My husband is currently in grad school. We got married after undergrad, I got a job and he went to grad school. He is on fellowship, which means his school is being paid for (so there's no resentment on my part 'putting him through school') and he has obligations other than just being a student.
His work/school is really starting to affect our marriage. He works all the time. Frequently this is from home, where he stays up all night, or it could be away from home. He also travels frequently, his travels are paid for but if I want to accompany him I have to spend $$ so usually I don't go. Since he is doing science/experiments, he sometimes has to work odd hours or travel unexpectedly.
Most recently, he traveled out of the country, and promised that he would take a day off when he got back to spend a day with me. That turned into promising to take off early a couple of days instead. In reality, he wound up working more than normal the week he got back. Ever since (for a month or so) he keeps saying that "sometime" he will take some time to spend time with me. There is no kind of normal schedule, and even if he is at home that is no guarantee that he is not working.
In his defense, he is not the one setting the schedule, I understand that grad school is very demanding and there just doesn't seem to be much he can do about the situation now. I had hoped to just wait out grad school and then maybe have a husband, but now he tells me this is probably what his career will be like as well. Any different would be a major career change, and this is what he is going to grad school for.
When he travels, I feel like I have to become a single person again. Then jump back to being married when he gets back. Except for when he works all the time, then I might as well be single. I'm so tired of having no idea when he will leave and no idea when he will be home. What hurts most is when he breaks promises, saying he will be home at 5 and getting home at 9, or saying he will take a day off and then not. I have told him how this makes me feel, and he just says that he's sorry and he doesn't want to hurt me, but I can tell he really doesn't understand why I feel the way I do. If he did he might at least do something to make up for all this.
I know a lot of women sign up for this when they marry doctors or lawyers or someone who makes a lot of money. That's not what I want or expected.
I have given up telling him how I feel because it doesn't get me anywhere. Now when he disappoints me I feel completely desperate, helpless, like I have no control. I feel like acting out, eating a tub of ice cream or downing a bottle of wine or something just to make me feel better, take my mind off it, and maybe get his attention. I haven't resorted to doing any of that but I don't know how much longer I can take it.
I am not willing to consider divorcing him, it is against my religion and I did actually take my vows seriously. But can I do anything besides accept this as my life?
It is a Ph.D., he has anywhere from 1-3 years depending on his research (again, the schedule that is up in the air and uncertain all the time). It wouldn't be so bad if I thought he would graduate and get a 9-5 (or 9-9) job, and settle down. But we recently had a discussion where he said whatever job he gets will likely involve similar scheduling and responsibilities/travel, so I don't see grad school ending as any sort of light at the end of the tunnel.
36 months of crazy schedule that ultimately leads to a non academic career with more crazy scheduling. That's tough. I've turned down lucrative consulting gigs because of that. And realistically, if I am going to work a hundred hour week I would not do it working for someone. At least I'd want equity.
I guess it's like you say, if you marry a doctor you put in for the fact he's never at home. This is like that. You have to evaluate whether the upside is worth it. And worth it to him.
I still remember the time I worked 84 hrs a week driving the missus to extensive lengths of frustration as well as me considering the countless fights over her needs. What is his goal though? Because if his goal is financial security be patient with him - I'm no longer a workaholic having a business that mostly just runs itself for example.
Again, still no end in sight. He is not doing this to try to obtain some type of financial goal. Obviously, we both need income, but any potential job he gets won't be anything extravagant. He is doing this because it is his passion. Even if we won the lottery, he would still probably want to pursue this career. If only it were about the money....(like I said, I know some women marry lawyers who work 90 hour weeks with the understanding that they'll have a nanny and a massage therapist instead of a husband).
Even if I could convince him to change careers, I know he'd resent me for it. Fortunately, we don't have kids yet so I'm the only one dealing with this. I would like to have children, but we've put that off until his career becomes more "stable", only it looks like that might not happen. I'm not comfortable having kids at this point knowing they couldn't count on their father.
Oh my goodness, I feel like I know exactly what you mean, except I haven't married the guy yet.
I've been dating my boyfriend for 10 months and things are mainly wonderful. When we first got together he said he travelled for work about 2 months of the year. Well, now I realize it's a lot more than that. He's gone more than half the time on trips around the world. And when he's gone, we talk but he's barely 'there' - he's exhausted, thinking about work, and we are totally disconnected.
When he is here it is great. But is this what I have to look forward to if we stay together? What about kids? I'm 35 and can't wait to see if his work changes. He works for himself and does something he's passionate about - I can't imagine he would or could do anything else.
I am so scared I will become resentful if I'm left alone to do all the housework, chores, look after kids and never have time to myself. When he is around, I don't even know how we'll still have enough energy to love each other and spend time together.
I can't imagine us breaking up though. What is the solution? He knows it's hard on me, but I've never brought up my fears for the future yet. We talk generally about kids, but not specifically about how we would manage it with his schedule. Should I bring it up? Am I jumping the gun? Is there any way to make to this type of situation work?