Anyone else with a spouse that's NOT on board?

  1. My husband does not want me in school - our youngest is still just almost two and he wants me at home with the kids (we also have an almost 7 and almost 5 y.o.). I've stayed at home until part-time school the last 2 years. Last year almost all of my school was online (hence at home), and this year I have been going 2 days/wk. About 1/2-3/4 of the time he watches the kids when I'm there. He does shift work so he is at home in the daytime more often than many people. That's actually one of the other reasons he doesn't want me in school, because we could be doing other things on his many days off, he feels like we're wasting the good part of his job - all the time off. I think it's mainly just that he doesn't want to watch the kids, because he never has. Even before school it was always a struggle if I wanted to go do something. So, I've told him I'd get a sitter, but he doesn't want them with a sitter any more than necessary either so he watches them but doesn't let me forget how miserable he is and how I'm making things so bad. He says the toddler cries all day (although my sitter doesn't have this problem). I think it's an exaggeration and however much is true is just because he sits around and just gets mad because he can't do what he's trying to do something non-kid-oriented, and the toddler is bored. He also doesn't do a single thing with the house - and I don't expect him to clean - BUT I mean he lets the kids COMPLETELY destroy the place like a hurricane went through every day that I'm at school. He also doesn't ever want me to go and do anything else besides school, since *school* is my 'hobby' now. And trying to do an assignment or study (which I'm super anal about my grades...)...is like pulling teeth, he pretty much expects me to do school without doing any work. Most of our friends' husbands *don't* keep their kids very often so it makes it an even harder argument (of course remembering that he doesn't want a sitter/daycare, either).
    We also had a hard year relationship-wise for other unrelated reasons, we are hanging in there but it had us on the line for a little while. This year is our 10th anniversary and I don't think most people would imagine that we'd part in a million years (the stuff I was talking about was mostly a secret from everyone). I think he believes that I'll get this degree and leave him (even though I've told him that's not it, and it's not). I think that other stuff is mostly over now, but the school thing is a neverending battle that sometimes seems like it's at critical mass.
    Part of the whole thing to me is money and being able to support myself and the kids if anything happened to him (he has a risky job but I don't have to work for us to be financially viable right now). I also just totally love nursing school. But I also know that he is totally miserable and I really feel like this is chipping away at our relationship, which has always been very very close and enviable, a soulmate-best friend type thing. I thought that going part-time would be a good compromise but it not working for him. I don't think I should have to quit, but I don't know if it's worth my marriage. He would probably be ok with me going back later, when all of the kids are in school, but sometimes you know how it goes when you lose that momentum? Plus, I just have to have a little something besides sitting at home with the kids all day, every day. Most the time is ok, but not every living hour. I have been pretty motivated until now, but I just don't know how long I can swim against the current, & the current is getting rougher. I thought I'd just stick to my guns and he'd 'get over it' but it ain't happening & neither one of us thinks we should have to give in. Even if I gave in and postponed school I'm not sure I could do it and not be resentful. What do you do when you just utterly disagree?
    •  
  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   manna
    Counseling?

    Good luck... my husband isn't terribly supportive either, but only because he's moving to the other end of the state and I'd like to stay here and go to school (my family lives here and are a much greater support system than he has been in the past, but I'm feeling a little sad about it now).
  4. by   mitchsmom
    We did go to counseling regarding the other situation, and got into the school stuff somewhat.. but dh gave it mostly lip-service. That's what I mean about just disagreeing... we both know what we want and can communicate it just fine... just can't meet in the middle (like I said, I thought part-time was meeting in the middle). ???? But thanks for the words
  5. by   alexillytom
    I really feel for you and pray that everything turns out OK.

    I hope you can find a middle ground on this but caution you that even if
    you waited until you kids are older, your husband may still not be supportive
    of your education. I saw this with my parents while growing up. There was always
    a reason for my mother not to go to school. Now divorced, one parent struggles to make ends meet while the other is living well.

    I am married with three young children. Luckily, my husband has been very supportive.
    But, the lessons from my childhood are very real to me. Not only have I always wanted to
    be a nurse but I know when I finish school, if my husband goes out and falls in love with
    the ticket taker on the NJ Turnpike, my kids and I will be OK.

