i have to say im sorry for the way your life has gone in the beginning of adulthood, dragonfly. with that said, i see your point, but that is very hard to transfer over to someone who comes from a background of being financially dependent on their spouse. one who is in a committed marriage must take into account their spouses ability to take care of the bills and to also help with any other support and that also includes taking care of kids. that is a VERY big burden. since you have no children, you don't quite know the obligation and responsibility it takes to take care of a household, pay bills and make sure the kids who may or may not have their own school schedules as well are taken care of too. this can become very tiresome for just one person, and from my knowledge, nursing school, or anything that intensive and time consuming really takes away from the marital time and from the parental time as well. it may not be so much as a spouse 'getting in the way' of someone's dreams, as becoming too much of a strain on one person. i would suggest realizing how very lucky you are to be only one person and not have to figure out how to keep the bills paid on one income, how to pay for childcare, how to work nursing school, kids's school, and any extracurricular activities not to mention cooking, cleaning and general housework with the exception of what the other spouse contributes, and give the other spouse a break. btw i say this from the perspective of a 26 yo mother of 4, with an ex husband to deal with and a very loving and supportive fiance. do we fight? yes, is it stressful? hell yes, but he keeps chugging on and so do i.