thoughts on being married to a doctor

THE BEST ADVICE

The best advice a doctor's wife gave me before we started medical school was: "have NO expectations." This, she told me, would ensure that I would "never be disappointed." At the time it seemed like a dismal attitude to have towards my husband and our relationship, but, honestly, it has probably saved our marriage. More importantly, I think it trained me to consistently assume that my husband is doing his best. This attitude eliminates a lot of issues stemming from unmet expectations and disappointment.

DATE NIGHT

Time and communication are essential for a strong, medical marriage. Date night is essential. Even during our pre-med years, we went out on a date together every single weekend. This was sacred time for us together, without distractions, totally focused on each other. My husband still expects a weekly date; he even admits that HE is the one who "needs" a date night every weekend. Sometimes we trade babysitting with other couples and just go running together on a Saturday morning. We never go to movies together - we need time to actually talk, reconnect, and have eye contact (oh so rare with four kids around).

AVOID UNNECESSARY ARGUMENTS

A career in medicine is a demanding one. It constantly seems like there is just not enough "together" time. Without time together, the level of communication in the marriage relationship suffers. We try to resolve disagreements immediately, and always with honesty.  It is important to avoid unnecessary arguments and nit-picking with a spouse. When we are both feeling the stress of medical board exams, finances, or unmet expectations, I have discovered that sometimes, we both just need a "time-out" rather than to "duke it out."

A friend told me the other day that her granddaughter seemed upset so she asked if she could help her with something.  Her granddaughter replied, "It's okay, Grandma, I usually feel better after ten or 15 minutes."  Remember this when you are upset about something.  Give yourself some time.  Usually we actually do feel better after an hour or two, or even a day.

FLEXIBILITY

During his intern year, my husband discovered that his night's sleep was virtually undisturbed by our 6-month-old and 2-year-old if he slept in our guest bedroom. Since becoming a doctor, his sleep and comfort have become much more important. He used to only use the extra bedroom if he had a test the following day or if he was post call. While studying for his board exams, he slept there often. I had to remind myself often that this is the life that we chose together, despite all of the possible heartaches that could come with it.  Board exams will come and go.

Bottom line: experiences during these years will be replaced with new ones and life is too important and too short to get upset about little things.  I feel that if I have a positive attitude and communicate openly with my husband, then we can survive anything.

SUPPORT

A strong support system for a doctor's spouse during medical training is essential. Other doctors' spouses are going through very similar kinds of experiences. It helps in huge ways to laugh together about unique, incredible, and even sad and lonely experiences. The friends I have made with other doctors' wives during the years in medical school, intern year, and now residency have become near life-lines for me.  Don't be shy.  Form strong alliances with others.  Don't bottle everything up.

COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS

At times it has been difficult to feel that we are unified. My husband has amazing goals, accomplishments, responsibilities. We are involved in such different activities every day, and our worries and problems could not possibly be more different. Of course we love each other, we love our children, and we are unified in our desire to have a strong family and serve the community we live in.  But, sometimes it feels like even our common goals are intangible and quite distant. 

One thing that we decided to do before we started medical school was become involved together in a hobby. We chose to race in triathlons together. It immediately became a ton of fun for us and continues to be an exciting part of our relationship together. Once we sign up for a race, our date nights become bike rides, runs and even sometimes a swim in an indoor pool or lake. We love having tangible goals that we are working on together, and triathlons allow us to be competitive and unified with each other in a fun way.

TRADITIONS

Our religious beliefs and traditions we have either continued from our own families or began with our children became even more vital during my husband's medical residency.  We make it a point to read from the scriptures every day together.  This time is sacred.  Sometimes my husband is not home.  We discuss values, concerns, applications of lessons found in the scriptures.  The atmosphere in our home is different, it is more peaceful and happier.  My husband and I both come from strong and large families.  We carry on traditions that provided us with comfort and helped us to feel secure and loved as children and young adults.  Continuing these traditions reminds us and our children that we are part of something bigger than just us, than just our little family and our daily struggles.  This reminder is strengthening and essential during the difficult years of residency.

133 comments:

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm so happy to know another doctor's wife. (I too wish I had researched more in depth the other doc's wives blogs out there - I would have come up with a much more clever blog title!)

I so agree with all these points about surviving medicine. It's a tricky business, but oh so worth it for the one you love. :-)

Amy said...

I am married to a DH and what helps me the most is knowing my whole life revolves around him and medicine always come first.

I have no support system; you are so fortunate to have weekly dates with your DH. I think we date twice a year. Maybe that is why I am grouchy and can't cheer when my husband becomes a director for yet another board at the hospital?

We have 5 kids and my eldest wants to become a doctor. I told her that is noble but she would be selfish to marry and work 80 hour work weeks yet if she does marry I can not see any man who would selflessly give over decades for the sake of his wife's career. Never seen it happen. A few years, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this advice!! My boyfriend is currently in his third year of medical school. Things have been mostly good, but there are always challenges to deal with. I'm so glad you mentioned some of the things that I have been suggesting to my boyfriend for some time, but he has been skeptical about. I think having a set date night and/or starting a hobby together would be a great idea, but he worries that one of us will get upset if we have to cancel one week for work or that it will take the spontaneity out of our relationship. However, I'm going to show him your post tonight and hopefully he will agree that it's worth a try!

Thanks again!
KS

Anonymous said...

My husband is midway throug his first year of cardiology fellowship and we have been having a tough time lately. I have been with him through medical school and residency for internal medicine, which was tough, but manageable. I think nothing really prepared either of us for fellowship though. I went in thinking "oh, we can definitely do this. I mean, there was no way it could be worse than intern year." But the hours are worse and the stress is even greater for him. This has all put an incredibly strain on our 2-year marriage (we have been together for a total of almsot 8 years). I think more than anything, the thing that gets me is this feeling of being marginalized in his life. This is not to say that I need to be the center of attention all the time, but just that I think all the time spent alone makes it more difficult to connect with each other. The date night strategy is a great idea, and we have tried it, but he is sometimes on call every other night for a month and it makes it tough (the nights he's on call he likes to be home just in case and the nights he's not on call, he needs to sleep in case he's up all night the following night). Anyway, I am not sure what the future holds for us, but it was nice to find your blog and see other couples dealing with the same challenges.

Anonymous said...

I am engaged to a doctor who will complete his residency in 2 years. All around me, I am being asked if I am ready to be a doctor's wife, and do I know what is expected of me? Am I sure I can handle the lifestyle? I appreciate knowing all you have mentioned since it gives me a bit of insight and some real good tips. But I'm wondering about one thing: Do I have cause to be scared out of my mind, or should I just take a chill pill? Again, reading your blog definitely opened up my eyes to many things I was totally oblivious to.

sabrina said...

Im a 19 year old female who is pre med at a university right now. although I wont be the wife of a doctor I will have a doctor's husband. although I enjoy my singlehood i realize that once I hit medical school in a couple of years my "free time" will be gone. Its great to hear advice from those who know. I feel selfish to never be around but this is my dream so much so that I refuse to have children because I dont want my kids to have a workaholic mother who's never there. great tips!

Anonymous said...

Good advice for "newbie" docs and spouses. Much of it rang true back when my spouse was in med school, internship and residency. Once he's out of training, though, the medical marriage is much like any other marriage and the success strategies are really all the same. My spouse and I are best friends first and I think that's what really makes it work. And don't get hung up on all the "lofty doc" stuff. He might be a doc by day but when he's not at the hospital he's a regular guy just like anyone else. Keep your power, girls, and keep the marriage egalitarian. Once last piece of advice to you girls who are "dating" or "engaged to" a doc: Don't confuse "dating" and "engaged to" with "married to" - get the ring on your finger and seal the deal. Until you do he's a free agent and in high demand.

Anonymous said...

I was happy to read your blog. I am not quite a spouse of a doctor. But, I am a 3rd year medical student and my fiance is a 2nd year medical student. And believe me, I can relate to many of the things you talk about in your blog. I don't know if it's worse for us: but the thought of us both not getting in to a residency nearby makes me want to cry!! really! For me, it's been an inner battle with myself, should I follow my husband or should he follow me as I am one year ahead. I just pray daily that no matter what we end up doing we are 30 min or less away from each other. I will have to keep you update on where we match. T-1yr for me T-2yrs for him..

Residency Widow said...

I think a lot of what you say here really rings true, especially the part about the Date Night. I'm the wife of an intern and we try to make a night each week to go do something, just the two of us. Despite whatever may come our way, this relationship is the most important and even though it's forever it needs to be nourished.

A lot of what you say about Support was what I expected to find in residency. I expected to find this sisterhood of wives that would comfort, uplift, and laugh with one another. The reality, however, has been far from it, as the small number of wives we do have in the program seem to be busy raising their kids or not really interested in developing these relationships. I can't quite put my finger on it. I knew this bothered me, but it wasn't until I read this section that it hit much how much it bothered me and how alone I feel.

Anonymous said...

Things are very hard for me right now too! My husband is finishing up residency and is never around. On top of this we are going to have our first child on April 12th and I feel very alone. Today was my birhtday and my husband spent the whole day at work and all night working on his notes. He came to bed at 1:00 a.m. I don't know if I can make this work. I feel very discouraged.

Anonymous said...

I have been a doctor's wife for almost 2 years - and we have been together for about 7 years, since right before intern year. Right now, my husband is in his third and final year of an extremely draining and stressful fellowship. I never thought fellowship would be worse than residency and boy was I wrong. We keep "waiting" for it to get easier, and every year it just doesn't! We have a strong relationship, so I am lucky - but lately the demands of family are becoming a bit too much to handle - and I really don't know how to 'deal' with my inlaws and 'sharing' my husband with them. In a few months, he will begin working, and his first few years will be demanding (what else is new). I always felt guilty for feeling bored, depressed or anxious about spending so much time apart from him, but thanks all, for making me realize that I am not alone! I really wish that I can figure out how to balance the demands of his family and our life together and make everyone happy - I think it is going to be a long road ahead, especially considering that his practice is local to our families. I am so happy about 'starting' our life together in a few months, but I feel like I am totally setting myself up for disappointment. I have to breathe.

Anonymous said...

I have been a doctor's wife for 1 year now and we've been together for 7 years. I find that one of the most important things is to make sure you have a support system, whether they are other doc wives, family or friends. I chose to get married and move across the state to live with my husband and left my job, family and friends and let me tell you, it's been tremendously difficult to meet new friends in the new town. My plan was to start school as soon as I got married but when he was told he would be going to another hospital, my masters got put on hold. He is truly my best friend, my life partner but I can't help, at times, feel extremely lonely and depressed. And as an anonymous comment put it, date night is sometimes out of the question because he is using his "free" time as catch up on sleep time. I've only been married for 1 year and the situation is kicking me right on my behind. It's been really tough and am only hoping to see a glimpse of the reward soon, whether it is simply watching a movie and actually finish it in one sitting or finally having dinner in the same room. Two very simple things that require so much effort and understanding.

Anonymous said...

In response to the anonymous comment posted April 3, 2011. I am not married but have been dating a medical student for about four years, he is in his second year of residency and it has honestly been difficult because when he graduated medical school he had to move five hours away to start his residency program so we travel back and forth and our relationship is serious but im scared that things will never get better as far as his busy schedule, even when im there to visit he is on call and im basically on a mini vacation by myself. We both love eachother and I support him as he supports me while im in school as well. We have discussed marriage and kids but I dont want to live a life of lonliness...should I discuss my fears with him?

Anonymous said...

I'm responding to the comment on April 11, 2011 - I posted on April 3, 2011. Sounds like you are going through my same fears and concerns. I believe that marriage and kids is not something that can't be handled, I'm sure that once kids arrive somehow both parents will do whatever it takes to be there for the kids, however I'm also sure that you will be the one most likely to carry the weight a bit more and of course feel it too. In my experience discussing my fears with my husband has at times lead to arguing esp. because it takes a lot of time to talk about these things, you cant just spend 30 min one day and then be 100% fine with it. Even though he has assured me that everything would work out fine, I always wish it could be very clear as to what that means considering all I see now (him working/studying so much)and when i try to talk about it more, it seems to irritate and frustrate him because there is nothing more he can do to show me that it will be fine not to mention it takes time away from his studies. Now to answer you question more directly, I believe you should discuss your fears with him so he understands exactly where you want your relationship to go for both of you, otherwise you might grow resentful of him and he may have no clue as to why. Loneliness seems to be a part of being a wife of a doc in training, and at times all I can think of is simply getting over a day at a time. The minute i start thinking too far ahead, i get overwhelmed... but i also believe that if you love each other there has to be a bit of sacrifice on both ends. i wish you luck and strength!

