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Anyone torn between where you want to go and what's best for your sig. other/spouse?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by cadilakgrl, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. cadilakgrl

    cadilakgrl science nerd
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    So here's my situation...I'm living in California right now with by boyfriend. We've been together for two years and probably will get engaged soon. He has a ten year old son who lives with his mother, but we have him every other weekend. Applying to schools this year has been really taxing on my emotions. I obviously want to stay with my boyfriend and he has agreed to move where ever we have to. Which is great! But I want both of us to be happy, and I know he probably wouldn't be happy at certain places. Plus if we move too far away, it would be hard on his son. So I'm torn right now. I really want a change of scenery, maybe New York, I've had a couple of interviews there. But it would probably be much easier on all of us if I could stay in San Francisco. I've just been working as a lab tech here for almost three years and would like to try something new. I feel like if I get into a school in California vs. a school on the East Coast it would be very selfish of me to decide we should move to the East Coast, not to mention the guilt I would feel over separating a very sweet ten year old boy from his father.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure there are a lot of people in similar situations with significant others/spouses/kids to consider in their decision. How have you weighed your happiness and career future with your spouse's happiness? Thanks :(
     
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  3. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Oh, honey I've been there and back - all the way to New Zealand for a man and the one thing I've learned about relationships and your dreams is not to compromise. I say this because your S.O. is your boyfriend, not your husband. You have to live your life for YOU, not for someone else, especially when the level of committment is not there. "Probably getting engaged soon" is not engaged, and is not married. If your boyfriend says he will follow you where you go, then don't feel guilty. It's not your job to feel guilty. If you indeed get into med school in NY, and you guys get married, then you can always try for residency and employment in CA.

    I know I'm sounding harsh, but like I said, I've given up so many dreams to be with a man and it's led to a lot of heartache and lost time. And we had good intentions, too, and was once "almost engaged" and once actually engaged before my current fiance (who will be my husband in 2 weeks) and even once married (eloped). So when I say do what YOU want I'm being sincere and hoping the best for you.
     
  4. cadilakgrl

    cadilakgrl science nerd
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    Just curious would your answer be different is we were married?

    Also, I'm applying to MD/PhD programs so going back to CA for residency would be okay, but it wouldn't be until 8 years from now...
     
  5. medworm

    medworm Senior Member
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    I agree with megboo. Don't factor him into the equation until you've got a rock on your finger and you've signed papers. If he decides to marry you, he'll propose.
     
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Ditto. And I'll take this a step further: even if your bf does marry you, there's still no guarantee that you guys will live happily ever after. No one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced (well, except maybe Britney Spears). But divorce is the unfortunate reality in modern America: 50% of marriages fail. I've been watching plenty of my friends get divorced; some of them are even working on their second marriages already. Love doesn't last forever, and it often doesn't even last for a lifetime. Since he has a son already, your bf no doubt knows this hard truth first-hand. Are you still going to be happy to stay in SF for eight years if your future marriage doesn't work out? If so, great. But if he's the main reason you're staying, you could really be setting yourself up for a lot of sorrow and regret later.
     
  7. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Sheesh, everyone is being so hard on relationships! Well, I am somewhat in this position now, leaning towards choosing one school over another due to my spouse. There are a lot of factors that go into these decisions but I would say that if you're not compromising your education - if you get into an MD/PhD program in CA that's comparable to the one in NY, I don't see why you wouldn't choose the CA one over the NY in order to stay with your boyfriend if you are serious about the relationship. CA schools aren't that bad, you know. However, if you feel you're compromising something, then the story changes a little.

    I don't think the "do what you want and let him follow or not" advice is best if you feel strongly about the relationship. My best advice is to talk it over as much as possible with your bf and let him know what you're thinking - good communication is key. He may want to move! Talk to his ex - how would she be willing to work things out with the kid? Maybe the kid could stay an entire summer, etc?

    Of course he should be taken into the equation and let him affect your decision if you feel the relationship is what you want.
     
