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What to do if wife is not supportive?

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by agent, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    I already posted this in the pre-med forum, but i was told i might get a better response here.

    I have quite a bit of a problem.

    I'm a 25 year old student who is still working on his bachelor's. I'm currently working a job that is what I call an in between job and not what i want to do for my career.

    I considered a whole slew of professions and then decided that what I really wanted to do was to become a doctor.

    I have tried everything in my power to get my wife to agree to this. She doesn't want me to do it for the following reasons.

    ======================

    1. increased debt due to loans while im in med and not working.

    UIC (where id prolly go) is 10K for tuition a year but that doesnt include housing. Housing and expensenes through the loan would prolly knock it up to 25k a year = 100000 in loans plus the 30k we already owe in hospital bills.

    2. she feels the salary isnt worth the investment of time/money.

    i think 150-160k a year would get us out of debt pretty quick but she doesnt feel like its that much

    3. she feels like i will miss most of will's growing up time.

    arent i hardly ever there now. I think id be around more while in med school since im not working and doing school at the same time

    4. she doesnt want to move out of our town.

    5. she doesnt want to send our kids to schools outside of our town.

    6. she thinks my crohn's disease will affect my performance.

    it hasnt stopped me yet..?

    7. she thinks i'll be a bad doctor, meaning ill be all technical and not personable, as exhibited by my hating customer service now.

    i dont agree. i think there's a big difference in taking phone calls from idiots who have computer problems to dealing and helping ppl with their lives and their families lives. i have a family too ya know


    8. she feels this is a selfish move that is all about me.

    umm.. right.. {sarcasm}

    ========================

    Anyone else in this boat.. i really think I can do it. My gpa is high and I have a history of doing well on certification exams.

    What can I do?
     
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  3. djsash

    djsash Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 17, 2002
    orange county
    Divorce..........

    sometimes you have to choose......wife or doctor...since it seems to me she is not a very resonable person...trust me bro, there are people who would give anything to be in your situation so dont blow it bec. your WIFE says no.....there are 100000000000000000000000000000000000 girls in this world who will love you for who you are and will appreciate you for what your ambtions are so PUT HER IN CHECK.......
     
  4. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 6, 2001
    Umm, I would think twice about getting a divorce.
    Agent, this is my 2 cents...based on what you've written here, it seems like your wife is the one being selfish. Does she want you living the rest of your life regretting your decision NOT to pursue medicine? I'm not married but I do know that marriage is about compromise.
    I'm sure there are good schools in good neighborhoods in Chicago, and one move isn't going to traumatize her or your child(ren). Please understand I'm being critical (and somewhat harsh). :)
    She thinks you'll be a bad doctor?? WTH? Just b/c you don't like customer service doesn't mean you're not cut out for medicine. From what I hear, those in customer service have it rough/tough. Who doesn't hate rude customers?
    Anyways, I could go on for pages w/ my psychoanalysis, but I won't. It seems like to me your wife is the one being selfish in this situation. I still don't understand why she's so adamant about you not going into medicine. She's reaching in the bottom of the barrel w/ some of those reasons. Keep on talking some sense into thy stubborn wife. Maybe one day, she'll come to her senses. I didn't help much, but when I read your post I just had to type something. I wish you the best of luck in the pursuit of your dreams. :)
     
  5. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    thanks guys.

    ill keep ya updated.
     
  6. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 27, 2001
    Lactate > 15
    Boy this is a tough one.....

    I gave my wife (then my fiance) an opportunity to veto my decision to go to medical school. Fortunately, she was very open minded and listened to my reasons and found them compelling. I think some of your wife's reasons are better than others.

    First, the financial reasons are a bunch of crap. Debt will be big, but it's not like your income will be low once you finish with residency. There is no profession that I know of which has a virtual guarantee of a very high salary (when compared to average).

    Moving is a tricky one. Some people are adventurous and welcome the opportunity to live in new place (like me and my wife). Others don't want to move more than 5 minutes away from their home town. Not really much you can do about that!

    Time, well that's a big one. Depending on your med school, your schedule will not be too bad. During 3rd year, probably 4th year, internship and early residency you will not be home much. Once you have finished residency, you can determine what your hours will be by the type of practice that you pick. It is my opinion that you can do this in any specialty, although some are harder than others.

    On the personality issue, some specialties require technical proficiency, some require good interpersonal skills some both. You need to find the specialty that combines what you desire with what you do well. There is a place for everybody. There are some in my class who I would never pick as a PCP, but would choose to be my specialist.

    Finally, with regard to your IBD, that's something that only you can judge. It sounds to me like she is grasping at arguments to scare you off.

    One final thing and this is just my opinion so feel free to ignore it, if you and your wife have kids, you must put their interests before your own.

    Good luck

    Ed
     
  7. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 22, 2000
    I think that what your wife has expressed to you are her fears...I'm sure that it is hard to hear them right now when you are feeling so excited, but she does bring up some realistic points...and now that you know what they are, you can find a way to address them.


