My partner is currently finishing his PhD. We're together for more than 8 years now and living together for more than 4 years.
He is in the last months of his PhD (not to say the last weeks...). And to be honest, I don't have a PhD myself, only a master degree, but we have plenty of PhD/Post PhD friends who advised us on this harsh period.
We were "prepared", or at least I though we were.
Long story short, we went through a really difficult time this year, not even due to his thesis, "only" due to difficult events in our personal life.
Anyway, I'm trying to support him the best I can but I'm starting to feel so SO useless. I'm trying to focus on the small details like making sure he eats : I prepare his breakfast every morning before going to work, advise him on what to eat at lunch so he doesn't have to overthink it and try to cook dishes he really enjoys.
I'm also trying to make sure he doesn't feel the pressure coming from the invoices or housing tasks (I take care of laundry, ironing, vacuuming and so on). On a different level, I'm also trying to keep him away from all the pressure I can have from my own job. I'm trying to suggest him some fun activities and social life but not too much because I don't want to distract him too much either.
Now I need inspiration.. May I ask you guys to give tips and advices on what would matter for you being in that situation... or what helped you in the past whenever you were writing your thesis.
Many many many thanks for your help... I really want to be a better support for him.
I also think you are doing all you can. The end of the PhD was hard for me (its hard for everybkdy) and I was lucky to have my wife cheering me up. She would always cook something special every time a deadline was met, etc. Sometimes it' was just nice to take a walk in the park together and forget about the PhD for a while. You are cooking, cleaning, working, paying the bills...what else can you possibly do? Many people dont have anybody and they have to just suck it up. Maybe you are spoiling your partner a bit? Make sure you also have some time off sometimes!
As for the PhD, its nearly done, so no point in worrying too much. If it's good, then its good. If he needs to changes something, they will tell him exactly what at the viva. Often its just the fact of not knowing how good you research is that is crippling. It helps travelling to conferences and speaking to other academics, so you know that your reseach is good. But thats a bit late now for that!
It sounds like you are doing a great job, and I feel a bit jealous about all you are doing for your partner! My husband tries his best and I'm sure not a great spouse at the moment, but I still feel like if I don't want the house to be a total mess, want to have food in the fridge and clean clothes to wear, it's up to me to keep on top of the cleaning/groceries/laundry. It is really great of you to take that stress away from your partner.
Apart from taking care of all the house stuff, the other thing I would love is some nice little surprises like having a bath run for me, or getting some chocolates I like, or a day trip away somewhere. But that's really personal, not everyone likes surprises or wants distractions from their thesis!
Agree with TreeofLife that the only thing more you could do is ask him what he would like, and remember to look after yourself too!
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