  8. 1Path

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    Britney Spears! That's just too funny!!! :laugh:

    I'm in my second marriage and recently made a decison that's essentially going to delay my matriculation in med school by one year primarily for family (again): My hubby doesn't mind me going where ever for school, but I''ve decided after giving distance a go for 1 month, that the best thing for all of us ESPECIALLY 2 kids, is that I stay put.

    While agree I wouldn't move for a future finace', I think if you were to say get engaged tomorrow and then move, you have to not think of you or him, but how your moving to NY would affect his child. I'm one of those people who think that a kids needs come first even before MD/PhD, which happens to be my goal too. It's going to be hard enough being a Stepmom but if you "take his father away"(think Baby Mama drama) the child will resent you forever and this will invaribly affect your future marriage.

    As I see it, you don't have anything to decide until you at the very least get engaged. If you choose to be with this man, I think it would be a HUGE mistake to move him away from his son. Maybe you should think of it this way. How woud you have felt if YOUR Dad had moved 3000 miles away to be with his wife who could have attended a school near you?
     
  9. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    I feel somewhat different about the situation if you were married. Marriage is (well, SHOULD be) the strongest committment between two people. It is a legal and usually a spiritual contract. In that case, there are sacrifices to be made, such as going to a CA school so your "husband" can be near his 10-year-old son. But, you stated you were not even engaged, so I'm giving you my opinion in that form.

    I know you love this guy, otherwise you wouldn't entertain staying in CA. My point is, there are hundreds of men that are lovable, but only one of you.

    Again, I know this is harsh, but it's reality. Too many starry-eyed girls go off looking for love and end up throwing away their dreams for what they think is love. You're not being selfish in deciding your future. You're not this boy's mom, you're not this guy's wife. Any decisions your boyfriend makes are his, and you shouldn't feel guilty.

    Also, what would you do if you don't get into a school in CA?

    Please don't take offense - we are all trying offer what we think is best. It's really hard to understand your situation fully on a discussion board, so we're advising you on what we have to go on. You sound like a good person and we all want to see great things from you (MD/PhD!).

    LIke the other poster said, for now, wait until you have your acceptances in hand, until after Xmas (proposal season), and then talk about it. Please keep us posted, too. We'll all be happy for you if you stay in CA (hey, you'll be going to MED school!).

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  10. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    Hey there,

    I'm going to weigh in by saying that I think you should do your best to not think about it until you find out where your acceptances are. I know it's difficult not to speculate, but, who knows, it may become a totally moot point! In an ideal world, sure, you'd get accepted everywhere and then have to make the tough call, but why agonize about it until you know for sure?

    And when you do know for sure, then you can sit down with the bf and have a good talk about where your relationship is headed and then make the decision that's right for you, whatever that may be.

    Best of luck! :luck:

    P.S. - This is the approach that I'm trying to take... I'm in a not dissimilar situation with my boyfriend.
     
  11. Ypo.

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    Hi there-
    I've been in a relationship for seven years and my partner has a son. Last year I had to move from Hawaii (where we lived) to Michigan. I had no other choice but to move from Hawaii-because I didn't get accepted to medical school there, but i would have stayed there if i had the option (and not just because it is Hawaii-because it would have been better for him).
    However, his son is now 18 and is an adult. In your case, if you are really serious with your boyfriend, I would say that you should definitely stay nearer his son if you have the opportunity. His son will not be able to come and visit every weekend if you move across the country-and they will never get those four years back-a crucial time for a boy that age.

    good luck with your decision!
     
  12. Ypo.

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    I disagree. Relationships are about compromise...if both partners are unwilling to bend it won't work out, if only one partner is unwilling to bend, it makes it unbalanced and unfair and it probably won't work out as well.

    That being said, you have to choose which issues you can compromise on and which you can't. The decision of going to medical school is not compromisable (if that is your life dream for your career), but the decision of where to go is.
     
  13. Ypo.

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    Isn't that a little bit overdramatic? After all, she is not talking about giving up the chance to go to medical school, she is talking about choosing which medical school to go to.

