Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A new contribution to our continuing series on academics as significant others

Spouse and I were both academics.

Her: PhD, Research

Me: M.S. Teaching

Both in relatively related fields.

We have been with each other through the development of our academic careers, and for a brief time dabbled in each others playground (and found that it wasn't for us ). Having had that shared history was important. It made us better appreciate the other's stuggle. Given the Venn diagram of our experiences, the intersection is comfortable large, and for us, that works. We can vent to each because we know that the other gets it. And because we know that the other is going through it too, we don't abuse it by heaping extra stress on the one we love. I feel like we are a successful Hollywood couple where both spouses are actors, albeit one in movies, and the other on TV.

The dramas that our workplace worlds generated were slightly different.  Her world was more like Downton Abbey, while mine was more like Jerry Springer. Both full of intrigue, I know, but just a wee bit different.

We each have friends and colleagues at our respective places to whom we vent about specific things, that as SO's we can only empathize with to a point.

It is healthy, necessary, and no emotional intimacies are betrayed. It is a good thing to have good people in your circle. People who 'watch the same dramas' as you.

(Besides, I've vented to my mirror when no one is available, and it truly is disconcerting when your reflection rolls his eyes, and you haven't.)  My spouse loves what she does, despite the drama.and is still doing it.  She is the brains of this outfit, and her career is important to her, and she to me.

I no longer loved what I was doing, and am no longer doing it.

We still vent to each other, and the venting may be a bit different, but it is still all good.
Bottom line though, it doesn't work for everyone, but it worked for us. But I attribute that to who we both are, and not what we both do.

For ultimately, that is what counts.

-- MathEmperor Mobius


  1. "I attribute that to who we both are, and not what we both do."

    I think you nailed it--this is the secret to success in any relationship.

  2. Now I'm curious what it is that researchers vent about...