Bees with spouses in grad school

posted 1 week ago in Married Life
Post # 16
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee

glutton :  I was in this exact situation for five years while my husband did a joint BS/MS program. We barely survived, because the imbalance in our personal lives drove me insane. There are a few things to recognize though…1) Everyone has different needs in terms of how much time/effort they have to put in to succeed. 2) If it’s important to him to obtain a high GPA, that’s something you should understand. My husband’s GPA played a direct role in the positions he was offered after graduation, so that’s something to keep in mind. 3) This may be a time when you have to accept that your role is to carry more weight around the house while his is to study. It may seem unfair, but his degree will benefit you both by way of better jobs and better pay. 

On the flip side, I think it’s very important for him to appreciate and acknowledge your sacrifices for his studying as well. You’re in this together and both playing critical roles in your family’s success. Appreciate each other, don’t take anything either of you are doing for granted, and be on the same page with how you will transition together once school is over. 

Post # 17
Member
1167 posts
Bumble bee

Whenever I read these threads I wonder if me and my friends just went to really shitty universities since we didn’t have school be that time consuming even with full time work. 

My suggestion is that occasionally you could spend time alone together. Both doing your thing but in the same couch etc. You could also agree a night when he doesn’t study or only studies an hour. Maybe agree the time spend together beforehand so h3 can anticipate and work to the bank

Post # 18
Member
518 posts
Busy bee

In times like these it is helpful to remember that long lasting relationships aren’t always 50/50 some days it’s going to be 60/40 or 70/30 and yes, some days it will even be 95/5 but those should be few and far between. It’s really tough now and it probably won’t feel “fair” for a little while but as long as you work together, communicate, and keep the end goal in mind you will make it and one day you will need him to be your 80 when you are at a 20 and that’s ok, too.

Post # 19
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

rez123 :  😂 I think a lot may depend on the type of program too. For example, medical school and business school tend to be a lot more time consuming than the average grad degree. 

Post # 20
Member
3302 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

chillbee29 :  It was so much fun! We’d take little breaks here and there. Sometimes my husband would sit across from me and it would be nice to glance up from my books or screen and stare at his face for a little bit then go back to work. Makes a world of difference! 

Post # 21
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

glutton :  I agree with everyone that said it’s not always 50-50. Before my SO started school, there have been many days when I worked long hours / have been sick / tired /just not feeling it and he has done the lion’s share of the work. 

Post # 22
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

ladyvictoria :  I agree! In our case, we used to sit at a table but now we sit side by side on the couch and it’s so much nicer (not to mention more comfortable). This only works when he’s taking quizzes online / writing a paper on his laptop. 

Post # 23
Hostess
8987 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

I made it through grad school with my husband being absolutely supportive and never complaining… I think I maintained a decent work/life balance except for the months I spent away from home for work – the most was a 2 month stretch from January til March of last year. My Darling Husband absolutely picked up the slack for 6 full years, BUT, I was taking 12-18 credit hours a semester with full time research. 

There is absolutely no reason you husband should be spending that much time on ONE class. What’s going on with that?? He needs to pick up the pace!

Post # 24
Member
3302 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

chillbee29 :  I don’t like to work in the same spaces that we relax so the couch is a no-go for me! Plus we both definitely needed to be at a table or desk with all of our books and papers lol 

Post # 25
Member
9543 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

glutton :  

Did he just ambush you with the grad school thing out of nowhere? Or is this something you both discussed and agreed on?

Your upset is completely understandable. Unfortunately, continually leaning on your husband for more time and attention will get you nothing but pushback. I should just make a blanket disclaimer that I will be indulging in overt gender stereotyping when necessary. Men hate this stuff. They feel like they’re working their asses off to build something wonderful for both of you. And then, thwap!

They instinctively rebel against these kinds of demands.

There is plenty of good news here. You can bring in a house cleaner. Costs can be controlled by the number of days per week or every other week you have a cleaning, if cost is a concern.

This too shall pass. Hubby’s program will end. With a bit of luck, he won’t decide he needs a PhD.

Guess whose summer is going to suck—lol . . .

That is entirely your choice. If you are 100% dependent on your husband for entertainment and companionship, that’s a problem. Of course you miss him. You’re supposed to. You’re newlyweds. 

But, sometimes, relationships require that we do stuff we don’t like because it makes our partners happy. How many women have sat through various and sundry sports games about which they cared nothing as good will gestures? Is it equal to the number of romcoms he has suffered?

You could make yourself much happier by choosing not to have a sucky time. Do things. Find interests, there is a near infinite number of hobbies and interesting subjects to explore. Spend time with upbeat people.

When you feel ready for some perspective, spend some time chatting with women whose SOs are in the military, deployed far away, in combat zones.

 

Post # 26
Member
4412 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My husband just finished his MS in May, so this is still a familiar memory for me. It was a two-year program (including summer courses). He was working part-time, then interning, while also taking 2-3 classes a semester. It was hard for both of us for numerous reasons – limited budget, limited time together, etc.

I did have to do most of the housework and such, but I appreciated that when he COULD step in, he did (for instance, during school breaks). However, we decided together that he would go to grad school, and we knew it would benefit our life together long-term. which was helpful to know whenever I felt frustrated or overwhelmed. It also helped that my husband clearly appreciated my support and my role keeping the rest of our lives going while he was in school.

So my point is – yes, you might have to do everything for now, but it won’t be forever. If your husband isn’t showing appreciation for your sacrficies, though, you need to talk to him. Maybe he doesn’t realize how much falls to you?

Finally, be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to let the chores slide one night a week while you take some ime for self-care, whether that’s a happy hour with friends or curling up with a book and some tea, whatever it is for you.

Post # 27
Member
3077 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

glutton :  This is just a tough season of life. I met my now husband in his 2nd year of getting his PhD. He spent almost 6 years in that program and now he is a post doctoral researcher working even more. Consider it an investment in your future and just get through this part of life. 

Post # 28
Member
8812 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2017 -  California

I don’t really think this is all because he’s in grad school. I think it’s because he has a full-time job AND has school outside of that. That’s alot and I would try to be understanding — he comes home from a long day at work and then has to study. Yes, he should help out however he can, but I get it if his job and school are where his prorities are at right now.

Dh’s PhD program was 6 years and I was in law school for 3 of those years. It was definitely hard finding quality time together and our home sure wasn’t making the cover of Architectural Digest. But you know what, it was fine. I think you need to weigh everything and ask yourself what’s worth it and what’s not. If laundry has to sit in the dryer until tomorrow, is that okay? If you have to let dishes pile up in the sink until the morning, is that okay? This is temporary and August will be here before you know it. And if you can do little things to save yourself time and make your life easier until then — like buying precut veggies, making more crock pot meals, etc., then do it. You’ll look back and see that this was just a small blip in your lives.

Post # 29
Member
6040 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m not in this situation but I wanted to pop in and say none of us can really know how much time he needs for his class. I remember even in high school I had a class that I got straight As in with little effort meanwhile my best friend studied hours a day to barely pull a C. Everyone learns differently and some subjects come more naturally than others. He’s likely spending a lot of money on this grad program and he should be making the most of it and studying hard even if it’s frustrating and time consuming. It’s a temporary situation. 

Post # 30
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee

sassy411 :  Where were you when my husband was in school, and I could not wrap my mind around what he was thinking!? You hit the nail on the head…the harder I pushed, the more frustrated and the more my husband shut down. It drove him crazy that I couldn’t understand he was working so hard for US. It’s hard to understand that concept when they are the ones getting the degree, and it doesn’t feel like it’s for your future too. Hobbies and friends are crucial too!

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