Wednesday, February 6, 2008

:: Bar Exam Wife ::

Bar Life

Ten Twelve Things That Suck About Being a Bar Exam Wife:

  1. You have to do the dishes. And sometimes cook dinner. (If you can't understand what I'm talking about because you do these things anyway and/or you like doing these two things, insert two things you hate and/or are very unskilled at and that your spouse does because of your hatred and lack of skill.)

  2. You have to hear things like, "Does this make any sense to you: blah blah blah blah trustee blah blah blah decedent blah blah. That just doesn't even make sense. Who writes this stuff?" Then...

  3. have to try to pretend you (a) understand, (b) also think it's stupid and whoever wrote it is a dummy, or (c) (GASP!) try to explain it based on your 100% lack of knowledge of whatever-the-f*ck it is you're being asked about.

  4. You have to put up with alarms going off very very early in the morning and the proper recipient of said alarms occasionally hitting snooze and/or flat refusing to get up then returning to sleep to snore while you contemplate the stippling on the ceiling.

  5. Your kid is sad because he misses daddy and daddy is sad because he misses his kid. And you miss weekends. Ah, weekends. The closer you get to the bar, the more distant your memory of weekends becomes.

  6. You have to watch your bar exam husband go through torture. This part really sucks. If it's his first bar or he has not yet passed a bar exam, the torture is worse. Sometimes, he looks physically ill. Sometimes he swears he's not taking it. Sometimes he is so distracted he forgets what month it is. If it is his second state (i.e. he has passed and is practicing in one state and is taking an exam in another state), as in our case, the torture is less but still noticeable.

  7. You have to spend a lot more time alone. Like, a lot.

  8. You have to pick up a lot of the slack around the house (see #1 above) and you don't even get to complain about it or at least you try not to complain because you know that your husband probably (a) has more to complain about, (b) is less happy than you are, and (c) would much rather wash the dishes than study. Plus there's the fact that he's taking the bar to benefit both of you not, as you sometimes wonder, because he's a mean, mean sonofabitch who wants to make your life unpleasant.

  9. It's nearly impossible to tell when you should encourage your bar exam husband to relax and take a break and when to encourage him to buckle down. When he's neglecting the books, this is especially hard because who are you to say, "hey, maybe you should be studying more" because saying that would be sort of like saying to a pregnant woman, "hey, maybe you should try not to be so hormonal" or something. Basically, it's unwanted advice and really just makes matters worse.

  10. You just keep wanting to say, "HEY! Only 64 more days until the bar exam!" because you are counting every single damned second until the thing is over but this initiates shaking, cold sweats, and much, much anxiety in your bar exam husband. And yet sometimes you accidentally say it and then you get the look.

  11. You save up things to complain about when the whole thing is over (you even write letters to your husband that you never give him because writing them genuinely helps you feel better) but then once it's over, you forget to complain. The second time around, you kind of wish you'd gotten the chance to complain after the first one because now you feel like you've got extra complaint baggage stored up and it's harder to make room for your new complaints.

  12. All you can think about is all the stuff you want your bar exam husband to do after it's all over -- all the ways he should repay you for all your selfless effort during whoa these so many months -- and so you kind of forget that you should probably also be repaying him and doing nice things for him when it's all over.

The good news is, it does all end and your husband does return to normal and all the things you wanted to complain about vanish and your husband does take back his half of the work of making life happen each day and everything is good. Until results are due out and then the torture begins again. Ah, such wonderful things to look forward to in the coming months.

Did I mention, though, that we only have 18 days not counting today and the day that Brian drives to Albany for the exam? Did I mention that? Because I can't mention it to him but I can tell you! EIGHTEEN DAYS! Only 21 until I get him back.  (Well, 21 until I get him back in body; probably 24 until I get him back in mind.)



