In the community post series, I present a question to over 2,000 dads married to doctors (via Facebook’s DMD group) and return with a sampling of their collective wisdom. Some answers have been gently edited for formatting and length.
In the first installment, the dads offer a brief look at the ups and downs of marriage to physicians. One of the most critical job requirements seems to be a sense of humor.
What’s the one story you tell most often to explain what it’s like being married to a doctor?
To give the guys an example, I told them about my own wedding to my beautiful bride. We walked into an elegant reception hall and immediately cut the cake to wild applause from our friends and loved ones. We started to cross the dance floor on our way to the head table and were stopped by a relative holding a small stack of stapled sheets. She wanted to know if my wife could real quickly answer a few questions about her recent MRI results. Looking back, I feel it set the tone for the last four years note perfectly.
“People think I made my wife up or I’m divorced and not telling them, because she is never around.”
– Michael A.
Sad. Even more sadly, not uncommon.
“My wife is a pediatrician for a popular private practice in the [Dallas/Fort Worth] area. She sees about 1,000 patients in a year, so it’s inevitable that we run into her patients and their parents when we go out at times. I have learned over the years to help my wife out in these situations.
…When we run into a patient that she recognizes and we stop to exchange pleasantries, it’s my responsibility to quickly step in and introduce myself with a handshake so they are forced to give me their names aloud so my wife can be reminded and avoid the embarrassment of not remembering their names. We’ve perfected this little song and dance over the years.”
– Chris S.
When I married my wife, I thought it might be helpful to take a couple of basic first aid classes so I might be of some help if my wife had to stop and assist someone in public. Chris is at least ten times smarter than me.
“A male neighbor asked my wife, [an obstetrician/gynecologist], for samples of Viagra.”
– Ken B.
It’s stunning how quickly people will bring up their swimsuit area to a physician outside their place of work. Even as their spouse, you’re supposed to let it slide. I’m not a fan.
“My anesthesiologist wife was staring and pointing at this crazy-looking guy with face tattoos in a subway train in NYC. I thought she had lost her mind, but she was pointing out the guy’s big arm veins and talking about the size of needle she would use for them. I should have known.”
– Chris D.
My wife once diagnosed our neighbor’s sleep apnea through the apartment wall.
“My wife had to tell my brother-in-law NOT to text her a picture of their kid’s smashed penis from a toilet seat debacle during toilet training. Thankfully she stopped him before it was sent.”
– Joshua H.
I might even go as far as to avoid taking those pictures in the future. Yikes.
“We were moving two days ago. I hired two guys to do the moving. One of them asked my wife if she can do a brain transplant when he learned that she is a psychiatrist.”
– Mustafa C.
I’ve got nothing. That story is amazing.
Finally, in honor of the Olympics, Ian Murdock went with a more hypothetical explanation.
“My life, if I was a professional athlete married to a doctor:
Me: Hi honey. I’m back—I made the Olympics!
Her: Did you pick up the diapers?
Me: No, did you ask me to?
Her: I was working. You should have checked and restocked all the baby things.
Me: I work too. I’m not your nurse. You can also stop by stores and pick things up.
Her: (Rant ending with how I never listen) …You’re doing it again!
Me: Doing what?
Her: Rolling your eyes and not listening!
Me: Well you don’t listen either—I’ve qualified for the Olympics!
Her: Am I on call?
Her: If I’m on call during the Olympics, you can’t go.
— Ian M.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ian M. family.
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