For all our doctor members out there, according to a new report by The University of Michigan Medical School, physicians face challenges when it comes to giving time and attention to their spouses and families, yet there are strategies to help “medical marriages” succeed. The report shows that physicians overall tend to marry later, and also tend to have longer marriages than the general public.
Marriage success strategies for physicians (and anyone with a demanding career)
For anyone with a demanding career, try these marriage success strategies employed by successfully-married physicians and their spouses.
Arguably one of the most important aspects to any successful marriage, seeing the world through a similar lens can lead to a longer marriage, perhaps because having shared values helps a couple to easily make decisions about the important things in life like marriage, children and career. While going against your core values to please your spouse can lead to a host of negative feelings and even resentment.
Recognize the importance of each family member
Each member of the family has a job to do, and each person’s job is honored and respected as an important contribution to the whole. Indeed it is a basic human need to be seen and recognized by others, especially those we love most. It is no surprise then that recognizing our spouse’s role in the family, validates that role, and the person filling it, and leads to a longer and happier marriage.
While there is often the story of one spouse supporting another as he or she goes through the rigors and expense of medical school, residency and then the often times the grueling schedule of being a physician, it is mutual support that helps a couple to thrive. The word mutual is defined as shared between two or more people, or directed by each toward the other. This means both partners benefit from knowing that the other will support them emotionally, spiritually, financially, and mentally through the ups and downs of marriage. Knowing your partner has your back is surely one the hallmarks of a great marriage, and functioning like a team makes the marriage stronger.
Acknowledging the benefit of being a physician to your relationships
Let’s face it, being a physician has certain perks for your family. Your family gets the inside scoop on who the best doctors are, they get a first opinion about what’s ailing them and about whether a trip to the doctor is warranted, they get someone to ask all those medical questions to without the rigamarole of actually going to the doctor. The list goes on. Acknowledging those benefits can help make the marriage succeed. As in all relationships, focusing on the positive over the negative can help make the relationship last.