I've made an internal decision to leave my doctorate program of 3.5 years. The reasons are many, but the major one is that I have realized that I don't need a doctorate to fulfill my career dreams, and that I am at a point in life where I prefer to start a family and build my marriage with my husband. I'm a more conservative girl in many ways, so some may not understand, but that's ok. I own my values 100%.
I got married to the love of my life who is also a PhD student about a month ago. He is defending in about a month from now and has a job offer in another state. I am younger than him in both age and my graduate progress. If I were to stay in my program, I probably would defend in about 1.5 to 2 years.
To me, at this point, it is simply not worth it to stay. I have learned so much from my program and the field I'm studying and am extremely grateful to be surrounded by a network of highly motivated talented scientists and engineers. However, there has also been tremendous toll taken on my mental health, and I dread the 60 - 80 hour work week that is required to be "successful" in my field.
So I have made my decision to leave with my masters after I wrap up the project I'm currently working on. But does anyone have advice on how to go about telling this my advisor without marring our professional relationship?
She doesn't see it coming, and I don't think she'll fully understand my reasons, but this is a necessary conversation to have.