To the Prospective Chiropractic Student's Spouse,
What an exciting and scary time with so many changes and new responsibilities. You may be going to a school that your spouse can commute to, but for the majority of you, you are moving to a new place, with new people, and a 3.5+ year commitment.
I was SO excited for my husband to go to school in San Francisco, a new city with so much culture. The thought of moving and starting a new life as newlyweds (literally 6 weeks after our wedding) sounded so intoxicating to me.
I remember Dave coming home in his first week of school and saying, “You know what I found out today? There’s a 75% chance of couples breaking up while in Chiropractic school, how crazy is that?!” with a big ole happy grin on his face.
Meanwhile panic sets in, hold the phone… what?!? If you’re anything like me and you read into everything, your radar went up and red flags were flying high in your face.
So I wanted to write this to you. Because this is something I wish I knew before getting into this; maybe to help mentally prepare myself a bit more, because I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It’s going to be ok and you can get through this.
It’s not easy. The first year is a mix of excitement, new adventures, new memories, and new stressors. As they get deeper into their studies, the pressure and doubt begins to build. Are they cut out for this? Can they pass this class? Will anyone want to see them? So be patient, it's as if their first and second year they are being torn down with how much they don't know when they thought they did, and they are re-learning and building themselves up into Doctors. Once graduation hits, they will slowly come out of this and go back to their normal, loving, yet SO much more knowledgable selves... it's kinda hot. haha
Get a hobby.
Seriously. There are a lot of late nights and long days where your spouse is non-stop studying. They may be at school, a coffee shop, or at home, and they need to study. It will get lonely at home, because you’ll feel your spouse doesn’t see you, just remember they are working on your future. So if you are the type that needs attention (oh hey! I'm that needy wife. haha), this is crucial to keep your mind occupied. Also commit to a date night once a week or every other week. The two of you will need the mental break from life to decompress and remember why you started this new life venture. You could even get a little side job or hobby related to the holistic healthcare.
You donate your body to science.
Congratulations! You are married to a soon to be Chiropractor. And congratulations! You’ve signed up for a lifetime of being the practice dummy… only on setups while in school under approved supervision of course. Your spouse will come home having learned something new and will want to show off and practice as much as possible... I mean, tell you about the new techniques, not show you :) Again, use this as a moment that you can bond.
Start seeing a licensed chiropractor regularly if you already aren’t.
Because by default you donated your body to science, you will need to get checked regularly to make sure you are taken care of. However; this helps you further understand your spouse’s profession. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to immerse yourself in their world. The more you know, the more you can support, and the more you fall in love with this type of healthcare. You may even be inspired to work in an office to help build your future with your spouse in the future.
Emotions are high.
There is constant doubt, some failed exams, bad days, countless exams, deadlines, stressors, clinic, board exams, license requirements, policy and graduation changes/updates, etc.
Things. Get. Stressful. Try and keep your cool. Sometimes they can take it out on you, because you are there, but you need to be there for them during these times, and it will pass. Not taking these emotions personally is hard, but it's worth it in the long run. My go to? I would journal out ALL the hurtful and angry things I was feeling and then destroy it... I'm talking pure therapeutic burning that piece of paper and releasing that negative energy. These are the moments that are the hardest. As long as you keep your cool, and be the loving and support spouse that you are, you will be fine.
It will all be worth it in the end.
In the end, there is no greater feeling than watching your spouse walk across that stage on graduation day. The emotions knowing they accomplished the first step in achieving their life’s purpose. The sigh of relief as years of stress melts away. Their pure joy and excitement. There’s no greater joy because you had a front row seat the entire time. So if you’re a crier like I am, bring LOTS of tissues to graduation.
I had no idea what we were getting into. I don’t know why I never thought it was as stressful as it was, but you can get through it and it will all be worth it.
I hope this helps a little bit. I’m also an email away.