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Is it possible to make my relationship work?

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by Julie in DC, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Julie in DC

    Julie in DC New Member

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    Hi. Long story short, I was with my boyfriend for 6 years. We met in undergrad and lived together for the past four years. It took him three years to get into medical, and he was finally accepted into the Class of 2008. He is presently a second year med student and intends to be a neurosurgeon. I had not been happy in our relationship since before he got into medical school (he was depressed and frustrated about not being accepted), but I became even more unhappy after he started. Obv. it's for the same reasons everyone complains about, I was lonely, i was living my life for him and not taking care of my needs, he was emotionally distant and unavailable, i never met his med school friends, we never socialized together, he didn't want to put effort into being a real partner, ect. So I ended our relationship, and now 6 weeks later, i know i love him dearly and miss him, but i don't think i can stomach a decade more of his medical education. I worry about being lonely if i were to marry him, and him not having the time to be a good parent and participate in our family. I know i need to find ways to make myself happy, but i'm not sure if i'm willing to settle for seeing my partner for 10 hours a week until i'm 37. I'm someone who grew up in a very family-oriented household where both parents were actively involved in our upbringing and always avaiable, and that's what i wanted for myself. Any thoughts to whether reconciliation is possible and if i could learn to make myself happy with him again?
     
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  3. I'm young and haven't been in a relationship as serious as yours, but I do know from life expereinces you can't learn happiness. It is a state of being and you already know how happy you were ... Is that level of happiness what you WANT? If your heart didn't just flutter with excitement and optimism I think you know the answer.

    Ultimately, don't listen to a damn word we have to say. This is something you need to decide.
     
  4. ihsak4health

    ihsak4health Member
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    I am writing from a similar situation but I just started dating 'him' at the begining of his intern year. We broke up after several months because he just couldnt handle new relationship and long distance. I finally understood.

    The previous post is honest about happiness. There is no magic person that will complete us in this world and no one should. We have to be happy with ourselves before ever find happiness from external factors: job, friends, men. Its for sure a lifelong learning process.

    Regarding your situation. Doctor spouses are not the only ones dealing with alone time. There are jobs out there that requires 80-100% travel. Its part of the job. So, it boils down to balancing wanting to be with this person and accepting all that comes with the package. Just make sure he wants this as much as you do. Best wishes.
     
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    Be true to your own needs. Only you know what they are.
     
  6. musicman1991

    musicman1991 Senior Member
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    I would just chill out and let nature take its course. Sounds trite, but there are plenty of fish in the sea, but it takes time to find one that is great. There is nothing wrong with being selfish. You mention you aren't happy, so just go with that for now.
     
  7. Farnaz

    Farnaz Junior Member
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  8. Farnaz

    Farnaz Junior Member
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    Just wanted to remind you that 6 years is a long time and 6 weeks is not enough time to get over it. Give yourself some time and be hopefull!
     
  9. Farnaz

    Farnaz Junior Member
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  10. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
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    OMG, Run, Forest, Run.

    Im just guessing some guy who has his heart set on doing neurosurg before even knowing what the hell that entails has "Players' club" written all over him. He will be spending 100+hrs a week surrounded by desperate 30something nurses who will get all over him like Yogi bear on a picnic basket.

    [​IMG]

    Please go watch the classic French flick "Belle de Jour" to find out what happens to surgeons' wives. :laugh:
     
  11. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    Mmmm. Picnic basket. :love:
     
  12. raspberry swirl

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    i read somewhere that in relationships, it usually takes double the time of the relationship to get over a relationship. so if you were together for 6 years, you're looking at possibly 12 years to completely get over him. im not trying to tell you that you're going to be miserable and depressed for 12 years, but just that 6 weeks is not nearly enough to gain good perspective on this relationship. take your time, hang out with your friends and family, go on a nice vacation. he's in med school- trust me, he's not going anywhere. besides, someone who knows he wants to be a neurosurgeon before he's even started his 3rd and 4th year rotations obviously has some kind of pole shoved up his arse. also, as an addition, i've never met a neurosurgeon that didn't have an ego bigger than texas. i run when i see neurosurgeons.
     
  13. queenbee

    queenbee Junior Member
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    i heard it was half the time - so a 6 year relationship takes 3 years to get over, more or less.

    anyway, this is what i wholeheartedly believe - if you want something to work, whether it be a relationship, a job, a friendship or anything, people will always find a way to make it work. it's only when one starts to make excuses that something is not right.

    i was in a job previously that required me to work about 100 hrs/week. i was dating someone seriously at the time, and we made it work. granted, it was very frustrating and a lot of cancelled dinners, plans and dates - but it worked b/c we both had our heart set on making it work.

    good luck.
     
  14. EM Junkie

    EM Junkie SDN Donor
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    I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 3.5 years, together for >8 years - and I am now finishing up my MS4 year.

    That being said, if you think you spend little to no time together now, just wait for his MS3 year. And, if that is not bad enough, he wants to do neurosurgery?? All relationships take work and commitment, especially with a spouse in medical school or residency.

    If his priorities are as they sound, then neurosurgery is #1, you (hopefully) #2..........

    I say run as fast as you can......
     
  15. OphthoWife

    OphthoWife Theatre PhD

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    Trust me...It only gets worse...Run hard and fast!!
     
  16. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member
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    it isn't going to get any easier these next couple years. if you aren't happy with your situation now, you will not be any happier any time soon. good luck. i hope you find happiness. Read this book called the Power of Now by Echart Tolle. it will change your life.
     
