
You make it sound like you have no control over your actions or emotions. Things can intensify...if you let them. Just because you have a crush on someone doesn't mean that you have to act on it.
Completely agree with this.

OP, you made a commitment. Plenty of people renege on commitments, and at the end of the day you have to do what's right for you. But don't pretend that there's anything special about your situation where the intensity of residency is leaving you no choice in the matter.
 

CaliforniaAppli

7+ Year Member
Dec 10, 2010
134
89
Status
Work place crushes happen. It happened to me during residency and it felt mutual. We flirted more than we should have and I know other people could tell as someone said something to me. That person probably saved my marriage. We never did anything more than talk but the feelings were there. I was married and still married today. The crush passed after a few months of finishing our rotation together. I am glad I didn’t fuel that fire further. The crush will pass just don’t feed it.
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
23,477
40,561
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
So I’ve gotta think this sort of thing happens from time to time, given the sort of forced camaraderie/stress of intern year. But I’ve found myself crushing pretty hard on someone in my cohort. This would be all well and good except that I’m married. Have others encountered this and generally found it to be a temporary no-harm no-foul kinda thing? Or is it possible this could intensify and have implications on my level of commitment to my spouse.
Thanks guys
You’re married, it’s a foul

shut that sh-t down and stop being unfaithful in your emotions (if not already with actions). Feelings don’t impact your commitment level, your commitment level is a decision, make good decisions and honor them
 

Chlorini

Just keeping cool in the pool...
5+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2015
234
319
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Workplace crushes are common. A close friend of mine had a workplace crush that led to an affair and eventually a divorce. After reflecting on why she cheated, she said she felt that her marriage had gotten too routine. She just wanted to feel "alive" and "wanted." IMO, she wasn't getting her emotional needs met. She stopped seeing the work guy once she realized she really wasn't into him in the first place. She was just having that "emotional need" met by the work guy. She's still single today and I don't think her marriage is salvageable. It's honestly really sad because she shares a daughter with her ex-spouse.

Marriage is hard and it's harder during residency. It's even harder if you have children. If something is wrong with your marriage, try counseling, spending more quality time together (not passive Netflix watching), talking about work, finding a hobby you can do together (cooking, exercise, yoga), etc. Marriage is not a passive activity and it's easy to fall into a routine (I know, I've been married > 10 years). Like you, I'm a busy intern and I've personally been doing at-home yoga (sometimes with alcohol) with my spouse for 30 minutes at night which has both been fun and different for us (we are not yoga-types, haha).

Try not to fixate on your work crush and focus on your spouse instead. If that doesn't work, imagine what your life would look like if you got a divorce and had to pay up to 25% of your total income in alimony to your spouse for the rest of your life. That should work.
 
Last edited:

jurassicpark

Sith Overlord
2+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2018
414
856
Death Star III
Status
Attending Physician
So I’ve gotta think this sort of thing happens from time to time, given the sort of forced camaraderie/stress of intern year. But I’ve found myself crushing pretty hard on someone in my cohort. This would be all well and good except that I’m married. Have others encountered this and generally found it to be a temporary no-harm no-foul kinda thing? Or is it possible this could intensify and have implications on my level of commitment to my spouse.
Thanks guys
This unfortunately is common. You are spending more time with your coworkers than you are with your wife unfortunately. Happens not only in residency, but pretty much everywhere in every sort of workplace environment.

First - You're married. Are you ready for a divorce? If not, focus on that. If you're lusting hard for someone not your wife you may want to seek help before it's too late.

Second - How do you know this other person has feelings for you back? You willing to wreck everything for this?

Third - Do not defecate where you work. This can spiral quickly to something very ugly for what, three minutes of pleasure? Don't do it, if not for the first two reasons above, then you can make your life a living hell for the next X amount of years. Not to mention possibly even uglier repercussions. When I was dating my wife, we first had to make sure it was serious then we kept it hidden from our co workers for awhile.

that being said, squash is good at this moment. I know easier said then done. Focus on your work, focus on your marriage.
 
Oct 5, 2019
10
21
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Wow. Maybe this will sound naive but goddamn is marriage such a farce. Without the harsh religious restrictions, what's the point?

To OP, do whatever you feel like doing. I feel sorry for your spouse.
 
  • Dislike
Reactions: Jesus1 and Apollyon
About the Ads
Aug 23, 2020
46
158
Status
Attending Physician
OP, I won't shame you because we are all vulnerable to temptation. That said, you are fast heading toward a "wtf did I do?" moment. Many marriages get wrecked by this kind of thing.

The scary part is that there is a good chance this other person is interested as well. If they're a single intern, their dating life is probably **** which can distort their judgement. Likewise, even if that person is in a relationship they're vulnerable to the same forces that are driving you. Trust no one and don't rely on him/her to manage the brakes. Assume they'd be down for whatever you'd ask.

