3 things I’ve learned from being married to a medical resident.
I. Hold On To Expectations Loosely:
From monthly date nights, to showing up at family gatherings, and even serving together at a church event, I simply want to say, just hold on to these expectations with a very open palm. My husband, Dr. J, really means it with all his heart when he promises he will try to make it home on time or attend great aunt Sally’s birthday dinner ( ok we don’t really have a great aunt Sally, but just bear with me), however sometimes… no.. MANY times.. his work faithfully makes a dent in our well polished plans. Whether he got tied up charting, or got called in to perform a last minute procedure, I have learned to just tell myself ” Its okay.” He is just doing his job. My job is to make sure I don’t gobble up all the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before he comes home. My job is to give great aunt Sally the biggest hug for the both of us. My job is to joyfully attend that church event and be prepared to encourage him over the phone with what I learned from God’s truth and the new relationships I’ve made. My job is to be flexible 🙂
II. Do Not Compare
Do not compare with other people or even other doctor’s wives. Just don’t do it. Comparing robs us of the joy that God has given us. When we compare, that hunger for something else grows bigger and bigger, but the craving will never be satisfied. I know it is extremely hard not to compare when you see your neighbor’s husband coming home before the sun sets, or when all your friends and their husbands are going out to eat and you have to drive yourself. I understand how easy it is to grumble when you feel like your husband has it harder than other residents in other programs. The reality is, we don’t know what our neighbors are going through, we don’t know how our friends’ marriages are doing, and we don’t actually know how the other residency programs are structured and ran. What we can do, is to replace comparing with thankfulness. When that itch to compare crawls up our necks, we must come before the Lord and beg our Heavenly Father to give us a heart of thankfulness. Giving thanks in all circumstances is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and our gracious Father is more than willing to free us from the thorns of comparison that is robbing us of His gift of joy.
III. My Husband Will Never Meet My Deepest Needs Because He Was Not Created To
I often find myself thinking, that if my husband had a regular schedule, then he would be around me more and I would feel better about myself. If he was physically present more, then maybe my insecurities would go away and I would some how thrive better in life. I believe this line of thought is actually common to wives all over the world, regardless of the occupation your spouse holds. As wives we love feeling adored, treasured, valued, and validated by our husbands. However, it was never in God’s plan for our husbands to take on the role that Jesus came to fulfill. Our identities as wives were never meant to be in our husbands. No matter how sweet, doting, loving, and physically present our husbands are, they will never be able to meet the deepest longings you have that are only meant to be met by God. Our Father has promised to meet all our needs ( Phil 4:19), He promises us that He will never leave us (Deut. 31:6), and He promises that absolutely nothing can separate us from His love ( Romans 8: 38-39). Let us as wives pray for one another as we examine our walks before the Lord, and ask Him to search our hearts, before going to our husbands with expectations and longings meant to be fulfilled by our God only.
Blessings and Joy,