What to do if your wife is not supportive?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by agent, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    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. yaoming

    yaoming Banned
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  4. jot

    jot

    classy
     
  5. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    We have a 7 month old baby and things arent that bad relationship wise...

    She just really doesnt want me to do it. uggh. I dont want a divorce.

    So I guess no one else is having this problem eh?
     
  6. Bikini Princess

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    Hi Agent,

    I think her concerns are legitimate. Has she talked much to other wives of medical students and doctors?

    I think in order for you to make an informed decision, it might be helpful to contact other medical schools in your area, and see if there are other families who are coping with the problems which she is worried about. Maybe this would give both of you a better understanding of what medical school & family obligations are like.


    btw-there is a great forum in SDN called "Spouses & Partners: A support forum for the spouses and significant others of health professions students".

    Maybe you post your problem there? Maybe you should pm Dr. Mom (a well-known SDN member) :)
     
  7. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member

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    I guess it comes down to telling her about the stability of the profession. You won't have to worry about getting laid off, getting a promotion, etc. You'll be making $125,000+/year, and you have the option of setting up a private practice anywhere in the country. Not many other professions combine this stability, flexibility, and financial return.

    Also, you'll be doing something you're passionate about. I think that will ultimately translate into your being happier at home.

    But yes, it will suck a lot of time away from your family life. No getting around that one.

     
  8. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Guitarman for President

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  9. single track

    single track Junior Member

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    My wife supports my decision to apply to medical school, but I sometimes get the selfish vibe from her. We have 3 kids, and I think that she feels envious that I am the one that will be advancing my education while she stays home and entertains children all day.

    The money issues are valid concerns, but you will be making more and you will be doing something that you like. As far as moving, my wife says that she will move anywhere, but then keeps upgrading our house which makes me think that she really wants to stay. I have kept my applications in-state because of this.

    As far as her saying that you will not be a good doctor, as said before, this is her emotional reaction to the whole situation, and she probably doesn't really think that.

    Just keep communicating with her about how important this is to you, and hopefully she will become more supportive.
     
  10. silvercholla

    silvercholla Smarter than the avg bear

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    GET THERAPY!!! This is not about her not wanting to be in debt or the other stuff. This is totally about her insecurities about losing you to medicinr and potentially someone "smarter" I had a friend in the same situation, 'cept no kids and the underlying reasons for all of his wife's other reasons was becasue she felt threathened. They went to therapy and he also started to encourage her in her dream. They are still together and he is a PGY 2 and she is a business owner and 31 weeks pregnant. This may not apply to your situation at all but I think that therapy would probably be a good thing anyway. Good Luck.
     
  11. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
    Moderator Emeritus

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    throw her in a tank of sharks with lasers
     
  12. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    Wow, she needs to chill out. Maybe you ain't givin' her enough lovin'?

    If I was you I'd buy her one of these and then submit your AMCAS.
     
  13. single track

    single track Junior Member

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    If her issuse is rooted in insecurity about losing you to medicine or to another med student, then silvercholla is right, you should speak with someone about it.
     
  14. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    I think Bikini Princess has some great advice. It would be great for your wife to talk to wives/husbands whose spouses are currently in Medical School. She definitely has legit concerns, and I have those same concerns myself about going to medical school. I don't mean this in a condescending way (so please no flames), but many people on this forum are quite young and don't really know what it's like to live in the real world and that being a doctor isn't everyone's number one priority. They'll say things like get rid of her, because they don't know what life is like outside of school.

    Perhaps when she married you she wanted a good father for her children and to spend a lot of time with her husband -- things that you may want too even if your time will be stretched while in medical school. Of course she should support you if medicine is what you truly want to do, but you need to convince her that you will still have time for your family and that becoming a doctor is something that will make you a happier person in the long run. Make sure she understands that your family will still be your first priority, and that although you may have some nights when you'll be cooped up studying, for the most part you will be able to spend the evenings with your family.

    Good luck!
     
  15. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    Others might not agree, but I really think you should do what is right for you....what feels right for you....if this is your desire, then you should go for it...maybe the idea to her doesn't sound so great, because she hasn't seen how bad you want to do it....maybe after some more talking, showing, explaining and doing more research about the field, you could show her your desire....and just *hope* that she'll understand at some point.....Like bikini mentioned, you could post on the spouses forum....someone on there is in charge of some other websites/organizations about this....there is support for her, maybe that would change her mind....someone even on SDN put me on their newsletter and I get stuff in the mail about spouses/partners in the medical field....and in med school they have clubs for the partners/spouses.....anyways, let the idea sit with her for awhile, and show her its your desire....no one should stop you from reaching your goals :)
     
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  17. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    awesome points everyone especially guitar man and bikini. I guess I could post this in the spouses forum, but i seem to be getting good responses here.

    its funny someone mentioned counseling. she actually talks to a guy now and im supposed to meet with him to discuss this as a family this weekend..
     
