Marriage Advocates

Coming to agreements

Posted By: Marta

Coming to agreements - 09/04/14 02:42 PM

I'm not exactly sure how to do this. For the most part, over the years, we have pretty much wanted the same thing or I have just done what he wanted to do.. I don't know how to come to agreement on something when we think such different things.

Retirement: He is living for mission work and traveling around the world/ the US. Seriously, he is living for this right now. I think it is the only reason he gets up in the morning.

Now that I have had this part time job that is coming to an end shortly... I realize how much I have enjoyed it. I think I would like to just stay home and actually pursue a career, one that takes dedication.. I have so enjoyed all of the accolades I have gotten over the past couple of months. I'm pretty good at what I have been doing. What if I did that full time? I would need a little more training/schooling to be marketable but I could do it. But that would leave his dreams in the dust. I wish I didn't care about how he felt..
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/04/14 02:53 PM

Why does it have to be one or the other? I see tons of potential compromises, you just have to think outside of the box, and both of you have to be willing to give up something.

How close is he to retirement? What if retirement, or at least mission work and travel, is postponed for a few years so that you can have a turn building your career? If you can support the family with your new career, he doesn't necessarily have to work in the "delay" period; he can do projects around the house or take over homeschooling your daughter.

If he wants to do more long-term mission work, perhaps an alternate/rotating schedule could work - he spends 6-12 months doing mission work and then stays home with you for the next 6-12 months. A lot of military families do this - it's hard, but they make it work.

Or he can do shorter trips (a week or two) without you, spaced throughout the year. You'd need to decide together how much time you are willing to spend apart.

Maybe you can commit to X number of weeks off per year to go with him.

Is your career/skill set one that you could use in the area where he wants to do mission work? There's a lot of need for his skills in this country as well as overseas; he may be able to do a different kind of mission work within the US (where you could also pursue your career), but the two of you might need to move someplace else.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/04/14 03:07 PM

Well to be a music minister I would need to get a new bachelor's degree. ( I majored in music for 2 years and then switched my degree to secondary ed so I have a lot of hours I would need for a music degree. I would need 2 years.) Then I would need seminary. Then I would have to find a church..

The other thing is that I don't know that I want to be a nomad. I like having relationships. I like seeing friends. The only friend my husband has is me, so he isn't missing anything. The only ties he has to the community are through me. ( other than his job, of course) He nearly died this summer when I was gone for 2 weeks at camp with my daughter. He couldnt' stand for me to be away that long, so I don't see him traveling without me... We had never been apart that long. He thought my previous time that was a week was too long.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/04/14 11:46 PM

Are you ok Marta?
Posted By: peppermint

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 12:38 AM

I really believe you need to be honest with him about your feelings about his future plans. Have you let him know about your uncertainty at all?
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 11:49 AM

Oh yes, I have let him know some. I told him that I was afraid of tagging along when he is doing locum tenems and then having nothing meaningful to do. He said I could volunteer at a church, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. I guess I could but if we are only staying in one place for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, then I will barely figure out what I can do and start getting to know people when we would go somewhere else. He has started asking, now this is my dream, what do you want to do.. I don't really know and as I said I hate for me to ruin what he has basically been living for all of this time. He talks and dreams about it constantly.

SW, I'm better today.. All sorts of lawyer stuff going on, some bad news, on top of hubby being tired from hours. I knew he needed me to be supportive last night, but in the afternoon all I felt like doing was getting into the car and driving away from here as fast as I could.. I didn't. He managed to calm himself down before he got home. We had a nice family dinner. I held my game face together since he kept his on.

I'm sure my hormones are exasterbating this. My daughter had her period this week so I did to. Even though mine was 2 weeks ago. This is the third month in a row that I am now having periods ever two weeks. UGGHH I wish I could go back on birth control. She has me on progesterone. We will be reevaluating that when I go back in a couple of weeks. I cannot do estrogen since both times my mother had breast cancer they were estrogen sensitive. My grandmother had breast cancer as well. If I follow their lead, then I have 6 or 7 years until that happens....right when my husband is ready to start his retirement plans....