Anonymous said...

Hello I am responding to the May 1 post. I posted April 11, 2011. Thank you so much for responding to my post as you also know it is kind of difficult to vent about our fears and concerns to friends and family when they are not familiar with the hardship of being with a Doctor. I will definitely take your advice and talk with him about my concerns I truely love him and want us to see eye to eye about certain issues since we are working towards being in this for the long run. I will keep you posted and thanks again for your thoughtful response I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I've found your blog. I'm engaged to a med student (we met in undergrad 2 years ago) and I've watched him go from playful college kid to serious med student. He's just wrapping up his first year. I'm not in medicine (I'll be graduating with a degree in journalism in December) but I know the trials he has to go through with difficult schedules (I work for a morning show from 2am-8am). Luckily, this seems to work out. We love each other very much and are each others support system. There are a few things I've come to accept, though:
Our house will never be clean
We will never be caught up on laundry
We will probably always eat take out instead of cooking
Sleeping next to one another is something we now cherish
I will not be a young parent (I'm 21 now and we don't plan on having children until our thirties)
I will always love him and would never make him give up what he loves, just as he would never make me do the same.

Thank you for your blog. I'll keep reading :)

Amanda

Anonymous said...

I am married to an OB physician (10 years). Always know the hospital and patients come first-it is just a given. This I knew before we married and accepted. We have 2 school age children. We make time for each other every chance we get which sometimes is during the noon hour for lunch.This usually works out great! We have lunch and have each others undivided attention while the kids are at school. I agree, girls, it can be a challenge to find time together! This is so important in any marriage~Doctor or not!
Thank you for this web site blog-I have enjoyed reading these similiar experiences of ladies married to physicians or soon to be physicians.

LM said...

Thank you so much for putting this Blog together. I am married to a pre-med student and he takes the MCAT exam in July 2012. We have a 2 year old, 4 year old (girls), and our third baby is due on August 15, 2012. I would love to have tips on how to get through the stressful time of preparing for the MCAT. I don't drive and we live far away from our family. I will be checking your Blog frequently. God Bless you and all the other doctors' wives that have transparently shared their experiences on your page.

Anonymous said...

Hey. I am in my first year of medicine..(im a girl) and i have a long way to make it ..My boyfriend and i have been togther for 2 years and he has finishd his masters in buisness and is residing in Asia in his job. I wana get married but im thinkin wether it wud be wise to get married after i finish studyin med..OR..marry now and we live seperately in two corners of the world..as in LOng distance Marriage..Plx express what yu think as you ladies are more experienced in this stuff! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog. It is exactly what I needed. I've been married over 4 years to a 1st year GI fellow. We've been together since he started medical school. I've moved to be with him for med school, then we moved again for residency and just moved again for fellowship. It's been tough to always move and find a new job, friends etc... I agree a support system is needed. However, like the comment posted on March 18th the program only had one or two wives and the ones they do have are busy with their kids. I keep busy with my own activities, but it becomes really hard to have a date night. He's usually trying to catch up on sleep working on a presentation, patient notes, etc... I know communication is key, but it's helpful to know that others are going through the same experience.

eric said...

i am newly married to an oncology fellow, in her last year. she is native of india, so we are having extra stressors of figuring out via issues, etc., since the job situation for J-1 graduates is dismal and the medical groups take advantage of the doctors' status. anyway, so far, so good, except yes, i am in new york and she is in texas -- ahh, nothing like non-reality! anyway, nice to read up on these issues and the like -- and next, we need to look for jobs together -- i am an attorney with my mba, but it seems to pale in comparison to her level of employability or contribution. i am over the "wouldn't it be nice to sit at home" phase, thankfully -- that just sounds depressing after a bit. onward!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I've been married to a doctor for 5 years now (been together for 11 years) and he is in his first year of Anaesthetics. I just feel relieved that there are others of you out there in the same boat as me. Things are very very difficult at the moment. I just pray that we can make it through the next 3 years. Today, I actually feel like I might literally go insane.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask for some advice from the spouses of Docs or Docs to be on how to handle the house responsibilities. I understand that as Docs they have their hands full most of the time if not all but I still wonder how to divide chores without creating too much pressure or extra pressure/demands. I have been married for 2 years now and I'm concerned that if we dont work something out soon, it will only get worse as he dives into his profession even further. One of my concerns is that we have started talking about starting a family soon and I would be 100% sure if only I knew that he was going to help me out, but when i think of how extremely uncomfortable it feels to even as him to walk the dogs once in a while it scares me to even think about having kids. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I recently left my family, friends and state to move across the country to be with my best friend and boyfriend during his residency. I was convinced that if I didn't move to be with him we would never have a shot at a real relationship because his training would take so long - residency! Yikes! So now I am here and I have made a go of it for a year, found a new job, made new friends, tried to grow to like a culture that is foreign to me. My question is, my 30th birthday weekend is coming up and when I mentioned it to him he informed me that an old friend from college's wedding was that weekend and that he wanted to go. He hadn't realized it was the same weekend as my birthday, or even that it was a big birthday - 30! When I expressed how upset and sad I was he told me simply that he works hard and that is how he wants to spend his money and what he plans to do. Of course he invited me to come with him, but he is in the wedding, so I'll be sitting there watching him in the wedding on my 30th birthday weekend. My actual birthday is Monday and he'll be working all day. What upsets me most is that he didn't realize it was my birthday, or a big one and then that his reaction was to get defensive about his plans rather than offer an alternative for celebrating with me. Days later he simply said, "What do you want to do for your birthday?". I felt insane and crazy for being upset and considered just leaving ASAP. We aren't married. He hasn't proposed and instead of saving for a ring he is going to use the money to travel to go to his friend's wedding. We keep getting more and more wedding invitations to our apt and with each one I feel like my dreams float farther and farther away. Is this a red flag or are we both just being stubborn?

Anonymous said...

Ladies, question for you: how high/med/low is your doctor partner's libido? I find that the fellow ship has created an environment of chronic stress and chronic sleep deprivation that is absolutely affecting his libido. I would like to know if this is normal. For example,is it reasonable to expect sex 1x a week? 2x? 0x?

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

It's really interesting to read all of your experiences and how you've worked through the difficult times. I'm not married to a doctor, but have been with one through her training and early years (5 years) - she's currently in her first year of speciality training as a paediatrician (this is in the UK by the way). We moved city over 6 months ago which was in the best interests of her career as well as mine. We try to have a 'date' night although at the moment it is about once a month. Recently though she has been quite distant, although this may be due to a combination of reasons - such as family sickness and now being on nights.

I work in a different industry and have worked away from home my fair share. This has been a good distraction when she's doing awkward shifts but coordinating time together can be difficult. I don't want a life of paranoia and loneliness but she is the person I want to be with and I want to ask her the most important question of my life this summer.

Is the answer really just communication and uninterrupted alone time? What do you do while they are away? Last year I trained for and ran a marathon, which was a pretty good distraction, but with the move recently and work being quieter than usual I'm finding it tougher than I have before.

Thanks for adding your experiences. I look forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these thoughts! I have been dating a great guy for about a year now, and we started dating shortly after my parents died of cancer. I am professor, and he is a surgeon in his first year as an attending. When we started dating, he was in his fellowship. We are long distance, and it is hard, because when we are together I spend much of time alone waiting for him to come back from the hospital. When he does, he is often quiet and exhausted. I want so much to be supportive, but since my family is gone, I find myself afraid that I will come off as needy if I ask for attention or more affection. Reading your blog has helped, especially in seeing that these lonely feelings are normal. Thanks for sharing.

Erin said...

I just happened upon your blog (I'm a doctor's wife as well - rural family medicine) and I just wanted to agree with you that "have no expectations" is awesome advice. I was actually just talking to my husband about that the other day, at first he said that it depressed him when I said that, but really, it helps! I have found that the only times I get bitter about his profession is when I expect him to be somewhere/do something/be able to do what he said he would be able to do. If I just kind of take things as they come, everyone is happier. If I just assume he won't be home to eat dinner with us, it's a happy surprise when he is. So for anyone reading this - I completely agree with all your advice!!

KSmith said...

I would suggest having a list of chores that need to be done, and anyone can check them off.
That being said, when you marry a doctor, you marry the profession too. The schedule is erratic at best. As for having children, expect to be a single parent. Your spouse can be involved with anything that does not require a scheduled time. In childhood, that includes the majority.
That is speaking from my own relationship. Be thankful that you chose a man with passion and drive; realizing that his energies will not always focused
on you. But you will benefit if you can help him maintain his strength.
See if you can become involved only if it follows your strengths and desires.

Anonymous said...

I've been searching around for advice, and this blog page is probably the most informative on the topic of dating a doctor as I've been able to find anywhere.

However, my situation is very different. You see, I am the guy, and she is the established doctor (dermatologist). I am in the IT field, and so have no medical knowledge at all. I've started dating this girl a few months ago, but it's only now that it dawned on me how hard it is to date with her crazy work schedule.

I do think this girl is a keeper, and I'm more than willing to tolerate, be patient and live with the crazy schedule. But it does make it hard for me to develop and strengthen our relationship. How does one go about trying to develop a relationship with someone whose schedule is so unpredictable and whose free time is so sparse? It makes it hard to plan any sort of date.

I realize my situation is less about marriage, and more about dating, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

salim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liz said...

Anonymous re. dating a doctor: My advice would be to become as familiar as possible with her schedule, and then plan activities that will allow you both to get to know each other better, (avoid movies!), like hiking, walking, museums, biking, and other activities that allow you to talk and develop your relationship. If you do not have a lot of time together, make every second count! And good luck!! She sounds like she is worth the extra work.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm so glad to be able to enter this forum. I am so in need of a support group. I'm engaged to a junior intern and we're supposed to get married soon. Since internship started, I always feel disappointed with my fiance'. He never has time for me. Am I ready for this?

Anonymous said...

I chanced upon this post because I was looking for help. I have been married to an OBGYN for some 10 yrs now. Immediateley after we got married I realised things were not going to be as I thought. I was going to be having leftovers of everything; time, energy, etc. I was going to be alone in the marrige working hard and planning for the two of us whiles my wife's emotions and energy was spent on other people. I wish I had not ignored the signs whiles we dated but now I am out of energy. I have believed in for better for worse but I cant do it any longer. My wife expects me to understand her situation but whiles I am willing to understand, I wish she would make some effort to etch out some quality time for us when she is not stressed out and grumpy and irritable. We seem to be one two different planets communication in two different languages. Is there hope for us?

Liz said...

One thing that has helped my husband and I was a marriage class (we joke that it was more like marriage therapy) when we had only been married two years. We were "forced" to discuss things such as our deepest goals, desires, priorities, and for us, possibly most importantly, how we show love and also perceive that we are being loved. We still joke about the latter. I still assume at times that my husband will recognize that I love him if I do his laundry and keep the house clean and care well for our children, etc. but that is totally not how he perceives being loved by me. Does that make sense? Anyways, after I was temporarily "crazy" during my masters degree studies, my husband and I began reading the book: "The Medical Marriage: Sustaining Healthy Relationships for Physicians and Their Families". I think we had been too busy to invest in our relationship, and in the book were reminded of how much we needed to work for our relationship. I know some people don't like the sound of "working for a relationship", but it can be so rewarding. Anyways, good luck, I hope it works out. Really.

NA said...

I am a 40 year engineering graduate from one of best engineering colleges of the country (I mention this becoz I want to stress the fact that I have a hard-earned career). I am talking to a Surgeon from US, from an equally good college, for a possible marriage.

He says he has put-in a lot of his life into his profession and his career is very important to him. But he does want to get married to and to have kids.

I have recently got admission in PhD and would be joining shortly.

We have still not decided about us, since it is at a very early stage. But he told me that he needs a wife who could take care of him, kids and house. Given the fact that doctors, esp surgeons, have a very busy life in US, it seems logical.