    As to your numbers 1-7:

    1. Increased debt during medical school while you aren't working...this is true. You will incur more debt, particulary if your wife/fiancee and you have a child/children and she is staying at home with them or is in a profession that will make it more difficult to find employment if you have to relocate.
    You also have to consider that you might not get into UIC...you've probably read enough sure things on this board that ended up not happening to realize that though. Consider cost of living debt on top of med school debt.

    2. Is the salary worth the time and investment? The answer from my husband, an infectious disease specialist out of training for over a year would be a resounding no at this point...though that might change if we are EVER able to reduce our debt. If you earn 150K (and that is unlikely right out of residency for most specialties.) and your debtload is 150K (I recently read that the average indebtedness of young physicans was 125K) (and don't forget the INTEREST)....after all is said and done...then you have to consider what you will be paying back each month. It is painful..trust me. There are taxes approaching 50% :oops: and then you shovel out loan payments, credit card payments, car payments...........and wola...there is hardly anything left over for your mortgage payment and groceries! It takes years to shovel out of debt like 150K...it really does. This was our BIGGEST source of disappointment after training and is also totally un-pc to say around here.

    3. The bottom line is that medicine is NOT a family friendly profession. You will be missing out on a lot of family time. My husband missed every single child's birthday party during residency and fellowship...every single one because of call or a butthead attending...and he can never get that back.

    4. -5. It sounds like she feels established and maybe satisfied with her life...and so it is hard for her to imagine making such a big change now...This is certainly something that she might be willing to compromise on if she sees you making compromises as well? She also might be worried about the effect that all of the moves would have on the children...

    6. Sounds like healthy concern for someone you love.

    7. :laugh: Well, there is always anesthesia or radiology :)

    8. Well... it is unselfish because you are sacrificing family time to be 'helping' people...but this is more difficult for family members to understand sometimes...try explaining it to a disappionted 4 or 5 year old....I'm an adult and I've found the disappointment hard to take from my own perspective from time-to-time....especially if I have really needed my husband and he can't be there.


    Now, having scared your socks off:

    1. Arm yourself with some information: First find out about military med school re-payment, national guard and the rural health programs that repay medical school debt. For your family, that would mean leaving medical school with much less debt than the average family which would make you in a much better position financially!!!! You can sell this to your spouse!

    2. Look into spouse support groups at the schools you are considering and see if you can find their website or have them mail you some information. Send her here, to medicalspouse.org, and phsyicianspouse.org so that she can find the support and encouragement of others. When she sees that other families DO IT and SURVIVE, it will help her feel less nervous. Let your wife know that she won't be alone! Talking to other spouses going through the same thing was sometimes my only saving grace.

    3. Be prepared to explain to her why medicine is your passion and how important it is to you. Explore different specialties and show her that a family practitioner doesn't work the same hours as a surgeon. There are some specialties that are more family friendly than others. Be honest and be compelling, but also be willing to listen to her fears.

    4. Talk to other medical schools with chronic conditions like Chrohn's disease..talk to your doctor....then when you have gathered the information, have an open talk with your wife about how your illness is managed now and what your own doctor says.

    Don't ignore your wife's worries or pass them off as her being selfish. You are asking for her to make a huge leap of faith...one that will take her away from the security of what she has now.....show her how well you have researched this and
    be prepared when you approach her...it will instill confidence in you.

    kris
     
  8. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    thats great advice.. actually things have regained a bit of balance..

    I saw the therapist (a PHd) on saturday.. we came to a compromise that helps the entire family and is less risky. i will finish school getting a teaching degree and take the mcats. if i do really poorly with gpa/mcats and dont get into a school(he knows the dean of UIC) then I will get a job teaching science, otherwise if I get in to UIC, we agreed that my wife would be supportive. Overall the counseling really helped things. I'm actually glad I did it.
     
  9. Bomb#20

    Bomb#20 Bork Bork Bork 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 22, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    Good luck getting in! :clap: :clap: Glad your wife has changed her mind.
     
  10. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    thanks. i feel so much better to know she's on board ;)
     
  11. im4real

    im4real Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 12, 2001
    Martinsburg, WV, USA
    Agent, I just wanted you to know that you should never, ever let Crohn's keep you from what you want to do. I say this sincerely & from the heart. My husband has had juvenile diabetes since he was 15 years old. His mother did not encourage him to go to medical school even though she knew this was his dream. He ended up with a BS in Secondary Ed/Biology & General Science. He taught for a few years and I could tell right away that he was not being challenged or stimulated mentally what he was doing. So, I encouraged him to go after his dream and not to EVER let his diabetes get in the way...EVER!!! And now I am so proud of all his accomplishments in medicine. He knows his limits with his diabetes. He knows what he can and cannot do, but he has overcome this illness and succeeded far more than he thought he could. Just this past year he was elected Chief Resident by his peers and is finishing up his last year of residency with a wife (Me) and two sons. Yeah, he did miss functions here and there, but we made the best of it... You only have one life to live, so make the best of it and don't regret not doing something... Don't divorce her, just talk it through... LOL!!

