Who is/did go to Nursing School for freedom from a spouse?


Are any of you that have done that going to follow through?

My husband is very controlling. I never really noticed it until being in school. I had some indication that he was somewhat prior to school that way but didn't realize how much until now. We have been together 15 years and have 2 children together so I have to consider them into my decision. I have worked the whole time we have been together except for the past 2 years while attending NS. That along with the time that he told me I would never complete NS has been my driving force to be successful. He makes the money so he thinks he has the power over me. I have to give an explanation for any money that I spend. I don't go out shopping everyday #1 b/c I don't have the time and #2 I tend to spend money that I could spend on me on my children. I have an alotted 40$/week and that covers gas and any misc. groceries that I need to purchase while he's gone. BTW he's an OTR truck driver so he is gone more than he is home which at times has left me broke several times when I have needed to take the kids to the doctor or buy OTC meds for them and when you figure in the price of gas these days it leaves me 20$.

The closer I get to graduation the more and more I am thinking about divorcing him. The only thing stopping me is my kids. We don't really have any kind of relationship.....we don't talk, we don't do anything together and I am actually to the point where I hate his guts. He is telling me all the time that I have to watch what I spend but yet he just went out and bought him a $27,000. dollar gas guzzler truck. BTW I would not have known about it until he drove up in the driveway had it not been for an email. He also tells me that I don't tell him things about what I am doing yet I do.........he makes me feel like I am loosing my mind and I start to doubt myself. He has never supported anything that I have done.

I am so upset that I have been crying for the past week and have been unable to contrate on studying for my finals which is next Monday. I want to talk to him but I am so hurt that I know I would be bumbling idiot in trying to get my point across.

Any advice on how to get my point across of how he has hurt me over the past two years? I feel like we are more of burden to him than anything else. Should I tell him that in a couple of months I won't need his money. I know that would be hateful but I am to that point where I just want to get back at him.

Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations and any advice whatsoever would be highly appreciated! Do you think he is feeling threatened because he will no longer have the power over me that he has had the past two years?


141 Posts

"I am so upset that I have been crying for the past week and have been unable to contrate on studying for my finals which is next Monday. I want to talk to him but I am so hurt that I know I would be bumbling idiot in trying to get my point across."

And let me guess..even when you aren't angry/upset/hurt and you talk, things get turned around so neatly that you begin to wonder if you are blowing things out of proportion or that it's actually really YOUR fault? My goodness, I could have written that post about 6 years ago, right down to the OTR trucking.

You have to do what you feel is right. You won't be able to truly get out of that mess until the "staying" feels worse than the "leaving" does. It's a VERY hard thing to do, I know. I will tell you, now that I'm here on the other side of it, there are days I am driving down the street and it just hits me out of the blue how truly HAPPY I am now. I don't think I ever had a clue before what it was like to feel that way. It makes me realize, looking back, how miserable I was before.

So far as your kids go..yep, it's hard on them. The guilt I have felt/still do feel at times was pretty tough to take. In the end though, I had to also remember that Mom needs to have some hope and joy in life too, to be a good parent. Giving them my "marriage" as an example of how people who love each other treat one another was just not what I wanted them to grow up with. Mine are doing fine now, even though it was hard in the beginning, and I think it ended up being the best thing for ALL of us.

Good luck in whatever you decide, and feel free to PM me if you need to talk!


I'm sorry about your marriage...did you guys try counseling? I started nursing school for financial freedom from my husband. There is no way I can live by myself on my current salary. I also started nursing school because my husband changed drastically after the wedding. He's not the same person...he's actually really screwed up. He refuses all help, treats me like dirt, and has emotional affairs. Disgusting. We are separating soon...thank goodness. We don't have any children. Try your hardest at studying...I know it's so difficult at the moment. Lots of luck to you!

Specializes in NICU/Neonatal transport. Has 8 years experience.

I second counselling, but if that doesn't work, think about this: Do you want your children growing up and thinking this is how marriage works and how a husband is supposed to treat his wife?


2,450 Posts


I feel your pain. I am so teary I cannot respond but to say will keep you and the kids in my thoughts.


Specializes in Critical Care, Pediatrics, Geriatrics.

I could not imagine how hard it is for you to have such an unsupportive spouse...I know there are some days that I don't think I could make it through school without my husband who is my #1 cheerleader!!!

I'm thinking that your spouse may be controlling and fearful that you will leave him if you become too independent b/c he is insecure with himself. So he is doing everything he can to restrict you and discourage you.

About your children, again I don't know what it would be like to be in that situation...we don't have children yet. All I can say, as devastating as it is for a child to go through a divorce it is even more damaging to watch one of your parents suffer within a marriage. Children pick up on sooooo much more than we realize they do sometimes and they carry those experiences with them throughout their lives.

My advice to you is to STAY in school no matter what, because in the event you decide to leave you want to be able to stand on your own two feet and provide for your children. I would also recommend talking to your spouse in private about your feelings (using some of those wonderful therapeutic techniques) and get a feel for how open minded and receptive he is to your feelings. The ultimate decision you need to make is whether YOU want to stay with your spouse...b/c it sounds like you have a lot of problems with him that have been building for awhile and that you doubt that either of you could overcome them.

The happier you are, the better mother you will be to your children and if you talk to them, as opposed to keeping them in the dark or uncertain about their future, then they will understand!

Hope this helps...just my two cents

jenrninmi, MSN, RN

1,975 Posts

Specializes in L&D. Has 11 years experience.