He also wants to have kids soon since I am already 40. The dilemma I have now is: I do not know how would our relationship shape up, after marriage, assuming everything goes fine. Should I consider giving up my PhD plans, take up whatever job I can based on my commitments or I should look for somebody with whom my profession is more compatible.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Me and my husband has been married for almost 2 years now, and have been together for almost 12years. He is still in residency. I can honestly relate to all the stories i read from your blog. I too feel that I am becoming a mistress to his own career. Too many disappointments, sick nights without your husbands, his absence during family gatherings, my usual OBGYN checkup without him, even simple things of hugging and spending quality time is always remote. Much more, since I am having a hard time to conceive, all adds up to my frustrations. I honestly believe i need more support from him. But it turns out I need to understand him more than I should be understood...Take care of him more than I should be taken cared of. It has always been like this. I'm still holding on and willing to wait for "Better days" with him after his residency. Till then, I know I should be more patient and understanding than any ordinary wife is. A Doctor's wife: Modern Day Martyrs.

Anonymous said...

It's a red flag....run!

Anonymous said...

No

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I moved in together when he started his fellowship last year. I was shocked how much the stress, lack of sleep, etc. affected his libido. We went from having sex several times a day on the weekends, to once a week. It was a huge shock to me and caused a lot of worry on my part. It had nothing to do with our relationship and so much to do with the pressures and demands of his work. Now he is into his second year, the schedule has improved some and so has his libido :)

Tiffany Ortiz said...

I am married to an intern this is his first year residency, unfortunatley he didn't match so this is only a pre-lim year and now I know in my thoughts we may have to move again, so I get upset when I think why even try and get attached to the community, neighbors, new friends...but then it hit me. As humans we really need people in our lives especially in a time like this, although we might have to move again and go through the whole match process again there is still hope and there is still a very much needed assist with friends, and family in our lives. We have been together since his second year of med school so I have gone through step one and step two and all the shelf exams that were taking up his time, now I have to do the 80 hours (thank God for the cap) and usually he works more than that... Anyway all I am saying is it's nice to know that other people are going through this and I have come to know some amazing girls - we have a Partners in Medicine group its a spouse support group for resident wives and we have a book club/wine club, movie dates, picnics, play dates etc...so maybe you could start one or maybe you already have one around so make sure you check into that because it has helped me a lot to be able to talk with them!! Good luck to all of you and I know we will all make it! :) God be with you all! T.O. Hershey, PA

Anonymous said...

If I thought my fiancé saw himself as a "free agent ... In high demand" I would be out the door.

Anonymous said...

I am married to an interventional cardiologist. I worked my butt off and supported our family through internship, residency and two fellowships always looking forward to the day when he would finally be in practice and things would get 'easier". They don't get easier, the demands of the hospital and patients will always come first. As others mentioned, when they are home they are often exhausted, catching up on sleep, preparing a presentation or catching up on notes. My advice is, as others have said, have no expectations, expect that you will spend the majority of holidays, birthdays, family gatherings, valentines day, anniversaries alone or with other family or friends. Expect that you will do the majority of parenting and attend school functions alone. Hire out as many household chores as you can afford (housekeeping, lawn care etc). Realize that your Dr spouse isn't intentionally wanting to make you feel lonely or depressed, and they most likely feel as isolated by their work as you do.Try to have a date night once a week and when your Dr Spouse has time off go somewhere! When you work this hard, you need to play hard!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely! 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 point...it 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 adultry..it is theft.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that I came across your blog. I'm am dating a guy that is studying for his mcat he only has a couple weeks to go until he writes but I find myself getting mad and upset over little things. I understand that he us trying to study but I'm doing everything in my power to.help him. I bring him food I make sure he's happy. I try to visit for a couple hours here and there. We go for hikes with the dogs and bike rides but I feel so lonely and it breaks my heart every time I have to leave his house because I know that I won't see him for a week or more. We are fighting and he has no patience which I understand but its really hard to accept for me because I feel like I need more from him out of the relationship. Its been over a year and I don't know what to do? Should I stay or let him do his thing. Is it really worth it to give up what I want out of a relationship because its hard to balance studying (which I understand is stressful) and being with the person who makes you happy. Why is it up to the wife or girlfriend to make it work and face being lonely forever. Why shouldn't both people be responsible for making it work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad i found your blog. i've been dating my boyfriend for 5 years (3.5 of them long distance), through his applying to medical school, finishing medical school, and now starting internship, most of that time long-distance, while i get my phd. the reality is starting to set in that i will have to schedule my life around his and take more initiative not only running my own life but now his (?!) in terms of chores, planning stuff, not being upset when he's being tired/neurotic and not realizing it, etc. i don't even think of the future any more because i can't even imagine how i'm going to be able to maintain my sanity for long enough to get married/have kids/etc., haha. i only see him on weekends but it's usually to tend to stuff he needs to do (groceries, chores, prepping food for the week) while he complains about having no time. he basically seems to want me to sit around while he gets stuff done, and he gets annoyed when i say i want to leave his house. so lately i sort of dread having to see him, haha. maybe this will change, or i'll get used to it, but anyway, thanks for your blog, it's given me some serious perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....
I am engaged to a Doctor and I must say that all this posts are kinda scary.
I am someone who loves quality time a lot.
But I'm glad for all the advice I read on this blog. I do hope I'm able to make the necessary sacrifices to make my marriage work.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank all the respondents and the blog author for sharing.
I married my husband 11 years ago, when he was an undergrad student. He did not go to med school right after getting his BA, and we lived through his brief stint in grad school, preparations for MCAT, applying to med school, med school...While I was doing my Ph.D. I've been working like crazy myself, so it is easy for me to understand time issues involved in drs' training. He is a resident now, and I am a professor...The problem is that we could not find a geographic location that could accommodate both of us, and this is a second year that we live apart, in two different states. It is very painful, considering that we have an 8-year old son. Sometimes I seat and think how we can make this work when both of us have career aspirations...I am trying to find a tenure-track position close to my husband this year, and I just keep my fingers crossed that I can do that. Best to all of you, and may God (Fate) help us all!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ladies- My man is an emergency room physician in his mid 50's. How do you handle the ocd behavior? He has lived alone forever and now we are living together, engaged, and of course, I have moved to another state to be with him. We have known each other for many years. The house is perfect, with nothing out of place. I feel like I am under the microscope. He is toning down his opinions and ocd ways a little, to be fair to him,
I try to ignore the strong opinions, and him rearranging things. I have only been living with him for a month. I had to lobby and cry alot so I could bring my dog up, I am not sure how that will go because dogs have hair, need to go out, and the house might get messed up. By the way the dog is a corgie!

So any support on how to deal with ocd behavior, heavy handed opinions, would be helpful. He loves me and would do anything to make me happy. So far I have been sad most of the time. My job starts soon and in January I get started on my masters degree at a new school. We can talk about everything, but I don't want him to feel as if he is under the microscope.

Anonymous said...

My relationship is the same way. He wants me to sit around while he does his stuff. If i want to go for a walk, he has to prepare for it. He can't just put his shoes on and go. It takes him about 20 minutes to get ready. We just moved in together and I am very afraid of his ocd ways and heavy opinions. The house has to be perfect and I am unable to do things the correct way. I moved out of sate to be with him. Moved into his house and it is hard to fit in. We love each other and have known each other for years. I need suggestions to handld the neurotic behavior, ocd, and opinions. I know it will get better over time. But i too am afraid to endure this. It is funny that we are all anonymous.
Do any of your husbands drink alot of wine? He does.

Ryan Levine said...

If anyone interested in dating a doctor and try their luck,you can visit No-Scrubs a special social network just for doctors and physicians.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married for about 4 years and together since we were undergrads, before he chose medicine as his profession. He's now in his 3rd year of a 4 year residency program and is hoping to do a 2 year fellowship next.

I work full time as well and have supported him throughout med school. I make significantly more money than he does as a resident, but I know that my job is secondary. I expect to give up my career once he finishes his training and we start a family. With his busy schedule, all of the household chores (laundry, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, bill paying, etc.) are typically done by me. He'll pitch in when he can, but that isn't too often.

We're generally very happy when we're together, but like everyone else, it isn't always easy to find the time between his schedule and mine. He isn't always around for holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries. On top of his work schedule, there are other demands on his time like his family and friends. I do feel frustrated sometimes when spends his limited free time to go out with the guys, but I realize that he needs this release every once in a while.

I've learned that when I need attention, it's best to ask for it rather than wasting time acting sad or frustrated. I know that time spent together even when we're both just sleeping is valuable. Not having expectations, as others mentioned, is also key to reducing feelings of frustration. Communication is crucial, and even if we don't see each other for several days at a time, it's important to be on the same page.

It is helpful to know that there are others who are experiencing the same emotions and to hear about your coping methods and advice. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. My husband is a medical student, so I have a few years until I'm a "doctor's wife." :) I also have an MPH degree, and am currently working and trying to support us while he's in school. But we'd like to have children soon, so I'm looking forward to reading through the archives of your blog to see how you've made it work!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read the concerns of so many doctor's wives. I have been married to a doctor for 29 years now and think I have felt or experienced many of the worries expressed.

Having no expectations and being flexible is very important. Be prepared to experience many disappointments, such as missed events, delayed arrivals and early departures due to patient needs.

Unfortunately, it does not get easier, just different. it may seem like your marriage is hostage to medicine and in some ways it is. A good doctor must be willing to sacrifice his own needs for the good of his patient and as his wife, you sacrifice as well.

We raised 2 wonderful children who are now happy and successful adults. I am so grateful to have had the ability to instill in them that family comes first. My husband did his best to do the same though a medical career makes it a challenge. Neither of our children ever considered medicine as a career after seeing how much their dad missed out on. Their perspective gives you an idea of how important your role as wife and mother is to the success of the family of a doctor's wife.

If you are married to your best friend, then love him unconditionally, share the struggles, accept the sacrifices and know that if he could, he would rather be with you than with a sick or dying patient. When you are disappointed that he is called into the hospital, focus on what he is providing for someone in need. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous Jan 25, 2012
He clearly does not care for you the way that you care for him. My husband is a 3rd year ENT resident, and we started dating right before he started med school. I have a 12 year old daughter from my first marriage and so we didn't move in with him until he and I had been together for 2 years. We lived about 100 miles apart for the first 2 years. The point to this story is that when he had any free time he wanted to spend it with me. He made a big deal out of my birthday, holidays, etc. The fact that your guy came right out and said he didn't care what you thought and that we was going to spend his money and time the way he wanted indicates that he still thinks of himself as single. Sorry that you went through that! I hope that you have left him at this point, and that you are happy.

Mandy said...

Thank you for your blog. I am a soon-to-be Surgeon's wife and my boyfriend and I have started discussing the changes that are going to happen when he enters his residency. It started making me feel very nervous and apprehensive at the thought of having a family, and having all of his time be consumed by his work. It is nice to hear that I am not alone, and that we can do it.

Anonymous said...

Marry an ER doc they have plenty time and money. That's my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm from South Africa. My husband is specialising in Urology. We have been married 2 years and have a 4 month old baby. This is hard. So hard. I feel as if I am a single parent. I feel as if my husband and I just live passed eachother. Good to see that I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I've been married to a surgeon for 4 1/2 years and have 2 kids. Did everything in my power to support him, whether it be financial, emotional, etc. Moved homes 5 times in that time.
I've found it extremely difficult particularly as he does not know how to communicate. Made many attempts to do things together, but always get excuses of being tired or not interested. Don't have any support as family is too far away and we're always on the move. And to top things off, last night I caught him cheating. He says he hasn't loved me for the last 2 years and was only staying for the sake of the kids. He's emotionally threatening me to keep his infidelities a secret.

To sum up, they're incapable of loving anyone but themselves and the thought of a marriage counselor freaks them out as this would mean confronting their ultimate excuse of "I'm too busy".

Anonymous said...