    Keep your head up!!!
  6. by   domenica
    Hey. I think that it is excellent that you are ambitous and are going after your goal of becomming a nurse. I also think that your husband, being your soul mate and all, should back you up 100% with any goal that you want to achieve, and be willing to help and support you and your goals in anyway possible. Go after what it is that makes you happy. You should not have to feel that you will be jeopordizing your marriage by continuing with school. Talk things over with your husband, and try to make him see your reasons of why you want to continue with your schooling, just as you have described in your post. There is alawys room for comprimise, especially if you have a strong relationship like you say. You'll be able to work something out. In the mean time, don't let anything get in your way of accomplishing wahteverit is that you want to do. Hang in there, and I wish you the best of luck and I'll keep you in my prayers.
    God bless,
    Domenica
  7. by   RN 2005
    Yes.......I can relate. Many parts of your e-mail could have been written by me and also many others. This is a change for your whole family and sometimes they just do not like it. I had to decide for myself that this is what I want to do for ME. Selfish maybe - I just do not know. I have been married 14 years and I can relate to the worry about not being able to support myself or my family if something happened to my husband. I feel that is a very good reason to be going to school. You are doing it for yourself but also for the good of your children. School definitely creates waves in my family and I have a hard time not resenting them for still acting like I am working only. I now have to work AND progress toward my new career with no additional help or support. Now my house is messy, my family is not always happy, and to be honest neither am I all the time. But I am pursuing my dream of being a nurse and I feel like I should be able to. Only you know how to answer this for you. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I really wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide!!!
    P.S. my husband squawked alot more when I first began my schooling. The closer I come to graduation the more supportive he becomes. I look at sort of like an old dog learning new tricks. It just took him awhile to realize I was not going to fold!!
  8. by   Achoo!
    my husband supports me. He says I should go back to school because he never will. It's fine until I ask him to get the kids on the bus in the morning, or it interrupts his days off, I get the guilt trip. I don't think he realizes that this will benefit all of us, it isn't just me being selfish wanting more for myself. It's a catch-22. Unfortuantely it won't be over any time soon. Best of luck to you!! You are not alone!
  9. by   fry.girl
    Ladies,

    Just a little insight to share...I married at 17 just after having a baby. My husband was 23. We were young and in love :blushkiss and he had a great job. His preference was for me to be at home as much as possible with him and our daughter. I started Nursing school part time when I turned 18 and he was not against it but, he was not really willing to lend a hand in helping and encouraging me. He just did not see it as important, since at the time I didn't need a career. So I lost interest after two semesters and quit.

    Five years later, I was still a stay at home Mom and he was bringing home the bacon, and everything was grand....until he was very suddenly diagnosed with a uncommon blood disorder (aplastic anemia)...Well there I was 23 with no current work experience, no education, and a dying husband. We found ourselves at the mercy of welfare, medicaid, and our families for more than a year. I started working as soon as he was well enough to be home by himself, but it was very difficult to find work and work that paid well.

    Now I am 28 and kicking myself in the "a$$" :angryfire for not finishing school when I was younger and had the time...Now I work full time and go to school full-time :uhoh21:. My husband is much better healthwise (thank GOD), but is only able to maintain the house and our two girls (10 and 3). (that is fine with me, I don't want him to be sick again) He has accepted that being a "stay at home dad" is honorable work...and trust me you won't hear my husband talk down about how much "work" being at home is...He is also convinced that he never should have let me quit school...Hindsite is 20/20 you know...So he is my biggest fan now...I am not sure that all this can be helpful to someone who has not been through it, but I felt compelled to share it anyways!

    Think of it like this...You will NEVER feel stupid for finishing Nursing School...it is probably the worst feeling in the world to see your family struggle knowing that they would have been better off if you had just stuck to your guns and done what you knew was right...:imbar

    Something else to consider is this...a marriage should not swing from good to bad based on someone "getting there way"...If love exists between two people, they will see that everyone (including children) have needs, desires, goals, and a say in what affects the families future...

