Husband needs help


I have been married to my wife for 7 years and 6 months ago we started having problems. She is two quarters away from graduating from Nursing school with a 3.5 gpa. I reacted in a negative manner to her stress levels. It now seems to me that I have been focusing on the wrong things to fix. I feel that I am digging myself deeper into a hole with no way out.

She is hurt by the way I have handled the situation but it just seems I cant do anything right.

I know everyone is busy but if you have any advise from encouragement to maybe even pitching this whole marriage let me know.

I am at my wits end.


474 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

Have you tried giving her a sincere apology? If not, I would suggest starting there and see where it leads your relationship.

Just know that the stress of school will end when she finishes - that said the first couple of years will also be stressful as she learns how to be a nurse.

If you feel that you are unable to communicate to each other, then you might try a marriage counselor before 'calling it quits.' At least then you both will know you tried everything before ending the relationship.

Good luck.


5 Posts

Yes I have apologized but the catch is that when I feel extremely frustrated I want to call it quits. I have done this so many times it is pathetic. Once the feeling of frustration leave me I regain my senses.

I am seeing a therapist and together we are seeing a marriage counselor.

Thank you for your help, and the heads up on the added stress when she starts working.


54 Posts

I think you and your wife are experiencing what all couples go through during nursing school,hang in there,so many people in my class divorced or separated because of the stress,my husband and i fought all the time and i felt like he was not supporting me because i was so stressed out,looking back i see we were all stressed but i was never as angry at my husband as during nursing school,and we were the same people before and it had to be nursing school,try to hang in there so you can both reap the benefits,my husband actually started telling people i was planning to leave him but that was never the case,get dinner ready for her,do what you can to show you are supportive,it's not about words but little things,good are not alone in your experience


5 Posts

Thank you for your kind words, your words give me hope. I will try to help and maybe steer clear of her and become less of a pest. Wish me luck with this.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

When she starts to look stressed, do one of two things:

1. Say: "You look stressed. What can I do to help?" and be prepared to hear, "laundry, dinner, and dishes" and other household chores that she can't get to because of schoolwork.

2. If she says, "No" to the first one, say, "Fine, but you still look stressed. How about I give you a hug and tell you it's going to be OK? Because I'm married to the best wife in the world and I love you more than words can say." School sucks, it's hard to get A's, and positive feedback is nil. Students need to hear that somebody loves them unconditionally, because they're positive that their instructors are evil beings intent on destroying every ounce of their self-esteem.

3. Pick a quiet time and make sure she understands that you're committed to helping you both get through this. Nursing school is tough and everyone needs to be on the same page. Your job is to support and take up the slack; hers is to get her studying and assignments on time.

4. Set a goal for a way to celebrate and relax when the school thing is over. We went to a theme park the day after I graduated and I was so glad I was done with school and so grateful that my family stuck by me all through the difficulties. Anyhow, we had a fantastic time and wonderful memories to this day of how great my DH was all through school.

My DH did the housework, shopped, kept me on schedule with school and work, and took care of our son while I went to nursing school. I felt like an absent wife and mother, and it was killing me, but I had to put school first. He didn't gripe about doing any of this. When I thought I was going to explode, he'd just come over and give me a hug and tell me it was going to be all right. He listened to me vent and gave me his understanding and support. It's hard to keep your eyes on the prize -- a good stable job in order to support the family -- but if you can, you will all benefit in the end.


79 Posts

I just posted this kind of advice in another thread.

Relationships really feel the stress of nursing school, not all last, but you can if you put your mind to it.

NO ONE really fully understands the kind of hell that nursing school is, except the people who have endured it.

I've faced a lot of really tough life challenges, and nursing school is pure hell. So is prepping and taking the STATE BOARD and enduring initial orientations while you search for a proper employment "fit".

I was fortunate to have gone thru nursing school with no spouse or significant other. I even broke off what looked like the beginning of a great relationship, regretfully, because I KNEW I could not devote the amount of time to him that he deserved. We can pick up where we left off now.

Nursing school really tests relationship.

I hope yours lasts. You can make that happen.

LovingNurse, BSN, RN

1 Article; 200 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Triage, Tele, Med-Surg.

I ditto everyone else's ideas and just wanted to remind you - the stress as it is now is temporary. Hang in there.

