8.19.2011

law school wife.

This whole week Trevor has had law school orientation, and they had a family day yesterday for anyone involved in a law student's life to come and learn more about law school and what they will be going through etc. There was a joke said that I guess a lot of people know, but I had never heard it before... apparently law school wives should really be called a law school widow. I guess that is funny, except I am about to become one apparently. I wasn't really worried at all until I went to this meeting. I am happy I went because I learned so much, I had no idea just how different law school is from any other kind of graduate program. But on the other hand, I am now a little apprehensive. They basically told us to expect to see the worse side of your spouse, that your spouse will NEVER be done working, and they will have a couple melt downs through out the semester.

I am going to be totally and 100% honest right now. Marriage is not easy, and I already have a list of things Trevor and I need to be working on to make our marriage stronger, and better... I mean who doesn't? So to think we are going to have add this stress to it, really freaks me out. I know we can make the best of it, but I am just not looking forward to doing it. They had a couple of wives there of some students that are in their 2nd and 3rd year and one of the girls shared something that stuck out to me.

She explained how it is really hard, but it feels good to become stronger as a couple by being able to go through something that is hard, together. It made me think of the phrase that is said a lot in my church which is, "I can do hard things."

Any advice people have on this when it comes to being married during difficult graduate programs, any law school wives, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks :)


35 comments:

  1. Not sure about law school, but I was a vet school wife, which means most of the time we were more like roomies than hubby and wife, unfortunately. The veterinary profession is really great about getting spouses involved and there is actually and organization just for spouses and significant others. I was president of that student group while he was in school, so it was nice to get together with other spouses and significant others who were going through similar situations. Maybe there is something like that for law students...Seriously though, those 4 years of vet school were some of the busiest and best we've ever had. We were broke, but we made the best friends anyone could ask for and we make a ton of memories. Wishing you and your hubby the very best as you begin this journey :) xoxo

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  2. Hey Alycia!

    To be honest, yes, you will be a widow. You will hardly see him, he'll be stressed, and your relationship will be strained. BUT, it is a great opportunity to show your dedication to each other and it's a great way for you to serve him and show him how much you love him. I always felt good when I was able to make Brandon lunches or come down to the library with cookies to say hi to him while he was studying. He'll appreciate and love you for those little things and it'll prove how much you care during a time when you know he's burned out. Hard things like law school have the ability to drive marriages apart (I witnessed a couple do this while we were at Pepperdine), but it's also a journey together and if you stay positive and patient with each other, it can bring you close than you thought possible. Love you guys and enjoy the ride! Everything will be fine!!!

    --Serene

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  3. I haven't really been in this situation, but I can imagine it will be hard. My husband is a pilot and I know one day he will miss Holiday parties and our babie's dance recitals because he may have some crazy flight. It's not ideal and I don't like to think of it, but I did marry him. I think any couple can make it through anything as long as they are honest, they communicate, keep the romance alive and make time to laugh and be together. It all sounds so obvious, but it's what will work.

    I'm sure y'all will be fine and things are usually easier than you perceive! Have a great Friday!! If you're ever interested in sharing your wedding story and tips, you can check out my blog for more info! I'd love to feature y'all!

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  4. we all go through tough and busy times but they always make us stronger. Marriage is not always easy but it makes the tough times in life soooo much easier to get through.

    It is really sweet that they had a family orientation, that should be really helpful.

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  5. Oh, Alycia! This is such an exciting time. So scary, but such a great opportunity! I love your perspective. And yes, we can do hard things. My husband will be going to law school in a few years, so I should prep myself now. I'm so anxious to see your push through this. We can do it!

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  6. i wasn't married to my hubby while he was in law school, in fact i didn't even know him. But from what he's told me and what i've seen from our cousin and his wife who just graduated law school in may, it won't be as bad as you think!

    The first year is the hardest. So, yes, the first year will be really tough. He'll be stressed. You'll hardly see him. But the next two years will be a lot better (except during finals week).

    I started dating my husband at the very end of his last semester in law school. Our second date he had to take me home at 10 so he could finish a huge paper that was almost due. We joke about it now because I thought he was blowing me off, but then as he dropped me off, he asked me out on another date for the next week. I was so confused.

