You have not heard from me for a while. So, just a reminder of my situation: I completed my Humanities-related PhD in early 2015. Currently, I am teaching a couple of courses at university, and my employer is even paying for my second masters degree. Sounds like a life of pure happiness, right?
Well, not quite. Unfortunately mu husband is divorcing me because he says we have grown apart. I am a bit all over the place at the moment. I try to recover. I am 36 but still attractive, I am not that old after all. I think I deserve to find someone else. I am moving to the West Midlands to start afresh. I am scared but I will survive this divorce. Luckily, I have no children.
One of the main reasons my husband decided to leave me is because he could not understand my passion about academia and my career. He had not gone through a PhD himself, but he 'sort of' supported me through the process. However, he completely lost patience in the end. After I completed the PhD and got an academic job, he was emotionally drained and couldn't do it any more.
So, I have learnt my lesson. From now on, I will not date anyone who has not gone through the process of a PhD. That sounds like I discriminate, but no, I don't. I simply feel that whoever is with me next has to share my passion about academia. They have to share this passion with me in order to understand, value and support my lifestyle. So, how do I get to meet hot academics ;-)
I just needed to tell someone.
Hello Mara, Congratulations on the job. Having just handed in my minor mods, you've given me some hope :).
I can relate about finding a partner with the patience for this life we have. I've not managed it. But I know others do, and they're not always PhDs. I've always thought a fellow PhD would be too similar, we'd have conflicting demands, competition and so on. But perhaps you're right. Thanks anyway and good luck.
Certainly it is not down to who has a PhD and who hasn't got one. It's about mutual understanding. When the couple don't understand each other, the marriage will fail.
Let us not forget that when two people get together, they have their own ambitions, as well as the couple's ambitions. So, down the line I discovered that my husband married me with the hope that I would stay at home, do the housekeeping, raise a couple of children, etc. When, after the PhD, I became a a career-driven female academic, his feelings changed because his 'ideal wife' did not exist. I could not compromise. That was my dream coming true. I expected him to understand and follow me, but he did not.
I cannot believe I see you back again! During my days of frustration with PhD for which I turned to postgraduate forum, it was your thread that I was following keenly (2 years ago!) as I too had gotten an R & R like you. You played a key role in giving me hopes to continue despite hopelessness.
So pleased to tell you that I am now done! Graduated last week and now doing things that I never thought I would ever get to like postdoc application and competitive grant writing. It's like the whole academic world has welcomed me to their weird club.
Also interesting to see how your personal life is now panning out. It's so nice to see you are so confident and making careful decisions and following your academic passion. My all best wishes in all your future endeavours and thank you to revisit this forum. Hope we can keep in touch.
very sorry to hear about the divorce. Hoping though the loss of your relationship doesn't have too much of a negative impact on how you feel about your recent achievements and life work. I just thought though to comment on your words 'I have learnt my lesson'. Relationships end often through no fault of our own or of the other-they sometimes just end because circumstances change or people change-sometimes nothing that we do or might have done will make them last. Wishing for you that you find someone who celebrates your passion and intellectual rigour and cherishes you for it-with or without a PhD.
And Ganesha and Eska-nice comments :) :)
Who says a fellow academic who has a PhD does not want a stay at home wife?
There are lots of things I do not understand about my wife but I would support her through any decision she made and like wise. When I did my MSc she supported me, when I was going to do a PhD (she thought I was mad) but was happy to support me as it was my ambition.
I understand your frustration (and I do not know the full story) but I do think restricting yourself to a certain type of person is a bad idea (sounds like a knee jerk reaction)... you may be missing out on learning something new!!
Did you never talk about your plans after the PhD? It seems a bit odd to me that expectations go this far apart. I would expect that my girlfriend can tell if I plan a career or consider to be a stay-at-home dad. It's a bit like the question whether or not you plan to have children.
I would also not restrict the search to PhD graduates. I think it is pretty natural to lose patience when your partner is about to finish a PhD. This phase just sucks for the partner. With a PhD you might understand that better but it does not make it easier as it will affect your life. People tolerate that only for a limited amount of time. Most professors (male + female) I worked with had a partner with a non-academic job. I guess it just makes things a lot easier with children as academia is very time consuming with often unpredictable working times, frequent relocations and temporary contracts.
I would rather clearly communicate that you are planning a career in academia. Some will like it, others won't...regardless of a PhD ;)
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