Post # 1
Hi, I’m a newlywed and struggling with having a spouse who is pursing an online master’s degree while working full time. He is WAY more studious than I ever was in school (even in my masters program), and maintains a 4.0 GPA in a tough program. Which is all great and I’m proud of him, but even though I express this to him, he doesn’t seem to understand that him leaving me alone and spending 2-3 hours a night studying while I end up having to do chores and household errands by myself every night when I have my own shit to do isn’t very fair. While I want him to do well in school, I never imagined it being this much work. He only takes one class a semester and still he studies this hard. Personally, I was always a decent student in college and grad school (3.6 GPA, B+ student), but I was never this obsessed with doing everything perfectly and working this hard academically.
We both get home from work late every night around 7 or 8 pm, eat dinner, chat for a bit, and then he goes off to study while I clean up and do errands or chores. We don’t get to eat breakfast together either because we have a 1 bedroom apartment so we take turns using the bathroom and we are often rushed in the morning (he’s not a fan of showering together, but amuses me once in a while on weekends or on vacation).
Anyone else have a spouse in graduate school? Any tips for getting through it? August should be the light at the end of the tunnel if he doubles up and takes 2 classes this summer! (Guess whose summer is going to suck lol – buh bye, I’ll be at the pool).
Post # 2
As someone who works full time while in a graduate program that is hella hard, I am super grateful that my husband gladly picks up the slack at home. He absolutely knows that he’s got it much easier than I do right now.
Post # 3
glutton : In this situation I’m the one in grad school. Full time study load + work. I didn’t realize how much my stress and tunnel vision was impacting my fiancé until he actually said something. I agree it’s not fair for you to have to do all the household chores. But if he needs that time to study I don’t think you can ask him to decrease the time he spends studying. Maybe there’s one or two chores you can ask him to do on his days off? Or can you ask him to hire a house keeper once a week?
Post # 4
Reversed. I’m the spouse in a doctorate program, living in a separate town from my husband and going home most weekends ( a whopping 1.5 days together). My program right now is super rigorous and honestly there are days where I can’t face time my husband or make a phone call. Test weeks- forget it. But I’m also taking 14-16 hours a semester in a competitive program. not 1 class a semester.
On the flip side, I did my masters online, taking 2-4 classes at a time. My program was nothing as intensive as what I am in now. As a grad student, there becomes a point in time where you think you’ve done enough to get a good enough grade without compromising FULL sanity lol. Maybe he hasn’t found that balance, to be fair it is really hard for some people (me, too) and there is a feeling of its never enough.
However, he works full time. He gets home late, when exactly is he suppose to study otherwise? There isn’t enough time in the day, it sounds like that IS his only time. Honestly, August isn’t that far away. Let him be studious and do the best he can. You still have meals together, maybe schedule a morning each weekend to decompress together for an hour or so. I personally would be a little off-put if my husband asked me to scale it back when my hours are already so limited, trying to juggle work/schook/relationship while doing the best I can in school. Maybe a conversation of what little changes can we do to make this better for both of you, because you are not wrong in your feelings, but it sounds like he does indeed have the fuller plate
Good luck to you guys! Good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve been in school for so long now, I totally empathize with you guys, hang in there
Post # 5
I’m the one in grad school, and I feel so lucky my husband has never complained (I do not mean this passive aggressively – you have every right to complain, and so does my husband).
I’ll be honest, he doesn’t always pick up the slack. Our kitchen is a complete mess right now. But it isn’t his fault I chose to go to grad school while working two jobs and interning 10 hours a week. Sometimes he chooses not to clean or not to do all the laundry or whatever, and that is completely fine by me. He does his best, but he’s still a tired guy who works 45 hours a week. Just because I work 60 hours and go to school doesn’t mean he has to do all the chores.
I gotta say, the fact that your guy only takes one class and studies for that long rather than helping you with chores does bug me a bit. But since I’m not in his program, I don’t feel like I know enough to judge.
Can you guys coordinate a bit better on chores? Plan weekdays off from studying? Have you told him how hard this is for you? Just because he might have it worse doesn’t mean you don’t get to vent and complain sometimes, too. Talk to him, and count down the days to graduation right along side him. I also seriously admire that he has the drive to study that much. Sounds like you found yourself a hard working, driven husband! I am sure this isn’t how you envisioned life as a newlywed, but it will get better! August isn’t that far away. Maybe you can plan a graduation trip to celebrate what you both went through for that degree!
Post # 6
Also I forgot to add that there has been times where we have had conversations of ‘I need this from you, I don’t need a lot but I need a little bit more’ and ‘I’m trying, but I need some extra understanding during X.”
Those are important conversations to have, and sometimes him giving me little reminders like that really help pull me out of my black hole I get sucked in to. He could just need gentle reminders
Post # 7
glutton : There seem to be two issues here (1) you are doing all of the chores and (2) because of classes, your husband does not have spare time to spend with you. My spouse and I went through a period in which both of us were in grad school and one of us was also working full time. I think it was helpful then to remember that a successful partnership does not have to be equal in every way at all times. Sometimes I would do more chores and sometimes he would, depending on who was more busy. It also helped to streamline routines and simplify. I hope you are not spending 2-3 hours every night on chores. Finally, sometimes we let some chores slide. For example, there was one particular stressful period where we switched to paper plates. Regarding (2) it helps that it is temporary. It is also a great time to focus on yourself, meet up with friends, and pick up a new hobby/skill.
Post # 8
Hubs and I have been going through this for years. Both him and myself are in grad school. I could understand how you feel though. You learn after being married a little while that its never always going to be 50/50. Many times it will be 80/20, 40/60 or some variation. Being a partner means sticking with each other when its happy and great, and then when everything is not so great.
