THE BEST ADVICE The best advice a doctor's wife gave me before we started medical school was: "have NO expectations." This, she told me, would ensure that I would "never be disappointed." At the time it seemed like a dismal attitude to have towards my husband and our relationship, but, honestly, it has probably saved our marriage.More importantly, I think it trained me to consistently assume that my husband is doing his best.
We make it a point to read from the scriptures every day together. The atmosphere in our home is different, it is more peaceful and happier.It is important to avoid unnecessary arguments and nit-picking with a spouse.When we are both feeling the stress of medical board exams, finances, or unmet expectations, I have discovered that sometimes, we both just need a "time-out" rather than to "duke it out." A friend told me the other day that her granddaughter seemed upset so she asked if she could help her with something.This was sacred time for us together, without distractions, totally focused on each other.My husband still expects a weekly date; he even admits that HE is the one who "needs" a date night every weekend.Sometimes we trade babysitting with other couples and just go running together on a Saturday morning.We never go to movies together - we need time to actually talk, reconnect, and have eye contact (oh so rare with four kids around).Continuing these traditions reminds us and our children that we are part of something bigger than just us, than just our little family and our daily struggles.This reminder is strengthening and essential during the difficult years of residency.But, sometimes it feels like even our common goals are intangible and quite distant.One thing that we decided to do before we started medical school was become involved together in a hobby. It immediately became a ton of fun for us and continues to be an exciting part of our relationship together.