how many women have felt like this?

Nurses General Nursing


Most of you who frequent this board know my stroy...I quit a well paying job to go to school(because of health reasons) I chose to go to the ADN program. Now here I am not working, trying to get all of my financial assistance lined out, totally broke, and terrified. My husband works, but when you go from 2 incomes to 1 it is very scary...he keeps telling me it will be okay and I know that he will do all he can to make it that way, but whether he realizes it or not...he is not mighty mouse here to save the day,lol.

My biggest problem is that I have taken care of myself since I was 15 and got my first job...I bought my own school clothes, class ring, prom dresses and the whole now 15 years later after taking care of myself for so long I find myself depending on my husband. I'm not so sure I will make it....It's really hard for me to have someone take care of me after all these years. My aunt says it is a test from God, I don't know, but I do know it is hard! I clean house, but if I don't do everything and my husband has to do something I feel guilty. If I am out running errands or visiting my aunt and don't do what "I" think I should do I feel guilty.....I guess I am putting too much pressure on myself to make things perfect. I don't know, but I am having a really hard time to deal with I wanted to know if anyone out there has hadany problems similar to this and how did you deal with it?


951 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care.

Oh my Robin. This is a very hard issue for you, I can see. I also took care of myself from a young age (16). Started working and paid for my own physician's appointments, etc. While I have never been out of work except by choice, I can identify with giving up that control.

When I gave birth to triplets, I stayed at home for the first 3 years. It was very hard to depend on my husband without feeling guilty. I hated asking for money for anything. Stupid, I know, but I felt like I wasn't earning anything, therefore... But com'on, you'd be the first to tell me I was taking care of the kids, right? Taking care of the house. I was making a significant contribution to the household! AND SO ARE YOU. There is SO MUCH more to making life worthwhile than earning a paycheck. One of my mother's favorite sayings is "It's only money." We kinda laugh but it's true (and she lives on about $14K/year).

Don't beat yourself up about not doing everything "perfect." Nobody does! Do you expect perfection from your husband? What's more important is that you do all that you do with love. Faith, hope & love...

Ease up on yourself. Have faith in yourself, your husband and God. No, it's not easy but it can be done. Faith, hope & love...


349 Posts

I think we, as women, tend to do this kind of thing a lot more than men, simply because we ARE socialized to be pleasers and caregivers, and it's very ingrained in us to put everyone else first. Plus, a lot of us born after the women's movement are fiercely independent and hate having to ask anyone else for help.

I know, because I myself am 'one of those women.'

Just reverse the situation for a minute in your mind. What if your husband was the one going back to school? Wouldn't you support him? Wouldn't you want him to feel that 'everything is gonna be okay?' Wouldn't you want him to trust you and not worry so you could devote yourself to your studies? It's just like Zee said...'faith, hope, & love.' Think back to your wedding day and the vows you both promised to love and support eachother through thick and thin, no matter what. There comes a time when we all have to let go and just trust that our families and a higher power will help us keep our heads above water.

It's normal to be scared. But like Zee's mother says...'it's only money.' I believe she's right.

Hang in there!


12 Posts

5 years ago my husband got laid off. We were devastated initially, but then looked at the opportunities available to us. My husband had always wanted to go into business for himself. We decided to take the plunge. I stepped up my hours (I normally work part-time), to cover some of the costs. We also needed to go into some of our savings as well. Now we have a thriving business, and he's doing much better finacially working for himself. Was it scary , you bet!!! Was it worth it,yes!! I know you can do this. Things have a way of working themselves out. And do not think for a minute that you are not contributing. A paycheck is only a part of what we contribute to our families. I wish you well!! And take care of yourself. Jan


499 Posts

Robin: These types of feelings are really hard to overcome, I know. It's hard not to hang our self esteem on what we contribute monetarily because it's so tangible. The 50 million things you do every day are not so concrete. It's a lot like being a nurse. The job description doesn't begin to describe what we actually do. Anybody remember a few (probably quite a few) years back in some divorce case someone figured out how much it would have cost for a husband to hire someone to do what his wife did - manage the house, do the laundry, clean the house, shop, cook, take care of the kids, etc., etc. He wouldn't have been able to afford it. It might help also to figure out what it cost for you to go to work every day and subtract that from your income. I don't mean to minimize how hard it is to go from two incomes to one. It's a real adjustment. However, once you start school I can guarantee you won't have time to feel guilty about depending on your husband. Give him this gift; let him take care of you. Start practicing now. Relax and enjoy it. The Universe will always provide for you. You will be fine. Promise.


15 Posts


That is exactly where I am. I quit work last may to go to school full time (ADN). It is hard for me too. Especially when its christmas or his birthday. How do you buy him stuff with the money he worked hard for?lol.

Now I just try to think ahead to when I am working full time and bringin home money. That is what makes it easier for me to rely on him and "live off him" haha. Plus he loves me! biggrin.gif



186 Posts

Robin61970, are you my long lost sister or something? Seriously,I can totally relate to what you are feeling right now. I began working at the age of 14 and worked with the same company for over 8 years, working my way up to senior management in a large corporation. When I stopped working to pursue the last 2 years of my nursing program two years ago, I was scared to death. My husband and I went down to literally 40% of our previous income and we have a son to support. Very scary. As I am going to graduate next month, I can assure you that it can be done. You won't be able to go out as much (we generally do the movie rentals every other weekend, rarely eat out and when we do it's to cheaper places than when we both worked) but you'll probably get to cook more at home which is cheaper and generally healthier. We had to also do thinks like carefully regard our utilities, cut back cable from the expanded movie package back to basic cable, things like that. But it is doable and is very much worth it.