Hi there,

All I can say is that yes, a big reason for going to nursing school is so that I could support myself if need be. It's also been a life-long dream of mine though. My husband tends to be extremely controlling as well and I believe we've outgrown eachother. We have gone to counseling and it helped tremendously but that was ~ 3 years ago. Before we attempt seperating we will go back to counseling. But I do hear you!

GrnHonu99, RN

1,459 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Critical Care.

Wow, first let me say i'm so sorry you are going through this.

So..your story sounds a lot like my moms story...my dad was not a truck driver (so he was home a lot more) but he was controlling, verbally abusive and never let my mom spend any money...it was awful...even though i was a child, i knew that my mom was miserable....we had to sneak around and always felt like we were hiding..eventually my mom took a part time job and it got so bad that instead of having her check mailed home wed have to sneak around and make excuses and wed go pick it up at the hospital where she worked...then shed keep a few dollars out of it and take my sister and i out for pizza, wed have to remember NOT to tell my dad...this went on for years...it was awful for all of us (except maybe my dad)

now i want to say this but i want everyone to know this my expereince...i was more miserable living in that household where i knew things were wrong, i cried almost everyday seeing my mom being treated like that by my dad...my mom had the same reason for staying that you did, her kids...but please please think of it this way....it was 20x harder on my sister and i having to see this go on everyday than it was when my parents finally seperated....,my parents were married for 19 years...when they finally split up my sister was about 12 and i was about 16..it was such a big relief...my mom these days says she can barely even imagine why she stayed so long...she says shes never been happier and once out of that situation did realize how controlling my dad was...

i also agree with the poster that said, u dont want your children to think that is a normal marriage bc its not...i am 25 now and in a relationship of my own, everyday its a battle to seperate myself from what i learned as a child, i have the most wonderful, supportive fiencee in the world but like i said it is hard to overcome what i had been taught by my parents....i in no way blame my mom, i have the utmost admiration for her...i sometimes feel a little guilty bc i feel like she stayed so long in that awful situation bc of me...i would have rather had my parents split up and happy than together and miserable..just think if your familiy is in that situation what kind of life is it really, everyone mad all the time...i will be the first one to tell you, even if you try to hide it, your kids know, I always knew how miserable and unhappy my mom was even if she didnt say it. After my parents divorced my mom became a whole different person, for the few years before i left for college we had the best relationship, we didnt have a lot of money but it didnt matter....it was like a huge weight had been lifted off all of our shoulders..there was no more misery, sneaking around anything...

Just think about it, sometimes staying is worse than leaving, atleast for my family...i know you may be in a totally different situation but i just thought maybe hearing my story would give you a different perspective on the situation...i hope it helped a little:) please if you want to talk private message me! A marriage is a partnership that is supposed to be equal and supportive, i mean thats why we get married right? dont forget you are a person and no matter what YOU DESERVE to be treated with dignity and respect, anyone who doesnt give you that is not only detrimental to you but to your children as well.


202 Posts

First and foremost...if you are that unhappy, your kids know it and it is effecting them more than you know. It is not healthy to be in a relationship as you describe for any reason at all.

Fortunately for me, my wife is a nurse, and she is my biggest fan and supporter. I won a couple of scholarships this semester which makes my last two semesters free and when they called me up to recieve them everyone clapped...My wife on the other hand could be heard louder and longer than everyone else in the room...Not trying to prove any point other than this is the way it should be for you and everyone who is in a commited relationship.

It sounds like a bit of mental abuse may be going on in your house. If I were you I would "PROUDLY" pass my boards, get a job, get an apartment and then have a conversation with this guy that starts something like this..."you know all that crap you have been putting me through all these years, well guess what, it stops now, today, forever otherwise you will be coming home to an empty house to wash your own clothes, cook your own meals...and after spending all week on the road I will be happy to drop the kids off every Friday night for your share of the parenting while I go out with girls to find a guy who is going to love me and respect me for the beautiful, intelegent person that I am...

Harsh, perhaps but my experience with men in general, and yes I am referring to personal friends here is that if this is their past it will certainly be their future. He won;t change no matter how much money you spend on therapy. As a matter of fact tell him he needs therapy for his abusive behavior and he in not welcome back in your home until he gets professional help...

Sorry, I wish I could be more optimistic but it is a pattern.

No as far as you are concerned...please find it in your head to put this away for now and study, study, study...It will help you forget your worries and also make you stronger for the future...in more ways then one.

Good luck, you can do it all!!! :) dave


2,450 Posts


Sounds like you have a great wife..... What great support....

What's your secret?


202 Posts

I just believe that a relationship takes hard work on both parties part and I guess her and I share that theory.

Our 20th is coming up in January and things keep getting better.

I am sure that it does help that I like to cook, I don't mind doing laundry and try to stay up long enough after studying to keep her happy in the bedroom...:chuckle Although with finals coming up that is getting Harder to do, no pun intended...:p

Specializes in NICU. Has 18 years experience.

(((((Grinnurse))))) Sorry you're going through all this, and with finals and the end-of-the-year graduation stress, it's just so much to be going through right now, BIG HUGS for you. Sorry I can't offer much advice, as I'm not married myself. But I do think what you said right there in your post is what you should be telling him. Let him know exactly the way you feel and why. I wouldn't give up on the relationship just yet, but you definitely need to talk and work a lot of things out, if that's what you really want to do. I hope you can find some ways to de-stress and enjoy this very last part of nursing school :icon_hug:

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