No family support

I am 38 years old and turning another year older in March. I have talked about med school for several years now but never got the ok from my wife who says that I’m a CPA and need to continue it. We have two kids. As it happens I’m unemployed now and going to school seems like a good time now but noooo says my wife. I read a lot about people having self doubts but everybody seems to have family support. Any ideas as to what I can do to obtain support?

When it comes to marriage it takes two to tango. That goes for the decision making process as well. Can’t do it without her on board - med school is tough as it is w/o the stresses of a personal relationship in trouble!

Maybe try and talk to your wife and ask her what she would do if the tables were turned. My husband is generally supportive of me and med school but he doesn’t really want me to apply outside of my home state (California). I said…I would move anywhere if it was him needing to move to accomplish his dream. I said, it’s just a few years. Just my .2 cents. Good luck

we have all been there. This is nothing new. Most of the time, it is due to fear and uncertainty. Bring her to this website and let her know that it has been done. And if possible, see if you both can make it to the next conference so she knows what to expect.

My husband got on board, but it took a lot of time to assure him that this was not a whim. I spoke to counselors and premed academic advisors, and spent months discussing it with him. When he realized how serious I was, he became incredibly supportive.

Spousal support is essential and non-optional. As a woman, I would receommend you sit her down and ask her with sincerity and earnestness what her concerns and fears are, and what you could do to gain her support for the idea. This is the most important thing to do.

Next, you will need to communicate your feelings to her about why it is important to you. What will this fulfill in you that being a CPA doesn’t. What are your greatest fears about not doing this? Many of us ladies connect to feelings, so think about how to verbalize why this is important to you, and tell her about your feelings after you have listened and discussed her fears.

I found there was an intermediate stage of discussion once my husband began to be open to the idea but before the final decision was made. You can start off the whole conversation by not trying to convince her to say yes, but by trying to convince her to decide if she would explore the idea’s feasibility - and you should be open to the idea that it may not be all that feasible in your situation. You will need to work on a plan in collaboration with her. I am assuming that as an accountant you are probably pretty good at the planning part, so I think more effort should be spent working on communicating about her fears, and then about your dreams.

Once my hubby was open to the idea, we worked out a concrete plan. Part of that was my being accepted to a reputable premed postbacc program (which to him was an indication of my chances of getting into a med school) and planning out how long it would take me to complete it and how we would finance our lives during that time.

I also think that birning her to this site is an excellent idea.

Good luck in your pursuit of her support! And let us know how it works out.

if your wife would like, I am sure that my wife could talk with her about what has been going on in my household and how she has been feeling.

I am about to graduate from medical school and we have 4 kids (3 when I started). Also, where are you located?

I would think a lot of people can use this information.

I am single at this point, but would be still very interested in understanding this.

Can we have a presentation or group session/discussion on this one?

Thanks for the comments. I agree that I cannot move forward without the support. It’s been an on/off topic for about 5 years now.

I can say that my wife’s biggest fear is the perceived quality of life decline for the next 7+ years. The thought of being the sole income provider for that time is overwhelming for her. Also, her income barely covers our living expenses. About half of her take home pay covers the $1,500 monthly mortgage payment and the rest on necessities. Any entertainment, splurges, or unforeseen repairs/bills would have to come out of savings. She feels it will be a financial burden and my choice was already made in my twenties. She feels that we would not have any fun during what should be the peak time of our lives. We would see the fruits of the labor when we are both 50 and she considers that old.

As far as savings go, we have some - about $50K in cash and $70K in 401K but it doesn’t seem like much for 7 years of no income from me (I need 2 years pre-med, 1 year application, then the 4 years of school).

I should add too that from 2007-2009 I enrolled in the Arizona State University MBA evening program. I graduated and forked over $40K. My wife says that this was wasted if I’m interested in Med. Perhaps it was not the wisest choice but it is what it is. I thought it would help my career but at the end of the day the economy fell and here I am today with nothing. The counselor at ASU said that it would help though in admissions and with the future job if I pursued the med school direction. If it was just me I would enroll without hesitation…

your wife’s fears are not without merit and she certainly has hit the nail on the head when she says that your ability to enjoy things will be very limited. However, and I am talking from experience, this is not all true and not all that bad.

For the last 4 years my wife was the sole breadwinner and even that was not enough to cover expenses which is why we took out a large sum in loans. However, we did learn the art of the deal.

When it came to tuition for our kids’ school, we had a long conversation with the finance committee and were able to get almost 60% of the tuition knocked off. We joined the local community center for 1/4 of the normal price just by asking. When I went to shop for suits for my interviews, I spoke with the manager and told them my situation and they knocked off about 30% from the price. In addition, we have learned to do things at a reduced cost.

Rather than going out to dinner her and I, we would go out for dessert and then take a nice stroll around the river. Or go out for lunch. Since both of those ventures were much cheaper than going out to dinner. When we would go out for dessert, we would go to the coffee shop during open mic night. So not only did we get a nice time out, we had a free show without an cover charge. We learned to live with coupons.

You realize that you do not need premium channel for cable. Since all the movies eventually come to basic cable. I made sure that we only used credit cards if it is absolutely necessary or we have 1 year without interest to pay it down and I set up automatic payments through my bank to ensure that no payment is missed or is late.

You re-learn to enjoy parks (county, state, and federal) since they are free to enter. You buy your own food and grill it at the park. Or, amazing how just bringing a blanket to the backyard turns dinner into an outdoor party.

When I want a new fragrance in cologne, I go to the counter and ask if there are any samples available. They are free and they will serve you long enough until a new set of samples come in. You learn to make your own lunch and listen to podcasts. And just play with your kids.

Your wife is allowed to be scared. And you need to assuage her fears. If you want, she can contact my wife and she can ask her questions. I obtained a Masters degree before starting medical school for the sole purpose of getting my grades up. So we have a lot in common. But in the end, she is certainly going to enjoy the fruits of the labor.

Amazingly I was in your situation about 2 years ago. I too was an accountant in Phoenix. MY story is somewhere, but I lost my job and my wife lost hers and we lost everything in Az and now live in Louisville, KY. During my unemployment I cam to terms with how unhappy the field of accounting was making me. I don’t know if you feel the same but I would assume if you are looking to spend the next ten years of your life in school, being an accountant for those tens years doesn’t look very appealing. The one thing that convinced my wife for me to discover what makes me happy was her learning how miserable I was in accounting. I don’t know if you have conveyed this to your wife or not but I would definately try to make sure she is clear on that front first. I don’t know if I could go back to the level of accounting I was working in even if I had to. Once again I don’t know if that is the case on your part but when you lay it out from a standpoint of “Do you want me to be this unhappy for the rest of my working life, just killing time til retirement or do you want me to do something that is going make me happy for the rest of my life?” I find that kind of argument is hard to say no to.