Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Part 3: Finding Time for the Relationship

Time to finish "the series" of what I've learned/experienced being married to a full-time grad student.

Part 1: Finances
Part 2: Selflessness

Finding the time.

I have two words for you.  DATE-NIGHT.  There, I'm done.  Go home, rest your weary head, your marriage will be a success if you have a date night each week.  Right?  RIGHT?


Not really.

I will say that our date night though kept us afloat.  Barely.  Really in the end we were both so darn tired come Friday that all we could muster was maybe watching a movie from Redbox together (let's not forget the budget from Part 1 that inhibited us from spending much money on said "date night").  Not exactly the atmosphere for good, tender conversation.  But it was time spent together.  And if all else failed, and we hardly said a word to each other all week long that didn't have to do with school/work...we could always count on date night.  It was the unmovable must.  It would happen always.  We would at the least be together.

I think though I learned a lot about myself through this whole grad school ordeal.  I love being alone.  When I was a little girl I played with my friends often.  There were many times though where I chose to play alone, getting lost in my crazy little head playing games of make believe.  I like to be alone.  I have little fear in it.

You know that "love language" talk?  Everyone has there love language yada yada.  I would never have guessed mine is "quality time".  It is though.  I think that in some ways being very independent and loving my alone time is a gift.  It's also my worst enemy.  I am independent enough that I can trick myself into being content with separation.  That it's ok and not necessary.  One day you wake up though and realize that this person you gave yourself to is almost a stranger.  That you share very little in common and the full relationship that you once had is a distant memory.  All it took though was one day...or for that matter...ONE HOUR of quality time together and *Boom*. I felt connected and loved again.  Crazy stuff.

Fortunately I only got a small taste of what I mentioned above.  It was enough though for me to realize that we need each other.  We need to be WITH each other and be purposeful.  We need to hang out, and talk, and do things that we mutually love like hiking, and etc.  Not just sit next to each other and watch a movie.

It also meant that I needed to enter into his world.  I was purposefully interested in his studies and teaching the first year.  The second year became difficult.  In the end I really didn't relate and I was just plain tired at the end of a work day.  It took prayer and "forcing" myself to step out and be interested and supportive again.  Eventually though it came naturally and I was/am very thankful.

So, in the end does this tie back into "selflessness" ?  Probably.  But I can definitely say that "together" is better than "one".  And "together" sometimes takes a lot of work.  But it's always worth it.


  1. Hey Anna! It's been awhile since I posted...but wanted to say I enjoyed your series! I can totally relate as we did the grad school thing for the first couple of years as well. Not an easy road. You did a great job of putting this into words...wish I would have had these words of wisdom when I was living it :) But I can say from this side of things - it's all worth it!

  2. Thanks Kali. Looking back at things makes it so much easier to see the "good". So glad we are almost done with this chapter of our lives. :) I can't imagine what it was like for you guys and med-school. So tough! But yes, it does seem to be all worth it in the end. And it's definitely nice to have our men doing things they enjoy for a living...even if it did take a lot of work to get there!