Thanks for asking. He's working all weekend. I'm going to get the house really clean..
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 12:05 PM

I am fairly sure a large part of why you feel so bad is hormonal. I remember feeling that exact way. That is why I made the decision to take hormones even though my mom had estrogen sensitive bc too. There is a lot to be said for quality of life and being able to function enough to care for ones kids. Doc prescribed me low dose and I half that amount.

I am sorry for your family's legal problems. I know the stress of that must be overwhelming.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 01:45 PM

It really sounds to me like your husband needs a lot of help. It is absolutely not healthy to be in the position he is now, miserable every single day and living solely for future plans, which may or may not be as rosy as he thinks they will be.

It's also unhealthy, IMO, for him to be so distraught when you are gone for a short time. I love my H and I don't like it when we are apart, but I wouldn't be falling to pieces if one of us were gone for a week or two or three. We'd talk on the phone/skype and text and make sure we had some contact, and then anticipate the time we could see each other again.

I'm glad you are starting to slowly speak up for yourself. He doesn't get to have his way 100% of the time - even though you've let him get away with that for years. Neither do you. It will take significant compromise from both of you to make anything like his plan work.

I think the first start is for him to find something he enjoys in your home town that makes his days better now - something that does not include you, your children, projects at your home, or work.

I honestly think you ought to go get your bachelor's degree in music. You can do that now while the two of you are here. It may open your eyes to other things you can do with that degree that you would also enjoy - things that may not require seminary or a church [in my denomination, at least, I don't think any of the music ministers I've known have been to seminary].

You can work toward your goal while keeping yourself open to other opportunities that may present themselves. At the same time, highly encourage your husband to get a life of his own.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Marta
Oh yes, I have let him know some. I told him that I was afraid of tagging along when he is doing locum tenems and then having nothing meaningful to do. He said I could volunteer at a church, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, etc. I guess I could but if we are only staying in one place for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, then I will barely figure out what I can do and start getting to know people when we would go somewhere else. He has started asking, now this is my dream, what do you want to do.. I don't really know and as I said I hate for me to ruin what he has basically been living for all of this time. He talks and dreams about it constantly.


Marta, my dear, you've found yourself in a very tight spot as I see it.
Your H relies on you solely for companionship, psychological and spiritual support, household support, as well as you serving as his primary social connection.
That in no way sounds healthy for him or do-able for you.
Fulfilling his perceived needs and expectations sounds like a monumental task.
I doubt any one person could really do justice in fulfilling so much and doing so adequately to appease his neediness.

You, on the other hand, are able to glean much of this from multiple sources.
You have friends, you make friends easily, and enjoy the social contacts and interactions that permit you to be far less dependent on getting them from only one source: him.

Sounds like serious co-dependency dynamics, particularly on his part.

Would you consider counseling? Jointly?

You describe wanting, needing a 'home base,' a sense of rootedness in order to blossom yourself.

Your H on the other hand seems to desire little connection or continuity except for you. That is a HUGE burden on you to expect to fulfill.

In a strange way, it sounds like he is using his desire for traveling and missionary work to run away from something, some connection, rather than running toward a goal or purpose.

Just my thoughts.

Hugz, Marta! hug
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:41 PM

We cannot go to counseling because the lawyer told him it would look bad for his case.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Marta
We cannot go to counseling because the lawyer told him it would look bad for his case.


Well, if you don't go it will look bad for your own future well-being, I think.

May be time for some cost/benefit analysis on all this with which you are faced.

What other ideas do you have for addressing such major discrepancies in expectations between the two of you?

Marta, I fear for you.

If you choose not to address all this, you may well find yourself one day hitting the proverbial 'wall.' Then you may want to walk away completely and give up. Resentment has a way of gathering steam silently and unsuspectingly until one day it becomes too much for which to make reparations.

You have given, and given up, so much.
Unhinge yourself from the unremitting psychological obligations.

You are not obliged...
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:50 PM

I'm already going by myself to a therapist.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
.In a strange way, it sounds like he is using his desire for traveling and missionary work to run away from something, some connection, rather than running toward a goal or purpose.


This is what was niggling at me, but TC expressed it so much better.

