Hello wide world of inter webs. This is my first attempt at a blog. I’ve never had the urge to write anything or share anything with others, but my inner psychologist is telling me this may be a good thing for me. It’s been a very trying time for me recently. My wife of 5 years and life confidant of 14 years recently told me to move out. The last 9 days have been tumultous ones for me filled with despair, drinking, confusion and self reflection. Its hard to do all the self reflection in your head…its a mess of disparate thoughts with yourself as the only arbitrator. So I thought I’d put it in writing and see I can make any sense of this.
Where do I begin….. I love my wife. We have known each other since we were 12 years old and, just about, we have been together since then. We’ve been married 5 years and, in my eyes, we had a really great marriage early on….the honeymoon years. I was really my best self with her. Nothing was more important to me than this love, this person. Not a career, not other friends, not my parents…just her and us. We’d often daydream of where in the world we could move to, a beautiful place where money didn’t matter and we could just live for ourselves and the beauty around us. We were romantics, dreamers.
After graduating college around the top of her class, my wife had a tough go with her engineering career. She lost 2 jobs in 5 years and this began affect her self esteem. A small piece of my happy-go-lucky wife was lost. Its hard to tell someone not to attach too much self worth in a job, especially in one that you lost to circumstances out of your control. But its hard to really put yourself in those shoes, if you haven’t gone through it. I had a great job making more than enough money for us to be happy, so money wasn’t the issue. My wife wanted to do something meaningful with hereself; I’ve always appreciated my wife’s ambition. So during this downtime of hers, we came up with the crazy idea of trying a field in medicine, dentistry rather. At 30, she’d be at the top range of her class, but the idea of this career appealed to her very much. Did we really plan out what this would entail? Probably not nearly enough. We thought about the outcomes, not so much about the process.
When my wife got accepted to dental school, her confidence skyrocketed and I began to see glimpses of her old self again. This made me happy and it was great for our relationship. How great the rest of our lives would be if we froze that moment for eternity, a life built on love for each other buttressed with job satisfaction and financial means.
Our initial plan was that I would continue to work in Hometown, where I had a high paying job and, after getting my bonus in January, I would move out to Schooltown. We figured we’ve been together for so long that we could make this work. We knew someone else who went through the same exact thing and made it work. Granted neither of us were the best when it came to communicating over the phone, myself probably more so.
Here I am going to rush through the next 2 years, as I will try to reflect on that later… but basically, I decided to stay one more year at my high paying job. My wife was spending most of her time in the library or with study groups, and I thought we could make it work for another year with the goal in mind of getting there during her third year, her clinic year, when things supposedly got better. In January of Year 2, after getting my bonus, I quit my job. My wife was in the midst of her hardest semester and suggested to me earlier that perhaps it would be better if I move in after the summer, so that she could complete her 2nd year, distraction-free, and study for her board exams which she was taking in the summer. For me, I viewed this as an opportunity for me to take a mid-life, pre-family sabbatical. I was discontent with my desk job and thought some time off to recharge and reflect would do me well. I took 6 months off and traveled. However, over that last year and a half, a lot of issues had been building between me and my wife.
In late August, I moved to Schooltown. It was tough because we still had a lot of open wounds in our relationship that we didn’t address. She was too busy in school and didn’t want the added stress of a “real-talk” and the argument it may bring. However, at the beginning it wasn’t bad. We were both happy to have each other those first few days. And so for 2 weeks, we kind of lived in this bubble. She was now seeing patients at school and I was in this new town twiddling my thumbs trying to figure how to get started on my own life here. My stay ended quickly though, when on that Friday I felt jilted. To tell the story quickly, my wife had told me earlier that week that she would have some sort of faculty dinner on Friday that would go from 7-10pm. She would be real busy the following week and unfortunately it seemed like this obligation would take all her free time for the weekend. I always hold out a little hope that we can squeeze some together time on Fridays or Saturdays. Those days are important to me. Without any word from my wife, I waited until 1am when my wife finally got home. I was upset, concerned and confused. She later told me that in fact she had made up the story and in fact went out to hang out socially with some new friends. I was really hurt and did not want to talk about it right away, as I was so hurt. Already feeling alone in San Antonio all week, I felt more alone. I then make matters worse by drinking to find solace. Drunk and still upset, my wife comes in to find me kicking a ball against the wall. She takes the ball from me. All reason is lost now. I ask for the ball back and when I don’t get it, I smash some plates on the ground. We both retreat.
The next day I get an eviction notice. Our arguments have scaled too much and she is scared of me and wants me to leave. She is hurt by my reaction and I am hurt by her deception. She wants a break. With no one apologizing, I leave….crestfallen.
How did things get to this? Who is at fault here? Does it really matter? Where do I go? How can I cope? How can I learn going forward? Where can I get help?
This led me to scoping out the internet. Had other med school/dental school students gone through something similar? There aren’t too many real stories out there. That led me to creating this blog, to putting my thoughts on paper, to thinking this through…..as imperfect as it may be.