Oh bridgestone. I've gotta tell you how much your post hurts. In so many different ways. I'm supposed to be preparing for a presentation tonight, but had to stop and respond to this.

Communication? On a scale of 1-10, communicating needs is 10, but I think we're guilty of always letting it slide. Saying "I won't rock the boat over it this time", but those times build up and then it's too late. The saying "never go to bed angry" is pretty much the truth - I'd rather stay up all night and figure out the compromise then let it build up.

Your absolutes? Not sure what that might be - can you give an example? If your husband never understood yours, is he trying to now? If so, is he doing a good job or a crappy job?

Your description of the program is what tore me apart. I work at a university and see so many of these situations play out. You'd think I would've appreciated my own, but no.

My W tends to retreat when she gets busy, and rather than offer her support, I took offense. I didn't understand what the experience was like and I bet your husband didn't either. Even if he'd done his own PhD, it's different when you're in the experience.

And I'm sorry, but how the hell do you work on a PhD with a full-time job, 2 teenagers, a 2 hour commute, and a spouse who's never there?! That is craziness! My god, what have you been going through? And how have you survived?! With prof on top of everything you must have felt cornered and crushed at the same time.

So I have to admit that 9 years ago I wasn't supportive when my W changed the rules of the game after starting school. I didn't support her. And I suppose I didn't support her when she started her PhD, though I thought I was just giving her space. And I was pursuing my own grad degree work and thought she understood I needed support/understanding too. Anyway, that was the final straw. She slept with OM a month later. The kicker is that he is a major part of her thesis and if she wants to pursue the narrow field she's in, she'll be encountering him for the foreseeable future - my demand that she never contact him again fell on deaf ears since it threatened her career.

Is losing your job a for sure thing? We've had many students in the same position, but most of them have been able to work out a deal. If not, yes - you should feel bitter and I'd say you're justified. So then what happens?

You don't need to make the choice about moving yet, but I think you should eventually make the move. I've lived in a small community where the quality of life was high but job options were low and it drove me crazy after 10 years. Now I'm in a place where there are great job options and I can make enough to travel. Much better. I have friends, though, who are doing the opposite. So far they've made it work, but I can see the strain starting to accumulate.

Thanks for responding. I must say it is always nice to come across one of your posts. Take care, lodo

Divorced: 10/26/08