Quick question... My doctor husband and I have been married for 2 and a half years. We have not been intimate in 6 weeks now! He is always on call, too stressed, too tired etc etc. We do have a small baby but he is usually alseep by 7:30 pm and sleeps through- plus I do ALL the parenting so he can't use our baby as an excuse. Should I be worried? I trust him and I highly doubt he's getting "it" from someone else. Have any of you wives found the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Be careful girls...I know a Doctor who drug his wife and 2 children across the US to begin his residency. He ended up cheating with one of the nurses and his wife left him. He married the new girl then cheated on her! Don't think your life is going to be all rainbows and great lifestyles. More than often, these men cheat and will trade up as soon as they start making some money. I would rather being with a man who makes less and is faithful but that is just me!!

Anonymous said...

"Marry an ER doc they have plenty time and money. That's my two cents."

Then watch him CHEAT with one of the nurses and lie to you about it. I've seen it happen all the time.

Anonymous said...

I am a 20 year old premed student and have been in a relationship for three years. I was with him before I even started college and the past year was especially tough as I am getting more and more busy. He isn't in school and doesn't have much idea about what it is like to be in my shoes. I want to make this relationship work so bad, but I feel like he will never understand. It is coming close to the time where I will be preparing for the MCAT and it is going to get a lot more hectic than it has been. Everyday he asks me, "What are you doing tonight?" and I always reply by saying I'll be doing homework and studying. He's so used to me saying that I sometimes wonder why he even has to ask. I am worried I won't be able to give him my everything, and the wonderful years of commitment and time spent with him will one day only be memories
:(

Becoming a doctor is my dream, and I have worked incredibly hard thus far. Is it wrong that I feel guilty??

embers said...

I am so glad to have found this blog too. Reading all your comments makes me feel sometimes uplifted, other times scared as hell. I have only been dating my boyfriend for just over 3 months,and he has just started his 3rd year in med school. We met at home just before he went back to school and even though we only had a week together, it was whirlwind and we already spoke of marriage and kids. He doted on me, and we had long skype conversations for the first few weeks.
Now he is studying for this big exam and I have seen a very different side to him. While I admire his dedication, his focus and intelligence, it has been extremely hard on me. The hardest thing is the feeling of being completely shut out. I do get the odd text but now with 3 weeks to his exam, calls are out of the question. he is only now living round the corner but still says he cannot see me. I keep telling myself we just have to get through these exams, then it will be easier, but now I am beginning to realise that it will probably always be like this!! I have already been told I will "lose" to medicine if I put pressure on him. I am trying so hard to be understanding but the time when I could discuss my fears with him are well and truly gone. So i try and be supportive with cute texts and never asking him to call me or do anything, but it is hard not to feel resentful. I'm asking myself...do i want this life?

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can say is good luck to all. I have been married to an anesthesiologist for 15 years (his 2nd marriage). We have 2 beautiful children and he has a daughter from his previous mariage he rarely sees. Due to the very long hours away from me and our children, my husband spends alot of his free time on the internet. He has become engrossed with pornography and having cybersex via cam with random women he meets in game rooms. We've always had a very loving and intimate relationship, but the physical absence really has made a negative impact. He suffers from cybersexual addiction and feels as though he can have and woo every woman he wants in this forum. He says it is harmless and is only fantasy as there is no touching involved. I am deeply hurt and am a very lonely doctor's wife. Ladies, doctor's are definitely not all they're cracked up to be. They're very caring in some ways, but lack where it matters most.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have read all your comments and although I am not married to a Doctor my dad was a Doctor and I think marrying a Doctor is no different to marrying any man who works with his own ambitions.

I think people get carried away with the whole social status of a Doctor which is really unnecessary.

It is a demanding role being a wife to any man who works and has his own ambitions in the working world. Juggle them with a working wife, a housewife with children and things become difficult.

It is important especially when you have children to make time for your partner regardless of his job.

Difficult? No I dont think so! I think you are all lucky to have such successful husbands, and I think in any marriage it is important to keep your own identity especially when you have children.

I think the secret to a successful marriage and a successful family is to respect each other's space and to enjoy all the good times no matter how trivial they are and to foucs on the positive aspects of the marriage an family life.

But on saying that I do empathise with you all and a Doctor is very challenging and I know my Dad was always working and it is a demanding job for their spouses to live their lives but hey nothing at the top is ever easy! :)

Anonymous said...

I am the wife of a general surgeon in his mid 50s. He has always had a tremendous caseload and often grueling call schedule. We still have great sex 3 or 4 times a week (and, no, he doesn't use Viagra, Ciasis, etc.). We don't have many nights out and he does sleep when he can but he has a surgeon's ego and so being great in bed is a priority for him. He's not home much and his hours are crazy but, wow, I am one happy woman! ;). Don't expect a traditional marriage...you will be a single parent...but they have time for sex.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your story. I am fortunate to be married to a surgeon who, although he has "the ego," he maintains Christian values in our home. I find that having zero expectations, single parenting and having my own life makes our marriage work well. If my mother needed her surgeon's attention, I wouldn't want him to be thinking about his wife's lamenting that he's never home, not romantic, etc. Being independent is sexy to these men who endure grueling hours, tons of paperwork and politics AND operate! Their job is HARD! It is my opinion...after years of hearing about other surgeons' cheating...that they cheat because home isn't a refuge, it is a chore. I know my husband loves to come home and only eat, sleep and have wild sex. No nagging, no emotional neediness, etc. If a woman needs a sensitive partner 24/7 and dinner at 5, don't marry a surgeon!

Anonymous said...

I am an MD studying for my usmle step2. After getting out of a 7 year relationship with a fellow MD, I began dating a man who is a creative director/media/ photographer. Everything was fantastic, his family adored me, and he told me that he is going to marry me. But actions speak louder than words. i asked if he could help me out with a review course and he said his parents would not allow him. Did I mention, he is 29 y/o, makes almost 6 figures, but still lives with his parents? He has no idea now long it actually takes to finish boards and match. It has hit me that this relationship is a double standard wherein since we are not married yet, he is not obligated to help me, yet he says once I'm done with my boards and match into residency, we will get married. How convenient for him.

I forgot to mention that we've only been dating for 6 mo.

Is it crazy for me to reconsider this relationship? I just don't think it's fair that he can't help me out with my review courses, even just $3k, when he isn't paying rent, mortgage , while owning 2 bmw's and wearing a $14k Rolex.

Am I dating a douchebag?

Anonymous said...

Hi I think you are all lucky to marry a Doctor! I am very independent and have my own life my own career and do not need my partner to be with me all the time ! think marrying a Doctor would be a great life especially if we had great sex all the time!! Best of both worlds if you ask me! Each to their own though! Know there are a lot of Doctors who cheat though! but then not all Doctors are the same! Here is hoping I manage to land myself one of them and preferably a single one!!! lol

Anonymous said...

In response to your comment about being with that creative director think all relationships have problems! but only you can decide if its a problem that you see interfering enough in your relationship that it would not work! Hope this helps !

Anonymous said...

I am married to an ER doc and agree that having your own life, being independent, and not going into the relationship with any preconceived notions is what makes it work for us. I do nearly all of the parenting (fortunately we only have one child -- we both agree that this lifestyle is too demanding for more) and find that my husband's crazy hours and the energy drain of the job make me yearn to connect with other wives that relate. I'm so glad to have found this blog!

We decided early on that having only one working parent was critical -- I am always the one that flexes to his schedule (like it or not), and staying home with our child enables me to do that. I'm no pushover; flexing like this just keeps our lives sane. I find it's helpful to focus on the fact that it's the job that demands so much of him, rather than him simply opting out of time spent with us. There are other rewards, like him being available during the week or on odd days when other dads aren't, and knowing that we don't have to struggle financially as many of our friends do in this tough economy. It's definitely not an easy life. There's definitely strength in kindred spirits!

Anonymous said...

1. To the individual who asked, "Am I dating a douchebag?" Follow your gut. If you think you are, you might be.

2. To those asking about pre-med boyfriends, mcat, first year, med school boyfriends: studying is hell. You never accomplish half what you set out to do, and taking practice exams is the most anxiety provoking experience. The greatest gift you can give to support: let them come to you. Leave them alone. When they want a break, they will ask you and be ready and rejuvenated after.

3. To the woman who wrote about adultery/theft, I am so sorry for your experience. That sounds rotten.

I'm a first year medical student and met my boyfriend in college when he was in med school (now in his residency). We've been dating two plus years, and we find a key is taking vacations. Even if he just has a weekend free, getting away, just teh two of us, helps so very much.

Anonymous said...

I have been married to a doctor for 5 years now and we have two children. I think marriage means sacrifice on both sides. I sacrificed a career and instead raise the children at home which often feels like single parenthood. He has sacrificed parts of his career as well. He has chosen to become a GP rather than an orthopeadic surgeon because that allows him to be home more. He also has sacrificed a more easy lifestyle. His single doctor friends have so much more time and money to spend on lavish overseas holidays and recreational activities, while every spare moment the husband has to spend at home, helping with the children and all the responsibilities that entails. Sure I have met alot of douche bag doctors who have no morals, think they are 'it' and you know that they feel free to cheat whenever. But there also are alot of committed hardworking men who take on a hard job and do their best to juggle work and family. I wouldn't swap roles with my husband any day, he definitly has it the hardest.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog and for the accompany comments to this entry.

I am happy and established (successful comp. engineer, great friends, active life) and started dating a surgical resident before the holidays. All I can say is, "WOW"! About eight years ago, I dated a Radiology resident and I vaguely remember it being intense, but this rises to a whole new level. I maintain my own life and embrace my SO with open arms when I do see him, which comes to about once a week (usually dinner after 8:45 P.M. at the earliest -- I'm a late eater anyway--, a power catch up during dinner and before bed, then bed). I get up with him at 4 A.M. and send him off with coffee and sometimes breakfast; I also sometimes send him away with baked goods or food I made and froze (that will keep for the day until he gets to his place). We generally don't talk on the phone, but text a few times throughout the week.

Of course I feel slighted at times, but I check myself and remember that my SO is doing his best given all his demands. I still struggle with the silence in contact or wanting to "rescue" him from the harried schedule. How can I be more supportive? How do I help sustain and grow our communication under the circumstance? What are the strategies for not taking the absence personally (I mentioned above that I'm cognizant of my SO's constraints, but it's definitely hard...)?

Anonymous said...

I have been married to an Interventional Radiologist 30 yrs. He could never tolerate my work schedule, so I became a stay at home mom. I've been the main parent for 30 years. I almost left the marriage,3xs. Once when I saw how hurt my children had become due to his lack of interaction with them. The second time when he discounted our marriage/family and chose his brothers demands over our wishes and concerns. 3X times I laid down the law and told him to shape up or ship out.I do not threaten lightly. I usually mean exactly what I say. I let things slide often not thinking it is worth a battle. All 3 times I talked to a shrink to get an objective opinion. The first time, the shrink said, "It is very common for a woman to divorce so their children WILL see their father more..it becomes court ordered." Leaving sounded like a good solution to getting him to take his responsiblity to his children seriously. 2nd time someone was hitting on him at work, a goldigger. I pointed out the fact that the woman only goes after doctors (I knew he hated women like that) he was slow to catch on since she was charming and slick as snot. The 3rd time, I was a crying mess, which he has never seen me do so he knew he had royally blown it. He apologized up and down. At that point, I would have gotten half of everything we own. Divorce would have wiped him out and he would not have been able to ever stop working. I can live on less...he can not. Our whole family has suffered in the name of patient care. I alway understood and supported him so it was my way of being useful in the world, too.I would NOT want my daughter or son to marry a doctor. The 'call', long hours, needle sticks waiting for HIV or HepC tests to come back. So much missed.

MDtoBe said...

Thank you so much for posting your thoughts. My boyfriend and I are both in medical school and it is so difficult to manage a relationship while surviving the class load. It is difficult to learn to have no expectations towards him, even though our mindset towards medicine is the same. I hope this will change in the future - it would be difficult living a lifestyle like this in the long run. Then again, I doubt any man who's not in medicine is willing to put up with the sacrifices of being a neurosurgeons husband.

Dimple said...

