Against girlfriend taking military scholarship

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by 161468, May 26, 2008.

  1. 161468

    161468 Guest

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    I am finding it difficult to accept that my girlfriend (whom I have been with all through college) is going to enter the military after she finishes residency. We are both medical students, and I can see that her leaving for 4 years to serve in the military will be a problem for me, especially when I would be at an age where I would want to settle down with a family and career. I've discussed with her many times about her reasons, and she insists it is to learn discipline, get the worldly experience, and to serve the US (rather than financial). She got particularly angry with me last time I brought it up and told me never to talk about it again.

    I guess I am wondering whether my problem with her entering the military is not just selfish but also irrational and unfair. I fear, though, that most people intending to become physicians are so career-driven, that any person's location preference for residency and subsequent job could be a problem, military or not. What do others think about this long-distance phase looming in my future?
     
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  3. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    If she's not willing to negotiate I think you have your answer on "your" future. Have you brought up the possibility that she hold off until after residency to see if she still wants to do it? Have you explained how you feel this will affect your relationship? Maybe she's not putting the relationship as a priority since many students are career driven. I wish had something more positive to tell you but I'm not sure of the people that I have known in similar situations how they worked out. Most I know that were both med students were HPSP that entered before they met their significant other and they are trying to work it out as an after fact.
     
  4. MD Helper

    MD Helper New Member

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    If you have been with her this long and want significant input on her future, why is she still only your girlfriend? Asking her to commit to your future desires without you committing to her seems a bit one sided.
     
  5. cozycleo

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    I agree. Why should she hold herself back?
     
  6. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    I disagree in some light as I know quite a few people that do not run off and get married right away and usually wait until after medical school (esp if they are right out of college). I am more thinking of the communications aspect of the relationship.
     
  7. gryffindor

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    This is exactly what I was thinking too. I wouldn't listen to a 22 year old boyfriend when making decisions about my future. No ring = no reason to consider what he thinks. If you make it through 4 years of med school with her and she is actually your wife at the end of it, then you need to be mature about her career goals as well. It is more logical for her to pursue her military aspirations while still young with no kids, than to be 36 with 2 kids and suddenly decide that she is feeling the call to serve her country and leave you behind to manage the family back home.
     
  8. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster

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    While the above is true to a certain extent, you may need to realize that if she's pushing this, then to flip it, perhaps she doesn't value having a family as much as you do.

    Contrary to the above poster, however, I don't think you're being immature about her career goals at all -- as a newly graduated doc, I've seen countless classmates in medical school make locational and specialty decisions based on their long-term partners' needs as well. If she's getting particularly angry with and being dismissive about your wishes, then, to be blunt, perhaps she'd rather be single and try to start her family at 30 or 31 (or whenever she finishes her military training). But I certainly think it's within your rights given that she is still choosing to be with you to have the discussion open rather than closed.

    -Ice
     
  9. gryffindor

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    Ice, I agree with what you are saying as well. Perhaps she sees herself ready to start a family at age 30 - 31 and not at 26 like the OP is pushing for (assuming they are 22 year olds in college). I don't know what part of the country the OP is from, but age 30+ is considered fine to start a family in NY, but in TN I see a lot of 26 year olds married and settled (and boring, but that is my personal bias). If the age at which a family should be started is the issue, then a compromise will be necessary. Either she compromises the military to cede to the OP settling down at age 26, or the OP compromises the age at which the family starts and cedes to her military goals.

    I just get irritated by guys put off by the thought of LDR just because the girl is moving to pursue her dream residency/job/opportunity for a few years. When the guy moves to puruse his goals, the girl is just expected to pack up and follow?
     
    #8 gryffindor, Jun 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  10. beannaithe

    beannaithe Bionerd

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    Well said gryffindor. I'm an LDR now and I moved away from my boyfriend to pursue dental school...due to his career it was impossible for him to follow me. A lot of people thought it was weird, not that he couldn't come out and join me but that I was moving away.

    To the OP - it's entirely feasible to make an LDR work if you love the person and know that they are what you want. If the military is something that has always been her dream, I think you should let her do it and do whatever you can to make it work. There's the possibilities of matching at hospitals near her base or you could join the military too and ask to be matched at the same hospital.

    I don't know much about med school and whatnot...but even if you were to go to med school together and graduate. What are the odds of you guys matching at the same hospital or even near each other. Not just for residency, but then again for your internship. Either way the odds of you guys having and LDR at some point in time should be inevitable.

    I think you guys need to sit down and have a long talk about. No accusations, yelling, flip outs...just sit down and talk. I think it's important. You both need to find some way to compromise and some kind of middle ground.
     
  11. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster

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    I've never understood why some women make this assumption. Most girls I know who are with men who unilaterally decide to leave based on their career goals also get irritated at that prospect, and most people are sympathetic to their plight. Hence, I find it completely reasonable that our OP would be irritated that his gf won't even entertain the idea that she should consider something other than a military service for a family given that she continues to be with him. It's not gender specific, and he shouldn't have to "pay" for historical misogyny.

    If this girl knows that it's important to the OP to start a family at 26-27 and she doesn't want to, it's incumbent upon her to not lead him along simply because she's a career minded woman and he should "support her", and the same would be true if the situation was reversed. We shouldn't be dismissive to the wishes of our partner, regardless of gender.

    -Ice
     
  12. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster

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    You can couples match and in that way reach a compromise on location. My roommate and his medical school girlfriend did this and they are pleased despite having different number 1 choices. So it's not really all that inevitable to be in an LDR -- this sort of thing happens all the time and sometimes both people need to give up their number 1's in order to be together.

    -Ice
     
  13. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Just for clarification - has she already accepted an HPSP scholarship to pay for med school? Or is she in the process of accepting one? Or was she just planning on joining the military after she finished residency?

    Actually - I don't think that couples matching would be possible. The military usually has its own separate match, that is decided a month before the regular ERAS match. So, since they're separate systems, I don't think that you can couples match. :(
     
  14. cozycleo

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    I think there's a broad assumption being made that when the OP finishes med school, he absolutely will want to start having a family at that time. How do we know priorities won't change at that point? 4 years ago I was sure I'd be having children by age 27 too. I turn 27 in 4 months and kids are the last thing on my mind (and my husband's mind). We're talking about putting it off for 6 or 7 more years!

    My point is that it's too easy to get all bent out of shape over how you think you're going to feel about family matters in 4, 3, or even 2 years from now. I would strongly suggest to the OP that you deal with matters in the here and now, and let the cards fall where they may.
     
  15. DrButtercup

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    I don't think you are being selfish or unfair. I went through a similar situation when my BF of 2 years decided to go to the military. I didn't like the idea that he had no control over where he would be sent, or when he could time off to see me. We had already been in a LDR for about a year at that time and with no plans to be living in the same city for at least the next 7 years, we decided that it was better to break up. We are both building our careers and it would not be fair for either of us to suffer emotionally because of the others.

    In your case, don't pressure her not to take the scholarship. If she passed up the opportunity just because of you she might resent you for it later. Maybe since it would only be four years apart she might be worth waiting for, or maybe she is the right person but just not the right time in your lives (as in my case). Perhaps there is someone else out there for you who will be ready for a family when you are. There is no simple solution to your situation. Just think things through and weigh your options carefully.
     

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