    Best wishes,
    Christy
     
  12. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    thanks christy!
     
  13. srabulldog

    srabulldog Member 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 27, 2002
    washingtonstate
    Hey! Did you and your wife discuss the possibility of a med career before you got married? Also, what age(s) are your kids? My husband put off applying to med school for 3 years so that I could finish college, so that he could afford to adopt my daughter from a previous relationship, and so that he could enjoy the first 2 years of our twins' lives! But I knew from the start that he wanted to be a doc, and I had to consider that a lot before we married. As it turns out, because we have a family, he is most interested in attending USUHS where his education is paid for in full and he's given a salary. Of course, he owes the military after all's said. But, if you did discuss the possibility of going into medicine before you married, and now she changes her mind, or says you can only go to UIC, then it's her problem basically. If you sprung the medical thing on her, then I can understand her frustrations. But, don't settle for just UIC, if you truly want to be a doctor and she is able to support you in that career. Apply all over and consider other options, such as military, to show her that you are still interested in keeping the family together as well as possible by easing the financial burden... But try to do everything together and include her in the process...

    Good Luck!
     
  14. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    San Diego, CA
    When I graduated from my internship year, the residency director delivered a speech both my wife and I were touched by. She started by acknowledging and commending the spouses of all the physicians because a medical family demands that all members step up and serve the community. Spouses are to be honored and cheerished because they support the care of the sick and are willing to sacrifice in order for their wifes or husbands to be at the hospital. The spouses and children of physicians must understand that late nights at the bedside indicate that care is being delivered to an ill or dying patient. The family needs to understand that being called back to the office or hospital means that there's another scared human being who needs help.

    My wife has struggled with the hours I must work. She has questioned many times if this is all worth it. In the end, she and I have decided that my pursuit of being a physician is a great honor and that she is also part of the team. We are working together as a family in order for me to do my job at the hospital. Without her support and understanding, quality care cannot be delivered to my patients. I love her for this realization. The speech at my internship commencement really hit home, and I am very happy that she is able to feel important and part of this greater calling for community service and caring of the sick.

    My advice is: win the support of your spouse or do not do it. If she is not willing to sacrifice and support you, then your marriage will fail.

    I wish you luck. It's hard enough training in the medical field. It's even harder training when your spouse doesn't support your career choice.
     
  15. MrGreed

    MrGreed Member 7+ Year Member

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    For god sakes Ophtho Mud PhuD you are going to be an EyeMD... lol....hehehehehe...we should all be so lucky
     
  16. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    San Diego, CA
    :) I am lucky and love this field. However, not all eye docs have it easy. I plan on going into retinal surgery. This means as much call as any other surgeon. You have macula on detachments in the middle night. There are ruptured globes to repair and plenty of eye trauma from knives, guns, and MVAs. It's not all that easy. We call in the attendings all the time during the middle of the night. There are many nights when we're in the OR operating. It's surprising what people can do to their eyes.

    I suppose if you're happy doing lasix and handing out glasses, then you don't have to worry about call. But this is not for me.


    One final thing, I'm interested in academic medicine and will try to do research too. I need my wife's support in order to accomplish this meld of clinical medicine and research. In addition, I thank God for her supporting me through 8 years of medical school and 4+ years of residency training.

    It's taken a lot of effort to stay married through this training, and we were close to divorce once.
     
  17. MustafaMond

    MustafaMond K-Diddy M.D. 7+ Year Member

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    He probably does it for the love of Ophthalmology, unlike you , ya greedy $hite.
     
  18. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned Banned

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    Aug 21, 2002
    I often ponder the statement of "family friendly" careers and what this means. I have a brother-in-law that has been out to sea for six months/year for the past 18 years but I've never heard anyone talk about military life as "family unfriendly". I think the only family unfriendly careers are the ones you pursue when you really want to do something else with your life. For example, while I think I'd be a great high school science teacher, but I'd be very emotionally unhappy as that is not what I think I have been "called" to do. I think being unhappy is extremely "family unfriendly"!

    I believe that you have to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices, compromises, and have lots of creativity to balance family and career. The example of missing the birthday party is one I can comment on. I also "missed" my daughter's birthday party a few years ago when she was 2. So the next year since I was still a strugling graduate student, my exhusband and I schedulled it on a day I was available thus I made it the party although it was not technically her birthday. Even if you have to do this a week earlier/later, the child never knows the difference and everyones happy! Bottom line is it can be done just be creative! Good luck and congradulations on getting your wife to support you!!!!
     
  19. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    San Diego, CA
    Medicine is tough and the family must sacrifice due to the huge time demands. There are very few fields that require being constantly available to answer calls and be ready to go to work if needed. It's been tough on my family too. They've gone to parties, picnics, and parties without me. It's the nature of the profession, and most people don't understand until they've lived through it.
     
  20. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Most "careers" are family unfriendly..
     