Oh!!!! Im sooooo happy i've found this blog !!! YOu ladies out there... hats off !!! My soon to be fiance is a doctor, he'll be ending his internship in 2014 and maybe will do his postgraduate abroad! we've been dating each other for like 7 months and everything seems soo perfect and great. he always keep telling me that i am a miracle to him and since the very beginning i came in his life, i changed him in a good way! i'm a law student and will be completing my degree in 3 years time. we are not in a rush to marriage, but when my parents talk about engagement, he would freak out a bit :( ! i just dont know whats the reason behind that... for me, passing a ring its like getting bonded, and thats what he has always wanted! but from his reaction nowadays....i'm lost in doubts :/
i love him and trust him.. i just hope everything goes on smoothly ! anyone can advise me ? i'd be very grateful, Thank you!
Dimple

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am so glad to know that I am not alone. I have read some of the comment here and would like to share my experience. My husband is a professional consultant in medical field, we moved every year across the states / countries for his career, that I have to leave friends, jobs, families behind, it is very difficult to settle myself and our relationship because we don't have a place can be called home, no kids and no common friends around us. The medical job is very high stress, I don't expect my husband deals with household, but expect him need my 100% attention to take care of him including his emotional stress from work. So I am always alone,our communication is not fully connected, he has no time to talk everything with me, causing a lot of misunderstanding. Please think carefully before marrying with someone works in medical industry.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of chances for them to cheat in the hospital. Do you know his work hours, break time during work and where does he take break from work? Does he come home on time after work? Try to find out his schedule in detail.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Blog. Its interesting to read all the doctor wife's comments and experiences. I am married to a doctor for one year now. He is my soul mate and we love each other very much. He is studying to get into a residency program and I struggle to get his time. But he has been great till now. Trying to help me as much he can and plans his studies around my schedule as I work full time. I admit it is sometimes depressing going to bed without him and getting up seeing him still studying but I am sure we will survive this. After reading all these comments I now know that life will be even harder when he will be in residency...

Anonymous said...

Part 1:

My boyfriend and I are getting engaged next month. He is in his 2nd year of neurosurgery residency and we have known each other / have been family friends for over 15 years.

We attempted to date back when I was in undergrad and he was in med school, and it went nowhere -- mostly because I was young, immature, self-centered and your typical spazzy college kid at that point. He was very busy/tired and needed patience and support that I just couldn't give him. He was also a poor communicator and felt he didn't need to voice certain things, like 'I love you'.. so we drifted but stayed friends.

We started dating again 5 years later and have been in a very serious relationship for the last 1.5 years. We did things differently this time around, especially now with some maturity and perspective. I learned that going out and having fun with friends every single weekend was not going to be part of our lifestyle together due to time restrictions, tiredness, etc. and all he really wanted was someone at home he could just unwind with, eat with, nap with, joke around with. He learned that I didn't pick up on ambiguity and that I took it personally when he didn't show consideration for me during the times that it was possible to. It started out rough, with him not making time, not saying the right things, falling asleep whenever (or even before) I was supposed to come over, not having alone time with me because his roommate was there 24/7 with us and was invited to everything we did (he said this was because he felt he needed to condense all of the free time he had into one where he can just hang out with everyone). And on my part, I felt I needed to go out and live harder, party more, be more social, etc. on my own to show I didn't need to be his doormat and I could be independent.

Over the span of the last year though, things have slowly changed. We started to communicate our needs more clearly, rather than tiptoeing, and we started to compromise. Before I would just take things as they came, internalize them, be miserable about it but not voice my concern in fear of being told that I can't handle his lifestyle. But I got tired of that, and I made it clear to him that I will stay in with him as often as he wants, put him to bed, make food with him or for him, clean, etc. as long as he makes a slight effort when he has the time -- to take me on a date (we had gone on 1 date all of last year, and that was for valentines day), to spend time with just me and not me as the third wheel to his roommate and him talking about work all evening long. Now I don't get offended when he falls asleep when I come over - in fact, he puts his head in my lap and I run my hands through his hair until he falls asleep. Then I do my own work (I am a recruiter and I work remotely most of the time, which is incredibly convenient for our relationship). Now we go out to eat or to watch a play or do something together about once every week or two, which is a nice change compared to once a year. Now I look at his job and his schedule and his tiredness as a part of both of our lives, rather than something that is just his life that I have to deal with. He is always going to be the vulnerable, tired, needy one in our relationship and I don't feel like a doormat for being the one who provides that support and love to him anymore. I feel like the person who is giving our relationship strength, and the one who will keep our family going in the right direction in the future, as well.

Anonymous said...

Part 2:


We talked about getting married early in our relationship since we had known each other forever. I'm so glad we waited until now instead of jumping into it right then, because I have learned a ton and the learning curve of being with a doctor is far more steep than it is to be with someone who is not married to their job.

But like someone said before, your spouse is not busy simply earning bread and butter, he/she is saving lives and making a positive impact on society. So I'm not saying worship them and give them a Superman complex (because if they think they are God, then you are with the wrong person - it has nothing to do with their being a Doctor, it is something that is wrong with their character/personality).. but I AM saying that behind every strong Doctor there is an even stronger spouse :) And our strength doesn't necessarily come from ego or wealth. It comes from patience, tolerance, positivity and goodwill not just for our families, but for the people that our spouses are positively impacting, as well.

(DISCLAIMER: From reading the above posts from previous posters, please keep in mind that while it helps to read and learn from each others' experiences as we are all in the same boat -- we must also make the distinction between someone's occupation and their personality or character. If someone is going to cheat on you, it has nothing to do with their profession. It has to do with their character. Find a good man first, one that you can trust and feel comfortable building a future with, and then worry about the profession later. If it is a good honest relationship with two well-meaning people, you need to put work into it. But if you are with someone who is plainly selfish or dishonest or mean, then don't let them use their occupation as an excuse. Open your eyes.)

Anonymous said...

hello. wow this post looks updated.. I am a staff nurse and my boyfriend is in his last year in medicine school whos now havong rough tough junior internships..we were classmates in nursing school and became couples in our 3rd year after graduate he entered medicine .. we just celebrated our a4th year anniversary this april and things were never the same again... we always fight because of his grumpiness and uncontrollable temper ..we fight over small things..i was so eager to understand him for four years but he always reason out that I should be the one to tolerate him because he wants to be a doctor and i should always understand him even it means not taking into consideration what i will feel.



We see each other he still makes time for me, but i cant really tolerate him insulting me when hes angry for small reasons.. i dont know if i should continue this. I decided not to answer his calls for some time to think. because sometimes verbal abuse from him is getting into my nerves already like im just a doormat he needs to wipe his feet whenever he wants sleak clean ..

should i go for this.. i would love to but i want him to realize he should do his part too not that i should always tolerate him..

by the way, im going to work in Europe in a month or two.. with this situation i dont know we can do this.. great posts above though..

any suggestions?:)thankies

Anonymous said...

It is very difficult being a Doctors wife.
I have read half of all the comments and decided to skip the rest.
Bottom line (pardon the 'pun') is that what spoils being a Doctors wife is accentuated by female patients who try to impress via way of dress and or behaviour.....to impress 'the Doctor'. Lets face it - being a Doctor is something that many females find attractive...being a Doctors wife with this an ever an on going happening is challenging.
My thoughts are with all Doctors wives. I'm sure their motives and good intentions are good - shame some female patience cause us (the Doctors wives) to have anxieties!

Anonymous said...

DOCTORS WIVES - YOU NEED A MEDAL IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.
YOU NOT ONLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE CRAZY HOURS BUT ALSO THE ATTENTION SEEKING FEMALE PATIENTS AND NURSES THAT 'LOVE DOCTORS' AND STOP AT NOTHING
DOCTORS WIVES, MOTHERS OF THEIR CHILDREN -
YOU ARE ALSO SPECIAL PEOPLE

Anonymous said...

This has been a very helpful forum. I have learnt lessons that would have taken me years.

Anonymous said...

Hi, like others I've read a lot of the posts but still have a few questions. I just graduated college and my boyfriend has one more year. Although we're young, we've talked about marriage and the realities of everything. I'm not afraid of long distance, nor am I afraid of moving to follow him for med school, residency, fellowship etc.

My number one question is about family - I want him to be able to be around for kids (when that time comes), so how realistic is it to expect him to be there for their sporting games or whatever they're doing? Does it mostly depend on his specialty or just how he prioritizes things?

Also, I want to be fully supportive of his dreams and what he wants to become. I've told him multiple times that I don't care how much money he'll make, but one of his big things is that he wants to provide for me and his family in the future, with that being one of his main motivators. Has anyone found their boyfriends/husbands to start out with this same mentality and then get too caught up in money or status? I'm afraid he's going to be more in love with work than me and a family.

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Being married to a doctor is no walk in the park. I've been married to a cardiologist for 30 years. I have been pretty much a single mother most of that time. Doctors want to be with their families and attend events but because of work they just can't. Adore them and make them feel loved and appreciated. Take extra care to communicate your needs once a week- don't do it every day. Give them a hour to de-stress once they get home.Build a life of your own but, make them your priority. Have lots of sex. You'll be richly rewarded!

Anonymous said...

I have been married to an er doctor for almost 19 years. he is having an open affair with a nurse in his department and had thrown me away like garbage and never looked back but is avoiding divorce because he would rather spend his money on his mistress than a settlement for the woman who struggled with him through the hard times. I am just short of living in a shelter because he has all of his pay going into a separate account for just him now and he has given access tot he account to his mistress. i have no money for a quality lawyer and he knows this. doctors will always have options because women will always throw themselves at doctors. all they see is the glamour. they don't know about all the student loans we have to pay off, the mal practice insurance, etc. doctors are a hot commodity and the egos are not justified since he has to know that each and every woman that tries to lay him or stroke his ego is in it for the pay off and the glory of being with a doctor. My husband gives the very best of himself to the hospital and the staff and patients every day. there was never anything left for me but the look of aggravation on his face when i wanted to talk to him and he would rather go to sleep after having worked a 24 hour shift. in essence, i wasted 19 years and counting on a man that i do not really know, who is having an affair and who does not give a damn about me. i would run for my life if another doctor showed interest in me. run for my life!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a doctors wife. He was my first boyfirend and is an amazing husband. We have been married for a little over 3 years. We started dating the summer before medical shool. Did things right and got married. Distance is hard, being away from family is tough, but in a way having only "each other" made our marriage so strong. Fist year wasn't easy as he didn't match, I moved across the states and our honeymoon consisted of moving. Each step we took we acknowledged and prayed/trust that God would lead the way. We are now in Residency, have moved each year and started a new adventure each year since marriage. He is doing 2nd year Residency. I love him dearly with all of my heart. Like any woman (I am a Medical Assistant) I sometimes question myself and ask myself what I would do if "unfaithfulness" came across. Reality is... I don't know. The foundation of our relationship began with God and he will always be in the center. All I can do is have Faith in Him. Like many Docotors wives, Our husbands have a demanding career. They will constantly be tempted by nurses/women and that is something that cannot be avoided. I do my best, I accepted him knowing the stress on his career, knowing that it isn't easy. I know that when we have children I will be doing most of the work. All I can do is Trust in God. He has been amazing, I cannot complain about these first two years because honestly, he did work over 80 ours/week the year of 2012. But we Always had time for each other.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Okay. So I am a female senior pre-med student. Currently I am studying for my MCAT and getting materials, essays, resumes, etc. ready for medical school applications. Needless to say, my life is a little bit crazy. I work 54 hours a week to be able to support myself (my family is unable to help more than they already are), volunteer, am taking a class, and mcat studying.

Over two years ago I started dating my current boyfriend. Over the past year he has been telling me that he feels second to my schoolwork and my other responsibilities.

Now that I am trying to MCAT study for at least 2 hours a day the pressure to find time together is really high. Lately we haven't been talking much as he doesn't want the "scrap time" that I have left over, but instead wants quality time. I can understand his desire to spend time together to reconnect, but right now it really isn't there.

I don't know what to really do to find time to be with him. I have suggested a date night just for us but, he doesn't want a scheduled night for dates. Reason being - he wants our relationship to be spontaneous like it was before the pre-med things really "kicked in".

I am struggling to find an answer to this question for several reasons. I'm not sure that he understands that once I start medical school that I will have barely any free time outside of studying/classes.

Although I do want a long term relationship and to eventually start a family I am NOT going to give up my dream of becoming a physician. In regards to my current situation, I feel like a lot of the time he doesn't understand that things like MCAT's and studying (undergrad or med school) come first. I fully understand the fact that I need to do those things so I can accomplish my dream. I understand the sacrifice that it takes to become a doctor, but I am not sure if he does.

