Thursday, August 16, 2012

has it all been worth it - despite the end result?

So, did anyone read one of the latest comments under the tab "thoughts on being married to a doctor'?  Oh my, it was quite disconcerting.  Here it is:

My surgeon husband of 12 years just made himself a "free agent" when he cheated on me and our three kids with a gal 12 years his junior. 1.5 years later they are still "dating", divorce has been painfully drug out and our kids are suffering. For a man who couldn't be counted on to pick up the kids from school once a week on his 1\2 day of work, he sure has found a ton of time to take multiple vacations with his new gal. Great payback for my support during residency and multiple moves. My has been very very hard on me and our kids for him to attain the skills he has now. They think highly enough of themselves, don't add to their ego. They are not God. Love and support them just as you would if your husband was a carpenter. Do not put up with bad behavior at any stage of a relationship. He gets worshipped every day at work. Please don't add to that grandious ego. And, for anyone "dating" a married doctor. Take a breath, stop and think, is it worth destroying so many lives so you can step in and take the rewards after someone else does the hard work? Its not only is theft.

So, the author packs a lot in that little comment, but makes a few really good points.  The one I want to focus on is how upset she seems in the comment.  It made me think, how would I react if my husband left me after the 12 years of sacrifice our family has experienced during his training.  What if he ran after some young, naive, beautiful girl and spent all of his money, energy, and (newly acquired but absent previously) spare time on... her.

Maybe I am just too tired... but I honestly don't think I would be upset about these years.  I mean, looking beyond the fact that I would feel very betrayed and extremely sad - but focusing on whether I would regret the 11 years that I feel I have given to my husband's training, and to him.  I think this is because these years really have been good years. 

I really have been happy.

Another doctor's wife told me that once, that I would look back at these years and think, 'those were the best years!'  She even went as far as saying that they were 'the best years of her and her husband's life'.  ('What?!' I thought at the time?  'How could she be old enough to have forgotten... all of this?!' - and we hadn't even touched a tip of the iceberg during that conversation which occurred almost 10 years ago.)  But, these years of being poor, sacrificing for each other and for others around us, and living a simple life, really are enjoyable years.  Plus, the baby, toddler, and youth ages are so precious - that might have something to do with my fond memories of these years...

Regardless of what has contributed to the goodness during these extremely busy, sometimes painful, challenging, gruesome years, I think it has been worth it, regardless of the possibility that it may not turn out like I envision it will (or should).

I think this attitude is extremely healthy, but my husband hasn't left me... and things could change my attitude quickly, I realize.  But, I truly and deeply hope that I will never be put to that test...  My heart goes out to you, Anonymous.


From A Doctors Wife said...

We are in our last 10 1/2 months of training. It is coming to an end, and I can honestly say that I am going to miss it. There is something wonderful that happens when you live a life that is full of hard decisions and limited means and time. I would have to agree that I would probably not regret it. If nothing else, for the amazing personal journey I have been on. These have been valuable experiences for me! Of course, I am absolutely positive that I would be upset, bitter, and revengeful for a good while if my husband decided to upset our marital bliss. The way to find real happiness isn't by living in the past, it is by making a future, even when that future doesn't look like the one you had planned. I am so sorry that your reader is hurting. I can't even begin to imagine how devastating that betrayal is. I agree with her comment about not letting his ego grow at home. It sounds harsh, but I totally get it. At work they are elevated - at home they need to be back on equal footing.

Jamie Lamb said...

I think she's right that we should not put up with bad behavior in a relationship. But I think we should specify what "bad behavior" is, and what exactly "putting up with" means. I think affairs, abuse, and things like that are usually reasons for separating. But a lot of "bad behavior" can be worked through.

My husband and I both lead stressful, demanding lives. He as doctor, me as mother of 4 (because I'm often on my own). And we both say and do selfish, mean things sometimes. I think it's very important to respectfully point out that this is not okay! You can be respectful and articulate even when your feelings have been hurt.

But is it worth it? Supporting him through the hard years, working things out, etc... Yes, and no, and does it even matter?? I agreed to do it, therefore I WILL do it, regardless of the reward or lack thereof.

I agree with her when she says "love and support him just as you would if your husband was a carpenter." Difficulty in marriage is always relative. Doctors are not special because they're doctors. They're special because they're human beings, just like everyone else!

MedWife said...

I am leaving a little blog response! Thanks for the great post!