  21. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Enzyme Regulators, Ride! 10+ Year Member

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    OK Corral
    Agent, I'm jumping in here a little late, but I thought I would share a few words of wisdom since I was in the same boat you described above. Like you, I am married, and I have a son. This year I am finishing my second bachelors degree while working full time. My wife and I clashed early and often about medical school and what it would mean to her, our son, and to me.

    Without getting into all the details, the trick was to support my wife as much as I wanted her to support me. It has certainly meant learning to compromise. If you are half as busy as I am, then your wife does most of the child-rearing and housekeeping. Learning to make the most of your time -- even giving up your downtime to spend with her -- means a lot. If you show how committed you are to her happiness, she will want to make you happy too. Same goes for being a good father. You gotta do it.

    It ain't easy, but it's worth it. Trust in yourself and work hard at the relationship. The reward more than justifies the challenge. - dh
     
  22. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    Thanks Doc!

    I have the exact same situation that you described.. and yes the only way to get her to compromise is to convince her that I will also try to support her dreams as well, which is to have several babies and a nice family.

    Well we are currently supporting baby #2 in womb so I think im doing my part :laugh:

    Anyways, I really appreciate your post. Send me a pm or email anytime you want to share experiences.
     
  23. rose13

    rose13 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 18, 2002
    Texas, USA
    Hi Agent,

    I have a similar experience.

    I wanted to go into medicine, but was not sure what type of provider I want to be. I just knew that I wanted to diagnose and treat diseases. Because of family responsibilities (I became the guardian of my sister's kids and helped my mother raise a niece's son), I graduated when I was 25. I took education classes while working on my BS in biology, so I taught school after I graduated. It did not take me long to realize that I did not want to teach school; I spent my afternoons and evenings grading papers and calling parents. I spent a big chuck of the little salary I made buying supplies for my classes. I spent summers in school with "continuing education" classes, which translated into working on a master's degree in education. Realizing that was not the way I wanted to go, I wanted to return to the sciences and work on pursuing med school, but could not afford it (none of the schools in my area had night programs for master's degrees in the life sciences). I left education for a more lucrative, more time-consuming job in corporate america. In the meantime, I got a master's degree in planning, but realized that I did not want to do this, either. I want to practice medicine. So upon receiving my master's, I began to explore what type of medicine I wanted to practice. Realizing my low tolerance for surgery, and my interest in optics, I decided to pursue optometry.

    How did I feel during this time? Initially, I felt like I made the necessary sacrafices for my family. But as time progressed, I began to RESENT them. There is nothing like have a dream and NOT even attempting to realize it. The fact that I never tried tormented me.

    I got married shortly after receiving my BS. My husband was not too keen on me going to med school because of the time away factor and to a lesser degree, the financial factor. My own mother even remarked that I should quit going to school and work. Because of the lack of support, I barely speak to her. My husband saw the resentment towards him emerging, so he began to help me realize my dream of practicing. Because of him, I had an OD to shadow. He got books to me help prep for the OAT and even offered to send me to a Kaplan course. In exchange, I promised him that I would work until I got in; if I don't get in after a few tries, then it was not meant to be. But just knowing that you have the support helps. I thanked him for his support and reassured him that this is an investment in OUR future. He even helps me prep for the OAT; I told him if I get in, he can help me study for tests, just like he helps me prep. It's a way to show him that he will not take a back seat to my career pursuits, and a way to maximize our time together.

    This is a very selfish statement, but you can not make someone else happy until you are happy with yourself.
     
  24. Nic_machiavelli

    Nic_machiavelli Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 8, 2002
    Bahstin
    Everyone
    First off, please don't ever suggest that someone get divorced. I've been using online forums since the mid 1980s and learned to be extremely careful when offering advice to complete strangers about serious subjects.

    Next, I am the spouse of a PCOM first year. I've currently seen very little of my wife since school started in early Aug. I've been told things will get better in a year or so, but honestly, it isn't all that bad.

    I've spent 5 years, 1 post-Bac course, 1 ACOMMASS, 1 "Chinese hacker attacked" AMCASS (waste of time considering PCOM was her first love - but her fall-back school was Jefferson hence that hacked AMCASS), 1 Kaplan MCAT prep course, 1 private MCAT prep course, and 2 MCATs helping my wife get where she is. I've seen sides of her that no one else sees - and no one is ever going to hear about them. When she received her PCOM acceptance I didn't feel relieved - I felt like it was only natural. I knew in my bones she was going to be good at this and that PCOM was her new home. Of course PCOM admissions would realize this too.

    I've found my calling in engineering and she's found hers in osteopathic medicine. Being content with your role in society is worth any amount of money - and it's good that your wife now realizes that.

    Medicine is a calling. The phone never rang for me, but it did for my wife and there's a contentment about her that I find sublime and worth all the bull**** she had to go through to be where she is. I hope that those around you - whoever and wherever you are - wake up to this and recognize this.

    Finally, fight. Work hard. Challenge yourself. Reach deep inside yourself and realize that there are times when your dream seems far away and that everyone - save one (your spouse) - will think that you are going to fail. Then forgot about them save those who always believed in you as you don your white coat.

