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The Wives of Physicians

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Class n Sass

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For all of your PSers out there that are married/engaged to physicians please share your experiences in terms of time spent alone, raising children, financial issues etc. Also for those of you that were married to them during the hectic residency period please share!
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 12, 2004
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My x-bf, whom I could have married, is a physician. I am a nurse, and we met at the hospital where I work when he was in his residency (his 2nd yr of 4 yrs). At first it was great, we had a lot of things in common, including our jobs, but after awhile it got old. Granted, I know it was his residency, but I NEVER saw him and our relationship suffered greatly. We even continued to date after he finished and became an attending, and it was almost just as bad.

There were surely other reasons we were unhappy ( or I should say, I was), but the lack of time thing was the major blow to the relationship. In the end (3 and a half yrs later), I ended it because I didnt want a life like that- a life that my husband was never home and with me (he is in a very demanding specialty). Dont get me wrong- it was hard to walk away- we had great things about the relationship. I just couldnt live my life like that though.

We are still friends to this day- he jokes around sometimes (although I know he is serious) and asks me to leave my FI and come back to him- he always says that if he didnt marry me, he will never marry anyone. We were very compatible and in alot of ways had a great relationship, but it just wasnt meant to be....


eta: (This is not meant to offend anyone who is with/married to a physician- just my experience).



 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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lol okay i''m such a dork, i saw the title of this thread and was like oh that must be a new reality show. DOH.
 

nicolejrx

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 16, 2005
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Date: 1/23/2007 8:45:50 PM
Author:Class n Sass
For all of your PSers out there that are married/engaged to physicians please share your experiences in terms of time spent alone, raising children, financial issues etc. Also for those of you that were married to them during the hectic residency period please share!
Hello!
My husband and I have been together for over 3 years now (married for almost 4 months). He is a 2nd year psychiatry resident with the Navy. We don''t have kids yet so I can''t really comment on how to deal with that but I am a pharmacist and work long hours too so it can be difficult to spend time together... Last week I didn''t see him for 4 days/nights when I myself was working twelve hour shifts and his was on night float (working every night from 9pm to 9am).
With him being in the Navy, he has been deployed to Iraq twice for a total of almost 11 months (this was in the span of only 21 months) so I feel that gave me the best perspective with which to then deal with the hectic residency period. So even when he is on call, one night of sleeping apart is nothing compared to the 210 nights that I spent without him while he was at war! I do understand that my situation is very different from the normal but this is what I have learned from my experiences:
- Appreciate what the time that you have together and make the most out of it by doing fun things together, even if it just means renting a movie and getting a pizza or going on a walk. You don''t have to spend alot of money to truly have quality time!

- Keep busy yourself! Work out, talk with friends, if you don''t have a job consider getting one (as long as that wouldn''t put a burden on any kids( if you have them), read a book. Just anything fun that you enjoy doing!

- Keep communication lines open with one another, discuss your feelings openly.

- I sometimes bring him dinner when he is on call, sometimes just a coffee. Even if he only has a few minutes with me a big hug and kiss is sometimes much appreciated.

Good luck!
Nicole
 

katebar

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Jan 20, 2006
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My husband is a general practioner and I guess that is known as a physician in the US. We have been married for 20 years and together for 23 years. Did he work long hours in the beginning ? Yes Does he work long hours now Yes! but not so much and rarely at night unless he is called out.
The long hours were particularly hard when I children were young but my DH is an exceptional father and always devoted himself to the kids when he was home. When they started playing sport though he never got to see them play on the weekend but they understood and never complained.
It was lonely for me in those early years when he was working at night and weekends particularly when our non medical friends had the weekends to socialise and have family time. I used to get fedup with going to the park as I felt I could''nt visit my girl friends as much if thir husbands were hom. I must admit too it was very hard in the late afternoon early evening to have to DO everything for the children when they were tired and cranky. But we survived.
The study issue was over by the time we had kids so that was never an issue.
All up though I''m pretty sure we don''t have to many regrets and as I said we have been married for 20 years and still really ''dig'' each other and my kids adore him even if he was''nt there as much as some other dads
 

ephemery1

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I'm not a physican's wife (or anyone's wife, for a few more months!), but my fiance is the son of a physician, so I can share a bit about his experience. He is an only child and has always had a good relationship with both his parents, but was MUCH closer to his mom growing up. She was there for all his hockey games and practices, it was just the two of them at dinner every night, she drove him to and from school every day, etc. His dad is very generous and loving and kind... but his time was limited... and in retrospect, FI does wish he could have had more time with him, growing up.

And now that his dad is getting closer to retirement and slowing down a bit, their relationship is changing a lot... and it's not always easy. His dad is suddenly anxious to be more involved and doesn't always understand when FI doesn't have time to just drop everything and hang out with him... sort of the old "Cat's Cradle" song, I guess. And it isn't easy for FI's mom, either... she had become accustomed to doing a lot of things on her own over the years, but suddenly she's got a partner... it's a big adjustment!

Don't get me wrong, they really do have a great relationship... and every family has different challenges to deal with... having a physician parent is certainly not a horrible one! But I know when we have kids, FI is going to do everything possible to be able to coach their teams and spend time with them when they're young... since he realizes now how much he values that.
 

Class n Sass

Shiny_Rock
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Thank you. The advice has been helpful. I know exactly what I am getting into and I know that it won''t always be easy but I still wanted to get the perspectives of others who have already gone through it.
 

AceP

Shiny_Rock
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May 28, 2006
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my live-in bf is a resident, and my mother is a doctor. spend my life surrounded by ''em! to be perfectly frank, i don''t really mind my bf''s hours. yes, i miss him sometimes. but i have my life, too - and a very fulfilling career. because we don''t have kids to worry about, i just see it as an ample opportunity for "me" time. the only time it really bothers me is when he can''t come with me to a wedding or take a weekend away or something like that. but i live in NY where people routinely work 80 hour weeks, so maybe everything is relative...
 