I think your H needs a life of his own at home. He has so much stress, no outlets but you, no real fun but family life and missionary work, and he sees the missionary work as his escape.

There's not a lot you can do for him except print out TC's email and ask him to think about the burden it is placing on you to meet all of those needs.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 05:58 PM

What is weird is that he is really, really good with people. His patients adore him. The ladies that work with him adore him because he isn't the stereotypical arrogant jerk that his profession is. He probably gives too much to be honest. He takes things that his patients do ( not following his instructions) as failings on his part and will try everything to help them... He appears happy to everyone else. It isn't like he is some kind of loner... People really really like him. He is the peacemaker among his partners.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 06:00 PM

Something else you can do - have you read through Miranda's thread? She has some similar issues with her H, and she's made a lot of changes to herself to start shifting their dynamics.

The biggest is making your own choices while letting go of his response. So, in this particular situation, you can't take responsibility for the fact that he refuses to be without you for more than a week. If you offer him, say, a month in the summer where you could go too, and encourage him to take 2 two-week mission trips on his own the rest of the year, it's on HIM if he says "No, if you won't go then I can't go." That's HIS choice, not yours.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 06:28 PM

He's gone on several mission trips without me. He doesn't particularly like it, but he has done it. Marriage Builders got mad at us a couple of years ago because he went on one trip by himself and took just the boys on another... He CAN do it, but he doesn't like to. I think one of the main things he didn't like about being home by himself for 2 weeks ( the boys were gone at various activities) was sleeping in a bed alone. He really likes to cuddle. He also didn't know how/where to find things.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 07:07 PM

Marta, it's not always going to be easy going with two conflict avoiders. So your H's dream is to travel full time? Maybe you two aren't the only couple who want to have that community as well, and there would be a community of retired mission trip folks?
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 08:15 PM

I feel so utterly stupid... I bite my nails and they always look so horrible. I can't find a place to get nails.. I thought about getting make up done or figuring out how to apply it. I don't wear much at all. I just wanted to do something for myself and look pretty... But I have no clue how to go about this. I've wandered in and out of several places... So now I sit in Starbucks crying and sipping my pumpkin spice Frappuccino. I just wish I could look pretty.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 08:34 PM

Google spas in your area. I found one that offered a class on how to apply makeup. I paired that with a massage and a mani/pedi with a friend one day (would also be a fun thing to do with your daughter). I still am not that good at applying makeup, but now I know more about how to do it.

I am glad that you are trying to do something for yourself. You can't find a salon that does nails in your area, and not one that you feel comfortable in?

You can do this.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 08:53 PM

My DDs and I love doing our nails together while we're watching a movie smile Does your daughter like doing those things together? We watch youtube videos on "how to do a smoky eye" or "how to do elsa updo frozen" and then try the techniques out on ourselves and each other, it's a blast! And the dollar store has the eye shadow brushes and eye makeup remover and anything else you could want. Does any of that sound fun?

My women's breakfast and bible study is doing a spa morning in the fellowship hall tomorrow morning, I'm so excited smile
Posted By: peppermint

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 09:05 PM

My daughter works part time in the cosmetics section of a department store. You can make an appointment and they will give you a makeover, showing you how to apply the makeup and it will not cost anything. They do it in the hopes you will buy the products, but you certainly don't have to. My daughter got her makeup done at a Merle Norman salon on her wedding day and they did not charge her anything. She just tipped the cosmetologist $20.

Also, look for a nearby cosmetology school. You can get your hair and nails done, a facial and massage, all for a bargain price because the students have to have hours of practical experience under the watchful eyes of teachers before they can become certified.

It will be great to do something like this for yourself.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/05/14 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Marta
I feel so utterly stupid... I bite my nails and they always look so horrible.

When I first stopped biting my nails, I got a manicure about once a month. I got the shellac polish that gets baked on and it lasted about 3-4 weeks. It's just about impossible to bite through and it gave me a good start to growing my nails. After about six months I didn't need manicures that often.

