Want opinions, experiences: How has nursing school affected your relationship?

  1. Just curious....

    Nursing is my dream, has been since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I was presented the other day by my now ex, with an ultimatim, him or nursing school. Well, I don't think I need to tell you what I chose. It was nursing school. I waited a very long time to get here. Put my family first, worked hard my whole life and when I got laid off from my job of 10 years, I decided to go to school and accomplish my dream. I'm 36 years old, not getting any younger, and I'm in my ADN program which I don't need to tell any of you is a very hard thing to do. I made it through Nursing I with a B+ average, several thousand dollars in between tuition and books, not to mention time and energy, and most importantly, its my dream I'm not willing to give up. My children are not neglected, and are in fact, very supportive. My ex could not handle the demand and dedication involved with school. I know that it took a lot away from our relationship, but, with only 1 1/2 years left, I feel its a small sacrifice that will surely pay off in the end. I stood by all his decisions, why can't he stand by mine? When I got laid off, I went to him with my decision and explained how involved it would be, how much we'd have to sacrifice and asked permission. At the time, he supported it whole heartedly. Anyways, long story short, when he asked me to make a choice not only was I hurt and deeply offended, I hated being put in that position. But, I had to choose school. I have put everything and everyone in front of my self for my entire life. I've worked hard and now that I am doing something for me (and for everyone else when you think about it), its wrong and unacceptable. But, I chose school. I've learned in the one semester of nursing school that you learn a lot about yourself and a lot about the people around you. I guess the thing that is bothering me the most is that I learned that he just didn't care about what was important to me. Anyways, who here thinks I am being selfish? I'm not changing my mind, but, I wanted to know if anyone else has had this type of experience as well? I know I'm not alone, there were a few people whose relationships didn't even make it half way through Nursing I. Just wanted to get some opinions or experiences from the people I know can relate the best: fellow nursing students. Thanks.............
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   BoonersmomRN
    From what you have said I do not feel you are being selfish at all. I can't even imagine being given an ultimatum like that and honestly if I was..I can tell you my answer would have been the same as yours. Relationships are about open communication and working together- not ultimatums.

    My relationship has hit bumps along the way in school but I believe that it has and will continue to make us stronger. We had a very long talk about how involved school was going to be...but it is very different DOING it then talking about it. There have been many times when I have had to put my foot down and say " Sorry, I have to do this...right here right now school is the priority" but then have always done my best to also make him a priority at other times. The first year was hard and now I am about to enter my last year and I expect a few more bumps...but there is always that light at the end of the tunnel..or so we joke about.

    What you described just sounds heartbreaking to me . You are right- you DO learn alot about yourself in nursing school. I am 33 but my story is the same as yours...hang in there. Your time is now. :spin:
  4. by   Sheri257
    You're not being selfish. This is one thing I've never understood about boyfriends and//or husbands who don't support their spouses going through nursing school ... because it's going to pay off for them also.

    My husband is absolutely thrilled with the money I'll be making, and I'll be making a lot more money than he does. Now, my husband feels like he can kick back and relax.

    My husband is actually the envy of the guys in his office. One of them said he wished his wife had worked on a second career because she's in a dead end job that doesn't pay anything and, because of it, they're struggling financially.

    I just don't get it. I guess some guys are so insecure that they can't see the long term benefits.

