Relationship Dynamics

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    I’ve been with my husband for over 10 years, since before I even wanted to go med school, and he’s been fully supportive the entire time. He’s followed me as we’ve traveled across the country multiple times for school/training/job, I’m in a pretty poor lifestyle specialty, but he’s never held me back from getting the best training. As such, he hasn’t had much of a career and has just worked odd jobs that are well below his education and ability. He feels perfectly fine with the situation, though, and he’s never really had strong career ambitions (could be due to knowing he’d always be moving around with me?). He takes care of everything outside of my work, so I can focus solely on my job, and he’s happy to stop working when we have kids soon too.

    However, all my female colleague’s husbands are doctors, finance, etc. and I find it difficult to find someone I (or especially my husband) can relate to. Are we that atypical of a couple? I sometimes worry about what others think and the social stigma associated with my husband (though he doesn’t seem to care). What would you guys think of our situation and relationship? I also sometimes worry about him not having a career and working basic jobs, but should I feel more grateful for my situation?

    BTW, we’re perfectly happy with each other and our marriage and we’re financially stable.


    I think your situation and relationship are awesome! If the genders were reversed, no one would question a wife’s decision to support her husband’s demanding career.

    It is definitely more common for women physicians to be married to other professionals. However, that means that the women sometimes end up supporting their husbands’ careers at the expense of their own. So I think you should be grateful to have found someone who has supported you fully in a career that has required frequent moves and long, unpredictable hours. It does sound like you appreciate what he has done.

    Hopefully good friends will come with time, as you settle in one place for longer than just a few years. And if you have kids, you will meet many new people through the many phases of childrearing.

    I think it is normal for people to be a little uncomfortable when doing something that is the opposite of the usual gender roles, but I do think there are more people in your situation than there used to be. Anyway, I hope you two will continue to define what is right for your relationship and not worry about what other people think.

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