But, during those tumultuous years, life happens. Life happens fast. Marriage, learning to deal with one another's quirks, learning how to deal with the stressors of medical training, education and careers are put on hold, babies come along who cry, poop, vomit, and also love, bills and debt accumulate, family birthdays are attended solo (even wedding and funerals), vacations are skipped, and the other parents at school assume you're divorced, because your DocH has never been able to attend any school function.
And, all that is meet with a stiff upper lip, because of the mutual understanding of medical training rigors... and the knowledge that it will all be *over* one day when training ceases. So... we wait.
But, let me warn you, dear friends, for many of us it NEVER ends, and money, unfortunately, doesn't bring happiness.
Sure, the hours get better. He is home for a late dinner. But, he spends his free time in front of the computer charting or attending to the "business" medicine. If he is truly type A and has that desire to climb to the top of whatever mountain stands before him, he will always be attending dinner meetings, writing papers, piloting programs, joining committees, boards, directing leadership groups, and attending conferences. Whether he's building a practice or climbing the hospital's administrative ladder, his focus will always be up rather than down, in the here and now.
*It* always continues. I came to this realization over the last couple of years, and like many med school wives, I simply shifted my focus down the med life timeline. For me, that meant looking towards retirement which is just over a decade away.
But, even that was wishful thinking.
I've come to peace with the realization DocH will never fully retire, he may slow down, he may not work full-time, but he will never fully relinquish his life and love of medicine.
My point? Let's all stop waiting and just get on with our lives as best as we can. Let's support them and love them, but let's not forget to support and love ourselves in this journey. Let's not forget to feed ourselves with whatever energizes us, and nourishes our souls so we may bring happy to our lives, our marriages, and our families, because waiting does nothing for us.