Kelley Reed February 7, 2008 at 6:38 AM  

Just in case you were wondering....i do still check in with you on the blog from time to time :-) This one hit home and, as you can imagine, is a perfect example of what my life is like too right now! Somedays i agonize over whether or not to say this morning. After getting up and leaving the house at 5:fing30 in the morning to get groceries (not taking the kids is worth sacrificing the sleep) and coming home at 7 to find my bar study-er husband still ASLEEP in bed when he should have been up and dressed and nose buried in a book was FRUSTRATING! But, as you explained, i buried this one in the complaint bag and bit my tongue. I have trained a small voice in my head to talk me down when needed. This morning the little voice said things like "he's obviously tired and needed the sleep. he can't be expected to have any quality study time if he can't keep his eyes open and brain working. he needs a little break to recharge and re-energize...yadda yadda yadda." However, this morning, another little voice was talking said "what the f*%# is this shit? I need a damned break too, but the demands of kids and house and life along with picking up the slack for an absentee husband doesn't allow it! For pete's sake, I am grocery shopping in the dead of night while you are still SLEEPING!!! If I can do it, so can you so get the F*%# out of bed!!" (Obviously this little voice cusses like a sailor). Anyhow, my challenge over the next 21 days will be to subdue this other little character in my head....which brings me to a legal question...I wonder if you can sue the bar association for mental health problems??? I swear I didn't have dueling voices in my head before he started to study for the bar!

Anyway, thanks for the laugh this morning. It's funny b/c of your very witty sense of humor....but also b/c its all true!

Christina February 7, 2008 at 7:05 AM  

I can't imagine the stress, but I'm sure I'll understand a bit of his position when I have to eventually take my exam for my RN license. Right now I'm feeling stressed at picking up more of the slack because Aaron was reassigned in his agency and his hours shifted to 9-6, meaning I'm now completely in charge of dinner and getting the girls ready for bed. Ick.

If you're ever feeling bored at home, let me know and we can meet for coffee or something.

Maria February 7, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

Those wife moments when you have to stifle your own frustration for his good are a true test of your wife-fiber (and now your mommy fiber). I'm glad that there's a light at the end of the tunnel!

Ben's Mama February 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

Yoga Julie... I marvel at your MANY talents... like drawing stick figures...looks like Evan is crawling~

cabarwidow February 9, 2008 at 6:35 PM  

LOL! I was googling bar exam stress and found this - totally funny and exactly what it is like. Glad to know this is normal. Hope we all get our husbands back soon!

The Case Against Monogamy « Letter9 March 16, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

[...] the bar exam and biting my tongue and all, I think I forgot that sometimes, it feels awfully good to complain, even if you know [...]

Seven Strange Search Terms « Letter9 March 31, 2008 at 3:38 PM  

[...] the posts they yielded: “bar pickup for wife” — Led this poor lonely googler to this post about watching my husband study for the bar exam. Probably not much [...]

Anonymous July 8, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

I know I am years off but I stumbled on here. I'm at the 18 day mark as well. I have not kept my little voice in my head as much as I should but your words have given me hope! Its hard to put yourself in their shoes (especially when i'm working my butt off to pay the bills and keep the house in order) but it is a struggle for him too. Thank you! I think this will make our next 18 days much smoother!

Anonymous January 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM  

Thank goodness I found this....I thought I was the only one going through this nightmare! My husband has 6 weeks left of studying and he's actually moved out to study in order to be completely focused. I knew it was gonna b hard but not THIS hard. The loneliness is the worst part. Our two year old keeps me busy through the day, but at night...there's nothing. And I crave adult conversation that doesn't include words like bar, test, study and sacrifice. Bleh!!!! I can't wait til it's over.

thisgirliknow July 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM  

24 days left. Our relationship has never been crazier, since he's so on edge about every tiny little thing! So I'm gracefully walking on eggshells and doing all the house work type stuff.

And you're right, I keep thinking that in just a few weeks, it will all be over for me, and I keep forgetting that HE is going to need things when it's all over too. And those things are probably not going to be doing the dishes or laundry or fixing the cabinet door :(

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