Getting good hand lotion helped, too. I like the Aveeno skin relief that comes in a smaller tube. It's pricey but I only needed about the size of a quarter to start and after a while only needed about the size of a dime. Once I let my hands start healing a bit, other things started to change, too.

Start wherever you can and make it a priority to keep it up. Other things will follow. smile
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/09/14 03:10 PM

So tired... I hate this farm sometimes. I hate the work that it takes despite the fact that my husband adores it and enjoys it. Had a problem with the cows... hubby couldnt' sleep for worrying about it.. Was up at 2am with them ( of course woke me up) at 4 we tried to get them in the trailer to go to the vet.. No go...

Part of this is because some regular maintance wasn't done ( Because he has actually been taking me on dates and relaxing occasionally..) Now he is beating himself up about not doing stuff. THERE ISNT TIME. He needs to hire someone to do some of this, but he refuses because he enjoys it and worries about liability ( which with the other legal problem, how can I argue..)

But I am again daydreaming of living in our 2 bedroom condo again... I so wish I was there again...
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/09/14 03:36 PM

You can argue with him because it comes down to that THERE ISN'T TIME.

There just aren't enough hours in the week for him to work his job at full-time+ hours, work on the farm, be a great dad, participate in church, AND be a great husband.

With your permission, he's let the marriage slide to the bottom of the list and be the bucket he steals time from in order to do everything else he wants to do, and that just isn't working for you anymore.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/09/14 03:41 PM

Does he want to continue doing a half assed job at everything and feel bad about it, or does he want to really focus and do a good job on the things that count and get some help with the things that don't?

That's the bottom line here. That's really the only choice he's facing.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/09/14 04:43 PM

Originally Posted By: CajunRose


With your permission, he's let the marriage slide to the bottom of the list and be the bucket he steals time from in order to do everything else he wants to do, and that just isn't working for you anymore.


But see I haven't. In fact, that is one reason why I have had to stop myself from feeling guilty. Over the past few weeks he has taken me out to dinner, taken me to a movie, taken lots of walks together, cuddled and just watched a tv show. ( which we rarely do) Over the summer we did a lot of that as well which is why a lot of the farm stuff didn't get done. It is like he cannot accept the limits. He has enjoyed doing stuff with me. He isn't saying he shouldn't have. But at the same time he is literally beating himself up for not doing these things that caused this problem on the farm...
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/09/14 05:14 PM

You let the marriage slide to the bottom for YEARS. That's why, now that you have been telling him you need to be the priority again, he's finding that he doesn't have time for everything else.

He hasn't figured out that he can't sustain what he used to do PLUS what you need from him.

Please don't let him push the marriage down the priority list again; continue to insist that you spend time together.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/12/14 11:04 AM

Actually he is doing a good job. He asked me out for lunch for today and to spend the afternoon together. He is always telling me thank you for things I have done. He really is trying.
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/13/14 07:22 PM

What makes him think he can doo ALL that he wants to do week after week. Cant he see these expectations are too high?

I can see he values work and mission way above you, the kids, his own relaxing time, date time with you, and anything. This causes his life to be unbalanced and inhuman.

How can you live with an inhuman man who needs you but does not value you?
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/13/14 10:30 PM

Kitty I disagree with you in that he has now put me up there. The problem is that he hasn't let anything else go. He is asking me out on weekly dates. We had a great lunch and afternoon yesterday. We have a weekend for just us planned in October and another one in December. He has been asking me about my dreams and such. He really is trying...
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/14/14 03:25 PM

I'm glad some things are changing. Have you ever thought of doing a time study? there is probably one online where you two can list what he does every day and how much time it takes and then it will show you how much "over" you are on time. If he saw it in black and white it might really wake him up to the fact that he is trying to squeeze too much in his days, weeks, months.

http://www.sic.edu/files/uploads/group/34/PDF/Time_Management_New.pdf

this is just one example of a way to do this, there are many more examples...
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 01:01 PM

Well, several years ago we went through the Margin book ( or actually a workbook like thing about it.) We went through the entire book until it got to the part at the end about planning it all out. It got dropped. So I think I would have to map it all out for him myself.