Another thing is that I encourage you to please try not to tackle everything by yourself. There is no shame in your husband helping out with something. Besides, nursing school is practically a full time job with all the careplans, night before and after clinicals paperwork, papers, clinical days, studying for tests, get the picture. It's not the same as other curriculums in terms of use of free time. For me, I've had next to no free time even without working. But as I said, it can be done. Make a priority list and stick to it. For me, getting the house perfectly clean is way down there on the list but that's just me. Good luck to you and if I can be of any help please let me know (we Arkansans gotta stick to gether smile.gif )

Take care,



"The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin


176 Posts

I certainly don't see why you asked for only a womans view on this issue.

It ain't over til the ample lady sings.

Let me ask you how you would fair if the lights were shut off, or you suddenly were penniless? Yes, you would survive. But not because of a husband or some other person, YOU would do whatever it took to survive.

I took care of myself financially since the age of ten. I made more money on a paper route and the yard maintennance that went with it at age twelve per week than my father made working a 40 hour week by twofold.

I went to nursing school after a tour in the military, a couple years as a rock drummer and somehow became a Nurse.

I entered school as a double minority, I was male and my clinical instructor was at wits end when 120 black females elected a white male president for their class.

I saw women with 5, 6, 8 kids. On ADC, getting nothing from any man and getting all "A'S."

Yet I intrude on a topic that is portrayed as "I feel guilty." When actually it is nothing more than a loss of reality.

So your husband gets hurt and can no longer work. Then what? I'll tell you what, you will be one of those working in a job as the sacrificial lamb having given up your true desire because you HAD TO. And would be understood by many, gaining all the sympathy desired.

A family consists of an elder male, elder female, children and possibly a pet.

But a family is singular. ALL supporting each other.

My apologies for intruding on your pity pot of searching for support for your rationalization.

My wife became what she wanted to become and NO she didn't dance around with "You'll have to do more" because it was her wanting to become. If your husband wanted to 'become,' would you do whatever it took. Certainly, but you would always have the excuse of not having the earning power to carry such a burden.

Precisely why the profession is in the state it's in.

I will be interested to see what some 'made it on her own' would have to say about this because you are setting the stage for a defense if failure should occur before you take the first step.

"Yoda" says, "Try not . . . Do or do not."



458 Posts

I don't know if i should take offense at louie or not because quite frankly his post was rather confusing...but to louie I will say this...I asked for a female point of view because we as women are different from men we think differently and have been taught different things. We as women have been taught to do things much differently.

I will take offense to the pity pot comment...I was looking for how other people felt at the time they had to deal with this so that i could decide how i wanted to deal with it.I wanted to know that I was not alone in what I felt, not have a pity for setting up for failure? NO!!!!!!!! I WILL be a nurse and I WILL be one of the best in our area so watch out......I Know that I can do this so I wanted a little support from others sue me....and this whole post had nothing to do with how i would survive or make it had to do with how to deal with having to depend on someone besides yourself.........the more I look back at your post the more I think I should be don't have to understand exactly what i am saying or feeling, you are not in my shoes, nor anyone elses that have posted on this thread.......I will ahve to come back to this later I am too angry to be rational at this point


1,091 Posts

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.


I left home at the age of 18yrs old, part my choice and part on my parents behalf (who I have not spoken too in 3 years). I am now 38 years old. I went back to school part time at 26, and then quit my job fulltime at the age of 31. it is not a woman issue ( redface.gif)......) I felt the same way you do, with my wife working. Things went well, and I finished. The thing to rememebr is there are going to be tough days and easy days. As long as your husband supports you, don't think twice about it, and don't look back!




1,091 Posts

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

Sorry Robin, apparently I missed the womeans pint of view part? I know when I posted, I was just trying to make a point, that men can feel the same way........sorry frown.gif




176 Posts


I too was angry, matter of fact went and visited another peer and discussed this issue prior to completion.

But as I typed anger again surfaced.

First please believe I am one of the strongest advocates for women being women (not some mans wife)

After 27 years of hearing words similar to yours I have had the experience to see the outcome.

I apologize for any "personal" inferences made they were not directed at you, just my venting my frustrations on a situation of the working conditions (mandated by men) placed upon a select group of women called nurses that took damn good care of me and Robis believe me when I say you need bow to no man. Nor should you feel guilty for deciding to do something for yourself.

my only objection was the fact of you assuming your husband would have to take on a heavier load. I can see now I was wrong and if push came to shove you would continue school and do whatever it took to "maintain the integrity of the family unit." which is the primary goal of a Nurse.

I believe you will be an excellent nurse, just don't bow to any male supervisor's dictations. That is why we are working manditory overtime to begin with.

How they (the male figures that be) introduced this was by offerring 3 12 hour work days for 40 hours pay.

Now it is 4 12's plus 8.

A word of advice (understand if you refuse to acknowledge any advice I offer) but NEVER work an 11pm to 11am. Come sunrise your brain says it is time to turn off and for the remaining 4 hours you are in a position of extreme liability.

I forget that at 59 I have seen so much more and try to warn rather than aggitate.

You will do fine but don't let them work you to psychological unrest. That is what effects the famiy you love.

My web site is precisely about the future and to help those at wits end because of loss of self through our compassion and caring for others. Once they know you really care they will use you to death. http://retirednitenurse/

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