    One more thing I wanted to add: relationships are also about CHANCE-as in-sometimes you have to take them.

    Cadilakgirl-if you love this guy (and it sounds like you do) and since you been together for two years (and not two months, like Britney Spears), I would say you are totally warranted in making a decision to go to school closer to him. Some of the posters on this forum sound a little bitter with their own experiences, but don't let that stop you...
     
  14. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Not sure if I'm one of the so-called bitter people you're referring to, but....if I came across kind of strongly, it's only b/c I had the impression that she really wants to go to NY and does not want to stay in SF, and that the only reason she was even considering staying there was b/c of the bf.

    OP, if I'm wrong, and you'd be ok about staying in SF for med school on its own merit, then by all means, go for it. We're all strangers here, and no one knows the particulars of your situation as well as you do. I'm not meaning to say that your bf shouldn't be *A* reason to stay there....I just don't think he should be *THE* reason to stay if all of your personal goals lead you elsewhere.

    And actually, what TheDarkSide says makes good sense too. As usual. ;)
     
  15. Ypo.

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  16. cadilakgrl

    cadilakgrl science nerd
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    thanks for all the advice everyone :D

    to megboo it's hard to explain a relationship and the level of commitment in a posting. i totally understand he is my boyfriend and we are not married, which makes a huge difference. and i do think that i need to be careful to make a choice where i would be happy even if we broke up. but we both want to get married, and i said "probably engaged soon" because i overheard him talking to friends several times on the phone about marriage and i think it is very likely he is going to ask me on our aniversary next month. we've talked about marriage and kids a lot and it is both what we really want.

    anyway, i totally agree with The Dark Side that i should wait to worry about this until i have actually acceptances in my hand, but it's hard not to think about it.

    and to QofQuimica, it's not that i wouldn't mind staying in SF. if i got accepted to UCSF or another California school, i would be thrilled! but i guess it's just a desire in me to move around and try something new. i'm the type of person who likes to live in different places, i've traveled a lot and i've lived overseas for awhile. it's hard for me to stay in the same place. but this desire seems kinda trivial when i am thinking of my potential marriage and his son.

    i totally agree the 1Path that kids are really important. his son and i have a strong bond, i would miss seeing him and i would worry about him not seeing his father if we moved. it would be easier if he was older, but he will be 10-18 while i'm in this program, which is a very critical age. we've thought about having him for the summer if we had to move, which may work. but actually when i interviewed at NYC the one major negative was the housing situation. staying in the dorms is not really a pleasing option for me if i was single or with my boyfriend (not to mention his son if he were to stay with us for awhile). living off campus is an option but i'm not sure if we could afford it in NYC.

    with all these different things to think about, i am going to make sure that i don't compromise my main goal, a quality education at an institution that will help me become a physician-scientist. like CoffeeCat and yposhelley said don't think i would be compromising my education if i stayed in California, i'm just trying to pick a place that i can accomplish my goals and we will both be happy :rolleyes:
     
  17. FrkyBgStok

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    to answer the original question, yes. I would really love to go to U of Iowa, but my wife and I have a house in des moines, family in des moines, great schools in des moines, friends, a daughter, that if we were to move to iowa city, we would have little contacts. it would put a strain on my wife to find another job at a decent pay to afford daycare no babysitting from the grandparents if ihave a test, my wife is an account so it may put a strain on my education during tax season, as we both won't be able to watch the kids where grandparents could, etc. For these reasons i will most likely go to Des Moines University, but it is a great school none the less.
     
  18. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    You sound like you've thought about this a lot - that's all I want to hear :)! You sound like you've lived life a bit by traveling and living overseas (me too!), and I'm sure you'll make the right decisions. You are smart in realizing that your bf's son needs his father. My mom was school (ug then med school) when I was 7-14 and residency from 14-17, all hours away from us. We have a good relationship, but there were sad moments when she couldn't be there for me at that time, especially when prior to her going back to school she was my girl scout leader, involved in school, etc. So I know what anxiety his son might go through.