  18. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    ACtually, have you considered becoming a PA instead? I asked a couple of PAs where I volunteer why they did PA rather than MD and they basically said that if they had made the decision fresh outta college they prolly woulda done MD, but they did PA b/c they had a family to support...
     
  19. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    come on..
    if you live your life wanting to be a physician... you don't become a PA. you become a damn physician. you need to sit her down... talk to her as calmly as possible- and let her know how this will make you a better husband/father- and how it will help provide a blanket of security for the family. it seems like these are her greatest concerns. good luck-
    peter
     
  20. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    i thought about PA, but the only school i can go to is Finch CMS and its almost as expensive as 4 years at UIC
     
  21. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    Yes, but sometimes people have to be realistic. Med school is no cake walk. He has a 7 month old kid. Med school + residency is 7 years of extremely intense work minimum. Moreover, its extremely expensive, and residents are poorly paid.

    Raising a kid costs serious $. His wife you have to work, and that means less time at home with the kid. If he is at med school and she is at work, who is s'posed to raise the kid?

    If you're in it for the prestige, MD is the way to go. But if you just want to do what doctors do, PA makes the most sense in your situation.

     
  22. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    look-
    my parents moved here from egypt to do their residency when my little brother and i were 2 and 3. they both worked full time... residency hours- and they raised the two of us very well. sure... it was difficult- but, looking back on- i don't think they would have done anything differently. 2 people on residency income feeding a total of 4 people, paying for 2 cars and living in an apartment wasn't easy- but, it worked- and i don't think you should give up on your dream because your wife is insecure.
    p
     
  23. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    Yeah and look how you turned out!:laugh:
     
  24. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    To those responders who say, screw the wife do it anyway: this is not a very good solution. I too am married, however my wife is supportive. I am not sure what I would do if she wasn't, but if that were the case, I would reevaluate my priorities. There are certain responsibilities you accept when you get married and have a kid. If your wife is not on board with this, then your marriage is screwed. Like it or not, going to medical school will require some sacrifice by your family.
     
  25. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    qweer11
    wow-
    your last post was ingenious. HEY!!!- i almost forgot to mention. craig kilborne was on here yesterday posting trying to find individuals that had come down with down's syndrome. i'll leave his secretary a memo to let her know that you're still alive and funny.
     
  26. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    It's simple:

    You get your wife to read this thread.
     
  27. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member

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    Agent,

    I'd suggest posting this on OldPreMeds (http://www.oldpremeds.net/cgi-local/ikonboard.cgi). Lots of people (including me) have been through this.

    You really need your spouse to be behind you 100%. Otherwise, things will get very ugly.

    What does she want you to do? Keep working customer service for 20 years? Discuss options with her and maybe she'll see that almost everything leads to time and debt, and you don't end up with the security and financial rewards of medicine. Besides, if you really need to do this, then it won't go away. You'll just come back to it when you're 30 or 35 and it will be that much harder.
     
  28. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    :oops: :eek: :wow: :scared:
    DAMN!!! Them's fightin' words!
     
  29. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    yeah- considering editing it... but, i like it too much!!!
    p
     
  30. Tweetie_bird

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    I am sorry to hear about these problems you're having. Let me tell you that when I first met my fiancee, I had let him know that it's not gonna be an easy cake walk with me. He will have to deal with a wife who will eventually (amen!) be in med school and over 100K debt. He wholeheartedly accepted me in full knowledge that he is in it with me.

    However, not everybody is as lucky as me. You decided later in life to do this. Put yourself in her shoes--she is married to a father and a hubby she thought would always be there. She's married to a man who is going to go from his 9 to 5 job to something much more intensive. She is also married to a man whom she may not even feel worthy (gasp!) of anymore. It's true--think about it. When she married you, she thought she had person A in her life. Now, the DEFINITION of that person is changing, and she is having a hard time. It's true that not all professions determine who and what we become, but it's even more true that being a doctor is more of a lifestyle, than a job. She is not ready to see YOU committ so much of your life to something that is so new to her. She has a son that she is afraid she'll have to take care of. She is afraid she will have to support both, you, your son and herself while you're off chasing your dream.

    While I completely advocate you doing what you dream of, you have to realize that this is something you are putting your ENTIRE FAMILY through. Med school is not JUST your thing. They are going to be affected as much, if not more than you. Atleast you can say that you will be working on your own career. Your wife will be going through the same trials and tribulations as YOU, walking WITH YOU through your hard times, and not have anything to show for it except for the fact that she will be a Doc's wife. Is that really worth it to HER?