    Good luck,
    Nick
     
  25. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    Thanks guys! I really appreciate your comments and the time your took to write.

    I am doing really well in school and I believe in my heart that even though my wife doesnt show it, she is proud of me.

    And if (I should say when) I get accepted to med school, she will be really proud of me then as well.

    And I agree if I'm not happy, I cant make anyone else happy.
     
  26. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned Banned

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    Unfortunately, I have a not so pleasing but truthful comment to make on this subject.

    Based on my best estimations, I should be a matriculating medical student 2003;) . BUT, one casuality of this "war" I call getting into medical school was my marriage. While in graduate school (to raise my GPA among other reasons), my then husband suggested that I get a nice job at a Pharmaceutical company after graduation because he was "tired" of being married to a student. BEFORE, we married he was "down" for me going to medical school but changed his mind after he saw how difficult being married to a student would be.

    Now obiviously, it took more than my desire to be an MD to destroy the marriage, but I think that given how strongly he felt about me not going to medical school, the marriage would have ended eventually anyway. The way I see it, I probably saved my self some serious alimony payments to him in the end.

    So, I'm not trying to discourage you in any way but there is another side that I think needed to be put out here about the issue of spouses.
     
  27. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    ouch.. thats ****ty.

    no i know what the risks are.. so far my wife has been fairly tolerant.. we'll just have to see. We do have the babies to keep us together at least
     
  28. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Jefferson City, MO
    Nick,
    I just wanted to say how much I loved what you wrote above. :) Your words really reached thru the screen to give expression to my own feelings (except for us, its KCOM instead of PCOM).

    I know that hubby wouldn't be doing this unless it was deeply what he needs and part of his life path. Being with the person you love as they get to follow their path, is a remarkably wonderful experience! And him following that path, only brings back more to our relationship as husband/wife.....it doesn't take anything away.

    Anyways, hope to see you post more often though I have been lurking myself. :) Good luck with PCOM!!!!! And congrats on getting to have this adventure. :)

    With smiles,
    Wifty
     
  29. thewzdoc

    thewzdoc Ah Newton...how quaint. 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 12, 2002
    San Diego
    I am probably one of the oldest people on this board (32). I?ve been married for 13 years and have two great kids. When we were engaged I was attending University of Hawaii for a BS in Aerospace Engineering. Then I changed to Computer Science, then Physics??..Here I am 14 years out of high school and I am still changing my course. I am finally completing my BS in Information Technology. I graduate in June. :clap: My wife has stayed by me through all of this and now I tell her that I want to take the MCAT and apply to Med School after I finish my BS. She was none too happy and she made a lot of the same arguments that your wife made. We are already THOUSANDS of dollars in debt from my private college tuition. She actually broke-down and started to cry, we don?t talk about Med school right now.

    Thank you for starting this thread and all the encouragement that the folks here have given. It?s tough for both sides. I am going to leave the subject alone until I take the August MCAT.
     
  30. gherelin

    gherelin Member 7+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2002
    Well I guess if the oldest on this thread was 32 I'm now the oldest at 38. Still, although I was divorced after putting hubby through professional school, and now remarried to a new guy who stayed through med school and now residency, I feel like I know nothing about relationships--except, somehow this whole thread has made me feel very sad--as if a career could give one's life more meaning and satisfaction than relationships with the people who know and love you. I hope you put at least as much time and energy and heartfelt emotion, and grace and courtesy, into your discussions with your wife as you have here. She deserves it. She is fearing the destruction of her family, which is a huge thing-for you both and for your children. I hope you both can come to a compromise and find individual and mutual happiness.
     
  31. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    Update:

    I got a divorce and now am paying child support on 2 wonderful boys.

    But at 1000k a month child support it seems my dreams of med school are gone. :(
     
  32. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    Formerly pathdr2b.....
    True love is entropy at it's best. And being in a true relationship means being able to accept this entropy or change because it's a constant whether we're talking about a spouse that has suddenly become paralyzed from the waist down due to an unfortunate accident or one that desires to pursue their life's dream. Besides, isn't that what relationships are supposed to be about, SUPPORTING each other through good times and bad, changes/stagnation, and everything in between?

    To Agent, I'm very sorry to hear of your divorce because I know how that feels. About your dream once you get accepted to med school, you can petition a judge to have your child support REDUCED to reflect your change of income. Trust me, it happens ALL the time!

    Good luck!!!
     
  33. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    hi pathdr2b I remember you from way back..

    problem is I don't want to reduce my child support because that would hurt my children.. that would be bad.

    Merry xmas ;)
     
  34. Eiko

    Eiko Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Western US

    Agent, I'm sorry to hear of your divorce. And you're right you should keep up the childsupport. But there are ways of making it through medical school financially. Scholarships: School based, National Public Health Service, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, the military.

    Also, there are several federal and other forms of loans you can get to pay your way through medical school.

    Even though it is a hard situation that you are going through... it is perhaps for the best. You need to find someone that will support you in your dreams and that will admire you for who you are, not try to change you into something you're not.