Any advice from people who have gone through this would be awesome.

Thank you,

B

Anonymous said...

Wow just found this blog and for the first time (am in mid-50's) feel some support as an MD's wife of 30 years who is socially isolated (he has very few friends), getting despondent, bitter and resentful due to having some expectations which are met with constant disappointment. I made career concessions to accommodate his job demands while raising kids pretty much on my own and now feel overwhelmed by the demands of aging parents and daily household/yard upkeep for which there is little money due to spending it on upgrades to the office, adding to my burdens. This has led to more arguments than ever before and I feel so alone....he is very stubborn and strong-willed.

Anonymous said...

This is all very helpful! I'm dating a 2nd year surgical resident, he has three kids from a previous marriage and I have one. We've been together for a little over a year, after having a pretty severe break at right after the 1 year mark. I know he loves me with all of his heart. It's simply sometimes hard to accept that while he is your number one priority, you probably never will be. And your needs essentially have to be silenced a lot of the times. This is difficult. It takes the right personality and commitment on both sides. Thank you for this site!

E

Anonymous said...

And ah yes, I have a very strong dislike of all nurses! I know the majority of them are great, but there are so many who are like vultures and will latch on to any male doctor like he is theirs. During our brief break, two of his nurses chased him like crazy, immediately after he left being in a year-long relationship where two families were blended. Infuriating. You have to have very thick skin to stay in it. And faith and trust.

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Anonymous said...

Hey Everyone! This is my first and last attempt to write on a forum for relationship advice. Here it goes...

My ex-boyfriend and I dated for four and a half years and recently broke up. We met on the day he was accepted into medical school, lived together for his rotations during 3rd and 4th years and were all set to move together for residency. I was so incredibly supportive of him and his career. Of course, arguments happened because I felt neglected at times (step 1 and 2 studying) or he left dirty laundry in the bathroom.

Matching caused a lot of drama in our relationship. We tried discussing his list a few times, but it only ended in arguments. I am particularly tied to an area because of family and friends and he was set on selecting a list that was best suited for his career, not me. I get it - he's dedicated years of his life to his craft and he has one chance to roll the dice. Needless to say, his top choices were not near my family and friends. The argument progressed to I do not feel comfortable moving with you unless there is some sort of "promise." I understand that the money is not there for an engagement ring or wedding (all things we had comfortably discussed and wanted for our relationship). He went out and purchased a promise ring, but was holding off on giving it to me. I am sure you can all guess how this ends...

As his moving date was approaching, he was spending more and more time with his friends and less and less time with me. I was not moving with him until there was a promise and it would still take me a few months to find a job and relocate. So, we decide to take a "break" because there was so much tension and resentment in the relationship.

A few weeks into the break, he moved to begin his EM residency. We talked during the break and saw each other a few times before he moved, but he finally ended things a month into the break telling me "he loves me, but is no longer in love with me" and "doesn't think he can regain the passion."

He didn't even try to work things out. He completely flipped the switch. Yes, we had been in a rough patch for sometime with all of the changing happening around us, moving, starting residency, etc. but how do you give up on someone that is your best friend, biggest cheerleader, at one point "the love of your life" after 4+ years without really trying to work it out. Not to mention, he became angry and hostile towards me during the break up. Stopped answering texts and calls, refused to give me my belongings that he moved up to the new place, and not to mention he broke up with me over the phone (after all of those years.)

To his defense, when we were great, we were great! The envy of all of our friends. I only know him as the most loving, caring, and sincere man I have ever met. Since moving and starting residency, he has done a complete 360 - no resemblance to the man I fell in love with.

Sooo, I guess my question is...does the stress of starting intern year, moving away from family and friends, make you lose your mind and sight of the great things in your life?

Did I dodge a bullet or do new residents go crazy, but eventually come back to their senses?

Really...any advice would help because I am completely heartbroken.

Liz said...

To Anonymous,

Your comment also left me heartbroken. I couldn't stop thinking about it all day after reading it. I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.

Right off the bat, I have to admit that being married and committed to our marriage has been of utmost importance for my husband and I - throughout all of his training. If my husband and I had been dating during any of this, it would not have lasted long (a few weeks maximum). So, kudos to you for having such a wonderful relationship for so long (and getting through step 1 and 2 and matching!).

The stress that the med students are under while choosing a specialty, interviewing, studying for boards, attempting to match, entering a new program as residents/interns at the "bottom of the ladder" (especially after 4 years post grad!) and being treated like "nothings" does not leave much of a person left... not to mention a nice, loving, committed person. They are exhausted, under tons of pressure, stressed, and expected to be studying hours after their long shifts. I don't know why the system allows this type of treatment... and is designed in such a way. Not only do the residents feel like they "should" be giving every single bit of their energy, intellect, passion, soul to their residency programs, but they are told by their program directors, attendings and everyone else around them that they "must". It takes an incredible amount of self discipline to first find and then be able to maintain a balance between life and medicine. Of course it is impossible... and hence the roller coaster... but it is easy to understand why anyone would "simplify" their life by eliminating relationships, etc. while going through those years. There is something like a 50% divorce rate during residency.

Anyways, I am sorry to go on and on. There have been many times my husband or I have actually said something like "it is good that I am committed to our marriage because this is not fun". It really has been helpful. My husband is more relaxed now - even with 14 hour days - and yes, I am starting to feel like he is "coming back". (I mostly attribute this to lack of sleep, but I also think he is treated better as a fellow -- by everyone. People respect him more and belittle him less... and that belittling is hard on people.) He seems just a little bit happier - which makes a difference at home.

I don't think you "dodged a bullet" but I do think new residents change... a lot. Other wives told me my husband would "come back" but we are still in the training so I can't tell you whether that is completely true or not. He has changed a lot throughout this process, but I don't know what he will be like once we are finished.

Hopefully, your ex-boyfriend will realize that your relationship, emotional support, etc. is something that he really needs during this stressful time, even if it means he will have to sacrifice some things in order to meet your needs. I hope he can do it! You sound like a wonderful person.

Good luck!

Liz

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Liz, for your very kind words and encouragement.

It is hard to describe your relationship problems with people who don't understand the med student/doctor's lifestyle. Family and friends are so quick to judge because the MD SO at best can only give 40% to the relationship during most times. Well in my case and at this time, some of their words and advice are really hitting home and taking root because we are yet another casualty of the residency firing brigade. It kills me that we are now diminished to a mere statistic.

With all of this said, I wish I would have found your blog earlier. It truly is well written and offers great advice for individuals dating/engaged/married to doctors.

I can only hope that my ex realizes and learns from the mistake he made in letting me go. At the end of the day, nothing I say or do can help him see this. It is a decision he has to come to on his own - hopefully all sped up when he looks around at his current dating pool and eating way too much McDonalds. haha I am putting my trust and faith in God and in His timing and will. I wish I could let go of our love as easily as he has, but I just can't.

Good luck to you and your family with the rest of fellowship. You guys sound like you have a great and committed relationship - a true jewel in this world!

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Wow..What a blog. I had no idea how hard it could get. I just started talking to a doctor he is older and has already finished with all of those steps but already im getting a taste of what its going to be like.. luckily im a very independent young lady who does not need to be hovered by her lover all day i like having my own life... but this blog is a guideline for me and thank all of you ladies for posting your comments and the author for posting this blog. I might have went into this with different expectations on the whole now i know t simply have NO expectations and cherish every second i get with this new guy im interested in.

Treme eka said...


I've been dating my girl for 5 years and we have just broke up because she told me she likes someone else but she say she still loves me... the next week she left the house and said she needs to find herself??? and i wanted her to be with me by living were i live, forget about her ex's, having a good job and being in a healthy relationship which leads to marriage and kids. but she was planning to leave me since and when i knew about her plan i gave her space maybe she will come back?? but if she didn't then i had to find help, a spell caster to help me bring her back so i did contacted i was giving this usa number +15036626930 and this email address dr.marnish@yahoo.com after 3 days of casting his spell my girlfriend returned back to crying to me that she will never make a step without me again, that she will always love me till death. i am still surprised how dr.marnish did the love spell
Tremeeka

Nuca-591 said...

I have been married for 8 months, my husband is starting his training in orthopaedics ..... Never imagined my life will be like this.... The 3 years we were together prior marriage (when he was an intern) were not like this at all.... I read all the comments and I can see there no much hope for things to improve.... Constant absences, constants arguments, I have to make myself available when he is available, I am an architect, I have a demanding job myself, but still beings doctor seems to be a lot more important than my career. Wow.... No hard feelings, is not his fault, I said yes when he proposed based on the life wee had at that time, my fault for not doing some re search and find out how is really when you are a register or in the training programme. Just to make things worse I am from South America, he is australian and we live in Australia, no much support here.... Anyway good to know that I am not the only one.

Melissa said...

After skimming a lot of these comments it seems like many people have found that the most effective way of coping with their relationship with a doctor is to have low expectations or acknowledge that they will always be second. WHAT?! Seriously? That's our best option?! To just see ourselves as support to our husband's "noble" ambitions? Sorry ladies, but that's just doesn't cut it for me.

I'm currently married to a second year resident in emergency medicine. The man I started dating 8 years ago, long before med school was in the picture, is disappearing before my very eyes. The system has broken him down and rebuilt him as someone, I fear, I won't be able to respect or feel connected to. When I talk to him about this he seems to agree that he doesn't like the person he's becoming and doesn't look forward to a career in medicine, but says he can't leave medicine. It's like watching somone lose themselves in an abusive relationship. Or stockholm syndrome. The yard stick he uses to assess what is "normal" is so warped that he has lost touch with what a happy life could look like (he often berates himself for feeling so miserable given how "easy" his schedule is at just 65 hours a week, not like surgery or some other 80 hour a week speciality). I find myself oscillating between empathy, pity, and rage, but lately, it's been mostly rage. I've supported him for 5 years, taken on that Doctor's Partner role, put my ambitions on the back burner, and it hasn't done a lick of good. After a certain point "support" stops being supportive and turns into enabling - enabling of his depression, his anxiety, his reluctance to reflect deeply on who he is and what he wants out of life, and worst of all, my "support" ensures his continuation into a career that will not ultimately make him (or me) happy.

And right at that moment when I'm about to tell him this, and give him some kind of ultimatum, I hesitate. Residency is hard. Becoming a doctor is hard. If I were a Good Doctor's Wife I'd be loving and reassuring and tell him that everything is going to be ok. That's what love is, right? That's what good wives do, right?

I'm not so sure. What if love is looking someone in the eye and saying, "You're making the biggest mistake of your life. Leave medicine now." And then refusing to take no for an answer.

Anonymous said...

From a guy's perspective, I was dating a doctor who was going through her final exams to become a registered specialist. While I knew that she'd be busy with her studies, she did make good efforts to spend time with me (at least once a week) and things all seemed fine. I thought I was very understanding and, while I did invite her out at other times, I was very clear that her studies were paramount and I wanted to support her as best as I could during this time. However, a few months before her exams she suddenly said that she didn't think we were right for each other and broke up with me. It was a complete turn around from what I'd previously seen from her but obviously it was something she'd been thinking about. She asked me not to contact her so that she could have the space she needed at this time. I honoured this request and did not contact her until after her exams finished. I eventually found out that she did not pass the exams and have requested that I don't contact her again. I really loved this woman and not sure what to do. I don't want to give up as I think it is still the stress of the exams that is motivating her response and that given time, we could work things out and have a very special and loving relationship. Am I wrong to hope for this?

Anonymous said...

This question is for any person that could explain to me that why is it that I do not feel contruble that my fiance needs to see other patients nude if this is his line of wk? He's been in the medical field for over 16yrs and I didn't have a problem when we were dating 6yrs ago but since he proposed 2yrs ago I've been feeling very unsecured. Can someone put some sense in me!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog. I am dating a great guy who happens to be a very brilliant doctor going into residency very soon. He knows how I feel about spending time together. Though very busy he tries to be available when I need him. Although most of our communication is through text. I do realize he may want me to be not so ambituous which I am. He also hints a lot to settling down with me. I feel he thinks we cannot be two masters in this boat and if I am this ambituous we may never have time to have and be a family. Well I have no choice. The city we will be living in for his residency is expensive as he is getting into a wonderful program. If we do get married I may have to foot more of the bills. So I am getting myself ready. I am one to really like my space and opportunity to do my own thing and little projects. So marrying a doctor might be ideal for me. But he feels I need to stick to one career and be content. He is also a bit too neat. Lol. Drives me a bit crazy. We will see what life has in stock for me and this brilliant cardiologist. Heck his sleeps best with me on his chest. He's a good man. Though I am yet to see if we would make it. If we do, I will be back to share my experiences. :)

Anonymous said...

