(Closed) Fi and me feeling disconnected

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Hi bee – I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time. One of my best friends is currently in her 4th year of general surgery residency and I’ve known her since undergrad…watching her go through all the steps to become a doctor has basically filled me with awe and also no small amount of horror at the stress and pressure doctors (and pre-doctors) are put under.

I think it’s wonderful that you’ve been in therapy to work on being a more empathetic person. But the burden to “fix” this shouldn’t be 100% on you. If your partner has been depressed and stressed for many months, I really think he needs to be in therapy too, rather than relying purely on you to be there for him and make him feel better. You are his partner and of course you should be there for him–but you’re not his therapist. 

Ultimately, he is the one suffering from depression and anxiety, and he is the only person who can change that. You can “be there” for him, but you can’t cure him…he has to want to get better himself and seek appropriate treatment. What steps is he taking to cope with his depression and anxiety? I would suggest counseling for him, and also couples counseling for the both of you.

Post # 3
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I’m currently studying for Step 1, so I completely understand the pressure and stress that EVERYONE seems to place on one exam. It’s a lot of weight on both him and you, and I really empathize with the struggles you’ve been going through as a couple because of it. 

If he is an MS4, hasn’t he already matched? Is he happy with where he matched/what specialty? Or is he finishing up MS3 and starting MS4, and is applying for residency this summer? I’ve always heard that MS4 is the most laidback of all four years of medical school, but there is also a lot of travel for interviews and anxiety about matching. It might serve you to go to counseling or both of you to go together to get through this next hurdlle until he matches, since he will likely be feeling doubt and stress until that time. 

Residency is of course also stressful, but it’s a different kind of stres — more overworked, and less uncertainty and feeling like you messed up your future and the burden of that blame is entirely on your shoulder and you don’t know if or how things are going to work out. It seems that it’s the uncertainty and guilt that is affecting your Fiance, and you in turn. It makes sense that he feels that way, but I completely understand that it’s affecting you and your relationship as well, which is not good. 

Ultimately, this of course is not your fault, but I would cut him some slack and try to be there for him with support and sympathy to the best of your abilities since this is truly a really trying time for him. Around third year is when a lot of medical students get depressed and suicidal, so he’s not alone in feeling the stress and pressure. I’m sure he appreciates you a lot as a support system, though perhaps he should say it more. Make sure to take time for yourself for self-care, since this is asking a lot of you too, but hopefully his feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy on his part will pass after Match Day and his mental health your relationship will be in a better place at that time. In the meantime, counseling and date nights (without talking about med school, just a time to reconnect with each other and the relationship) are my suggestion.

Good luck bee!

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