Friday, June 10, 2011

Eighty Percent

Did you know that there's an 80% chance of getting divorced while in grad school? They wait until you're in stats class to let you in on this little piece of trivia.

I was thinking about this number as I left for class last Thursday. I hate leaving them so much, work, class, studying. Sometimes it feels like I'm never at home. But since Joe's been on leave, he's made me dinner every night before class. He listens to me vent about my professors and assignments. And rubs my head when I come home with a headache. When I heard about the divorce rate, compounded by all of the military family stats, my head started to spin. I told Joe about it. After a short pause, he told me that I would always have all of his support because he wants me to do my best, no matter what. Our future depends on this degree (no pressure, Sara). His ability to ETS depends on this degree. I finally decided that I should just let it go and feel lucky that I have so much support from Joe. It feels very shelfish though. After being the Army wife for almost 4 years now, dropping everything for his career, it feels very selfish to need some help.

My grandpa used to tell his children, marriage isnt a 50/50 split. Sometimes your partner cant give all 50%. You have to be willing to stick around and make up the difference. And sometimes you cant give 50%, all you can give is 20% or maybe none at all. But you have to be married to someone that understands that and will support you anyway. My mother said this saying became real for her while she was in grad school getting her masters in architecture. She had a husband and 2 children and couldnt give anything to her family, school took it all. But my dad stuck it out, as hard as it was. They've been married for almost 30 years now.

Thankfully, Joe and I don't have kids yet, but there are some weeks where I feel like I certainly haven't help up my end of the deal, but come Friday night, Joe and I snuggle on the couch like all is right with the world. School isnt forever. But I'll become more busy before this journey is over.

Just like the deployment separation, I'm hoping this experience makes us stronger as a couple and more solid in our marriage. Life is all about how you react to things. If we know the possible outcomes, we wont have the need for the gut reactions. Knowledge is power. That 80% divorce rate is the most likely outcome. But if we know that already, we're ahead of the game and can fight for our marriage when we need to.


Julie said...

It sounds like Joe is walking right there with you during all this. I can imagine if one partner was not being supportive of the other going to school everything would fall apart and that is probably why the divorce rate is 80%. How much longer of school do you have?

ArmySwthrt said...

Wow! Your grandpa is/was a very wise man. I never thought about it like that but that's very true. My husband is also in the Army and I'm also in college right now so I understand your concerns. People are pushing me to continue on to law school next semester and it's been a really tough decision so far. Your view on it has really put a new light on it. Thank you!

By the way, sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your husband! Be sure to always treasure that and stay one step ahead because many are not so lucky! I would like to believe that my relationship with my husband is as inspirational as yours. :)

Megan Dub-Yuh said...

That is just a crazy statistic. I think having developed coping skills for deployments have you and Joe more prepared than most couples. I am still trying to wrap my brain about that number actually. It is very interesting. Adam is contemplating getting his PhD very soon while I am getting ready to start my Master's. Thanks for sharing this info because you are right KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Lucy said...

Wow! I love what you said about your grandpa. That is very true! I shared that quote on my husband's wall. You are blessed with a very loving husband. Good luck in school! :)

Sara said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words and support.

@Julie I have just about a year left. I have 5 classes and a thesis to complete. The thesis will take a year and I expect to be home even less while I'm at school working on that.

Jen said...

I've been thinking about your post for a few days. Could you provide me with a reference with the 80% chance of getting divorced while in grad school? I'm curious about the n, the limitations/implications, validity and when the study was conducted.

I've been in grad school for a while now... it'll be 5 years total (of being full time) in Dec when I (hopefully) graduate...and I know 1 person who had gotten divorced. The majority of my classes have been in the education arena, with most students being in the education field, so maybe that has an influence... After all, most educators have to take grad classes to maintain their license, plus move across the pay scale, so a lot of educators go to grad school.

I do like what your grandpa has to say about marriage. It rings true in my own marriage. :)