A young wife learns that marrying a workaholic is hard work.
So what if I had no sense of self? I anchored myself to my husband, a man headed to medical school, whose determination to help others, no matter the sacrifice, shed a charitable light on me.
When my internist asked if I knew that marrying a doctor-in-training was a recipe for disaster, I laughed. What did he know of the power of young love? What he might have asked in return was: what did I know of my husband?
And what, at 22, did I know of myself? The determination I loved in my husband lead to him spearheading a policy that required the doctors-in-training to enter the hospital Friday morning and leave Monday night.
For three years, I glimpsed him as he came in the door and headed to bed; when I prepared dinner to entice him en route, he would fall asleep, fork in hand. I was a married single person with none of the perks of either, and when it became clear— too many tears later—that there would always be a person who needed him more urgently than I did, we separated.
Day one: congratulating myself on getting out of bed. Day five: congratulating myself on showering. Eventually, dating others. Eventually, dating each other again. And six months later, just as I was congratulating myself on opening the door to my own home and embracing my solitude, an ultimatum: take him back or let him go forever. Stay Together or Break Up? How To Decide Now