    Go for your dreams and perhaps along the way, you'll find someone that will support you getting there that you can cherish and adore.

    Best of luck. Merry Christmas!
     
  35. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    My father dropped out of law school after divorce mainly so that he could maintain his child support payments. But when he died I can tell you that the 2 regrets he had at the end of his life, we're that he didn't spend enough time with me when I was growing up and that he didn't finish law school. Would he have had regrets about not paying my Mom as much as he did? I guess there's no way to know, but I have to doubt that the 3 or so years that child support would have been decreased would have mattered very much in the end because my Mom would have made sure I had what I needed.

    Finally, there's always private loans you can take out as well. This will make your debt greater, but I think it would be worth it for peace of mind!
     
  36. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    agent,

    I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. At the end of the day, I have to ask......was it worth it? Was the dream of medicine worth more than your marriage?

    I have to tell you that I gave up my med school ambitions in order to be there for my family and my husband. If I wanted to force the issue, I could, but I know it would only create resentment and likely also end in divorce. I chose family and found other ways to channel my energy, and enthusiasm for science and learning. Some would say that I gave up my dream and they may be right...but at the end of the day, I also don't want to be divorced. Becoming a doctor doesn't mean more to me than my husband and my children.

    I hope you find what you're looking for.
     
  37. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    In the real world, do you REALLY believe people divorce soley because one spouse went to med school? I'm betting there was a little more to it than that.

    Besides, what's with the "I'll love you as long as pursue the career I tell you to" message? Thanks but no thanks, I'll take a partner that can support ALL of me, not just the parts that are "convenient" for him! :thumbup:

    Personally, I've always though of Agent as a cool guy, and I'm confident that when he's ready, they'll be no shortage of women who would like the opportunity to get to know him better!

    Finally, I just like to give the single young ladies a little something to think about. Before you get married imagine your worst case scenario, that you decide to put your dreams off, while your husband pursues his. 15 years and 3 kids later, your 30 pounds heavier, and he decided to trade you in for a "younger", "fitter" model.

    Would you still think NOT pursuing your passion was worth it?
     
  38. beentherdonthat

    beentherdonthat Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I am not a single lady but one married for over 10 years to an MD/PhD with 3 kids, but in my opinion, if the husband decides to trade me in for a "younger, fitter model" it would not be my loss but HIS regardless of whether or not I gave anything up for him be it med school, meat, cigarettes, wiping my ass backwards, or dieting so that I'm 30 lbs. heavier, which I'm not by the way. Never ever is adultery justified and never ever would it be worth it when you're on the receiving end. Perhaps the husband should be asked if the "newer model" was worth destroying a family and 3 children's lives. I'm thinking once his you-know-what was back in his pants in its position when he's home from a 36 hr. shift, he'd think differently.
     
  39. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    Well at least if you've fulfilled YOUR dream of becoming a doctor you'll still be able salvage some shread of self-esteem and be able to live well after he marries the younger, fitter version of yourself, and has YOUR alimony cut and child support adjusted when the new wife has 3 kids if her own! ;)

    Things that make you go hmmmmmm..
     
  40. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    Well the only reason I ask is prior to the divorce, I was about to apply for nursing school.

    Now I am considering other possible alternatives.

    And the reason we divorced was more due to her than me, but isn't that what you hear from all divorcees?

    And thanks path2b for saying I am a cool guy. I try my best LOL
     
  41. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    Actually, when we get married and then make big changes that affect other people, we can expect them to have a say in it..I imagine that both agent and his wife played a role in this. This isn't about one person saying "I'll only stay with you if you do what I want". Maybe his wife wanted more stability for their children. Is it fair for us to force our dreams on other if it means that it will potentially have a negative effect on their lives?

    I just get tired of the selfishness around here and my anger at agent may be misdirected...but right away, people were telling him to lower his child support payments to 'fulfill his dream'. "It will only be a short time"..yah, like 4 years of med school and at least 3 years of residency :rolleyes: Does anyone here have a higher sense of responsibility than just to themselves?

    In the REAL world, I know a woman with 4 children who told her teacher husband who had lost his job that she would under NO circumstances move out of the state with him because her lifelong family/friends were there and she couldn't leave them. She told me she loved him but she just couldn't move away from everything she had known all of her life. :eek:

    In the REAL world, decisions we make can affect our partners and our children. It's unfortunate that for some, the decision to go to med school comes after we have children, BUT we can't forget our responsibility to our spouses and children. Medical school is not a cake walk....it is very difficult and time consuming and the debt is enormous. Residency can be extremely hard on families...most people move at least twice during training...that is difficult for families....somehow that gets lost on all of the busy mds2b who tend to think more about themselves and their own fulfillment.