Be proactive now or in two months you may revisit this thread filled with regret. Reduce the amount of time you spend with him/her and put it toward your own spouse. This weekend go on a spontaneous dinner date for no reason. Ask yourself if everything is ok at home with your own marriage.

Don't be passive about stamping this out, even if you can still rationalize the crush as innocent.
 

michaelrack

All In at the wrong time
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2007
4,110
1,259
Memphis TN
Status
Attending Physician
If that doesn't work, imagine what your life would look like if you got a divorce and had to pay up to 25% of your total income in alimony to your spouse for the rest of your life. That should work.
Is that all it would cost? It's a good thing for me that I don't have a workplace crush and don't want to end my marriage
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

Chlorini

Just keeping cool in the pool...
5+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2015
234
319
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Is that all it would cost? It's a good thing for me that I don't have a workplace crush and don't want to end my marriage
Depends on what his spouse does for a living (and if they put them through school), what state they live in, if they have kids, etc. The docs that I know that really had to pay out were all EM physicians for some reason. An EM attending I worked with actually told me he pays out $12,000 a MONTH to his first wife who he married at age 19. She helped him through med school. He was currently on his third wife. Another EM physician I worked with when I was a scribe knocked up a nurse and he got hit with alimony (from his ex-wife) and child support (nurse’s baby). The child support was around $10,000 a month or something crazy like that too!! My coworkers would joke (when he wasn’t there) that the nurse doubled her salary by sleeping with him :eek:.

The divorce itself will cost 60kish (at least that’s what it cost for two of my friends, both friends have kids and had homes).

I feel bad for the OP. We are all susceptible to temptation. Just don’t act on it!

A marriage can end for a variety of reasons and it really does take two. I suggest the OP do everything in his power to save it, but sometimes you can’t. Marry wisely, my friends!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Goro

Groove

Member
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
May 3, 2004
2,373
2,048
Status
Attending Physician
So I’ve gotta think this sort of thing happens from time to time, given the sort of forced camaraderie/stress of intern year. But I’ve found myself crushing pretty hard on someone in my cohort. This would be all well and good except that I’m married. Have others encountered this and generally found it to be a temporary no-harm no-foul kinda thing? Or is it possible this could intensify and have implications on my level of commitment to my spouse.
Thanks guys
Do you have kids? Is it a new marriage? There's not enough information to give you any sort of relevant advice.

I got married during my intern year and filed for divorce 1.5 yrs later and it was completed before I graduated. It was one of the most painful, depressing and expensive things I could have gone through, or so I thought at the time. It was a huge distraction from residency, especially in my last year. In hindsight, I'm glad it happened when it did as it would have been exponentially more expensive as an attending. Luckily we did not have any kids.

In some ways, I can relate to you. I would spare you that pain if I could. It cost me about 150K including lawyer fees (both) and alimony.

I've got a trauma surgeon buddy of mine that went through a divorce not long ago and he pays an obscene amount every month. I think it's on the order of 12K/mo and he has to pay that for at least 7-8 years. Child support for 10-12 years.
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
23,477
40,561
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
Depends on what his spouse does for a living (and if they put them through school), what state they live in, if they have kids, etc. The docs that I know that really had to pay out were all EM physicians for some reason. An EM attending I worked with actually told me he pays out $12,000 a MONTH to his first wife who he married at age 19. She helped him through med school. He was currently on his third wife. Another EM physician I worked with when I was a scribe knocked up a nurse and he got hit with alimony (from his ex-wife) and child support (nurse’s baby). The child support was around $10,000 a month or something crazy like that too!! My coworkers would joke (when he wasn’t there) that the nurse doubled her salary by sleeping with him :eek:.

The divorce itself will cost 60kish (at least that’s what it cost for two of my friends, both friends have kids and had homes).

I feel bad for the OP. We are all susceptible to temptation. Just don’t act on it!

A marriage can end for a variety of reasons and it really does take two. I suggest the OP do everything in his power to save it, but sometimes you can’t. Marry wisely, my friends!
The nurse did double their salary
 

Groove

Member
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
May 3, 2004
2,373
2,048
Status
Attending Physician
Everybody so far is talking about the effect on the marriage.
I would like to point out, that a romance at work can really screwup work relationships too. Not just the two lovebirds but everyone around them too.
And you can never keep it secret. The entire hospital and residency will know about it. It's even more dangerous these days for men with the hospital hypersensitivity to sexual harassment claims.

