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Graduate School While Married

Hello! I'm new here, but seeking some advice from other married ladies out there. I've been married a year and a half, am 31, and have been at my job for almost 8 years. I started my job and met my husband in the same year, so he's seem me more or less enjoy my job, and knows how valuable it is. Ever since I finished undergrad, I have always known I needed to complete a Masters degree for my market (nonprofits, in Washington, DC) if I ever wanted to find another job, but between not wanting to leave my job and having a serious relationship in the city I want to live, it didn't make a lot of sense to go for my degree until now. I decided a few months after we were married to do a Masters degree program online, since I didn't see the possibility of going to class several nights a week. I'm now well into the middle of my program, and I'm struggling to hold it all together. 

Recently, it's become very clear that my husband doesn't understand why I have to complete a Masters degree - he's called it totally optional - and complains that I'm not spending enough time with him because I have to complete schoolwork. The fact that I have to spend long hours and travel for work doesn't help. I'm considering abandoning my Masters because of the lack of support and the strain it has put on us, but I also don't ever see another time to complete it, especially if we decide to have a family. I'm not sure how to demonstrate to my husband that I in fact DO want to spend time with him, and to help him see that this isn't really an option for me if I ever want to move on in my field. Any help or advice welcome! Thank you!


Re: Graduate School While Married

  • At best, this is something you both should have talked over together before you even enrolled in any type of program.

    But now it's done.

    You will have to make time for each other. Regardless, he is still supposed to support you 100% in your endeavors.
  • dutchgirl76dutchgirl76 member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2015
    This just came up on another thread on ML. Did you explore your career goals with him before getting married...i.e. I have to get my Master's someday? I guess you could show him job listings and how many of them say "master's preferred or required" to give him a better idea of the job market. Honestly you should get your degree for you regardless if you need it professionally, but that's a different matter.

    Unfortunately as with all married couples, you'll have to add more balance and sacrafice to your life. Could you try to do more school work during the week to open up one weekend day or night to spend with him? I"m sure it's not possible to limit your course-load due to financial aid regulations, nor do I think you should, but that's an option to free up more time...(for now since it will take you longer to graduate.) Have you reminded him that this is a relatively short term sacrafice, in that some day you will graduate and go back to having more time for him?

     The only other thing I could think about is finding a hobby for him to get him out on weekends or whenever you're doing your work. Perhaps if he's at darts or watching a football game with friends he won't notice the time you're not together.
  • Is it possible to slow down your Masters program?  For example, only taking 1-2 classes/semester?  I realize this will slow down how long the program will take, but maybe that will be a compromise he will appreciate.
  • Did you talk about these issues before you went back to school?
  • DH and I got married in July and I will be graduating with my Master's degree in May. My life is pretty much what you are describing, but I don't have online classes. I leave in the morning about 7:30am and get home about 6 and have usually been between work and class several times during the day. When I get home I usually make dinner, and then do schoolwork until I fall asleep on the floor from exhaustion.

    DH and I just make time for each other on the weekends or a couple nights a week I'll put my work down and we'll watch some TV together. I think that your husband's lack of support is an issue. He should be supporting your dreams and goals 100% and I think you should remind him of that. Yes, your relationship and spending time with him is important, but you will have to find a balance between work, school, and him. Encourage him to take up a hobby so that he's not so bored while you are doing your schoolwork. That may be part of it too.

  • Did you talk about these issues before you went back to school?

    I'm wondering about this too.  It could just be the wording in the post, but it sounds more like you just went out and did it one day versus a mutual agreement.

    Other somewhat related thoughts......with your work and course load, is it possible your husband is starting to feel like a roommate rather than a husband?

    The other is not everybody feels the need to climb the career ladder if they have a job they like and a standard of living they're comfortable with.  Maybe your husband is one of these.  Nothing wrong with that, but it causes friction when both people aren't of that mindset.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Thanks all for your replies. I think part of the problem is that, while I've always had it in my mind to complete a Masters, it was never a really serious topic until we got engaged - then it was "wait until after the wedding". When I did finally enroll and began the program a few months after getting married, I don't think either of us realized what it actually meant in terms of how much time it would take away from each other. 

    What I'm trying to emphasize is that I can see the end in sight, and I'm trying to reiterate what it's going to take to complete the degree.

    I like the hobby suggestion - he really needs one! Overall, we'll need time to ourselves and time apart to be able to manage our marriage as best as possible. 

    I also like the time management suggestions. Right now I'm trying to get through work while he's out at a basketball game (a hobby!). 

    Thanks for your help!

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