Husband troubled by nagging wife

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Dear Jyothi:
Please advise me.  I am doing my residency, and have a couple more years left. My wife hates to be here and wants to go back to India now. I am having great success here. 

In fact, I am having several offers for a fellowship and for a partnership with my attendings.  I feel that these are such awesome opportunities for us. My wife keeps threatening that one day she will just disappear and return to her parents.  The truth is I really don’t care whether she goes back.  We were an arranged marriage.  I like her, but I really can get along without her.  I know that our parents will be angry.  However, I am the one living with her.  She is always nagging and complaining about me working.

I really don’t have a choice.  My residency is very demanding, plus I have to study constantly. I don’t think that it is because I am losing myself in my job. We don’t have any children yet. I have seen other residents with their wives.  They seem to be happy.  I want to be happy in my job and at home. Am I wrong to want it both ways?
— Wanting more.

Dear Friend:

I am sorry that you are having these conflicts in your lives.  It is indeed very difficult for the two of you.  Fortunately, you do not have any children.  Indeed, you are living the American dream of hard work brings many opportunities. When you married your wife, she probably did not realize the sacrifices that a spouse has to make when married to a hardworking resident.  There are many years that she has to  be left alone to do things on her own.  She has to learn to adjust.  The problem is whether she wants to or not.  She too may not care whether she is married to you.  Although, her alternatives are more difficult, if the two of you separate and divorce. Now, she has to decide how to occupy herself, if she stays here.  Has she made any friends?  Do you have any relatives here?

Has she thought of going to school?  There are many places that she could do volunteer work, such as, shelters, hospitals, and  community centers. If she decides that this is not what she wants, then you two should consider counseling.  She has to realize that threatening to return home will not solve this situation. It will be several more years of training for you. It will not be easy for her, but she will have to either come to grips with this or separate.  If she doesn’t want to work this out, then you should consider separating.  Neither of you is happy together in this situation.  I hope that you both will work together to decide what is best for the two of you. Please stay in touch.

— Jyothi

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