Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guest post: Bitten by the green bug

I never thought I would meet someone who is jealous of a med student. Not the kind of "Oh, I wish I got in to X school" type of jealous. The real "wow, you are so busy and love what you do and I want that" kind of jealous. Unfortunately, it isn't a friend or former classmate who was bitten by the green bug; it is my husband. Since we moved to a new city in July once I got into med school, he only had a few months to find a job before the financial and family pressure set in. Now, 2 months later, he is 3 weeks into a job- what he did think was his ideal job, but he HATES it. Hates it to the point he regrets moving, I feel like a cheerleader every day trying to make him happy at home, and this whole situation stressing me beyond the point of what I thought was stress-able. The fact that I LOVE school but also need to study all night doesn't make it too much better. Has anyone else had a spouse/domestic partner who had trouble during training/after? Any ideas?


I am a mom of a beautiful, smiley 5 month old daughter, wife to a wonderful (if not too happy at the moment) husband, and first year medical school in the school of my dreams somewhere near a coast.


  1. I have a sort of similar situation with my live-in boyfriend. I'm a second year med student, and bf quit his job and moved with me to our new city when school started over a year ago. He was looking for a job for 4 (very long) months, and when he finally got a job offer, he took it even though it wasn't his dream job by any measure. Since then, the he has liked the job more than at first, but he still doesn't love it. Meanwhile, I'm totally loving school, and I'm sure I annoy him with all my gushing about it!

    Since bf doesn't seem to love talking about his job that much, I try to instead ask him about his hobbies and other interests: his friends that he plays poker with, his art projects, how his fantasy football team is doing, etc. Maybe you could try the same tactic with your husband, and get him to focus on the things that he does love?

    Another thing: I think that being 3 weeks into any job can still be very new and scary, so hopefully as time goes on, your husband will become happier with his work (and home) life. In the meantime though, try to hang in there! Hope that helps somewhat!

    1. thanks so much! i definitely am going to take your advice and start asking about other things- that is a great suggestion. Good luck to you, too!

  2. I am a second year med student, and at times my wife gets the green eyes. She is being a full-time mother right now with two toddlers, and we're going for another one. She loves being a mom but also yearns for professional fulfillment. It's a struggle that we're not sure how to manage right now.

  3. My husband moved here for me to go to school where I am, has a demanding job that occasionally makes him crazy, and has a horrible commute so that I don't have to have one. I try to make it better by asking him what he wants to do when I'm done with training, and trying to pick a specialty that will allow him to pursue something else while I support the family while he decides. Sometimes it's hard.

    Your husband has only been working there 3 weeks. It's possible that things will get better. Tell him to give it at least 6 months before starting a search for something else. It's a lot easier to find a job if you already have a job, so hopefully that will work to his advantage this next time around. A lot of times people won't admit it, but a lot of people don't like their jobs, and sometimes it takes months or years (or decades) to find something that you really like. Having one job you hate isn't the end of the world. It's just part of the process.

  4. I think though, you have to remind him he is comparing apples to oranges at the moment. You are just starting your TRAINING while he is starting his WORK. School is always more fun and more interesting and less stressful than WORK.

    Once you start internships and residency, once you have to worry about the stress of being an attending, hopefully he'll see that no job is all sunshine and roses. I know lots of people in residency who are going through hell and look upon their non-doctor friends with envy because those people are DONE, can buy houses, plan for the future, are paying off or have paid off their student debt...AND many are fulfilled with their jobs to boot. Some are even questioning their choice to pursue medicine in the first place.

    But I agree that the first few weeks of any job, even a dream job, will be difficult and just keep reminding him to hang in there. And like OMDG says, if he hates it, support him through a change.

    1. "School is always more fun and more interesting and less stressful than WORK."

      I respectfully disagree. I was about a million times more stressed out by med school than I am by my job.

    2. I think if my job were as stressful as having to memorize encyclopedias worth of information and getting tested on it every other week with a very real chance of failing at any given time, I would definitely quit.

  5. This situation may be temporary. In three months, you may be miserable and he may love his job. Three weeks into a job/school is just too soon to tell.

    One thing that struck me was that you said you spend the whole night studying. Who watches the baby during this time? If it's him, then that right there is a problem. If he doesn't have time to decompress and relax in the evening, that could affect how happy he is in his job.

    1. Thanks, Fizzy. My husband picks up the baby on the way home from work, but I am usually back once he gets there (around 5/6), and then I am in charge of playtime/bath/bed... it's the "grown-up night" that is spent studying, which is probably part of the problem.

  6. First of all, congratulations on knowing and fulfilling your personal vision. It is vitally important for you and for those you love, as well.

    Perhaps you living out your dreams is reflecting back to your husband that he is not. But this isn't any indictment on your goals. It is a wake-up call for him to live on purpose with purpose.

    And, frankly, I do believe that a few weeks is enough time to decide if you are happy in a job or not. You know why? Because your gut immediately tells you when a situation isn't in alignment with your purpose. But giving us "time" in a situation is a way to train our brains to justify staying there and override that gnawing inside our bodies.

    You can only give to others what you already have. Your husband should do some needs and values work to see what other areas of his life he can draw upon to fill his "happiness" tank right now.

    "Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values." Ayn Rand

    I help people create their life design so that they can live with more intention. What's so good about that is they have far more energy and greater focus on what's really important to them.

    Best to you both!

    Tracy Sherwood
    Professional Life and Wellness Coach


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