    Now--
    I think you need to sit her down and acknowledge what she's feeling. Truly, she is your partner in life, and she needs to encourage you to fulfill your dreams even if it means compromising some of hers. Did you ever think that maybe she gave something up for YOU, thinking you'll always be there for her? I am only asking you all these questions to help you better understand her mindset. So, sit her down and explain to her that SHE is your priority (along with your son, of course). And while she is your priority, there ARE other things that also take their priority in your life. And now, you want to pursue those in your life because face it, the older you get, the harder it will get for you. Take a few evenings off from work and spend time with her. Show her that you are willing to do whatever it takes, to make both, med school AND the marriage work. Show her that both things are your priority, and compromising on any of these would make you feel incompletely.

    Above all, remember to take time out (every day) even if it's for 15 mins to simply hold her and reassure her. Turn off the TV, stop her from doing whatever she's doing--take the time out--and reassure her. She needs you right now, as much as you need her support. Be patient, and don't get sarcastic. Know, that a LOT of marriages don't work out in med school. Take the time you have between now and med school to work out all the kinks in the marriage, because if it's "bad" right now, it's only gonna get worse without her support in med school. So, be her friend...BE HER ADVOCATE and really work out the kinks BEFORE you get into medical school.

    My best wishes to you. :)
    Tweetie
     
  31. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    great advice tweetie.

    thanks. honestly i think she feels just like you mentioned.

    im going to try to reassure her.

    the bottom line is in 15 years im going to be 40 whether im a doctor or not. i'll still have my baby boy whether im a doctor or not and hopefully my wife.

    so why not just become a doctor?
     
  32. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    tweetie-
    solid advice...
    p
     
  33. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    I still disagree with poloace. Anyway, he just wants to become a doc to get discounts on penis enlargement operations :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  34. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    dude- how'd you get a hold of my personal statement!!!?
    p
     
  35. 2badr

    2badr **Switch**

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    it is always a difficult situation when you have a dream you want to fulfill and yet do not have the support of your SO. It will be difficult if you do this without her support.It will be difficult to do this with her support. Only you can weigh the consequences of chucking all to the wind and doing this anyway. You might lose your wife or she might eventually warm up to this decision. It is a true sacrifice for a family when one attends med school.
    By all means do not stop communicating with your wife. it is really good that you are seeking counseling on this. It is a touchy situation. if you do not go and you feel as if your dream has not been fulfilled, you might wind up being bitter towards her. If you go anyway and she is resentful she might feel bitter toward you. If you love your wife and she loves you there has to eventually be sacrifices made on both ends. You have to live with the decision you make regardless of what advice you recieve from this board.I wish you luck either way.
     
  36. 2badr

    2badr **Switch**

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    Oh and if being a dr is your true heart's desire do not become a PA. if you look at some of the threads on this board you will know that you should have your heart in any profession you choose.
     
  37. uffda

    uffda Senior Member

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    and in 15 years that baby boy will be a teenager who is driving :eek: :eek:
     
  38. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member

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    Hi. I know there are already lots of great responses here, but as a mother and wife I thought I would add my 2-cents.

    I am 34 and plan to start medical school next year. I have two daughters; they will be 4 and 6 in October. My husband is a business executive who travels within the States and internationally a moderate amount. I am very lucky to have his complete support as well as the help of my parents who are retired and live about 3 miles from me.

    No matter what you chose as your vocation in life your priorities need to be in the following order:

    #1 Your own health, serenity and well-being. If you don't take care of yourself first you will be unable to fufill the other responsibilities in your life.

    #2 Your family and loved ones. They must come next and they must know that they are more important than anything else. This includes you supporting your wife's needs and her supporting yours.

    #3 Your job/school

    I know that even though my husband's job is very,very important to him; my daughters and I are what really matters. My husband also knows that I will never place my job or school above the needs of him or our children.

    Being a mother with a husband who worked many long days and nights when our daughters were infants I can understand your wife's apprehension to anything that may leave her alone even more. Feeling like a single parent of an infant can be very frustrating and create resentment toward the spouse who "gets to go out and do what he wants". Does your wife have her own career aspirations and does she feel that those will take a backseat to your goals? As your son gets older the stress of being the primary caregiver does lessen. He will start to play independently and demand less constant Mommy attention. However, I must say that my two have been in and out of the room with about 10 questions and are now dancing to the Squirrel Nut Zippers as I type this.

    I think therapy is a great way for the two of you to plan your goals together. The life of a doctor does effect the whole family. The specialty that you choose will determine the true hours demanded, but between school, residency and practice it is most certainly a tough path. Perhaps you and your wife can talk with some physicians and their spouses to get some advice on the whole process.

