- 6 years ago
- Wedding: October 2008
My Fiance is in the final stages of med school applications and he’ll be starting school next august…just two months after we get married. We’ve been together for five years and about a year into our relationship he decided he wanted to be a doctor. I am SO PROUD of him. There aren’t adequate words that can describe how much I admire him, how much he’s done for me by way of being an inspriation, and how awed I am by his capability and strength, and his sheer ability to do nothing but succeeed in everything he does (seriously, i sometimes joke that if we’d known each other in high school, i would have hated him because he’s one of those people to whom things just come easily and he’s inherently good at everything he tries. except maybe dancing). He is currently an EMT and works in Cardiology. Everything about how he carries himself in medical situations illuminates the fact that there is TRULY only one profession that he was put on this earth for, and that is to be a doctor. He literally encompasses every single bit of the poise, knowledge, capability, and strength you’d find in the nation’s best and most capable doctors. All of these facets barely skim the surface of why i love him so much.
I’ve known for years that a difficult road lies ahead for me. I’ve known in the back of my mind that a doctor husband means one who isn’t home all the time, one who goes through years and years of intense schooling and training with very little reward until they are finished. I’ve known it will mean moving away from my home to follow him, and lonely nights by myself, and family events or holidays during which i sigh and say “oh, he’s working/on call tonight”. I have an uncle who is an emergency medicine physician and i’ve known my cousins and my aunt to celebrate birthdays, holidays, etc. on days other than theire actual date because their dad/my uncle was working, etc. I know this lies ahead. It makes me sad, but what kind of person would i be if i tried to inflict guilt on him because i’d be lonely sometimes, etc.? I don’t ever want to do that. Just like I’ve told him that I don’t want him to weight too heavily on me or whatever plans we may or may not have for a family when he’s choosing a speciality. He has a gift that not many do, and I don’t want him to skimp while using it.
That being said, I’ve gotten a little curious and googled what it’s like being married to a medical student/resident and I was crushed by some of waht I’ve read. Overwhelmingly, these women narrate their loneliness, their financial struggles, their emotional deprivation, and the pressure they feel while they assume all of the responsibilities that married couples usually share. The fact is: someone training to be a doctor sometimes won’t have room mentally/emotionally for anything other than what they’re working towards. Some women write about how their husbands “bring their patients home with them” and when they finally return him, the wives and children get what is left over from the doctor husband’s trying and exhausting day. Sometimes there is hardly anything left over. Some of these women have children, and while that does add a complexity to the situation (monetary struggles, lack of fatherly presence, etc), I can’t help but think “at least they have their kids as a distraction/company while their husbands spend 36 straight hours at a hospital”.
We feel strongly that we wouldn’t have a child until he was done with residency. That means all those years of him being only a physical presence in our house while he studies for med school exams, and then years of 16 hours days during residency, I’d be alone. Most likely in a strange town far away from my family and friends. What these doctor’s wives bloggers wrote scared me. It overwhelmed me because I knew it would be hard, but I dn’t think I realized the full impact of the sacrafice. There are resident’s families who live on food stamps/welfare because the sheer monumental amount of med school debt far outweighs the pathetic new-resident salaries they make. They are raising children, but sometimes find they can’t buy groceries. It’s scary. I feel saddened and enraged by the fact that his career means that often, perfect strangers will take priority over me and our family. I hate that. As selfish as it is, I can’t stand the thought that a sick stranger who walks into his ER or OR or other clinic would trump me. But that’s JUST HOW IT IS. I have to accpet that patients and his ‘hospital life’ would mean while he’s there, they are the priority. Not me.
But for every sad, lonely sounding wife I came across, there were happy ones, and ones that found fulfillment on their own. It will be up to me. I am so proud of him. I am sometimes envious of what he is capable of, because it’s so impressive and sexy and awe-inspring to me, I wish I could do something too.
But I fear what my future holds when I sacrafice my home, my career path, my emotional needs, etc for the advancement of his career. I know in the future, there will be rewards and I will “get him back” but I am SO FREAKING afraid that all of this means I’ll lose him. I don’t want emotional deprevation.
Tonight he was preparing for nine-part ethics interview with a med school (which is coming up in 2 weeks) and I got under his skin a bit. I know he is on edge about this interview, but he said to me “you’re not being supportive right now. being demanding of my emotions isn’t supportive when i’m trying to prepare” and it shocked me and i started crying. I thought to myself “is this my future?”
Are there any of you out there? How do you deal? Am I being overly dramatic and taking too much stock in the blogs of strangers? It’s just a sad and scary time for me right now