Just going to jump in and then jump out... been married 27 years to a man who started medical school 10 years into our marriage. I remember how idealistic I was back then, but here's reality: You will be without him most of the time. You will raise the kids by yourself, and he won't help even when he's home because he'll be too tired or feel too entitled to HIS time alone. This is tough enough when the kids are babies, but when they're older - teenagers - you'll get to tackle all of the hormone-fueled angst, drama, school difficulties, homework, school activities, and be the scapegoat when the kids get mad at you. You'll question your parenting decisions but he won't be involved in supporting you because he'll have no idea what's going on and little interest. You'll take out the trash, coordinate all the home repairs, pay all the bills, do all the yard work and generally work your ass off until you're emotionally and physically drained. You might start drinking to ease the pain. You'll definitely need antidepressants. Meanwhile, he'll be adored and revered and flirted with by divorced nurses who would jump in the sack with him at a moment's notice. No matter that he's married - maybe they can lure him away. Maybe he thinks it wouldn't be a bad idea to cheat - these women understand him. And his wife is angry and unappreciative and has no idea how difficult his profession is. Oh, and perhaps you're thinking to yourself - that woman needs to talk to him! You can't. Between kids and his work and his being asleep in the living room chair, there is no communication. After enough years of this, you stop trying. You stop arguing. You stop talking at all. You just don't want the kids to realize how much you resent him. You don't want a divorce because it will hurt the kids - they love him and think he's the greatest. After all, when he IS around, he never makes them do anything they don't want to do, and he buys them expensive things to make up for being absent from their lives so much. So you stay calm, stay pleasant, and try not to let it eat you alive.

janice said...

I have been married to a doctor for 25 years. I am a nurse and understand the hospital, but I do not understand nurses who think NOTHING of trying to ruin someone else's life. I am his wife and we have 4 children. he belongs to us not to them. I do not understand what makes these nurses think that they have a place in his life. He doesn't realize that when he spends so much time at the hospital they take this as a sign that he has no home life. He is just very dedicated to his patients. So if you marry a doctor do not have low expectations, but learn early to take third parties out of your marriage even if you have to call them directly and tell theey do not matter to me.m to back off. I have done it many times and the repercussions are that they treat me very poorly, but th

Anonymous said...

I am married to an ER doc. We have been together for just over a year and married for 3 months.
We met after he finished his residency and started working as an ER director.
I must admit that this life comes with a lot of surprises.
I expected long hours and lots of call, which there are.
However, I did not expect my role in marriage to end up what it has become.
I have never been your typical domestically skilled stay at home mom.
I have always been more driven by my interest in a career and pursuing an education.
Now that I am married, it has become more apparent that his previous comments about not minding if his wife has a career, were not entirely accurate.
He states that if he is making such a tremendously better income, it would be selfish of me to put our children in daycare in the future so I can work.
This also implies, there is no reason for me to further my education or career because he would prefer I have children immediately.
For any woman who does not want to sacrifice her career goals…. tread this territory carefully.
I am realizing now, after leaving my job, selling my house, moving ect…..
That I will be expected to be a full time single parent most of the time.
I thought I could do it, but the isolation, loneliness, and depression are much worse than I expected.
We are trying to conceive now, and I am contemplating if this was the right path for me.
I don't know if living vicariously through him will be enough.
I don't know if I want to be a single mother of four kids.
Another surprise: Control freak. After moving in with him it has become painfully obvious I have a lot of personal improvements to make to meet his minimum expectations as a wife and mother.
He expects gourmet meals and an immaculate house.
He expects perfect children who ,"will all become doctors."
He expects me to maintain my appearance by not gaining weight, I cannot change my hair unless it goes grey…. then I must dye it…. dressing feminine and sexy in dresses and lingerie.
Every aspect of me needs to meet his specifications.
He stated he is in his 30's and established, and incapable of changing…. but I am still on the assembly line (I'm 9 years younger than him).
It's scary to feel like you might never measure up to someone's expectations you love.
My family says I should leave him…. but I love him…. or at least the "him" he was when we were dating.
Now I feel like a stepford wife.
I hope that things will improve and I can adjust to all this.
I really do have strong feelings for him and want to make this work… but I'm beginning to feel like I have no identity of my own anymore and I will forever just be, "the doctor's wife."

Anonymous said...

I have been dating a doctor for over two years now and we have talked about marriage, as well as some of the challenges his job will entail. We are also currently long distance, he accepted a residency in NYC while I am finishing up my Masters in Texas. We are both extremely busy, and maybe that's why we work, but we try to make the time for our relationship. We are best friends, and you will always have time for your best friend. Our communication is mostly via texts, but he keeps me in the loop at work, and I do the same. This helps us out a lot, we dont feel like we are missing parts of each others day and I dont keep him up all night talking. We do have cancelled Skype dates and rescheduled phone calls but when I really need him he puts his needs aside. We visit when he has a rotation that gives him weekends off, and compromise sleep and fun. I am as ambitious as he and he supports that. I know kids and a house will make our time together challenging, but for as long as I have known him his family is the most important thing and he makes sure to keep a strong relationships between them. There will be sacrifices but I am hopeful.

Anonymous said...

So I've been dating my boyfriend for more than a year. He's in his second year of residency and we're talking about me leaving everything to get engaged and move up with him. I visit him every month, we managed to go on weekend trips when he's off and he's spend all his vacay time with me and his family. When we're together, everything is good. I don't mind staying home because I understand he's tired. I do get a little frustrated when I make dinner but he's just too tired to eat with me after working.
I don't want to make a mistake by leaving everything I have going on for me for him. He has cheated on me and promises he won't do it anymore. I could imagine all these nurses throw theirselves at him regardless he being in a relationship with me. All these post confirming how doctors cheat all the time on their spouse kills me and my hope in a future with him. His fellow resident is married and seems like a good guy, I want to believe my bf will change.
I guess I want to know if I do decided to start my future with him, should I expect to be constantly cheated on and be okay with it?
I am so in love with him and he says he is too minus the stupid cheating. Reading some of the post are making scared of what to expect. ie; basically being a single mother, while your husband cheats on you with nurses at the hospital.
How do you doctor wives do it? You guys have very thick skin. What do you occupy your time with?
Is forever possible with a doctor???
Or should I just run and avoid a lifetime of heartbreak?

Anonymous said...

So, I'm in a relationship with a 3rd year med student and we are trying to find a date to get married. We are in a predicament, because we are Jewish and it is difficult to get married between April and November (during day light savings time) because the sun sets much later which elongates our sabbath and makes it difficult to start a wedding at a reasonable time. We were planning on doing it on memorial day weekend so we could get married on a sunday between graduation and residency but that is a Jewish holiday. So now our choices are Labor day (after he starts his first year of residency/internship), or after we change the clocks in November (of fourth year) through the first weekend of march (fourth year). So, now I'm battling interview season with the fourth year dates and beginning of residency with the labor day date. Part of me feels like will I ever get chosen for one weekend as a priority over medicine? We have been together for almost 6 years, so I'm well aware of what I got into, but it can still be tough. Anyways, any advice on which of those times would be best since I know both have to be a sacrifice for him of some sort?

Raquel Roc said...

This is a very interesting blog and I'm happy to have found it. I knew that I couldn't possibly be alone. I've been married to a Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgeon for 11.5 years. The "lifestyle" is NOT what most people seem to think and I would NEVER advise my children or anyone to marry a doctor. As a matter of fact, I always said that I wouldn't, lol. Having read the majority of the posts, my only real comment is that "sacrifice must be appreciated by both parties". Being a doctor's wife is difficult, demanding, and lonely. And when you give all that you have to support someone else's dream, the money, cars, jewelry, etc mean little, unless you're a gold digger. . . I got married to for love and companionship, not to essentially be lonely with a lot of nice things and raise my children "as if" I were a single parent. What I have is NOT what we discussed, nor what I signed up for :(

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing a doctor for two years now. The thing is, i was already a. Single parent when I met her. So now, after two years, I'm finally starting to realise that just because I've met someone and we love each other dearly, it doesn't mean I get the benefits of having a co-parent around, which is something I desperately want.

My partner finishes her training in five years and she has expressed a strong desire to have children then. But my son will be 14 then and I will feel that I've already done the work of raising a child. I won't want to start the whole process again just because its convenient for my partner. I've a,ready been a single parent once. I don't think I can do it again.

Anonymous said...

I have been married for 16 years to a cardiothoracic surgeon. We met when he started his General Surgery residency at the hospital where I was working as a nurse. We have moved four times to 3 different states to accommodate his career, and had 3 children along the way. I stopped working after our 2nd child because his hours were so irregular and there was no predictability to his schedule. He was gone by 6:30 every morning and often worked 14 hour days, and spent many hours on the phone with nurses and PAs after hours and on the weekends when he wasn't on call. I was left to manage the house, the finances, the kids' schedules and what little time was left over for my own interests. Two years ago, I found out he was having an affair with one of his PA's at the hospital. It had been going on for 3-4 years. He admitted then that there had been another short sexual liaison with a nurse prior to that. Because of the nature of this job, it was not uncommon for him to be at the hospital overnight or to be called back in for an emergency surgery. Little did I know that at least some of these "emergencies" were actually rendezvous with his affair partner. The hospital had become, by his own admission, his "family", and he had virtually abandoned us to this demanding career. We are still struggling to put our life back together for the sake of our marriage and our 3 boys, but it is a difficult path. I offer this story for my own catharsis, and also as a cautionary tale to those of you embarking on a life with a spouse in a demanding medical/surgical career. My husband's extramarital relationships were well-known in the hospital where he practiced. His hospital "family" protected this information well, silently acquiescing and even approving his behavior. Given the high divorce rate in this particular specialty, it might have helped him if there were people in the environment who questioned his behavior or at the very least, registered some sort of disapproval. There are other issues at play here that are my husband's personal history and that he is now trying to come to grips with, and I have hope that we can put our marriage and our family back together-but the job marches on, relentlessly, and there is no time allotted for personal healing. I agree with Rachel-this is not what I signed up for. I have found strength I never knew I had but if I knew then what I know now, I might have made a different decision. At the very least, I might have tried to persuade my husband to pursue a different career, if only a less-demanding area of medicine.

Anonymous said...

I also found this interesting and how I found it was just on the web while typing doctors and wive's roles. It is a new experience yet for me as I have only been married 6 months to a doctor. I am a nurse and have been for 10 years. He can relate to me and we can relate to each other which makes us strong to begin with. Now for the family part....we are planning on that part, but have no family of our own yet. We are different people in one big way, I am very extroverted and say whatever's on my mind and he's introverted and everything is very thought out and he likes alone time. (I can't take it!)
Thanks!

phyllis moore said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm telling you the spouse who stays pays a terrible price. I know this from experience. Also, I'm not involved with a doctor but I am an RN and spend quite a bit of time with them. It's really somethi g to watch a person who is so self absorbed. Which even the kind ones are. I understand in some measure of the pressure on the provider, but this profession was their choice. So buck up! I say! I truly believe that if a man cheats he was always inclined to do so. And in the words of the Great Phil Donahue, "99% of men cheat and the other 1% are lying."

Anonymous said...

LOVE this blog. My husband is in his last year of residency. It's hard right now because he's on a general surgery rotation so his hours suck and I never see him. It's very lonely right now but thank God it's only a few more days. Also thank God that when he starts his real podiatry job next year he will have steady hours.

