Post by NewEnglandLady » May 28th, 2008, 6:06 am
I feel like I've been posting a lot of "I need advice" threads, but you ladies (and gentlemen!) are so wise and supportive, I really value your opinions. PS is such a great place!

So this is the issue: DH is about 90% sure he wants to quit his job and go back to school this fall.

For the record, I am 150% supportive of whatever he wants to do--he's worked very, very hard and I'm proud of him, but he's not very happy in his career and more than anything I want for him to be happy. We are in our twenties--I'm 27 and he's 28, we have few responsibilities: no kids, no mortgage, no car payments etc. and we can live on my salary and still have a comfortable amount in savings. Also, we wouldn't have to take out any loans for school. I feel that if there is any time for him to do it, now is the time.

DH is currently an actuary--as an actuary you have to take a series of 9 exams which get increasingly harder and only a certain percentage of test-takers pass on a global level--it usually takes maybe 10 years to pass them all? DH has passed 8 of them and just took the 9th exam. He already has a title for passing 7 of them, but passing all of them would be nice. The issue is that he's not happy in his job...but he's not sure if it's the job or if it's him. He doesn't know if he should appreciate what he's got and just push through his frustrations and "cope" with it or if he should just bail, see what else is out there and hope he finds something he likes more, even if it's not as financially rewarding. I really feel like his current profession is one we can "fall back on" if need be--since he has a title, it would be easy for him to get back into this field.

What DH struggles with is that he feels ready to move forward in his life--we've been saving for a house and he's very ready for that step and to and start thinking about a family. He feels that by going back to school and not having his stream of income, those plans would need to be put on hold. He feels that going back to school is a step back. I don't really feel this way at all--I think that continuing his education in something that would benefit him more in the long-run is a step forward for him and for us (I don't want to see him miserable in his job for years go come). And besides, we don't have any plans to have kids for atl least 3 more years, anyway, which I feel gives us some time. He says that by giving up a good, established career he feels that he's sacrifcing too much for something he don't know will turn out the way he wants. My argument is that he can always go back to that if he needs to.

I would love to hear if others have experience in this--I know it's common for people to go back to law school or get their MBA (DH is a mathematician, so he'd probably be getting his PhD in physics or something similar). How did you decide as a couple what to do? What decision did you make? What were some of the hardest parts of that decision? Did you or your spouse regret it?