    One of my dear friends was married to a surgical resident who initially wasn't going to do surgery. Before he started med school he promised his wife a familiy friendly residency...but then he changed his mind.....Despite the hardship to her, she agreed...only to have him decide he want to do a transplant fellowship...HELLLOOOOOO. That is one of the most malignant fellowships. They have 3 children and she had supported him since before he even went to medical school. She was the one who encouraged him during his postbacc studies, and told him he could do it when he was at the end of his rope. I remember those days.... She finally told him she just couldn't keep moving and dealing with the stress...that she had sacrificed enough and she could not stomach a fellowship. She cried, she was miserable, lonely and beaten down by her husband's constant absence and parenting their 3 children on her own.

    He left her because she was 'getting in the way of his career'....She had simply told him she couldn't do transplant with him. Two years later, he says that it was the biggest mistake of his life and that he wished he had never studied medicine because it robbed him of his family and it wasn't worth it.....The irony is that he quit transplant and ended up moving to a smaller community where he has q6 call as a general surgeon. He has a nice life now and a lot more time on his hands than many surgeons in urban areas...and no family to share it with. He is trying to reconcile with his ex-wife now.

    I struggle with my decision not to pursue medicine, 1Path, but at the end of the day, I put my family first. Pursuing my passion is not worth putting my children through more years of an absent parent, q3 call and uncertainty. They now have a home, friends and constants in their lives. I can't take that from them even though it is very hard for me to accept sometimes.

    Medicine will always be my passion...but I may end up eventually getting a PhD in psych or a PsyD to help people that way......or maybe I'll keep teaching science at the U or...*gasp* maybe I'll just take some time off and enjoy my family.
     
  42. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

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    Near Chicago
    /rant

    This is becoming misconstrued.

    My intention was to share my experience with others and to get some thoughts on what I could do moving forward.

    I care/love my two boys too much to lower the 1000 a month I currently give them. Believe me, if I could give more I would.
     
  43. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    You're right..forgive my misdirected anger. It bothers me to hear people talking about lowering child support payments etc .... Have you considered PA school...It might be a good alternative. It's more affordable, less stressful and pays well. If you really want to go to med school though, I think you'll just have to take out the loans and do it.
     
  44. ravi

    ravi Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Oh Agent! I wish I saw your thread long ago. Not that it might have changed your opinion, but I was in the same situation as you are. I am married with a kid. My husband had all the doubts your wife had, but I took time to convience him. I promised him that I would go to the medical school only if I get into a certain school and my studies would not affect my son's schooling. I knew that with my non traditional background, it was a very very risky step. But there is limit to everything, there is only so much you can do. In this cycle I applied to only 6 schools. With a verbal score of 6, this step is a VERY RISKY step. But I wanted to work with in my constraints. I had 1 in thousand chance of getting into my top choice school. But this fact didn't change my thinking. I was VERY fortunate to get into the school I wanted(this was not exactly top choice but it is second top choice). I don't mean to tell you my life story, but I just felt that we were in the same boat and I wish I could have given this information couple of months ago. In life there are some things that are worth sacrificing for and one of those is FAMILY. Well, past is past and I wish you all the success in future :luck: .
     
  45. manna

    manna 7+ Year Member

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    Mississippi
    Wow - very interesting post. I really needed to read this last paragraph especially. I've been feeling a bit unsatisfied in some life choices I had to make lately, but this really put it in perspective again. Thanks, commymommy.

    (yes, I still lurk around this site even though I technically don't "belong"...LOL)

    Good luck in making some difficult decisions ahead, agent! :)
     
  46. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    Manna,

    I think that there are a lot of ways to 'put your family first' and every family situation is different. We already went through 8 years of my husband's residency..this inscluded doing internship in Germany...internship in the UK and then internship/residency/fellowship in the US. We moved and moved, had no money and my husband was always either gone or to exhausted to help out. During residency, my neighbor (a single older grandmother) was more of a 'spouse' to me than my own husband. We lived in a townhome and I was at her house almost every day....She told me she couldn't believe how little my husband helped out and that as a nurse she now had a whole new respect for how residency effects families because she had now experienced it firsthand.

    Unfortunately for me, putting my familiy first means not going to medical school...I wish it were different and if our situation was different, it might be doable. We have no family around and my husband is finally (after 4 years) well-established as an ID doc and is finally earning a nice salarly. There is only 1 med school nearby for me to apply to..so if I decided to apply, it would almost certainly mean that my family would have to move at least once for med school (without me there to support them through it because I'd be busy studying) and then again for residency (again..with me busy with residency)...It would require my husband moving his practice twice and possibly earning much less or not even finding a position in the town that we move.

    I could force it..I could say "this is my dream and I only live my life once" and at the end of the day I would win...I supported him and he wants me to be happy too...but the reality (hate to inject any reality on a student doctor forum) is that it would likely mean the end of my marriage at some point and it would hurt my children. I know firsthand the stress that medical school and residency puts on families.

    Manna, what have you been doing lately?
     
  47. manna

    manna 7+ Year Member

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    I'm almost afraid to say it here - but I'm *gulp* in nursing school now.