That being said, some people apparently can pull it off. We had a traveler couple that met in residency as co-residents. He got a divorce, they both got married and then upon graduation started doing full time locums together. I had to always schedule them on overlapping shifts in the ED since it was part of their contract.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hmockingbird
About the Ads

RangerBob

7+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2012
1,603
1,823
Status
Attending Physician
One of my co-residents dated a co-resident that was one year off from us. We were a small program (6/year).

It could’ve gone worse. But it certainly didn’t go well. And they still had another 2 years together in training after they broke up. It was rather awkward for all of us.
 

Syncrohnize

PGY-1
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
2,890
2,875
Status
Resident [Any Field]
1. Do you still love your wife? If so, what is it that this co-resident has that your wife does not? If it's the career, keep in mind that most physician-physician pairings seem like the perfect alliance "power couple" at first, but your partnership with your wife is time tested presumably across multiple environments. Marriage is about finding someone who brings out the best in you. If it's personality, keep in mind that her character at work does not necessarily match her character at home. If it's physical, the key is just to spend more time with your wife. If this was my relationship, I would open up to my significant other because she share that level of openness. Depending on your relationship with your wife and how open you are with each other/standards you hold each other to, consider sharing your sinful thoughts with her. The more trust in a relationship the better if both of you can handle that. That level of openness doesn't work for everyone though and if you haven't been open about similar things in the past, I wouldn't experiment with this.

2. In regards to the whole co-resident thing, I don't think that's the major issue. I don't know of any official ACGME policy prohibiting resident dating. Secondly, I know of several examples of residents across training levels in the same program who met in residency and are dating openly without issues as well as several co-residents dating while maintaining a professional relationship at work (they basically ask the chiefs to ensure they're not scheduled together). I also fail to see how two level-headed trainees who've worked their whole life to get where they are would risk unprofessional behavior to spite a colleague if things went south.
 

Giovanotto

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2014
1,925
2,182
Status
Medical Student
You underestimate the pettiness of some people.
I disagree, unless you're talking about people dating in podunk town of 10000 people where people have limited dating prospects outside of work. I definitely hold my co-residents to a higher standard than what you're suggesting. People won't even speak up about literal abuse and work hour violations in medicine, you think they'll cannonball themselves and others over a fling? Give me a break.
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
23,477
40,561
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
I disagree, unless you're talking about people dating in podunk town of 10000 people where people have limited dating prospects outside of work. I definitely hold my co-residents to a higher standard than what you're suggesting. People won't even speak up about literal abuse and work hour violations in medicine, you think they'll cannonball themselves and others over a fling? Give me a break.
You don’t know enough residents
 

hallowmann

Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2012
6,205
7,069
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Honestly, I've seen so much in terms of people doing things that aren't well thought out, whether they're physicians or not. Just realize that as residents you are pushed to certain limits, and it's not unusual for some people to do impulsive or poorly thought out things in that setting. It unfortunately happens all the time.
 

gunningwithscissors

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2018
4
5
1. Do you still love your wife? If so, what is it that this co-resident has that your wife does not? If it's the career, keep in mind that most physician-physician pairings seem like the perfect alliance "power couple" at first, but your partnership with your wife is time tested presumably across multiple environments. Marriage is about finding someone who brings out the best in you. If it's personality, keep in mind that her character at work does not necessarily match her character at home. If it's physical, the key is just to spend more time with your wife. If this was my relationship, I would open up to my significant other because she share that level of openness. Depending on your relationship with your wife and how open you are with each other/standards you hold each other to, consider sharing your sinful thoughts with her. The more trust in a relationship the better if both of you can handle that. That level of openness doesn't work for everyone though and if you haven't been open about similar things in the past, I wouldn't experiment with this.

2. In regards to the whole co-resident thing, I don't think that's the major issue. I don't know of any official ACGME policy prohibiting resident dating. Secondly, I know of several examples of residents across training levels in the same program who met in residency and are dating openly without issues as well as several co-residents dating while maintaining a professional relationship at work (they basically ask the chiefs to ensure they're not scheduled together). I also fail to see how two level-headed trainees who've worked their whole life to get where they are would risk unprofessional behavior to spite a colleague if things went south.
Well, I will say separate from the co-resident question I have periodically wondered if the marriage was a mistake, essentially from the time we did it. I do love my wife and we know each other very well, have been through a lot. But has always been rocky. Was before the marriage, still is. Neither of us are shining examples of emotional stability. I find the mood swings are exhausting and that’s when I think “why did we do this, What’s wrong with me,” and so on. Typically after a fight or in past, a break up, I recommit to the idea of being fully open and us both stating our needs, but soon enough there’s a pressure cooker of her nerves seeming to get touchier and touchier and I stop speaking my mind. On the other hand what I like most about the co-resident is the sense of ease I get when we’re talking, just want to keep doing it. A vibes thing? She isn’t a knockout but cute. Losing attraction for my wife has been an issue for me for a while. Familiarity and effects of time? I don’t know, I’m all sorts of twisted up.