We had a good weekend, sort of.. We had some long honest talks. I confessed how dark my thoughts had been lately. It really shook him. I'm not even sure why I told him. I just didn't care enough to lie anymore. I did mention wishing that we could go back to the days we lived in the condo... Of course as we talked he reminded me that although I had lots of time, he had none. He was on call all the time through training and had a week off a year. So life was simple for me, but not for him.. Later we talked about how our devotional leader on our mission trip talked about getting back to simplicity.. So he asked how we can make our lives simple? I don't know the answer.. I know that he loves working on this farm. Nothing really makes him happier.. We both love the mission work. I love the people we work with. Even though it is gut wrenching, there is something satisfying about giving comfort to people and helping their physical needs.. I don't know that I enjoy motherhood, but regardless I have 5 1/2 years before they are out of the nest. It must be done. He needs to work at his job, part of which he enjoys, part of which he loathes. Then, with the children being more independent, I need something fulfilling for me like the part time job... How does all of this fit together and how is life simple???? I don't know and I don't have a clue...

I am just more convinced of this than I was before. He loves me deeply. He cannot imagine life without me. He wants us to be partners. He will listen to what I tell him, I'm just not sure what to tell him. He said that if we are married for 65 years like he plans we are not even halfway through. We have many years together. Life is too short to be miserable.

I just don't think either of us know what will make us happy.
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 01:59 PM

"Of course as we talked he reminded me that although I had lots of time, he had none. He was on call all the time through training and had a week off a year. So life was simple for me, but not for him.."

HE DOES NOT HAVE TO DO THIS, IT IS TOTALLY HIS CHOICE. HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ON CALL, HE DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE ALL THAT TRAINING. HE CAN DROP SOME THINGS NOW IF HE WANTS TO. HE DOES NOT SEEM TO WANT TO STOP DOING ANY OF HIS THINGS IN ORDER TO HAVE A SANE AND SIMPLE LIFE.
Posted By: CajunRose

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 02:08 PM

Can he quit his job? Since that is the least fulfilling thing in his life, maybe there are alternatives for him.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Kittycat
"Of course as we talked he reminded me that although I had lots of time, he had none. He was on call all the time through training and had a week off a year. So life was simple for me, but not for him.."

HE DOES NOT HAVE TO DO THIS, IT IS TOTALLY HIS CHOICE. HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE ON CALL, HE DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE ALL THAT TRAINING. HE CAN DROP SOME THINGS NOW IF HE WANTS TO. HE DOES NOT SEEM TO WANT TO STOP DOING ANY OF HIS THINGS IN ORDER TO HAVE A SANE AND SIMPLE LIFE.


to be a surgeon you had to go through residency. Period. ( And you talk like the training is now. This was 30 years ago.) You cannot be a surgeon without being on call. It doesn't exist.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: CajunRose
Can he quit his job? Since that is the least fulfilling thing in his life, maybe there are alternatives for him.


The endless discussion that we have had. What else does a 50 year old surgeon do? Especially when you love surgery. You just hate being up all night.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Marta
So he asked how we can make our lives simple? I don't know the answer.. I know that he loves working on this farm. Nothing really makes him happier.. We both love the mission work. I love the people we work with. Even though it is gut wrenching, there is something satisfying about giving comfort to people and helping their physical needs.. I don't know that I enjoy motherhood, but regardless I have 5 1/2 years before they are out of the nest. It must be done. He needs to work at his job, part of which he enjoys, part of which he loathes. Then, with the children being more independent, I need something fulfilling for me like the part time job... How does all of this fit together and how is life simple???? I don't know and I don't have a clue…


Marta, with both your lists of activities and obligations, can you two select one item to give up if you had to? Which would it be?

Just a thought in maybe ordering some priority to all your commitments.

If you had to give up just one thing, which would it be?
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 08:04 PM

Sorry did not mean to use all those caps. I am getting frustrated that two adults cannot limit and manage their time in a smart and positive way so as to add ease and pleasure to their lives, their marriage, each other, and the family.

If you want to be a workaholic, it is totally fine IF you are not married and IF you do not want to raise a family.

