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BelleStarr
08-04-2005, 09:25 AM
I am going to ask the age-old question. I'm the SO of a future Ross student. I'm staying behind in the states for the time being and am looking for ideas on how to keep the relationship going through what I can only assume will be some very turbulent times. I've read through so many of the posts here and found great tidbits here and there. Sadly, so many of the posts are from last year and/or buried so deep I may not have found them yet. So I am going to start a new thread to make it easier to find and get fresh opinions - What advice can people in similar situations offer – staying behind while your SO goes to med school? While I know the best advice is to go with him, that’s just not possible right now. Also, there seems to be so many groups dedicated to the spouses and SO's that travel with their med student - but very little information and support for those that stay behind. From what I can dig through so far these seem to be some of the most repeated points of how to help your med-student:

1.) Maintain daily contact of some sort (be it phone, e-mail, cards and letters) - Communication, Communication, Communication
2.) Send care packages - (I have had several people tell me - send junk food!!) - side note here - any novel ideas for items to send would be great!
3.) Visit if possible and as often as possible

I'm sure we can make the list longer!

I would also love any advice on what to do on my end to stay sane. I know he will have the harder (much much harder) end of the deal, but it won't be easy here either. Are there couples who made it through that can offer advice on what they did to take care of themselves and their med student?

Thanks in advance!!

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BelleStarr
08-05-2005, 08:40 AM
I got the following list from Dru, the moderator of the Ross Forum. It has some great ideas and details!! Thanks Dru!! Anyone got any more ideas or experiences?

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1. DAILY EMAILs. We've found a higher failure rate for phone calls, because of several reasons. Reception can sometimes be poor. Timing the call can be impossible with pm study groups, library time, and even weather conditions. The other pitfall of calling is that sometimes s/o's hear other students in the background and become inappropriately envious or jealous. One of my kid's friends ended up with divorces, because the spouse would call, hear other gals hooting in the background, blame the guy for fooling around, and on and on. Emails are nice, because if the student is able to pour their hear out in the privacy of their apt. or in the library computer cubicals, they are able to perfect what they are really trying to say. The s/o is given the chance to save and re-read the msg during times of doubt or lonliness. You also have the benefit of being able to transmit digital pics. The promise of the daily email, even if it's ONLY "HI, I'm OK" really is the best for both of you.

2. Make scanned copies of the important pictures of you and him. Send down a big roll of tape in the school supplies, and let him tape your pics up. This does several things...it not only eases his lonliness, but when visitors come in and see the pics, its a signal that the guy is off limits or "taken".

3. Beg, borrow, or steal the money to have him come home each and every break. This is an important feature of maintaining the relationship. We found that the 15% survivor group included students that returned home to see their s/o. Remember that lonliness does NOT make the heart grow fonder.

4. Be a MAJOR support system, but remember to let him call the shots. A lot of times guys go down there and think they know what they want as far as supplies, but once they are there, they soon realize what will work better. This may be a stupid example, but it will demonstrate...my kid and I agreed that an umbrella was an absolute necessity. Of course I went out and bought her the best and biggest one, and it was quickly destroyed after my kid walked to school during the first day of the "rainy season". My email from her that day said she needed a light-weight (cool, cuz it's hot even when it rains) hooded slicker. My goal for the day ways to buy it and shoot it down there asap. OK, now that's the love of a mom as an example, but if your guy soon learns that you are his angel and lifeline, he's less likely to stray and remember you're the one for him (even when your not there to hug and kiss and remind him in other ways)

5. Think of all the things that your guy really loves and make up a care package at least once during each semester. My kid had a real thing with Zone Bars, which are expensive there, so I always included them. United States Postal Service is the best way to ship, and details are in the newbie junk. The care package not only reminds him of your value, but it also includes things to pull at his heart strings. One of my kid's friend's spouse filed for divorce the first week he was on the rock. The student was a real chocoholic and loved chocolate and a certain aftershave, so I made it a point to include a chocolate bar and bottle of his smell-good for him inside my kid's care package each semester. The student stayed on the island, and never came home the entire 16 months. He told me last week that my notes and little gifts really meant a lot.
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