Spouse Turning Nonsupportive During NP School

  1. 0
    I'm in graduate school to be a nurse practitioner. My spouse was supportive at first but since it is becoming an inconvenience to him he is getting resentful, starting fights, blaming me for being the one who wanted to go be a nurse practitioner, he's sick of all this nursing crap...etc., etc., etc.. It's stressing me out, I feel like I'm going through a change and evolving into a different person and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with it. We have children so it makes things a lot more complicated. I'm not exactly in love with nursing, I'm sick of going to school myself, but I'm trying to look at the bigger picture of what would be best for my family. I"m only 1/4 of the way through the program, so there's a ways to go. I'm the only one who works, pays bills, mortgage, and all living expenses, so I feel like I'm dealing with a spoiled child who's dragging everything down. I just don't know what to do. I've definitely grown apart from my husband in so many ways, and I'm afraid of more frustration if I quit school so I'm more available to cater to him. I just don't know what to do.
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  3. 41 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    If you quit school, you'll not only be shortchanging yourself & your kids, you will always resent him. If you keep going to school but don't do anything for him, he'll keep resenting you. So it seems like you've got to do something.


    I feel like there are two ways to try to deal with this:
    You could get him talking. You must keeping silent - no defending, explaining, or justifying. Just ask questions and listen. Think hard about what he says. What is he objecting to specifically? Is it the time away? The money? The irregular schedule? Feeling of alienation that you're doing something he doesn't understand? Feeling threatened by realizing you'll be making a great income and perhaps soon won't need him for financial support? Try to tease out why specifically he's having issues with. If it's something reasonable & changeable, do your best to change it (eg. the number of hours you spend with him & the kids).

    The other option is to commit to meeting with a couples counselor. This may be helpful, no matter what. Sometimes the relationship problem may be due to a individual's problem (eg. depression), and a good counselor will pull that person aside and help them with their own individual issues. If he's having insecurity issues, it might be better for your relationship, if he can work those out with the counselor. You can show him you care, but you can't be his shrink or his security-blanket.


    My heart goes out to you, because it is hard to be in nursing school and it's so much harder with kids to worry about and an unsupportive spouse. This is such a nice forum because so many of us have struggled with school vs relationship conflicts. I feel your pain! Even if I can't fix your relationship, I am here if you need to vent to someone who understands.
    citymoose, teine, Kim O'Therapy, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    I feel for you. My husband is the same way. Males need attention J My advise – give him sex 2 times a week even if you are not in a mood – fake it if you need. It will calm him down and give him security. If you don’t like nursing, why are you in the program?
    Otessa, mesa1979, and John20 like this.
  6. 43
    Excuse me?

    You're the one that works, pays the bills, and HE'S complaining?

    He should be kissing your feet.
    citymoose, gtterbug, blueheaven, and 40 others like this.
  7. 5
    Quite possibly he's thinking she's going to finish school, get a good job and leave him. So he may be trying to sabotage it.

    Finish school, do what you need to do take care of yourself and your kids. Find someone to talk to....counselor, therapist....even if it's just to vent.
    celclt, dreamon, Otessa, and 2 others like this.
  8. 7
    Spouses (male or female) do need attention. My marriage is WAAAYYY more important to me than my nursing career or education. I would walk from nursing today if it got in the way. Greater financial gains aren't more important to me than the quality of interaction between me and my wife/kids. The idea that he needs to support the expansion of your career at the expense of time with you is laughable to me. I guess it just depends on what is important to you and what you value. My advice is walk from school unless you are already checked out of your marriage.

    A lot of people on this site take nursing way to seriously. For me it's just a job, a paycheck to bring home to those who are important. I'll go dig ditches and live in an apartment tomorrow if my marriage was crumbling and that would help it.
  9. 0
    Quote from danceswithsnakes
    I'm the only one who works, pays bills, mortgage, and all living expenses, so I feel like I'm dealing with a spoiled child who's dragging everything down.

    Why are you the only one who works?

    Is he a stay at home house husband?
  10. 2
    Why does he feel like this is an inconvenience for him? Is he anxious to go back to work? Is there a group of other stay-at-home parents that he can hang out with from time-to-time?

    I would stay home and do EVERYTHING if someone would support me!!!!
    dreamon and tvccrn like this.
  11. 3
    Quote from John20
    Spouses (male or female) do need attention. My marriage is WAAAYYY more important to me than my nursing career or education. I would walk from nursing today if it got in the way. Greater financial gains aren't more important to me than the quality of interaction between me and my wife/kids. The idea that he needs to support the expansion of your career at the expense of time with you is laughable to me. I guess it just depends on what is important to you and what you value. My advice is walk from school unless you are already checked out of your marriage.

    A lot of people on this site take nursing way to seriously. For me it's just a job, a paycheck to bring home to those who are important. I'll go dig ditches and live in an apartment tomorrow if my marriage was crumbling and that would help it.
    Good nurses don't consider nursing "just" a job.
    rn4ever?, FocusRN, and elkpark like this.
  12. 5
    Unless he is staying home to care for the kids, he needs to get a job and help out. It infuriates me when I hear of these husbands who sit on their butts while the wives are doing everything.


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