If you are married or want to raise a family then give up the workaholicism! It will ruin a marriage and family.
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 08:14 PM

I was a workaholic for years buying lots of real estate/rental homes/ rehabbing them and renting them out while working full time in a Social Service job.

I had no time for:

1. Friends
2. Socializing
3. Dating
4. Relationships
5. Play
6. Relaxation
7. Hobbies
8. Anything else except for work

I did this for at least 15 solid years, maybe 20 if I am honest. I think it contributed to my anxiety/stress issues, my guilt when I try and relax or have fun, and my breast cancer in 2005. No one should have to live like I lived! A workaholic with NO life and NO feeling that I deserved relaxation, fun or a balanced life. It took me years to carve out some fun for myself, to date, have normal friendships and relationships and do normal relaxing things.

NO ONE SHOULD LIVE LIKE THIS IF THEY ARE MARRIED!!! IT IS INSANE AND BASED ON A SHAME BASED CHILDHOOD AND A FEAR AND AVOIDANCE OF RELAXING AND THINKING ABOUT THINGS. (Caps due to passion/excitement, not anger)
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 08:28 PM

See I don't think you are getting it Kitty... He has clinic only 1 1/2 days per week, occasionally 2 full days and surgery 2 days... You cannot have a practice and do much less than that. It is call that takes up all of the other hours... He doesn't stay any later than he has to. We have already cut his clinic hours way down. I don't know what else we can cut. ( And now the rest of you understand why it takes 3 months to see a doc....) But when someone gets in a car accident, you have to go....
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 08:38 PM

You both sound so nice. But I was not talking about his work...as is...his regular medical job.

I was talking about his priorities and his work.....that he chooses to do...outside of his regular job. He seems to me from what you have said...to completely FILL UP his life with work, his job and additional work. I too did this but it was my regular 8 hour a day job and then another 8 hours of real estate stuff.

You have told us he has so many chores and mission work and had not enough time to do it all. And that he was always under time pressure. And that he felt guilty when he relaxed or went out on date nights and missed doing some chore or mission work.

Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 10:09 PM

I do not expect he will make any changes to his schedule. Personally I would make a drastic move.....he loves the farm? He should retire from being a surgeon....teach a few classes and buy some cattle for the farm.

You aren't enjoying mothering? You go to work full time and let him do the bulk of parenting your youngest for the next 5 1/2 years.

He could still do mission work...taking your youngest with him and you could join them sometimes.

I don't think either one if you will consider the concept that he does not HAVE to keep being a surgeon.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
I don't think either one if you will consider the concept that he does not HAVE to keep being a surgeon.


SW, when one has devoted such a large part of their life and personhood to the process of becoming a surgeon, it would be a huge deal to give that up and walk away. One would be walking away from themselves in a sense. From all that they have been till now. I don't know if it's possible to relay to a lay person the magnitude of self-identity that is immersed in one's professional identity.

Ask AlleyCat on the other thread. She is struggling with some of this in her own circumstance.

It would be like walking away from yourself. Which is all that much harder to do than even walking away from one's marriage.

I think I also understand his love for the farm.
One thought would be to hire a part-time hand who could take care of some of the chores associated with maintaining and running the farm, while still having it there to engage in during his off time. I could see doing that and enjoying the best of both worlds. Doesn't mean he has to give up control, just hire out some of the redundant day-to-day chores.
He could always choose to hop on the tractor and spend an afternoon brush-hogging the fields, if that is his Zen thing. I do it. And I love it. I also hire folks to help out when my other obligations limit the time I can dedicate to it.

There just seem like so many possibilities.

But being a surgeon and taking call, well that is pretty much not-negotiable.
Most of a surgeon's work is derived from referrals or from picking up cases from on-call. Pull yourself out of the availability loop and you can pretty much take down your shingle. Just how it is.

I do believe that with some creative head-banging, they can tweet their lists to yield some more breathing room.

I believe Marta and he can do it.

Go Marta! thumbsup
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/15/14 11:01 PM

I understand people becoming at one with their careers. But he isn't happy. So why keep doing it. Marta isn't happy. So what is the point?

