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. Visit  danceswithsnakes profile page

    About danceswithsnakes

    40 Years Old; Joined Mar '10; Posts: 37; Likes: 13.

    41 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  CeilingCat profile page
    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. Visit  BurmaCharm profile page
    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. Visit  PostOpPrincess profile page
    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. Visit  kathy313 profile page
    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. Visit  John20 profile page
    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. Visit  Mulan profile page
    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. Visit  mamamerlee profile page
    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. Visit  PostOpPrincess profile page
    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. Visit  Midwest4me profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  kids profile page
    1
    Two questions for the OP before I can answer...
    Was the decision to continue on to grad school a decision you made alone or was it a decsion made with your husband's input?

    Does your husband have a degree or other marketable job skills?
    Zookeeper3 likes this.
  14. Visit  rmicu profile page
    0
    School can put a strain on any marriage.

    As someone stated earlier, if you have already checked out on your marriage, then continue w/ school , knowing that your marriage may not survive.

    However, if you want to remain married to your husband, talk with him on the real issue. You say his behavior started recently, so it wasn't there when you started NP school. What changed? Has he lost his job since you started school ?

    If you think it's worth it to save your marriage, have you considered taking a semester off in order to deal with your home life ? There is no harm in taking a break from school and starting again at a later date, if it will save your marriage.

    As a previous poster stated, marriage is more important than any career. However, a spouse who supports your goals is important. If leaving school will make YOU angry and resentful, discuss it with your husband, have a meeting of the minds.
  15. Visit  Moogie profile page
    0
    Quote from danceswithsnakes
    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.
    I think you have a couple of issues going on here. First, you have the obvious issue with an unsupportive spouse. Is he contributing anything to the family? Taking care of the children while you work and go to school? Was he on board for you furthering your education or was he initially supportive because he envisioned you bringing home a big, fat paycheck?

    How was your marriage prior to you going back to school? Were things more equitable? Or have the changes come about because you're in school?

    I'm in grad school, full-time, and my husband is supportive. However, there have been some tense moments, especially when he doesn't understand how time-consuming my program is and why I can't just take an evening off to watch TV. My husband is a veteran and has issues with PTSD, so he gets frustrated over little things very easily. That would be an issue regardless of whether I was going to school or doing something else. I would say that our marriage is good but there are times when I wonder if it would be less stressful if I could cloister myself away from the rest of the world until I get through. Grad school is stressful and tough even on the best marriages.

    The other concern that stuck out in your post was that you said you aren't exactly in love with nursing and you're tired of school. Everyone gets like that sometimes. I love school and I am attending a great program but as I'm circling around the end of the semester, I'm tired, too. (I've also been through times in which I hated nursing, left for several years and did something else, but the interest remained and I find that I love nursing too much to ever want to leave again.) The thing is, there's a difference between being temporarily tired of school and being mentally and emotionally fatigued to the point that you honestly don't want to be in school anymore. Do you really want to be a nurse practitioner or do you feel you can't quit now because you've invested too much of your time?

    Would you feel differently if you could cut back on either your work hours or your credit hours so that you have a lighter load? Or would that cause more resentment from your husband?

    I am very sorry this is happening to you. Unfortunately, this is a story that seems to be pretty common here on AN.


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