    Good luck on your engagement, and a word of advice if you get married - do it when you have nothing else going on! I'm getting married in 1.5 weeks and I don't know how I juggle school, work, wedding plans, arghhhh! That also might be why I'm a little more sharp in my posts than usual.

    :) :luck:
     
  19. MaryWrathers

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    I didn't have a chance to read the other responses, but yes I am in your situation. I live on the east coast; my husband has family in the southwest. What are we going to do? Well, I said we can move to the southwest if I can come back and visit family at least 3-4 times a year. This means I will have to fly, because driving 40+ hours is a pain. I've done it before. So...is this reasonable? I don't know. But, the southwest is pretty...
     
  20. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    I turned down a full-ride 4-year scholarship to stay close to my bf of 5 years and my friends/support system. It was a very, very good decision and I don't regret it. It is so good to be able to go downtown and run into people I know, to walk over and see a friend of 12 years when I am miserable, to be in familiar places that I enjoy. It takes a long time to develop that kind of community, and it's really important to me.

    However, in a former life I left a 4-year relationship and went off to grad school at the place that was absolutely best for me, no question. I would not have changed that decision either.
     
  21. thegenius

    thegenius Senior Wharf Rat
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    In my opinion there are no real material, significant differences between medical school educations unless you are in the very top few medical schools (or bottom few medical schools.) Even then, you have to do quite well to have certain doors open up. And even then, you have to be the type of person who wants to be in that situation where you are competing with 50 other MD's for 10 spots in some super-specialized, lucrative speciality.

    I am in a similar situation but I do have a wife and a child. She is sacrificing way more than I am. So what would be the point of not considering her opinions and only doing what is best for me? If I get into one school the we are moving to that city. But if I have an option to go to more than one school, you better be sure that we are going to make a collective decision. We will probably visit those schools on second-look weekend, and do other evaluative tasks together. If I end up at a school that is ranked 40th and not 10th yet we are both happy, then I made the right choice.

    I think there have been some people on this forum who have completely different relationship experiences than me. I do have a friend who is divorced but I have another 6 who are not. I believe way more happiness, without question, comes from relationships and not work. I could give a rats ass about being a physician or any dream job if I can't share in my happiness with someone else.

    That being said, he is just your boyfriend and that does have a significant bearing on this situation. Just wait, these potential problems usually have a habit of never materializing.
     
  22. njbmd

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    Hi there,
    You state that your SO says that he will be happy to move anywhere with you. Unless he is a passive-aggressive-type of person, take him at his word and give up the guilt. Sure it would be less convienent for his son to visit but it might be more fun for his son to travel a bit for that visit.

    My fiance had a daughter from a previous marriage that he had joint custody of. His daughter decided that she really was tired of going between two homes and when we moved for my residency, she LOVED making the trip for extended visits over holidays and during summers. They have a very quality relationship and she stopped having duplicates of everything.

    Since you have had the discussions about moving with your SO, you might want to stop trying to project your feelings onto him. If he is OK with the moves, take him at face-value and keep working on your career. If he is playing off your guilt, you have more than the move to worry about.

    Even if you are in an MD/Ph.D program, you are not going off to a convent never to be seen again. Medicine is just not that black and white. It is time demanding but not impossible. Every physician makes time for things that are important and most stay married and raise healthy well-adjusted children (I am the daughter of two physicians).

    njbmd :)
     
  23. 1Path

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    I think the age of the child is a very good point. When I was 9 my parents divorced and my Mom moved from California to Florida. While I maintained a decent relationship with my Dad, it was VERY hard to only see him a once or twice/year. Flying from East to West coast was pretty much out of the question becasue my parents thought I was too young (and I agree) and I was afraid of flying. I just thought I'd mention this because whether or not the child could adapt to traveling back and forth for 7-8 years depends on the child. And as any Mom knows, you tend to do EVERYTHING in your power to protect your child from unecessary stress even if at the end of it, the child gets to see their father.
     

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