There's nothing you can do to lighten her school stress - (guys sometimes want to fix things) She may just need an ear/ shoulder - or be allowed to vent, without you feeling like you have to do something about it.

There are things that you can do to lighten her household stressors - Ask her what it is you can take on to make things easier on her once she is home. What chores is she still doing that you can do instead? She can focus on her studies and feel more rested/less stressed if she has help at home. (Plus, IMHO - there's nothing sexier than a man helping around the house! Instant bonus points!! ;) )

My husband did lots of laundry. I would have loved for him to cook a meal here & there, but that's not his thing. Instead he picked up fast food for me & the kids at times- and pretended not to notice the piles around us. ;)

Nursing school is AWFUL. It will get better. Please don't let your marriage be a casualty. If it was good before nursing school, it can be good again after. The new job will be stressful too, but it's a different kind of stress - at least it was for me. Plus, she'll have a paycheck then!

Good luck. Hang in there!



5 Posts

Thank you to all the posters . I have been trying to incorporate all your suggestions but at times it just seems that she is looking for stuff that I am doing wrong. I have cooked all the dinner meals this week. I got home at 9 pm and made dinner for tonight, she complained that I did not clean up after myself. I washed all the pots and and the stove but not good enough.

She has been worried about money but i just found out we have plenty of money to make her tuition payments and to get us by to June. I feel like I am high school again. I get an allowance, no sex, and get blasted on my chores.

I have resolved to make this marriage work, I need to concentrate on letting go of her complaints.

I very much appreciate everyone's help.

Specializes in LTC, Nursing Management, WCC. Has 15 years experience.

Ugh...nursing school stress and its impact on a relationship. It was hell for my wife and I. I went to school for 5 years. Talk about ups and downs. There are times when depending on school and work schedules that you don't see each other and other times you end up seeing each other too much. I am a firm believer that people need their own down time to regroup and recharge themselves before they can give to another.

We had and actually still have "coffee time". It just my wife and I and a pot of coffee. We talk about whatever we want. Sometimes, especially during a rough week, it mostly superficial talk, but the key is, IT KEEPS US TALKING. It is too easy to stop talking and then it becomes hard to resume communicating.

As a man, it does frustrate me that it would appear that the majority of our arguments are based on tasks. Dishes, laundry, vaccuuming, etc. My suggestion is to sit back and listen... you will normally find a theme. Sometimes, what is not being said is more important than actual words. We become frustrated with a deeper theme, but will start slinging more superficial things at each other because the deeper meaning may not be known or it is too painful to talk about at that point in time.

Just try not to fall into the habit of going tit for tat. It is a no win situation.

Hang in there...keep communicating, keep working with each other, keep supporting one another. Remember there is a difference between listening and hearing. Don't become too frustrated and spew venom when talking. Once it is said, it can not be taken back... ever! If things become too a time out. When men (generally) become frustrated, we want to "run" to comprehend what is being said but that can leave the other feeling left behind. I find what works for us is once I feel overwhelmed with the discussion, I simply say, I need a hour or two to chew on this. (giving a time is relays the meaning that you will come back and that your spouse is not simply left alone) By the way I am not saying to actually leave the house... just go to a different room or something

You need to know your triggers. As the conversation becomes more heated, men start becoming quite, which I think infuriates the spouse because suddenly there is no validation to what they are saying. The "quiteness" should be a big clue, because if the conversation keeps going, you're gonna blow.

Once you both understand what the problem is, work out an action plan. Try your hardest but remember that we are human and may not live up to the action plan 24/7.

I wish you both luck. Nursing school is hard and the stress is horrid.


UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

I went to school for three years. I was frantic to get A's and when I couldn't, B's would do.

Finally I finished school with a respectable B+ average and got my Associate's.

I wondered aloud one day if I should go back right away and get my BSN, but my DH shook his head solemnly and said, "Honey, if you try to do that, I'll have to give you a 'D'."

'D' stood for D-I-V-O-R-C-E. :roll

The same silly man and I have been happily married for 20 years. I hope you can hang in there, OB, because it is worth the effort.


5 Posts

Guys please say a prayer for us. We both have taken our wedding rings off and she is staying in the house because neither of us can afford to move out. That will be in July when she graduates and finds a job. I just cant keep my mouth shut.

This is on me no else, and I am not trying to throw myself a pity party.

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