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August 04, 2004



Pretty similar to being a Navy wife. My husband was active duty till a year ago, and I can completely relate. You never knew when he was going to get off, even if he didn't have duty. Some days it was 8 pm, much more rarely 4pm. And after several weeks of not seeing him till after dinner, you fall into a routine where you and the children can deal with it. And then suddenly he's home and you don't know what to do with him.

Likewise, his sub was scheduled to deploy in late February 2003 for six months, but then at the end of December we were told that starting in January it was on 72 hour notice - i.e. at any point we could get 72 hours or less notice that they were leaving indefinately. So for the next six weeks we couldn't make any plans assuming that he would be home, but of course he was still there. When the boat finally pulled out only a week and a half early for its Med run, even though we knew we wouldn't see our husbands for six months, most of us boat wives breathed a sigh of relief. Even if they were gone, at least we could now have a schedule, some consistency in our lives.


Fascinating. I always wondered what my husband might think. I can say that I for one notice, appreciate, and often feel guilty about my spouse picking up my slack. (I am a new attending doc with rotating shiftwork, a househusband and an infant daughter.) I am sure he resents the hell out of me and my choice of career sometimes. I resent it myself: I would rather help with the housework, always be on time, be there to put the baby to bed, know where we keep the detergent, keep appointments, run errands and spend holidays with my family instead of with a prime handful of chronic inebriates with poor judgement- (and as a resident I was well aware of being a mere shell of the person my husband married. )

I am sure that your husband appreciates your efforts, whether he has had enough sleep to express the thought coherently or not. The dissonance occurs on both sides. I for one oscillate between gratitude (Yay, I don't have to get up with the baby 2 hours after falling asleep), guilt (I should be: cooking, cleaning, calling the insurance company, going to the store) and irritation (Could you pick me up on time? I've only been awake for 30 hours.) And in a sleep-deprived haze, one has the nagging feeling that one must certainly be being unreasonable, but one just can't tell right now. . .and how is it this other person hasn't just decided to throw my ass out? Residency is short, and to some extent, life improves after. Bless you for being the glue.

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