January 31, 2011

My Life of Lesser Importance

I am getting very tired. Tired of the constant crisis. Tired of waiting to for support from my spouse because "its not a good time." I'm mainly tired of my life, desires, needs, thoughts, opinions and anything else not being as important as my spouses.
Today my spouse could not even stop to give me a goodbye hug because he was running late. Are you kidding me? An extra 15 seconds really is too much to ask isn't it.
Just because my spouse is going to be a doctor does not: make him more important, excuse his rudeness, make his opinions more valid, make his cold more miserable, give him an excuse to be more messy, make his time more valuable, mean he needs more pampering, or make his crap stink any less than mine!
Just thought I would put that out there. Hopefully I am not alone in feeling this way.


Red Stethoscope said...

Hey Melanie!

Girl, I feel you. I guess I'm in a unique position because I'm a medical student myself. BUT...once upon a time (this time last year), I was engaged to a banker, who routinely told me that his job was more important (ha!) and harder (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) than mine. He may have made more money than me (but then again, doesn't ANYONE who is not in school?), but it didn't make what he said true.

Anyway, no matter how busy the person's schedule is, it doesn't give them permission to downplay the importance of their spouse's career/time/need for affection.

Can you talk to the hubby (or email, whatever) and remind him that if he needs you to be his constant support, he needs to remember to show you that he values you?

Speaking from the med. student part of my brain, I can get how tiredness/busyness turns you into an obnoxious and selfish person, so a kind, gentle reality check to the hubs is definitely not uncalled for!

Katrina said...

Sorry Dear Melanie...you need to for sure tell your spouse about how you are feeling, what you need and how this will strengthen your relationship while he's in med school.

Mrs T #3 said...

you are not alone! i can speak from experience (wife of msIV) that this too shall pass. my dh went through periods of this especially during second and third year that drove me up the wall. but stress has an odd way of affecting people and my dh would go through this. i often found that putting my thoughts organized in an email was both effective and therapeutic. and usually helped minimize unnecessary stress induced arguing. we are at the end of med school now, and my dh knows how important i am. he often tells me he could not have made it through without me. so you are important, just as if not more important. and your feelings matter. hang in there!

lifeofadoctorswife said...

You are 100% right - there is no excuse for neglect or rudeness! I hope you two can sit down and work out a plan so that you are both as happy as possible with this whole experience! Hang in there!

Ashley said...

I'm sorry you're having a hard time, Melanie. One thing that helps us is having a kind of "recharge" discussion once a week. It sounds totally cheesy, but we have a designated time once a week where we sit down and plan the next week's schedule so we're on the same page. We each tell the other person five sincere (sometimes this takes 20 minutes to really think of something. haha!) compliments about something the other person did that week. And then we talk about one thing we'd like the other person to work on. I find this really helps us to get out our frustrations one at a time in a constructive way. It also allows us time to sincerely thank each other for the good stuff and weed out the less important things that we don't really need to argue about. Explain to your husband how you feel and I'm sure he'll want to work on improving the way he treats you. As a side note, I've found that being a med student wife has really caused me to think selfishly in a lot of ways. On the surface it seems to be the opposite (i.e. I make most of the meals, do stuff around the house, take care of the cars, etc.). In reality, however, I find myself thinking a lot about how I feel, what I want, etc. I need to do a better job at putting myself in my husband's stressful and often overwhelmed shoes. When I try to do that, I think that he reciprocates thoughtful and sensitive feelings toward me in return.

Hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

I hear you! I completely agree. Hopefully you will be able to "recharge" and things will get better!
One time my husband told me he didn't have to do the dishes because he was going to be a doctor. Um jerk! Well going to be a doctor, and you don't have to do the dishes?
Sometimes I repeat his exact words to me to make him completely understand how dumb he sounds sometimes. You are sooo not alone!!!

Melanie said...

Thanks you everyone. Your comments are all very valuable. I think we should definantly try a once a week talk time. I know that I am also selfish sometimes and the farther along in school we've come the more I have recognized this. Medical school is really stressful for our sig others and they really do deserve a break... so do we. Working together so neither part gets completely overwhelmed is key.