Since its getting slightly frustrating being the available partner, I would find a way to cull back on the errands and simplify in the meantime. Maybe some errands can be done online for example, dinner can be pasta with veggies since they cook fast.
Think of it in a positive light. It’s easy to get resentful quick, so by shortening up your timeline of chores/errands/household work, you can have ALL that time hes studying to read a great book, watch a chick flick, yoga it up. That should help speed these months along quick and be something positive for yourself.
Post # 9
My D H and I are both currently in grad school with his being much more intensive than mine so I was with your husband so to speak until I read that he’s only taking ONE class. Sorry but in any program that is just not that much and doesn’t warrant the amount of absence he has. As far as advice, every semester D H and I have to reevaluate our responsibilities. Last semester I had a much lighter class schedule than D H this upcoming semester not so much so we’ve discussed that he will have to take on more household duties. I think that’s how it is in college it’s semester by semester.
Post # 10
Yes my boyfriend , now husband did his MBA in 13 months including thesis. I swear if I didn’t live with him, I wouldn’t have seen him. It is so hard & they never have time for you. It’s helped his career a lot so definitley worth it.
Post # 11
My fiancé is in medical school, about to start residency. I am also in a full time masters program.
That being said, he has it way harder than me and I know it, so I gladly pick up the slack. It’s not always a picnic, but I get it done because I know he’s working hard and under a lot of pressure. I know it’s not forever, though, and neither is your husband’s program. In the meantime, and I truly don’t mean this with any snark, we just have to suck it up for a bit. It gets frustrating at times, knowing that I have to do all the household maintenance, but it’s not like he’s using this as an excuse to not do those things.
Post # 12
loveydove : I agree that it is important to find a balance between effort and reward when it comes to classwork.
I understand being ambitious about grades: I was valedictorian of my college class and kept a 4.0 in my grad school classes as well. But the bigger accomplishment was that I learned how to accurately assess the requirements and objectives of each class so that I didn’t invest excessive energy into any one class. I also learned how to work more efficiently.
Having said that then, I have to say that spending 2-3 hours each night on a single online course sounds excessive to me. What is he doing during that time? Is he using the time efficiently? Is he actually working the whole time?
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be concerned that he doesn’t manage his time well and it is impacting your relationship. You should be able to talk to him about how you are feeling and also express your concern that he is spending more time on his class than you had anticipated.
If he insists that he needs to do well in the course, then consider talking to him about efficiency and effort allocation. Again, I think these skills are more valuable than high grades alone. Does he think his current study regimen is efficient? If he’s an ambitious person, perhaps he would be open to challenging himself to become more efficient in his studying while still maintaining his GPA.
And in the same vein, if you’re spending those 2-3 hours on chores and errands every day, perhaps you should consider how you could streamline things so that it doesn’t feel like you’re spending so much more time on chores than he is.
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 29th, 2016
glutton : There was a lot of overlap in our collegiate experiences. My husband was working on his PhD and working full time from the time we met up until the year we got married, while I was finishing my bachelor’s and then in grad school for my master’s. I started working full-time in my field during my last semester of grad school. I don’t think my master’s program was particularly challenging. The material was easy to grasp, but the assignments took more time. My husband understood when I needed to close myself up in the office and focus. I can’t tell you how many study groups and late nights I spent at the library in the months leading up to my comprehensive exam. But he understood, and when I passed with flying colors he was so proud of me.
It’s a lot to balance, but not impossible. It definitely sounds like you need to communicate your needs to your husband. And rememeber that this is temporary, and that hopefully having this degree will help to put you both in a better place (ex. better job or work-life balance, etc.). While we were both in school it was great because we had library dates and quietly did our work together with some occasional chit chat. Then we’d feel accomplished and enjoy the rest of the day together. I don’tknow if you’re into reading, but you could maybe have a “study” date together where you’re doing something else in the same space. You could be surfing the bee or online shopping, but still be together.
ETA: If you think your husband is spending excessive amounts of time on his coursework, perhaps there is something standing in the way of him grasping the material? Or it could be a time management issue like a PP said (is he taking frequent breaks or getting distracted by non-school related things?).
Post # 14
glutton : My SO is the type to want to do his best and I’m not so I get that part but everyone is wired differently. I initially tried to reason with him about this but targeting to do the best he can is what makes him happy so I let him do that.
I agree with what most posters have said. I just recently finished grad school and now my SO is in school (mostly doing online courses but sometimes has to go in person to the school that’s an hour away) so I’ve been on both sides of this. Going to school when working full time is pretty demanding. In this specific scenario, I think the best thing to do would be to let chores slide once in a while or hire a maid temporarily if not doing chores once in a while is not an option for you. My SO is more into cleaning than I am so he voluntarily does it but if he doesn’t, I pick up the slack. Yes, it’s hard sometimes but as others have said, it’s even harder to be in SO’s position and it’s easier for me to understand as I recently went through this myself. If it’s something small and quick ike unloading the dishwasher, I ask him to do that. Otherwise, I try to do the bulk of the housework and seeing him happy and less stressed after the apartment is clean is VERY rewarding and completely makes it worth it.
I often try to multi-task when I’m doing chores.. By watching something on my phone / TV or talking to friends and family over phone. I have to admit I do enjoy certain chores so it doubles as entertainment for me.
Post # 15
ladyvictoria : The study date is a great idea. My SO prefers that too when he is studying. That way, we can still hang out with each other and not feel too lonely by ourselves for too long.