Monday, December 13, 2010

On Being a [Law] Student's Wife

It takes a certain kind of woman to be a student's wife.  I'm not tooting my own horn, here--it takes a certain kind of woman to be married to any one kind of man.  I know I couldn't be a Navy wife, and I don't think I'd be very good as a rock star's wife.  I might be able to manage as, say, a dentist's wife, or an engineer's wife, but the life of a student's wife suits me best.  At least for now.

There's a unique rhythm to life when your husband's a student, a give and take and lull and roar of the semester.  Each season has its characteristics and each different phase of the semester carries with it its own peculiar "mood" in the home.

Right now, for instance, we are in the death throes of finals.  Taylor has finished two finals so far, one Tax (exciting, right? (apparently, though, it was a pretty good class)) and one on the History of Western Legal Thought (yeah, that was a pretty cool class, too), and he's spent days figuratively chained to the kitchen table on his (nifty, new) lap top, outlining writing outlining writing outlining.  He comes up for air occasionally and watches a movie with me, eats, or he'll make coffee or open a beer (which beverage is solely dependent on the time of day).  Sometimes he spends the day at a cafe, just to change up the scene.  But he's a hard worker, for sure.  Tomorrow he has his First Amendment final and Cyber Law on Wednesday.  So he's still outlining and writing and reading and studying.

Now, you may be asking yourself (and rightly so) how this picture differs from the rest of the semester.  Well... it doesn't. Not really.  Except that there's less class-ing involved during finals, and there's a bit more, shall we say, tension in the air as the cold wraith-like breath of finals threatens to frighten the life away from the law student's soul.  You can imagine this is not a nice feeling right before Christmas. And no matter how often people tell me "well, isn't it nice to be done before the holidays?" I know that you're never done in school.. not if there's another semester looming ahead of you.

That's just part of the rhythm, and a lot like "real" life outside of school.  There's always something else to be done, even when on break.  As a student's wife, Advent will always be tense with finals and the rush of finishing piddly things before the semester ends.  Christmas break is never wholly break, with articles or notes to finish by January.

I know there are lots of wives (or, let's be fair, husbands too) who couldn't be married to a student.  It's a life that has its own unique set of challenges (and perks).  But that's why we got married.  We wanted to share the challenges we knew we'd face, and we wanted to be together through the difficulties we couldn't predict.  It's simply better together.

And I love that he's home so much in the afternoons.  He'll be reading or writing, often with his headphones on, but I just like to have him in the house.  If he was working a 9 to 5, I couldn't rub his shoulders whenever I wanted, and I couldn't strategically interrupt him for a few kisses now and then.  I like that we can go to a cafe together to "get work done," me with my knitting or embroidery and him with his books and computer.  I love that he gets time off from classes during Christmas and during the summer, when we can plan trips and adventures.  I love that he loves what he's doing.

Being a law student's wife isn't any harder than being any other kind of wife, really.  It's different than being a builder's wife or a poet's wife, but no harder, I think.  I love it.  Because I love being married to Taylor.

And right now, he's a law student.  He won't be a student forever (right, Love?).  Who knows what he'll be when he graduates :)  Another exciting adventure awaits us..


  1. aw, thanks, Tara! I guess Mrs. Stephens and Mr. Phillips taught me well :)

  2. I agree Seester, it's not harder to be anyone's wife - but you definitely have to find happiness in the wife you have chosen to be! I know you and Taylor have found this and I'm so blessed to share in your life :) You said it best, "It's simply better together" ... that's what has gotten Mike and I through our challenges and changes (me going from student to teacher for example!). Love you both so much :)

  3. I am a law student wife as well and I just want to say that its very hard to find people who really understand what your going through as that students wife. Tension is VERY high and you just cant wait for the semester to be OVER! so that you can MAYBE have him some what back. I love that you wrote this because it makes me feel like im not alone. I just moved 8 hours away from my entire family to be with him and support him and it is not easy work

  4. Yes, it is difficult to find people who understand being married to a student, and a law student in particular. Also, I've found that the law school system (at least in America) isn't set up to cater toward married students. In many ways, it's set up to be high school all over again.. which is weird.

    It's hard to be away from family, certainly (all our family is on the other coast!), but for me it's worth it (for now) knowing that he's happy doing what he does, and that I can be here to support him. Ah, marriage. It's full of so many wonderful blessings.. and challenges :)