Class n Sass

Shiny_Rock
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Acep...I live in NY too. I work full time but nothing close to doctor hours..lol I am a teacher so I am usually pretty tired by the time I get home. I definitely value "me" time, so I guess I can look at it that way too
 

AceP

Shiny_Rock
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and you must have plenty to occupy you in the evenings, too - like lesson planning and grading? so you won''t get too lonely. one thing i do have to remind myself is that while i have plenty of "me" time, he doesn''t get so much of that. so i make sure when he does have time off that i don''t monopolize it - i try very hard to give him space and send him off for nights with friends and things like that. i know he appreciates that.
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 27, 2006
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1,526
I''m engaged to a physician, but I''m also a physician myself. I don''t know if that makes it more or less difficult. We also live in separate cities for the time being. With two people with hectic schedules, planning time together is really hard. I won''t see him at all this month, and only for 2 weekends next month (out of which he has to work one day each weekend). Time is short when we are together, definitely. We have to be creative. We call each other even from the hospital if things are light and we know the other is home. Even if it''s for 5 minutes in between doing things. It keeps us close, I think. I think it helps in the way that we understand what each other is going through. When I call up and say "my attending is so stupid, he did blah blah blah, can you believe that?!", he can say "Yeah, sweetie, that sounds pretty dumb" and really know what it feels like to have an attending do things you don''t agree with. Similarly, we understand what it''s like to be on call and understand that if we don''t hear from the other, it''s not because they didn''t want to call, it''s really because they couldn''t. If I''m working so much to begin with, it''s really helpful for me to be able to talk about it, because or else I''ll have nothing to talk about!

In any case, you didn''t say what type of physician your SO is, and it makes a big difference. If he''s doing a general surgery residency and becoming a general surgeon, then chances are you will need to be happy with not having him around very much for the relationship to continue (but then again, I''ve seen general surgeons who only do breast surgery and their hours are very light). On the other hand, if he''s going into radiology, you might just have a few busy years during residency and after that have fairly normal hours. It depends a lot on the type of person you are to begin with, whether or not you let your career get out of control and interfere with your family life or not. Some people can''t help wanting to be the greatest cardiac surgeon in the city with the highest numbers (or make the most money). Some people are satisfied with a slower pace.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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I''m the daughter, grandaughter, cousin, niece etc etc of too many doctors. Neither I or my brother and sisters nor the majority of my many cousins have done medicine or married doctors. We all know way to much about it to want in!

Mind you, I now work in politics where the hours are worse, the pay is worse and there is zero thanks or job security so my judgement is not to be trusted!
 

musey

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Sep 30, 2006
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11,242
I'm not married to one, but my dad is one. His schedule was crazy (emergency room physician) but he definitely had to put in a lot of extra effort to make sure that the kids got "dad" time. I'm the youngest, so I got the most of him, but both my brothers were born during his med school/residency years, so during their first years he wasn't able to be as present.

My parents worked really hard to have alone time as well, they had a nighttime ritual (on nights when he was home from work) that they stuck very stongly to, and we all knew that that was "their" time. He was often very stressed and tired and my mom was good at brushing that stuff off. They've now been married for 32 years and seem happier than ever--all the kids are out of the house and they have really reconnected.

So, it's possible! I don't know their secret per se, but seems to me it took a lot of patience on my mom's end and a lot of lost sleep on his, which he is now catching up for!


ETA: My mom very much wanted to be a working parent, but made the choice to stay home because if she didn't, we would NEVER have had parents around with his crazy schedule. She had to give that up and it's still hard for her. Then again, when he was free he could count on her being free as well (this helped on the "time alone" front).
 

Tacori E-ring

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Aug 15, 2005
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20,038
I am also NOT married to a doctor but both my father and FIL are doctors. I really felt like my mom was a semi single mom when I was growing up. My dad was hardly home. I don''t remember him at birthdays, school events, ex...but I know his idea of being a good "provider" was making money for us. Also he is a workaholic. He takes on lots of extra things. He teaches, invents, tutors residents for their boards, goes to conferences, speaks at conferences...he is very involved. I think he takes his job to a level not every physicians needs too. I cannot speak for my husband''s experience but he was an ER doc for 20 years. My FIL did not take on all the extras my dad did/does but I know he often had to work on holidays. Now he works in private practice as a general doctor (office hours). He actually only works 4 days a week now and would be home more if he didn''t commute 1 hr each way to work. Basically what I am getting at is it is really about choice. My dad could have worked less, my FIL and his family could have moved closer to his work. It is a stressful job but they love it.
 

fisiogrl

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Joined
Jan 6, 2004
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188
I married one and he is my best friend. No regrets.

Although he is in his residency and crazy busy, I am always amazed at how much I do get to see him! Since he is in ER and it is a lot of shift work, he is often at home on weekdays which can be very fun. They always feel like stolen days because no one else expects us to be around and we can do whatever we like. Like skiing when the mountains are empty or matinee movies!

Sometimes his life is horribly stressful - but he is such an even tempered guy that it rarely spills over to me.

He is at work right now. And I love my alone time too. Which ofcourse gives me plenty of time to spend/waste on PS for instance!

His life seems to work well for us. I have a full-time career, like to play soccer and take art courses. ....And I like time to myself, so it seems to work. Weirdly, he complains more that I neglect him!

Anyway, I agree that the choice or specialty really makes a difference. None of the surgeons seem to have a life (?except urology). But radiology, anaesthesia, ER, derm, rheum, neurology seem to have great lifestyles when they are done.
 
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