Let's chat for a minute about a little known law school fact that you won't find in any school brochure: law school is very hard on marriages. Many of my first year section mates who were married during orientation were divorced (or in the process) by finals. One man fell completely in love with a fellow section mate - whose husband chose to live 3000 miles away - and often invited her to have dinner with him, his wife and his young child. After sixteen years of marriage, another section mate took her twin daughters and moved out of the marital home. We often saw her at Thursday bar nights with her new boyfriend. Recently, she married someone else.
My marriage has also suffered. My husband is a self-proclaimed blue collar guy. Sure, he rides a desk during the day, but he's a corporate drone stuck in the system who likes nothing more than a good massage and a domestic beer. He has no aspirations of corner offices and box seats; he leaves those dreams to me. He prefers gaming and sports talk to the latest political fracas on Capitol Hill.
It's funny how law school really amps up the Type A-ness of a person. Suddenly, I became annoyed with his gaming habit. I was critical and frustrated that he didn't take more of an interest in my law school life. He seemed bored with my constant complaining about the lack of interesting legal careers. I quit holding my tongue and railed at him when he talked sports. I pleaded with him to talk about more "interesting" things. I was afraid to take him to parties with my classmates because he wasn't hip to the latest political issues. We grew apart and we stopped sharing parts of our lives with each other. He was secretive and I was mistrustful. Something, or someone, had to give.
So I quit the social scene cold turkey. I stopped going out for drinks with my classmates. I avoided law talk and I told myself that mediocre effort, and the grades that come with it, were ok. I relegated the law parts of my life to the back burner for the sake of my marriage.
I did it because the pre-lawschoolmom was funny, spontaneous and optimistic. A few weeks in the trenches and I was as cynical and argumentative as the rest of the bunch. Discussions became debates as I smugly poked holes in Madhubby's arguments. I stopped listening and so did he. We're on better footing now, but it was rough going those first two semesters because - honestly - I turned into a self-righteous bitch. Law school can do that to you.
But, that's not going to happen to you because you have the benefit of my hindsight. I write this entry as a cautionary tale; don't neglect your spouse. Do make time for your marriage. Law school can be a jealous mistress, but sometimes you've got to take charge, give it a good bitch-slap and go home to your spouse.