I Put My Husband Through Grad School and All I Got Was This T-shirt

I Put My Husband Through Grad School and All I Got Was This T-shirt

My husband decided that he needed to go back to school to get a PhD when he was 30. I was 27 and we had a newborn baby. During the time that he was in graduate school he insisted that he could not work, that he needed to pay full attention to his degree, and that he would finish 5 years from the time he started.  

Why didn't I protest this plan from the beginning?

Why didn't this sound unrealistic to me?

Maybe because I was a brand new mother, maybe because I wasn't confident enough or smart enough, or maybe because my mother always kow-towed to my father's wishes. I don't know.

 

honors cords
Image: Patrick Damiano via Flickr

Another baby came during the third year of his degree. I put myself through graduate school and gained two masters degrees...but he still hadn't finished his degree and he still didn't want to work. I worked during some of the years when he was in school. I mothered. He said he was depressed. I cashed in the retirement account I had started as a 22 year old. I cashed in the stocks that I had bought with my high school graduation money - which had grown to several thousands of dollars. We spent it all.

Finally, he went back to work. He got a good job. He still hasn't finished his degree. His new job pays more than any job I could get or would want, so I moved across the country with him to start a new life. Our children are 6 and 3 years old and they are all loving life in California. I now have a job which requires me to commute one hour to the city and then another hour to reach home in the evening. 

I can't stop thinking about the fact that I spent all of the past 7 years of my life, plus all of the money I had saved since age 22, on my husband's happiness and relative success.

Women - keep some money for yourself. Don't spend it all on him or the life you are "building" with him. I'm so sad that this is the advice I have to give. I never imagined it would be. I hope I won't always feel this way. 

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