I'm grateful that my husband is not the OCD controlling type that others are complaining about. And I really agree that in any marriage no matter what the professions, each spouse wants to come to a welcoming and communicative environment, they don't want bottled up tense frustration. Be patient. Be honest. If he has to work late call a girlfriend or paint a picture!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I have been married to a doc for 31 years and just found out about an "emotional affair" that went on for 15 years(she is a nurse). I had to tell her to stop communicating with my husband(she was fired but he had urged her to "keep in touch!!!"I am thanking you because I am normally very non confrontational and felt guilty about telling her to leave my husband alone(she is married as well and 20-some years younger than he). You have given me the courage to continue to protect my marriage and children. I sacrificed my career (not in medicine but I have advanced degrees in my profession) because I felt so lucky to be able to be at home raising my two wonderful sons. They are grown now and serving their country but luckily they still need Mom and Dad sometimes!. My husband and I have a much closer relationship than ever before and I just hope that another blue eyed nurse doesn't come along to distract him! My religious faith saved my sanity but I still worry. I just wanted to tell you that I am grateful for your words!!(I hope to be able to love nurses as I once did for many years).

Anonymous said...

Yes I am married to a doctor also after being married for 5 yrs he decided to become a trama surgeon. I can honestly say I wish he stayed were he was it has been a long road. We have 3 children and have now been married 17 years I have been a single mother for years , there life is the hospital. He is a great doctor and everyone loves him (great that makes it easy) there are always going to be flirty women if you are not a strong women then run. If I could give anyone good advice DO NOT marry a doctor!!

Jolene said...

Thank you so much for your honesty!! My boyfriend is in his second year of residency, and I'm still adjusting to this new situation. (We met in his final year of med school) I moved 2+ hours from my entire family, friends, church and all support. I've had a super hard time finding folks who understand what I am feeling...so I feel like I've found some confirmation I'm not alone (and not as crazy as I thought)! Thank you again!!

Karen said...

I have been married to an orthopedic surgeon for 35 years. At this point in our marriage, the only reason that I remain married to him is because of financial reasons.
During our courtship, red flags were popping up all over (he worked long "voluntary" hours, he was demanding, controlling, and verbally abusive). On the day of our wedding (which incidentally, he had "planned" with virtually no input from me) I realized that I was making a HUGE mistake, but my parents advised me that this was merely "pre-marital jitters" and that I would have "comfortable life" being married to him.
Fast forward 35 years later, 5 children, 1 nervous breakdown, 3 attempted divorces, and no intimacy (not even embraces or kisses) for 10 years. Physical, mental, and emotional abuse for years, not to mention the fact that I had no say in any financial decisions for most of our marriage. The final insult was finding out that he is addicted to "cyberporn" and has spent much of the money we both saved on frivolous business ventures.
The only "real money" we have now is in a home I designed and built which is now worth a significant amount of money.
The lesson to be learned from all of this...Ladies (or gentlemen) Please do not give up your career to "support your spouse". If you do, make sure that you "receive" a salary from them...Keep it in an account separate from your spouse's...Get your credit cards in your name "only" and establish a good credit rating without your spouse's input. The day will come when he or she will either find someone else or you won't be able to deal with his/her behavior anymore. You will then have the finances to get away from him/her. I never did this, and it was very difficult to establish myself without his name on any documents.
In my life, most doctors I know of are controlling self serving egotists (my own spouse included). Protect yourself from a lot of heartache....It WILL happen...Especially if you are married to a surgeon!
.

Anonymouse said...

I have been dating a doctor for 6 months. She is older than I am, we are gay. I am 30 and her 36.

She is an ER physician and while I love her very much, though it hasn't been a long time, she has been someone positive in my life and I am glad that I met her.

While things are pleasant and I am happy in the relationship and how things are going, I understand the frustrations posted on the blog. The patient does always come first, but so does the facility, schedule and uncertainty. A shift may be done at 9pm and not end until 11pm and there's nothing to be done about it. I find myself being diasappointed sometimes but I reassure myself with realizing that I am dating someone smart, who saves lives, and it's harder on her to be working such long hours. Often when she comes home though she is either irritated or high strung, and needs time to unwind. Still being in the beginning of our relationship, I know that I have to give her time to unwind and back off until she is settled. Doctors are tired a lot and that can be exhausting too. As well, the schedule doesn't really change...they cannot ask for time off or just take a day off on a whim. It's important to get used to this quickly. The biggest issue we are running into currently is that my girlfriend wants to live so close to her facility (shes not on call), and I have to commute 1.5 hrs to work then....hard on us.

It's difficult dating a doctor.

Manshaj said...

Yeah It is very difficut to beoing a doctor`s wife.I have read half of all the comments and decided to skip the rest.Bottom lineis that what spoils being a Doctors wife is accentuated by female patients who try to impress via way of dress and or behaviour..o impress the Doctor.Thanks for this useful information.

Rahul Aahir said...

I just happened upon your blog (I'm a doctor's wife as well - rural family medicine) and I just wanted to agree

with you that "have no expectations" is awesome advice. I was actually just talking to my husband about that the

other day, at first he said that it depressed him when I said that, but really, it helps! I have found that the

only times I get bitter about his profession is when I expect him to be somewhere/do something/be able to do what

he said he would be able to do. If I just kind of take things as they come, everyone is happier. If I just assume

he won't be home to eat dinner with us, it's a happy surprise when he is. So for anyone reading this - I completely

agree with all your advice!!
Crazy Doctor Kids

Anonymous said...

After reading this I feel as though other people understand about being in a relationship with a doctor. first and foremost I like to congratulate all of you, although we never always understand it takes very patient very compassionate and a very understanding person to be in a relationship with a physician, something I have come to understand.
Brian and I met when he answered a "Dating Post" I had placed. I am 53 he is 36. This is his 4th year of his residency, he's never been married no children. I am 53 years of age Real Estate Agent, I havr lived alone for the last 18 years, very independent. Situation since taken me by surprise never realized all the chaos doctors go through until now. but I have never loved a man has much as I love him and I'm willing to hang in there whatever it takes! I also learned very fast and I'm not the priority in this relationship, how can I not love this man who sometimes works a 16 hour shift only to drive 100 miles to see me for a few hours to drives back home and then back to work (ER). My thoughts and my advice is to anyone in this type of situation Is she or he worth it? Absolutely he's worth it 100% And since I'm not a very needy woman and I'm very spontaneous the times he spends with me is his calm time his happiness time I never let him forget that and so far it's working! If you really love the person you're with you have to understand it takes compromise and patience because doctors are not any different when it comes to feelings they need someone in their life to love too, or else you wouldn't be here...

Charmaine Wimberly said...

Hi,
My boyfriend of 3 years now has just finished undergrad and is entering a pre-med program. I currently am finishing my undergrad as a business major and work full time to support us. We purchased a home last year and live together now and I am just really worried on whether or not our relationship will make it through the next 5 years, and now the time once he is a doctor. We are both 26 and fairly mature and have the same values but the current pressure of being the only one to pay all the bills and take care of home is becoming difficult. Also he only plans to work through the premed program (looking for work now) not while in med school. I am fairly independent, I was much more before I met him and will be able to take care of myself regardless but I would like to know if there is any advice for someone just starting out. We intend to be married, before starting out med school but because of finances we are unable to do so right now. It’s very intimidating going into this and while I love my boyfriend very much and he loves me I worry about making such a huge commitment with no idea of what may come after. I feel like I have invested as much into this as he does and would be completely heartbroken if we did not work out.

Charmaine Wimberly said...

Hi,
My boyfriend of 3 years now has just finished undergrad and is entering a pre-med program. I currently am finishing my undergrad as a business major and work full time to support us. We purchased a home last year and live together now and I am just really worried on whether or not our relationship will make it through the next 5 years, and now the time once he is a doctor. We are both 26 and fairly mature and have the same values but the current pressure of being the only one to pay all the bills and take care of home is becoming difficult. Also he only plans to work through the premed program (looking for work now) not while in med school. I am fairly independent, I was much more before I met him and will be able to take care of myself regardless but I would like to know if there is any advice for someone just starting out. We intend to be married, before starting out med school but because of finances we are unable to do so right now. It’s very intimidating going into this and while I love my boyfriend very much and he loves me I worry about making such a huge commitment with no idea of what may come after. I feel like I have invested as much into this as he does and would be completely heartbroken if we did not work out.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is about my first time writing on a blog. I usually just read but I will like to encourage at least one person out there reading too.
I am a doctor's wife and it will be 10yrs we've been married later this year. I am also a trained physician but I do not practice so I'm a full time home maker now. We have 3 young boys and we are an immigrant family so there's no real support system here. Our families are thousand of miles away. I may be able to practice in the future if I do all the exams but the boys have priority now. I can't imagine life for them if I'm not available for them considering my husband' schedule.
If we get so busy fixing other peoples lives and making all the big money, we stand the risk of breaking our own family and needing fixing too. My husband doesn't quite agree with this. I'm currently looking for alternate ways of earning an income for myself other than practicing medicine so that the boys can at least have one present parent.
After reading so many previous comments, I realize I am not alone in so many ways. I salute and respect all the strong ladies who are hanging in there.
My only additional advice is PRAYER. It is all I have anyway. It gives an inner indescribable strength and a peace that cannot be explained. It helps us make sense of some not so sensible situations. And it keeps us hoping for a reward far beyond our imagination.
God bless.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend wanted to become a surgeon. I'm also in the medical field and have turned down work opportunities abroad just so i could always be there for him.

We've been in a serious relationship for 4 years. There were good times especially during the first year dreaming about having a family and there were bad times when he flirts with his patients or ditches our planned rare dates to impromptu invitations to bar hop and go on a drinking spree with his co-doctors (not worst but to name a few)

Ive come to realize i became a doormat girlfriend to always be okey and understand their demanding busy schedule that they often use and abuse that excuse.

I've made alot of sacrifices along the way but i havent received any effort from him. Im very thankful that im still young to refocus my life, career and meet people. By that, Im breaking up with him. Never again will I date a doctor

Anonymous said...

After 24 years of marriage to an OB/Gyn, I found out he had been having an affair with a Labor and Delivery nurse for 8 months.She is 25 years younger than him. When confronted, he told me that he wanted a divorce,he hadn't been happy for 10 years, I didn't respect or appreciate him, and on and on. Our marriage was similar to others that I've seen posted here. He kept promising me that "next year will be better". The problem is, my expectations were too high. I thought that at some point I would become a priority in his life, but it never happened. After our daughter was born, I thought she would become a priority. He was a fantastic dad when he was around, but those occasions were few and far between.He missed soccer games, band concerts, spelling bees, etc. I accepted that emergencies would always take precedence, but I had a hard time accepting that he resisted making his family obligations a priority. After awhile, I began to resent it and our relationship gradually deteriorated. My advice to someone who is married to a doctor or committed to marrying a doctor: Be realistic about your expectations based on your spouses specialty and his commitment to his profession. Do not expect family meals to include him. Plan to function as a single parent. Shower your spouse with praise and compliments--the nurses and patients will and if you don't, you'll look like a shrew. Insist on time for just the 2 of you. Insist on marriage counseling before things get too bad. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

We divorced after 13 years of marriage. Been divorced for over 2 years. Now we are dating each other again. He is in his 4th year of med school right now. He is researching his match options and will be submitting his list soon. I have no idea where he will wind up living for the next 3 years. I will not go with him, because our daughter will just be starting high school and wants to stay here. So here I'll be, a single parent working full time while she finishes high school. While he finishes residency. Everyone is finishing something. But I am not. I am just keeping things afloat, by going to work every day, paying the mortgage. We are dating because we can. Who knows what will happen when he leaves again. I'll probably find another boyfriend. My ex thinks a long distance relationship is possible. I do not. I need help. Here. Now. Every day. Being divorced is freeing. I like it. It means I am faced with making things work out between us for no other reason than purely wanting it to work. It's true what's been said here. Expect nothing. I expect nothing. He can go, if that is what needs to happen. I hope that does not happen. But I have to be open to such outcomes. Perhaps I will find someone else to date. It's important for me to know that I will find the help and support that I need, regardless of what's going on with him. He is busy and important and doing great things, yes. Good for him. Truly. But so am I. I am raising our daughter. And THAT project will impact us far more than anything else we ever endeavor to achieve, as far as I'm concerned. And it will happen with or without him. Because I am still here. And I matter.

Jang Hyuk said...

Im glad I found this blog! Indeed very useful content and comments, keep it going!