    We were seriously dating by the time he was studying for and taking the BAR exam. This is where things get extreme. He literally studied from 8AM until 10PM Monday-Saturday. He would maybe text me a couple times a day. And every once in awhile (like maybe once a month or for special occasions (like V-DAY) he would stop early at like 7 or 8 for an actual date. So that was tough.

    So basically, what I'm saying is, it's going to be tough and there will be times you feel like you don't even have a husband. But the first year and the BAR will be the worst.

    Good luck to the both of you!

    Does he have any idea what type of law he wants to go in to? If he has any question...he can feel free to call/email/talk to my hubby. Jess loves to give advice on law school, the BAR, and choosing what to go into or what not. He's constantly talking to people about it. Just so you know!

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  7. Looks like we'll be experiencing the life of law student wives together at the same time, just in different states!

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  8. Grad school can be hard for every member of the family that is for sure! My husband is attending The Boston Conservatory for his masters so we get a big taste of what it is like to be apart ;) Classical musicians seem to never stop practicing! (or at least my husband ;) What helps me is to remember why he is doing all the crazy work-for us and our future babies :) What helps us is to make the most of every second to do get to spend together (however short and far between ;) Good luck!! :) Going through hard times really can bring you closer together if you continue to stay close to the Lord.

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  9. I can only imagine how hard this is going to be but I KNOW you two will pull through this together. And be stronger than ever :) Good luck to you both! Love you guys!

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  10. Okay, we seriously have a lot in common. Both married in the same week 2 years ago, both have the 30 day shred DVD, and both our husbands are starting grad school right now! Okay... so that's not a LOT of things, but still. :) Anyway, one of my girlfriends whose husband just finished grad school for Bio-mechanical Engineering at Stanford was just giving me tips for how they survived the madness. She said he had SO much studying and work to do that he could've been doing that 24 hrs a day, so they had to literally set a timer for breaks in his studying. Because she said it was so hard to have him sitting there in the house studying and for her not to bother him or want to hang out with him! So they set timers every like 2 hours or whatever in his studying, he'd have to take a 15-20 min timed break to just hang out with her. Cuddle, talk, eat, whatever, and then when the "break" timer went off he went back to studying. She said it helped her because then she knew exactly when she was going to have time with him and so she didn't bother him while he was studying. Wow... really long explanation, but maybe that could help?? haha We're going to try it out as well!! :)

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  11. At least for us, I actual felt I saw him more than I would if he had a normal job (except during finals). I think the biggest thing that made a HUGE difference was my husband made family his priority. No ifs, ands or buts. Graduating law school isn't gpa driven - meaning, C is passing. Most firms will not look at your grades when you apply. To them, you passing is good enough. So your husband shouldn't feel like he HAS to have A's or be involved in every group under the sun. Not saying good grades aren't good, just don't put the stress on that if you want family first.
    Was it fun? Not really, but I didn't feel like a widow & I'm so proud of his accomplishment. Just be there for him & be understanding when finals come up & you two should be just fine.
    Welcome to the club! :)

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  12. Im a medical school fiance and yes it is tough! However, it certainly is doable. I have several friends who are doing it also. As long as you keep busy as well, but make sure you set out some time together you will be fine. I think its important to bond with girls in the same situation because you have someone going through it with you. You guys will be fine and good luck to your hubby!

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  13. Jesus will sanctify and strengthen your marriage. His strength comes through in your weakness. If you guys are having a difficult time, allow God to show his grace and love by working through you guys and lifting you up, drawing you closer to each other and to him. Lean on Him throughout! That's the best advice I've got! I'll be praying for you guys! :)

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  14. I don't have any advice for you, but next week my Hub starts his master's in accountancy. I'm nervous because the first year of marriage we were together all the time! I'm with you girl!!

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  15. I don't know about Law school, but I'm basically in the same shoes. I imagine the first year of law school will be the hardest as well. He will be getting use to new teachers and studying habits. But it really isn't as bad as you think! Be glad you are in a state with normal people!! Just kidding, but living far far away from everything you've ever known makes it much worse! I have found that the friends I have made out here who are in the same shoes as me helps tremendously! I can hang out and do things I enjoy all while getting the much needed attention I am deprived of at home! Girls nights are a MUST!! No matter how well you know a new group of girls! Also make use of your free time! Whether it be a friday night for a few hours or a saturday go out and do things that have nothing to do with school! That way the two of you can focus on eachother! I look forward to reading about your journey through your blog!