    My husband and I had our fair share of hard times and relationship problems, but when we started realizing that working as a TEAM was the answer, we both have been closer and happier!

    Thanks for listening...
    Last edit by fry.girl on Feb 27, '04
  10. by   alexillytom
    When I decided I was going back to school, I didn't know how my family would react.
    Well, my mother-in-law, (she's the greatest) told me that it is OK to be SELFISH sometimes.
    She told me that sometimes the best outcomes for my family would be based on a SELFISH decision.

    So just think, this one SELFISH act will result in my being able to put money away for my
    kids college education, finally take a "honeymoon" after 11 years of marriage, afford
    a newer vehicle for my family, buy my husband that 54 in. TV he has been lusting after for
    a few years, put more money in retirement account, and enable me to take care of my children if something ever did happen to my husband.

    Pretty good for a SELFISH person, huh?

    Sorry for the rant, I have been told on occasion that I was being selfish by going to school and working full time. Not by my husband but by other people who I thought would have been more supportive.
  11. by   fry.girl
    If your husband is acting out at you because you have decided to go back to school...unless he has a valid complaint..then you have to view this behavior the same way you would view a temper tantrum that your child is throwing at you...

    So what do you do when your child throws himself down kicking and screaming or holding his breath to get his way...(don't beat him :chuckle)

    IGNORE HIM...otherwise he will learn that this is an exceptable method of getting his way!

    BTW, I am not a man hater...this goes either way, women throw temper tantrums too...
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Speaking from experience - I can tell you that hopefully it will get easier. I went back to school full-time and worked full-time too at 32 when our sons were 10 and 5. I got my LPN at 34, my ADN at 36 and during these years, I did the work/school thing. My husband was extremely supportive. We discussed it before I started back because we knew that it would strain things for awhile, but in the long run it would be better. Now, at 45 I'm finishing my BSN (May 04 - woohoo) and then onto the MSN. This gives me the financial security that will be necessary when I get older. It also provides extras for us - like St Thomas vacations, helping our sons out financially and a nice house for us, not to mention being able to put more money away for retirement which is really the most important thing right now. I wish you luck - maybe just a nice weekend for the two of you would be a temporary fix. Take care...it will get better.
  13. by   fry.girl
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Speaking from experience - I can tell you that hopefully it will get easier. I went back to school full-time and worked full-time too at 32 when our sons were 10 and 5. I got my LPN at 34, my ADN at 36 and during these years, I did the work/school thing. My husband was extremely supportive. We discussed it before I started back because we knew that it would strain things for awhile, but in the long run it would be better. Now, at 45 I'm finishing my BSN (May 04 - woohoo) and then onto the MSN. This gives me the financial security that will be necessary when I get older. It also provides extras for us - like St Thomas vacations, helping our sons out financially and a nice house for us, not to mention being able to put more money away for retirement which is really the most important thing right now. I wish you luck - maybe just a nice weekend for the two of you would be a temporary fix. Take care...it will get better.
    YOU GO GIRL!!!! I am so happy for you...and your family!

    I am walking in your footsteps just a few years behind you. I am so happy that my husband and I have dedicated ourselves to making this happen. I hope to have my LPN by December 2005 and my ADN by December 2006, just before I turn "The Big 30"! Then its on to my BSN and possibly Navy Nursing...I know that once I am finished, we will never regret the sacrifices that we are making now...

    Take Care and Best Wishes!
  14. by   RedSox33RN
    I'm so sorry for your situation.

    I have a real problem when it's called "babysitting" when a parent is with their own children. It's not.

    It sounds like he needs to grow up, and realize that you are more than an extension of your children. You have to do stuff for yourself.

    I was in a similar situation. My husband was not always supportive either. But his reasoning was much more stupid - that I was going "to find some doctor that would make me happy" - geez Louise - as if that wasn't something right out of a darn soap opera! But now he realizes this is MY dream, and as mother's, we are allowed to have them and act on them.

    I'm sorry I have no words of advice, but please know there are others in your situation, and we're thinking of you!

close