Letting Go of Expectations

From hectic life in the USA to island life as a stay-at-home-wife, this blog follows the musings of an anxious Type-A as she learns to slow down and tune in to the important things in life

 

From Breadwinner to Housewife

First thinking about it, it sounded great. I get to quit my job and become a housewife?! Sign me up! Sure, I figured I would do a little more cooking and cleaning than before, but then I would have most of my time to myself.

I had this image in my mind of a housewife living a luxurious lifestyle including coffee dates with friends in the middle of the day and regular manicures. I knew that would not be me, though – and not just because it is too hot in Grenada to drink coffee. Being the wife of a medical student means lots of debt, a tight budget, little time with Husband, and lots of time spent doing the housework of two.

Let me back up a little bit, though.

From a time well before marriage and medical school, I always thought of myself as a strong person who wouldn’t ever change my life path just for “some boy”. I was an independent horse girl, and Husband (Boyfriend, at the time) knew that he would always be second to my horse. I had been riding for far longer than I had known him and he respected my commitment to riding, my passion.

While we were dating, we were essentially financially independent from one another. We had our own vehicles and were able to move about as we pleased. Looking back on it now, I see that we were moving through life on two parallel paths.

Then, on a glorious summer day, surrounded by our family and friends, we were married. It was a joyous next step in our relationship, but I really didn’t think that marriage would change things that much. We were already living together. We had been dating for three years. I figured we would continue on exactly as we had, but with new titles and joint tax returns.

One short month after we were married, Husband started medical school in Grenada. We were both well aware of the fact that if I didn’t want to give up my life in the US, I wouldn’t have. Truth be told, though, I was feeling burned out and thought a change of scenery would be a great way to re-connect with where I wanted to go in life.

After a brief period of time exploring the island together, classes started and Husband hit the ground running. That was when I became responsible for every aspect of our lives outside of his studies, and at first, I misunderstood what that meant.

I thought it was going to mean doing a little more laundry than I was used to, not changing the laundry schedule that I have always kept because that schedule doesn’t fit his needs. I thought it was going to mean making more of the decisions, not making the majority of them because it is more important for him to be studying.

I really grappled with this feeling of making changes to accommodate Husband. It sounds terrible, I know, but hear me out.

On the one hand, I knew that he is in school, he is incredibly busy, and him being in school now is something that is going to contribute to our future together. He is busy because he is driven to succeed in a difficult field and I am super proud of him for that.

On the other hand, I pride myself on being an independent person who wouldn’t change who I am for someone else. I also refuse to fall into gender roles and being the good wife who has a clean house and a hot dinner ready for her man when he gets home is not at all what I aspired to be.

I always had goals, and I attained them for myself. But when I was no longer sure what those goals were, or what direction I wanted my life to go in, and I seemed to be turning into the good little housewife without her own goals or aspirations, I began to resent doing the things that were my side of the bargain while Husband is in school.

It was only after a lot of reflection that I was able to understand the source of the resentment. I realized that instead of walking on two parallel paths, we needed to be walking on one path, together. His path was the one leading to a more stable future, and he had already made room for me on it, so I finally decided to leave my path and join him on his.

He is leading us down this path right now, but I know that will not always be the case. And now that we are on one path together, I am not doing things either for myself or for him, but everything we do from this point forward is for us.

Now, I feel like instead of doing things for him, I do them out of respect for him. And out of respect for me, he is giving me – as he always has – the time and space to try new things and have fun.

It was worth it, but it wasn’t easy. It was only when I ceded my expectations about what it meant to be a strong, independent person that I saw that I could be that person and help my husband through medical school at the same time.

Now, I am okay with being a housewife, because I finally understand that this is the best thing that I could be doing right now to help us achieve the future that we want.

And, someday, when I am leading us down the path chasing my dreams, I know that he will be right behind me.

5 Comments

  1. Hello fellow Pony Clubber!
    This is actually super ironic… because I seem to be going through a very similar thing (though opposite). My boyfriend and I would like to get married before I go to medical school, though I have no clue where I will be going (still haven’t heard anything). I have thought about going to school in the Caribbean (St. Maarten’s AUC), but I’m a little worried about what my boyfriend/future husband will do while we’re there. If you don’t mind me asking.. how do you deal with the finances? Did the two of you save a lot before heading over there or are you living off loans? I’ve been worried of the fact that my boyfriend likely wouldn’t be able to work in the Caribbean. He does have a degree in Business, but not sure that’ll help there. Thanks in advance!! Hope you still get to ride down there!

    • Letting Go of Expectations

      November 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Hey!
      It is good to hear from you, and good questions! We do have some savings that we came down here with but we are doing it mostly off student loans. I admittedly don’t know much about the other islands and schools in the area, so apologies in advance about that! In Grenada, it is tough to get a work visa but it is not impossible. If you do end up in the Caribbean and he wants to look for work on the island, I would just advise him to be careful and make sure that he gets the proper visa/documents before beginning work. I do know people who were able to continue work online for the jobs that they had before coming down here, so that may be another possibility! St. George’s University has a really awesome, active SO (Significant Others) group that plans weekly social, volunteer and family events. It has been a great way for me to meet other people who are in the same position, and it has been a lot of fun. If that type of group is something he might be interested in I would encourage you to see if the schools that you are applying to have a similar program! For me, I think it has really made a difference in how much I am enjoying the time that we are here, rather than feeling stuck here. Unfortunately, there are very few horses in Grenada, but I’m sure I will get lots of horse time when I come back to visit! I hope that helps and I would be happy to answer any other questions that you have!

      • Thanks!!! Hopefully everything falls into place and I’ll be able to go to med school close to home, but we’ll see. Loving the blog! 🙂

  2. I loved this post, and I am happy you realized it wasn’t gender based, but a single path based on respect.

    • Letting Go of Expectations

      November 4, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      I will never forget the advice that my great-grandmother gave me on the day I got engaged. She said that the most important part of a relationship is mutual respect. It is the most valuable piece of relationship advice I have ever received.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*