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  16. I'm not a law school wife, but I am a military wife and worse than that my husband is in missiles. Basically I went through his whole training barely getting to see him. (A lot of his stuff is classified so he has to study on base) even now he goes to work for 36 hours or more away from home...it's hard. But we're certain that we make use of the open times he does have! We try to utilize that to go on dates, spend time as a family and more importantly be a couple. When he's home, he's home. It's an important part of dealing with such a crazy lifestyle!

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  17. My husband is in his last year of law school and I have to say that he is an angel and a saint because no matter how stressed he was he always made sure that I felt loved and appreciated. In fact, his first year was amazing because we lived an hour and a half from his school so I would drive him while he would sleep in the car (he worked full time in the day) or I would quiz him in the car. By keeping me involved I felt I was part of the process. Yes, there will be nights where he's up until 5 am but that's only because he loves you and your future family.

    So many things have happened in the last few years that I feel like I could write a book. But so far, things have been pretty amazing. There have been ups and downs but never within our marriage. He's been Elder's Quorum President as well as other callings and he's been able to manage Church, school, and family.

    Lastly, my husband found it really comforting when I tell him how proud I am of him. I forget to do that but when I do it makes a world of a difference.

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  18. My hubs is going to law school next fall so I can't wait to see how everything turns out for you guys. I'm sure it will be awesome. good luck with everything!! :)

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  19. I've been married for over nine years, and Chris and I worked opposite shifts for several of those years and we both went to school while we were married. It was tough, but we learned to cope by making sure that we set aside time to visit about how our day went. I know it sounds simple, but setting that time aside helped relieve stress in the form of venting, and kept us informed on each other's lives. It's amazing how easy it is to just say a quick hello and go straight to bed. Then, you realize days have gone by without you even talking.

    Also, embrace this opportunity to be able to explore your own independence. It's actually pretty nice to be able to have time to do girly things. You will get through this, and your lives will be better because of it. I hope this helps.

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  20. I'm not a wife, but I have been dating a man in the military for six years, so I'd have to say we've definitely had our tests through long separations and a deployment. Honestly though, you will get through it and at the end you'll feel so much stronger as a couple and as individuals too! Congrats to you both on this new journey!

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  21. You'll be fine! I married a BYU Baseball player and he was NEVER home! Always on the road as Baseball is the most traveled sport. Just hang out with girls a lot, workout a lot, you'll be fine! And get a dog! That's what I did and it was way fun!

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  22. Hopefully it won't be as bad as they say. I had a law school roommate and while that is completely different I did see what she went through. There were some melt downs and lots of stress but there was lots of fun nights watching tv and eating junk food! So hang in there and expect the unexpected!!

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  23. Honestly, most of the time there seems to be a strain between the law school wife/law school student husband is when the wife doesn't have a job outside the home, or she is a SAHM and has a lot of single parenting to do.

    I think if you are working and focusing on your own personal growth- teaching, building your career, honing the craft of being an educator- it will be pretty much like two people with full time jobs. You'll be bringing home work- grading, lesson planning- or staying late- teacher conferences, school events- and so will he- homework, etc.

    I think that the biggest strain happens when the law school wife is just that- the law school wife. She is not defined by anything else, and she is needy for her husband's attention. She resents the time he spend on homework/school/etc., when it could be spent on her, because she is bored since she doesn't have a job. Or, understandably, she is wrangling a few small kiddos by herself a lot and doesn't feel like she has help.

    As to the other side of the equation- I worked full time and went to both under graduate and graduate school full time. And I still managed to have relationships, go out on dates, have down time, work out a few times a week, volunteer, and hang out with my large extended family. It's all about priorities. Sometimes students will procrastinate and say they need to spend 6 hours in the library but really, half of that time is surfing the internet and distracting themselves. If a student is serious, they will budget their time according to their priorities- whatever they may be- and they won't use school as an excuse for being an absentee spouse or parent.

    Good luck!