    Best of luck. The fact that you are addressing your concerns now makes me hopeful that you and your family will find a way for you to acomplish your goals together.
     
  39. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    who knows what he'll be doing in 15 years.. ?

    who knows what anyone will be doing for that matter.
     
  40. lamyers1

    lamyers1 Senior Member

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    My personal story does not probably correlate well with yours, however, my husband was not supportive...I moved out last week with the kids, on my own, with my own summer job money, to another state to start med school in 2 weeks. DOH!!! :D
     
  41. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    supposedly her goal was to have a husband that would take care of her so she can be a housewife.. and thats what im trying to do.

    **mass frustration**

    yes im getting dragged to therapy this weeknd and I have no desire to justify my desires to a 3rd party, but I guess I have to.

    this whole thing is getting rediculous. i love my son and Id never choose anything above him. i wish she could see that this isnt about her or about me but about the FAMILY'S FUTURE!!!
     
  42. Dr/\/\om

    Dr/\/\om Senior Member

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    Has your wife been able to talk to some Dr's wives? Especially in lesser-time-demanding specialties?

    They may be able to help allay her fears.
     
  43. dr kevin40

    dr kevin40 Senior Member

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    ....lick her neck, her back, her mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm just like that
     
  44. Raptor

    Raptor Found one

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    :laugh:
     
  45. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer

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    Tha mods got pissed when I recommended he buy her a vibrator, but Dr K knows wus up. :D
     
  46. Squidaronimous J

    Squidaronimous J Junior Member

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    +pissed+

    Actually, you need to be clear here. This is about YOU. That 'Family's Future' thing is crap. Why? Because that is just a justication or rationalization in your mind for getting what you want.

    Maybe in 7+ years (NOT counting the time you have left in your bachelors) the family will see some benefit, but until then (and sometime after when those loans start getting paid off), they will bear the brunt of lack of money and lack of your time.

    In marriage (and in life) we often use these words to justify our actions. "I'm doing this for us!" Wrong.

    You need to get clear two things right now.

    1) Med School is about you.

    There are a lot of ways to make money in the world. If you add in all the hours it takes to become a doc and eventually the time it takes to actually be a doc, the money ain't that great.

    Regardless of the 'benefits' of you going to med school, your family still suffers. There is a give and take in every situation. And you need to be very clear that you are taking time and money from your family to pursue your dreams.

    Additionally, think of how much time you will miss from your child's life and your wife's life. You can't ever pay that back like you can a loan.

    2) You are not in therapy 'justifying' your career decisions to a third party.

    You signed a contract when you got married and had a kid. Maybe it wasn't verbal, but it is still there. That contract was formed in a million different ways. Promises made to your wife, dreams the two of you dreamed together, etc.

    Now, you are changing a lot of that for your own dreams. You are essentially telling your wife that "everything I said before was subject to change and, oh by the way, I am changing it."

    You need to go to therapy because you are changing some of the agreements in your marriage and like many couples (myself and my wife included), you do not possess the necessary skills to re-negotiate this contract.

    A disinterested, third party like a therapist can help you and your wife understand your own and each others' feelings and needs. Additionally, they can help you personally explore your desire to become a doctor. And you need to do that.

    Is becoming a doctor just a reaction to your present situation? What motivates it? Etc. A lot of time a third party will help us review some internal areas that we naturally (or subconsciously) will skip over.

    Trust me. You need therapy here. You need someone who has no vested interest in the situation to help you sort this out.

    Squid J

    P.S. You're probably better off now seeing a third party that will help you sort out your issues, than seeing one later who will be sorting out your kid and your possessions.
     
  47. agent

    agent agent, RN

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    ouch..

    you must be a woman.. :laugh:
     
  48. silvercholla

    silvercholla Smarter than the avg bear

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    See... Told ya... Therapy!!!!!
     
  49. exigente chica

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    ouch, Laymeyers..Good Luck and I hope all works out girl:clap:

    Keep your head up, you can can WILL do it.
     
  50. Noa

    Noa New Member

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    Well it seems a good majority declares she's has insecurities about you "changing" and becoming someone else than the person she married, well other than squid of course, you're the one with the issues. I don't agree with that at all. In that case ppl who would like to change their careers all need therapy then.
     
  51. finney

    finney Member

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    "Has your wife been able to talk to some Dr's wives? Especially in lesser-time-demanding specialties?

    They may be able to help allay her fears."



    So Dr. MOM do you mean the first wife
    or the second token wife :laugh:
     
  52. agent

    agent agent, RN

    Joined:
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    i feel like im starting to crack..

    all of the drive and focus i had about a month ago is slowly getting chipped away..

    well therapy this saturday to appease those like "squid"..

    i'll keep everyone posted ;)
     

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