Mel and Scott said...


My wife usually uses this account, but I am on break from med school this week and wanted to share my two cents. I'm about to enter my fourth year, so I'm on my way out.

For me, med school was a huge period of change. My vocabulary was changing; my knowledge was changing; my sense of identity was changing; things I would have sworn by for years I am now abandoning because I see a better way (e.g., sleep requirements). As you say, all this change is stressful.

It's easy for us med students to hole up in med student world and assume no one relates to our lives because most people don't care to empathize with us. So we don't relate and communicate as much as we should.

Further, we are still unsure of ourselves and are unsure how we should proceed. So we don't communicate. Or sometimes, we communicate the wrong thing, and feelings get hurt.

But the key thing, as you might guess, I think is open and honest communication. Keep talking. Keep questioning. Keep changing together. Never mock. Do medicine together, and it will be much more rewarding.

You may be selfish at times, but so is he. I promise. Just keep communicating and adjusting. There are no constants in medicine. You will have to do this the rest of your lives together. It can be done.


Ashli and Anthony said...


You are not alone and at times this path can be very frustrating and being the spouse of a medical student can be isolating. Sometimes it feels like he's a member of this exclusive club that you don't have access to. Sometimes it feels like he is becoming a different person, not the one you married and one that at times can be hard to recognize. Sometimes it's easy for him to get wrapped up in his own crap! Hang in there baby!
I agree with what everyone else has said, keep communication open! If it helps you, maybe even try a session with a couple's counselor- it might help to get a completely objective presence who will not judge either of you but help bring out your strengths and resolve your qualms.
Another thing I would suggest is something that may seem like it's from the 1950's, but it has worked for me. The best marriage advice I ever got was "treat him like a Kin, even when he doesn't deserve it". I find that the more I do for my husband (I do pretty much all of the housework, cooking and chores so that he can focus on doing well in school), the more he wants to give back to me and take time for me and our marriage. Never undermine him or make him feel like he is not contributing to your family- he IS. (Not saying that you are, but it's very easy in this situation to get resentful, I know). He may not be earning money yet, he may not have time to support you fully, he may not be mentally present when you are together, and you may be doing the lion's share of domestic drudgery, but if he is focused on learning to become an amazing doctor, it will pay off in the long term for both of you. Sometimes my husband feels guilty and he says, "I'm never around. I don't earn a paycheck. You do all of the chores" and I remind him what he is doing all of this for. I also sometimes remind him to come back down to earth if he is not mentally present with me when we are together ;)
Marriage means to me that you are stronger and better people together than you are apart. Please don't hesitate to tell him how you feel, but also honor the commitment you have made to support him throughout this huge endeavor. In the meantime too, try and do things that make you feel happy :) You deserve to be happy! <3 Sending you so much love I hope this helps! <3

Ashli and Anthony said...

P.S. It should be "treat him like a King, not Kin" ;) tee hee.

Ogg Defying said...

Wow! I almost felt myself speaking through your words. My husband is the same way much of the time and he is an MS 4 (post match). I constantly get the "not right now" from him and it has only gotten worse since year one. Sorry if the same ends up being true for you. I love him SOOOO much and we have a beautiful girl together so I have found a few ways to cope. Because if yours is anything like mine all the communication in the world is not going to do much because it is one way. First, pray a lot. It really does work...it changes him but, more importantly it changes your heart toward him. Second, get support from those who really know what you're going through (like on this blog--but in person is better). Third, remind yourself of what you've set out to do. The commitment you've made in your vows, in telling him you will support him through med school and just building a life and family together. We've been to some pretty dard places...many I don't want to remember but, I believe it's all worth it and only strengthens our love. Do I wish he would talk more...snuggle more...etc you betcha, but, nothing good comes out of dwelling on it (trust me, I know this from experience). Last thing, I was seriously thinking of moving out this week and wierd but, this quote helped me to rise to the challenge. I hope it helps you too.
"You can judge a woman by the size of obsacle it takes to stop her."
I know you'll get through this and will be the better for it. :-)