People do make radical life changes. It may not be common but it is certainly done.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 11:30 AM

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
I don't think either one if you will consider the concept that he does not HAVE to keep being a surgeon.


SW, when one has devoted such a large part of their life and personhood to the process of becoming a surgeon, it would be a huge deal to give that up and walk away. One would be walking away from themselves in a sense. From all that they have been till now. I don't know if it's possible to relay to a lay person the magnitude of self-identity that is immersed in one's professional identity.

Ask AlleyCat on the other thread. She is struggling with some of this in her own circumstance.

It would be like walking away from yourself. Which is all that much harder to do than even walking away from one's marriage.

I think I also understand his love for the farm.
One thought would be to hire a part-time hand who could take care of some of the chores associated with maintaining and running the farm, while still having it there to engage in during his off time. I could see doing that and enjoying the best of both worlds. Doesn't mean he has to give up control, just hire out some of the redundant day-to-day chores.
He could always choose to hop on the tractor and spend an afternoon brush-hogging the fields, if that is his Zen thing. I do it. And I love it. I also hire folks to help out when my other obligations limit the time I can dedicate to it.

There just seem like so many possibilities.

But being a surgeon and taking call, well that is pretty much not-negotiable.
Most of a surgeon's work is derived from referrals or from picking up cases from on-call. Pull yourself out of the availability loop and you can pretty much take down your shingle. Just how it is.

I do believe that with some creative head-banging, they can tweet their lists to yield some more breathing room.

I believe Marta and he can do it.

Go Marta! thumbsup


Oh my goodness, you get it exactly. And the hiring someone part time is what I have been lobbying for. But part of the problem is this legal issue looming over us and it has made him even more paranoid about being liable or sued for things which having someone work over here would do... Which is another factor about his job that is eating at him.... Plus, to do surgery on the mission field, you have to keep up your surgery skills.... How do you do that without working... It feels like a Gordion knot.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 01:15 PM

Marta: Hire a good lawyer. Take care of the potential liability from having an employee. Hire a farm hand.

Your H is indulging a paranoid fantasy that hiring an employee could lead to life-changing liability. Extremely unlikely, especially if your H plans well. Come on, he is a surgeon. Now THAT is an activity that could generate life-changing liability. Claims can be huge. Insurance is expensive. Lawyers circle like vultures reasy to pounce.

If he is not allowing liability concerns to prevent him from continuing to work as a surgeon, then he should not allow liability concerns to prevent him from hiring na employee. The surgery bit is far more likely to generate a large claim (above and beyond available insurance) than the agricultural employment.

Has he ever seriously looked into this? Or is he allowing a med-mal claim to spook him? What is the workmen's compensation scheme in your state? It is entirely possible that as an employer he is absolutely shielded from liability for employee claims as long as your H contributes into the workmen's comp system. General liability insurance (as opposed to medical malpractice) is pretty cheap. If your H is really terrified, I can form him a captive insurance company in Vermont or Bermuda (or South Carolina or Utah) and he can buy enormous amounts of excess coverage in the "wholesale" reinsurance market. And if there are no claims, you guys can keep the excess underwriting profits.

The point is, there is definitely solution to the problem of hesitation to hire help for farm work. Do not allow him to deter you. That one CAN be solved.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Marta: Hire a good lawyer. Take care of the potential liability from having an employee. Hire a farm hand.

Your H is indulging a paranoid fantasy that hiring an employee could lead to life-changing liability. Extremely unlikely, especially if your H plans well. Come on, he is a surgeon. Now THAT is an activity that could generate life-changing liability. Claims can be huge. Insurance is expensive. Lawyers circle like vultures reasy to pounce.

If he is not allowing liability concerns to prevent him from continuing to work as a surgeon, then he should not allow liability concerns to prevent him from hiring na employee. The surgery bit is far more likely to generate a large claim (above and beyond available insurance) than the agricultural employment.

Has he ever seriously looked into this? Or is he allowing a med-mal claim to spook him? What is the workmen's compensation scheme in your state? It is entirely possible that as an employer he is absolutely shielded from liability for employee claims as long as your H contributes into the workmen's comp system. General liability insurance (as opposed to medical malpractice) is pretty cheap. If your H is really terrified, I can form him a captive insurance company in Vermont or Bermuda (or South Carolina or Utah) and he can buy enormous amounts of excess coverage in the "wholesale" reinsurance market. And if there are no claims, you guys can keep the excess underwriting profits.