Thanks everyone for weighing in. Looking back at my original post it sounds like I was acting like this wasn’t a big deal or happens to everyone. Didn’t mean that, moreso my thought was maybe someone had experience in a similar situation. Much appreciate those who offered tips from experience.
 
Aug 23, 2020
46
158
Status
Attending Physician
It's been a little over a month since your original post. This issue is obviously gnawing at you.

It sounds like all is not well at home. Medicine can place unique stressors on a relationship. Bottom line, I think you and your wife need to decide on whether to stay married or not. No moral judgement either way.
But....using a 3rd party as a catalyst to make this decision is just poor (albeit extremely common) methodology.

IMO you are hopelessly mixing up two issues- a) whether to remain married to your wife and b) whether to continue this thing with your co-resident.
By conflating these two, independent decisions you risk distorting your perspective--Your marriage will seem more bland and lusterless when compared to flirting with someone new, while your co-resident will seem more attractive and compatible than she really is when viewed next to your marital issues. You can see how this will bias you and can create a positive feedback loop leading to....well you can guess. The longer this goes on for the harder it will be to disentangle. My advice is to emotionally distance yourself from this co-resident for a while to clear your head. There, that's the unequivocally "right" answer--you know, the one that doesn't factor in our self-destructive, short sighted human nature.
 

hallowmann

Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2012
6,205
7,069
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's been a little over a month since your original post. This issue is obviously gnawing at you.

It sounds like all is not well at home. Medicine can place unique stressors on a relationship. Bottom line, I think you and your wife need to decide on whether to stay married or not. No moral judgement either way.
But....using a 3rd party as a catalyst to make this decision is just poor (albeit extremely common) methodology.

IMO you are hopelessly mixing up two issues- a) whether to remain married to your wife and b) whether to continue this thing with your co-resident.
By conflating these two, independent decisions you risk distorting your perspective--Your marriage will seem more bland and lusterless when compared to flirting with someone new, while your co-resident will seem more attractive and compatible than she really is when viewed next to your marital issues. You can see how this will bias you and can create a positive feedback loop leading to....well you can guess. The longer this goes on for the harder it will be to disentangle. My advice is to emotionally distance yourself from this co-resident for a while to clear your head. There, that's the unequivocally "right" answer--you know, the one that doesn't factor in our self-destructive, short sighted human nature.
To add to that, I would encourage marriage/family counseling. At very least it will help you both from an introspective standpoint and a communication standpoint. Ultimately it should help you both determine whether this marriage is right for you two or it isn't. Better to learn that sooner rather than later.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: Goro

cookiegrub

2+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2016
179
111
Status
Medical Student
Well, I will say separate from the co-resident question I have periodically wondered if the marriage was a mistake, essentially from the time we did it. I do love my wife and we know each other very well, have been through a lot. But has always been rocky. Was before the marriage, still is. Neither of us are shining examples of emotional stability. I find the mood swings are exhausting and that’s when I think “why did we do this, What’s wrong with me,” and so on. Typically after a fight or in past, a break up, I recommit to the idea of being fully open and us both stating our needs, but soon enough there’s a pressure cooker of her nerves seeming to get touchier and touchier and I stop speaking my mind. On the other hand what I like most about the co-resident is the sense of ease I get when we’re talking, just want to keep doing it. A vibes thing? She isn’t a knockout but cute. Losing attraction for my wife has been an issue for me for a while. Familiarity and effects of time? I don’t know, I’m all sorts of twisted up.

Thanks everyone for weighing in. Looking back at my original post it sounds like I was acting like this wasn’t a big deal or happens to everyone. Didn’t mean that, moreso my thought was maybe someone had experience in a similar situation. Much appreciate those who offered tips from experience.
There is a stressor in your wife's life that seems to prevent her from being her jovial self like perhaps she may have been when you first met. The coworker is presenting herself at work but you dont know her really, trust me. What you both need is to drop the kids at daycare or something and do a long car ride out to see the fall colors and have a quiet time where you guys forget your troubles. I suspect the more you point the negatives in your marriage the more she will assume you are putting the blame on her. Treat her to a spa, take her to a nice open picnic. Get her to open up just by herself and dont talk abt medicine for once. Lord knows she is probably rearing the kids on her own and that is a task I would like you to do for a couple days without yourself getting pissed off.

Remember, who you marry is still a person. Going to the side where grass is greener is not the remedy because it's still grass.

Also realize that every marriage goes through this phase but you see why mom and pop stuck together was because they were responsible to themselves and for their reputation. Now unfortunate things happen but your situation is not one of them.
 
About the Ads