    :typing
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It was selfish of him to give you an ultimatim (my husband was looking over my shoulder reading your post with me and said "only a [jerk] would ever ask his wife to choose like that"). In my opinion, you made the best choice. You may be doing something for yourself, but your also doing this for your children by continuing with school.
  6. by   DaughterofRuth
    I'm not yet in nursing school but we're already feeling the strain here. We had a bit talk last week and the crux of it was - he can be supportive of me as long as he's feeling supported too. Yes my studies are very important, but my DH needs to feel he's important too and apparently I was failing at that. Learning balance will be my goal for the next semester. I'm grateful that it hasn't come to an ultimatum as it did with the OP - how hurtful that must be! For what its worth I think you made the right choice.
  7. by   manofcare
    I am so sorry that your relationship has come to this! I hope that both of you can keep the children a true priority in your relationship after marriage. Please, please, please don't use the children against him, and try to do everything you can to keep him involved with your children. They need their father, I just hope he understands this as well. I went through a nasty divorce a number of years ago with my ex and myself being too prideful to budge an inch on any issue with the kids or anything else. The only people who really suffered were the kids. Enough of DR Phil. It seems to me that several couples at our semester end/Christmas party were having problems. The stress was a lot for both the students, and for the spouses. My wife is very understanding of the demands of school, yet she was feeling neglected by the end of the semester. I am going to try to spend more quality time with her next semester. Maybe have a date night, and just get out. I try to tell her how much I appreciate her and I know how hard it is on her as well. She gets lonely.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Maybe have a date night, and just get out.
    We make sure we do this once a week. Communication is key if any marriage is to make it.
  9. by   SoulShine75
    You aren't being selfish, you're being smart. In another post I mentioned that the only person you can truly depend on is yourself. I learned this the hard way. Here is a short story for you...I was/am married for several years and have 4 children. My husband and I separated and I was left with nothing. He made all of the money. I had no job as I was a housewife and all I was left with was the bills, a car and a home I couldn't pay for. Throughout those 3 months I did a lot of soul searching. At first I was blaming him for all of our problems and for the fact that I was about to be on the street. It felt like the lowest point of my life. Things like this happen to people of all kinds every day. One night I was praying to God to help me and that is when it dawned on me, in a major way, that the only way out of my situation was to help myself and take responsibility for myself. I decided then and there that I would never be in that situation ever again. A felt a bit like Scarlet O'Hara. My husband and I did work out our issues and everything has been great since then. I told him I was going back to school and whether he is aware or not my main goal is to be a strong enough woman to care for myself and my children who depend on me.....just in case. It's been 3 years since that time and I will never forget it. Now here I sit about to enter 3rd semester nursing and I have done it all with 100% support from my husband and children. It is tough on them, I'm not gonna lie. But is is temporary and the light at the end of the tunnel is near. As Oprah Winfrey says...one of the most powerful things in the world is an educated woman and I believe that with my whole heart. Don't give up on your dreams for anyone. I'm sorry your ex isn't understanding and that it has come to this, but if you want this badly enough...

    Maybe he's scared knowing you'll be standing on your own, whatever his reasons, if he truly love you he'd be there next to you cheering you on.

    Be strong and good luck!

    I'm officially off of my soap box. :spin:
  10. by   Sheri257
    My husband was always so supportive but ... we always planned getaway trips for after semester breaks ... that really helped a lot. While he wasn't always the priority during the semester, he was my top priority during the breaks. I know it meant a lot to him.

    :typing
  11. by   amybethf
    I'm so sorry.......what if he realizes that he's a bonehead and apologizes and accepts that this is a short-term neccesity for a long-term reward that benefits all? Would u consider it? Can u make a special night for eachother every week and not discuss school and kids?
    I know SO many people that succeeded in becoming an R.N. noting that it was the hardest time in their life but are SO glad they remained stalwart to their goal. Another poster said communication is key and I truly believe this. Your spouse needs to support u 100% in order for you to attain this lifelong goal. It has to be a mutual goal in other words. My husband & I are both in second careers going to school w/ 2 young kids and yes it is stressful ALOT but at the end of the day, we know where all the hard work and sacrifice will take us. Wthout goals, where do u go in life?!
    I am so sorry that this has happened to u, especially knowing how hard nursing school is. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense really. I really hope there is an opportunity to make amends and he comes to his senses, not just for u but for the kids as well.
    Good luck to u and keep us posted!
  12. by   Student at UMass
    I am glad this page offers you a chance to talk this out. It sounds tremendously stressful to be put into a situation like that by an ultimatum. Since my husband is in an intense grad program here, I have had lots of nights wondering HOW THE H*** we were ever going to get through these years of both of us in school with an intact, functional relationship. We have had lots of talks over the years about how to handle personal, financial, and social turmoil, and one of the first and foremost rules we have always observed is "NO ULTIMATUMS"... They are really bad news, and cut off communication cold. I wish you all the best, and congratulate you on being so close to attaining your dream!
  13. by   DawnFL
    I have been very very blessed with a super loving, supportive husband and kids. Not only did my husband STRONGLY suggest I go back to school, he turned his whole life upside down in order for me to do it. We have 4 children and he was the director of a couple of units (at a small rural hospital) as well as the ACNO (Ass. Chief Nursing Officer), well to make a long story short...he resigned from those positions. He went back to being a hospital supervisor. When I am in school Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Friday, he is off and at home with the kids. He now works Friday, Sat, Sun and Mon. He is always willing to help me study, whether it's him helping or helping by just keeping the kids busy and quiet so I may study. I have made a promise to myself to NEVER take him (or my family) for granted. I make time for them always and I always remind them that they come FIRST before everything. I also thank them often. While in school, the house may not be as clean as it used to be, dinner may not always be "great" but never once have I heard him or the kids complain about it. I am so sorry that the OP (or that anyone is )was slapped in the face with this ultimatum. When school is finally over and I have RN after my name, I hope I am half the RN he is.

    Dawn
  14. by   dansamy
    Most of the people I know who were married when we started nursing school....aren't any more.

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