The point is, there is definitely solution to the problem of hesitation to hire help for farm work. Do not allow him to deter you. That one CAN be solved.


Hold, I love you.

That is all.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 05:01 PM

Yes Hold that is excellent advice, since no one is willing to consider my radical idea of leaving the medical field. wink
Posted By: Kittycat

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 09:19 PM

HOLD< YES! There is paperwork that can be signed by the workman and homeowners insurance that can be checked to see if there is going to be any liability.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 09:36 PM

Or be brave and hire someone 'under the table,' pay them in cash, and buy an umbrella insurance policy on your farm.

In the event they were to get hurt and be unreasonable, their employment would be deniable and the umbrella would supplement any homeowners' liability claims.

Or do the workers' comp thing if it's too uncomfortable to go off the books.

That kind of insurance is inexpensive. Nothing like what surgeons have to pay for professional liability policies.

You guys can do it, and it would make your whole life so much brighter. Really.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 10:16 PM

I can nearly promise Mr. Marta will not pay someone under the table to avoid expensive insurance. Besides money isn't there biggest problem.....time is.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 10:47 PM

Marta, you are in a tough spot. You've been conditioned to stay firmly in the "helpmeet" role, without regard to your own preferences. Your H wants it all, with you working heart and soul to make it happen. And you are facing head on the fact that the stuff he wants you to do isn't fulfilling for you. So you feel pressured to continue denying your own individual preferences as to home, time, occupation, vacations, priorities-- all of it. And it's a little bit of death.

Moreover, he wants to be full-time surgeon and full-time rancher and part time missionary-- with you picking up the slack. Date night? He will oblige, but it will be made uncomfortable for you because he's going to let you know one way or another that it's cutting into the things he really wants to do.

I'm married to a restless physician, too. His pace of life is far different from my own. I've gotten used to living weekends feeling somewhat flogged by all the activity, and he has figured out that Monday often comes as a relief to me, because I can sleep late and hide in my studio and do some of my own stuff, which is at a far more contemplative pace than his stuff.

I'd be MISERABLE without my art to escape to. I think you really need to develop something that is just for you, and nowhere near any of the traditional helpmeet, mom, homeschooler, or church helper roles. Something that is fulfilling just because you like it, all by yourself. Devote some time and resources to that thing. (Better not ask me about my art supplies bill!) Allow yourself to have a footprint in your home that is all yours, and not about what someone else wants, and not part of a role you have been conditioned to fill. It will make you a more interesting and a happier person!

And try to stop cold the thought or statement that your having a voice and a footprint deprives someone else of something. Don't you think it and don't allow your H or your kids to imply it in any way, shape or form. You matter.
Posted By: Marta

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/16/14 11:57 PM

No, I disagree Chrysalis. I scared him so badly this weekend. He told me not to worry about him. He was a big boy and could take care of himself. The important thing is for me to be happy. When I mentioned the fact that our dates were not allowing him to get his farm work done. He told me that was silly. That the dates were much more important. If I'm not happy, he will be miserable... He said he never thought that at all... He is enjoying all the time he is spending with me and is sorry that he spent so much time earlier making it look like a showcase.

A lot of this I have been putting on myself. What he is worried about now is my getting better. We talked about my changing from my therapist to a psychiatrist... I was/am in a scary place.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/17/14 02:32 AM

((((Marta))))

I do think a lot of this you put on yourself. You need something fulfilling just for you.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Coming to agreements - 09/17/14 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
SW, when one has devoted such a large part of their life and personhood to the process of becoming a surgeon, it would be a huge deal to give that up and walk away. One would be walking away from themselves in a sense. From all that they have been till now. I don't know if it's possible to relay to a lay person the magnitude of self-identity that is immersed in one's professional identity.
Maybe that's exactly what he NEEDS.

Anyway...
http://www.medicalcareerchange.com/
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