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  24. I'm a law school student and my boyfriend is currently the law school boyfriend, but things are changing rather quickly because in a few months he will be going to law school and I am going to be the law school girlfriend. This should be interesting! The only advice I have, is no advice at all... everyone has their own different style of embracing the crazy world of law school. I will assure you this it will be an amazing adventure so no matter how difficult it may get enjoy the ride. Definitely keep us posted! Good luck :)

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  25. so i went through b-school, which in it's first year, esp. the firt six months, is not fun for the student and i can imagine is not fun for the spouses. the most successful couples were those where the spouse: 1 - gave their partner time to bond and form relationships with their new classmates and 2 - came out to socialize, got to know everyone and made a real effort to be a part of the community. i think it helps because you start to have similar friends and in talking to other people in the program you can see they are going through the same things as your husband and he's not acting as crazy/overwhelmed as you might think because you see he's not the only one. but above all, even though i'm a new follower, you can tell that you guys have a deep love for one another and are always looking to make your marriage better, which shows a firm commitment to the vows you've taken. with that as your base, you will be fine. the first year, particularly the first six months, are the hardest. once you're through that you guys will be fine, promise :)

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  26. It's hard, but will fly by! It's not that bad, and student loan money was great. I never felt poor! Haha! Good luck! It should be worth it later on!

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  27. Haven't been a law school widow- but I have been a job widow. My husband us a project manager for a construction company and at the end of his last job he worked 22 consecutive days- yes no weekends- and those days he would work from 6 AM to 9:00 PM- and no he didn't get paid over time. So it sucks and is hard- but then you find your groove and routine during the chaos and in the end it is all worth it- especially if he buys you a new lens for your camera to say thank you for dealing with it all ;)

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  28. Its really only the first year. After that law school is cake and you'll have plenty of time together. ;) First year its school and then study every day until you fall asleep. Maybe one day out of the weekend free. But like I said, its only really for the first year. Good luck!

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  29. My best friend's husband just finished law school and the BAR. The three years he was in law school was definitely hard, but they cherished every moment that they had together. They tried to show each other love in special ways with little surprises, and this would be something that I'm sure your husband would love when it gets overwhelming. She also had a strong support group of girlfriends. Try and vacation during the summer and soak up every moment you have when it comes your way!

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  30. Hi there! I just found your blog and I love it! That is very cool that your husband is going to law school. It's something I have always wanted to do but I am pretty much schooled out so I don't think that will be happening anytime soon. As far as dealing with tough times, my husband is in the military and we just finished with our first deployment and there were days where I really wasn't sure how our marriage was supposed to work under conditions like that. It was hard, and exhausting, and it took every bit of fight I had in me to get through it, but now that we are done, and looking back on it, I am so thankful that we both fought so hard, because now our marriage is better than ever. We learned a lot of things during that time, especially about each other. So even though law school will be hard on both of you, like you said, you can do it, and in the end it will all have been completely worth it and reward you in more ways than one. Good luck!

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  31. My husband just started law school this week. They haven't really had anything for spouses here which is kinda lame. We've made it through 4 years of the Navy though so I'm trying to be positive about this! Good luck to you!

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  32. Hey hon.
    Just now came across this post, while reading back through your blog [which I love, by the way :) ]
    Anyways, I just wanted to extend an ear to you, any time you may need it.
    As a third year law student, I will be able to relate/give advice, if you need it at any time in this process.

    It's tough, it's busy- but I have faith you two can handle it well!

    I'm here if you need it!

    XO, Jessica

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  33. Haha! I found your blog :) It does seem to make your stronger....you learn more about their weaknesses and their strengths, and vice a verse. Um...dinner group and LP helped me out, like I said at that meeting. And being patient and understanding....Will you be at bombay house this week?

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  34. How exciting! Here's my $0.02.

    My husband just began his 3rd year of law school, and the main thing that has helped me (/us) is to use this time to develop myself.

    SO much emphasis is placed on what *he* is doing right now. It is easy to get lost if you're not careful. Instead of just "helping him get through," make a list of things you want to learn and accomplish during the next 3 years. Think of your goals in 4 categories: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, and Emotional.

    I guarantee that if you do this, you will be stronger as a couple, the time will FLY by, and you will sit at graduation feeling proud of *your* efforts as well...therefore allowing you to celebrate fully (instead of just exhaling in relief!)

    HAVE FUN!!!

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