    I figured I would do nursing school (will graduate in '06 with my BSN) - then if the urge for medicine is still there, I can reconsider my choices and possibly apply. If things don't work out, at least I'll have something to fall back on. But then there's always other avenues of grad school open in the nursing profession as well - education, CRNA, NP, etc. Of course, there's a rampant lack of respect for midlevel practitioners here (and at many online sites, *ahem). :)

    My brother is an MD who just finished his residency with 3 kids. His wife, fortunately, was VERY supportive - but sadly he was pretty much absent for the last 8y of his daughter's life, and as a preteen she is pretty bitter about it. I'll admit I'm a little old fashioned as well, and probably think things might run a little differently when "Mom" is the one absent.

    Add on top of all this - my husband lives on the other end of the state away due to his job situation (and there's not a likely chance I'll be moving over there anytime soon).. and he's not really that supportive to boot.
     
  48. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    How much child suppoort should a man have to pay? How much is enough? Lets mandate an order to have all exhusbands pay 3000K/month/child and then when the kids grow up, we'll ask them if it mattered. My guess is that the divorced children of Donald Trump and those of Joe Blow felt no different growing up as far as money was concerned. I am the only one that believes that love and time with a child mean much more than the amout of money you pay in child support?

    Now you're comparing "apples and oranges" This is different and you know it. :rolleyes:

    Guess what? I put my family first too AND I'm getting my MD/PhD one day. :thumbup: More than this, it angers me women who don't want to pursue their life's passion try to passively belittle women brave enough to follow their hearts. Since when does pursuing your passion equate with putting your family last? Are women who can't have children or don't want them less of a women than others becasue they choose to show the world that their brains work too? FYI, staying at home no more means putting a family first than working, being happy and putting food on the table for your family. It's your ATTITUDE toward your family that counts most in the end!!!!! Sorry, but I don't but into this 16th crap that working women don't put their families first! :mad: Your situation works for you and that's just great! Mine works for me and that's just great too!!!
     
  49. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    Manna,

    That sounds like a good plan for your family and you are right that you will still have all options available to you including med school if that is still what you want.

    My mom was a nurse for over 20 years and finally went back after she got divorced (and was over 50) to get her NP. She's been working in the field now for several years and she loves it. The docs that hire her have always had respect for her and given her autonomy.

    1Path, if you have chosen the path that works best for you, why are you carrying on about what I have said? Did I not clearly state that it might be different for other people and that this was my own individual family and its needs.

    How much child support should a man have to pay? Why don't we just let you decide that :rolleyes: Wait...lets wait until you are divorced and trying to raise your kids on your own and then come back to this issue? (Wait..are you even married?) Are you suggesting that men have to pay too much to their children (who didn't ask to be born) for child support? Do love and hugs pay for shoes, school clothes, school books, college funds and for the increased cost of living required by the mom to live in a home or apartment that accomodates more people? How about the extra electricity, water and groceries? Or should the 'sperm donor' only be responsible for clothing his offspring?

    My comparison wasn't apples and oranges...


    I never suggested that women who choose medicine aren't putting their familes first...I specifically stated that because we had already survived moves for residency (x3) and fellowship and all of the associatied stress that it wouldn't work for my family. But since you brought it up, please describe how you are putting your family first while getting your MD/PhD...I want to learn from your time management skills! Most spouses of MD/PhD students that I know would disagree with the idea that it is possible to have such an absolutely perfect balance so if you can share how you are doing this you may help many others!

    Oh Wait...you said you were getting your MD/PhD someday...does that mean you aren't even a med student yet and are just talking in sweeping theories?

    And for the record, I believe that working women CAN and DO put their families first...and that they can be a good example to their children (both sons and daughters). I do NOT believe that it is possible for a mother or a FATHER to be a balanced spouse or parent when they are working 80+ hours a week...regardless of the profession.
     
  50. 1Path

    1Path Banned Banned

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    As a matter of fact, I'm now a divorced parent in part for the same reason Agent is. I'm now happily engaged to a man who shares my view of using my brain and vag**a!

    I'm working on my PhD now but serioulsy considering applying to MD/PhD in 2006. In the meantime, check out mommd.com for some helpful tips on how to balance!

    Also, only a fool seeks perfection in anything. My goal is happiness NOT perfection!!!

    I may not be a med student but at least I havent' given up trying to get there. :thumbup: I have PLENTY of WOMAN mentors , WITH THE MD/PHD that make it happen everyday and I've also juggled a few educationlly trying goals with marriage and careing for sick parents, while raising a child. What I am unequivocally is a woman who makes NO excuse for not going after what I want in life nor am I satisfied sitting on the sideline of my Fiance's career highlight film which could easily be done from a financial perspective. I'm blessed to have the opportunity, motivation, talent, support both financial and spiritual, to just do it!
    FINALLY, something we agree on! :thumbup:
     
  51. beentherdonthat

    beentherdonthat Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Dec 18, 2004
    Fortunately, I have a healthy dose of self-esteem and I didn't even have to go to med school to obtain it. Wow, imagine that! Talk about going "Hmmmmmmm...." Furthermore, should he leave me for supposed better model, my self-esteem would still be intact because it was his weakness that caused him to stray and abandon his family, not mine.
     

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