  17. Julie in DC

    Julie in DC New Member

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    Hi,

    I really want to thank everyone for their thoughtful responses. I had not checked the site for the past week and a half, and given what has taken place, it was very heartening to read your perspectives on my situation. Unfortunately (or not, which is the way I'm starting to see it) we called it quits for good of the Christmas holiday. He told me he realized that he's "not a relationship person," that he doesn't "like having to call someone to say goodnight," and that he's more content being on his own. After hearing what he had to say about what he wanted for his life at this point, I feel like I dodged a bullet. Of course after six years, and numerous reassurances of his love, I feel stunned by what he had to say, but I also know that staying with him would have been a losing battle. So thank you to everyone for providing me with an outlet to vent and gain perspective from people intimately familiar with what it takes to have a relationship with someone in the field. I feel as though I am finally ready to move on.

    Best regards,
    Julie in DC
     
  18. Do.the.DO

    Do.the.DO Member
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    Yeah, I think you completely dodged a bullet. It doesn't sound like either of you were ready for marriage, considering your situation. Being an SO or wife of a med student isn't easy. My husband is an MSII and we rarely see him. I'm okay with it, but he's also very family oriented and goes out of his way to spend as much time with us as his schedule allows. Since it sounds like your ex wasn't willing to do that, then you both may be better off having broken up. You two don't seem to have the same set of priorities and that doesn't bode well for a healthy and successful relationship, regardless of either person's time constraints.

    I think you made a good decision. A tough decision, but probably a good one, nonetheless.
     
  19. Julie in DC

    Julie in DC New Member

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    Precisely. For example, when we were together, 3-4 nights a week, he would stay at the library for a 1/2 hour 45 minutes past when he was done studying (he would call to tell me he was done) so he could drive his study partners home (another 10 to 15 minutes out of the way), who live right next to the metro. When I spoke with him this week, I explained to him that the time he spent waiting for his friends to finish their work and then drive them home the difference between my actually spending time with him before I went to sleep (which was roughly midnight) and him coming in after i was asleep to kiss me at night. His reply was that he was committed to helping his friends succeed in medical school and he would do whatever it takes to help them get their work completed. And that's the moment i pretty much realized, as Do.the.Do said, that it had nothing to do with time constraints, rather it's what or who a person's priorities are. I figured since I wasn't even his second priority, that it was time to call it a day.

    Obviously there were other things about what we wanted out of life that was discussed, however if there is one thing this forum demonstrates time and time again it is that medical relationships/marriages work so long as both parties equally make their partnership a priority.

    I'm glad your husband goes out of his way to make you feel special and be involved.
     
  20. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    Asking someone to step back from a support group which may be key to his success in school is pretty ridiculous. His success is tied in with theirs. His support of them is just another manifestation of his committment to his own education. I don't see why you chose to take issue with it. Why is it more reasonable for him to rush home early than for you to talk to him on the phone after his studies are done while he is waiting for his friends, or for you to adjust your own sleep schedule by half an hour? If you can't appreciate his needs, you have some nerve whining over him not appreciating yours.
     
  21. Bananaface,

    Life is short. If she and the guy both weren't moving to be flexible then its clear they're both better off. She'll find some guy she'll be able to spend more time with and he'll have his career. Each person wins. Don't forget - there is nothing wrong with needing someone, even if it requires more time. This little thing you nit picked is one 'battle' in the whole 'war.' And recognizing most normal humans are avid social creatures I applaud her for ditching/being dumped by the guy to find a better guy. She'll be happier finding someone else and he'll ... well I'm sure he'll be happy too. Summary: attacking her isn't neccesary.
     
  22. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    I appreciate your sentiment, goodrain. But, it honestly disgusts me that anyone could see committment to academic success as something that is or should be up for negotiation. It's a ground rule, not something to be changed at will.

    I too hope that both will move on to find partners that suit them better. But instead of simply hoping for the best, I feel that it is important to learn from failures. The lesson here seems to be not to pursue a relationship where the ground rules are not workable for you.

    I know all about the battle and the war. Once I seceded from the union. :laugh:
     
  23. purple_rainbow

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    my first priorities are the people i love. yours are your education. whether it is up for negotiation is purely dependent upon each individual person.

    personally i beleive that being a successful person means being a great med student, great daughter, great girlfriend and friend. you make adjustments and you manage your time according to your priorities. i don't think that asking someone to come home 30 minutes early will cause them to jeapordize their medical career. at the same time, sleeping 30 minutes later isn't the end of the world either.

    what i'm trying to say is - nothing (in the sense of practical matters, not morals) cannot be negotiated. to say that you are unwilling to negotiate implies that your matters are much more important than other people's.
     
  24. adventurer

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    Asking your SO to come home from the library WHEN HE'S DONE STUDYING is not selfish or detrimental to his or his team's careers. He was just showing her, while not actually saying it, that she wasn't his top priority. In an otherwise healthy, balanced relationship, this might not be the "deal breaker" it was here. But anyone who sais that he "is not a relationship person" after a 6 year relationship is full of crap. It will be hard to move on after all this time, but very worth while.
     
  25. Julie in DC

    Julie in DC New Member

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    Many thanks for that reply. I particularly appreciate how you were insightful enough to extrapolate from my one example that my asking him to do so is ridiculous and that I can't appreciate his needs. Since you seem to know everything, he studies alone all the time and always tutors his classmates when they request. I did adjust my sleep schedule for him, but I also work full-time and have my own side business. I also moved into separate bedrooms to accomadate his sleeping/studying habits. We had dinner once a week, and I ran by the hospital at night just to fit a few minutes in. He has not attended one special evening that I have ever asked of him over the past two years, including functions that I produce. I also supported him through his masters program while he was applying for medical school.

    Heck, I could go on and on with this list, but the problem wasn't that I was unappreciative of his obligation to his educations, it was P-R-I-O-R-I-T-I-E-S. I posted that example because I thought it framed an appropriate greivance i had, since we spent roughly 6-8 hours a week together and it had dwindled to 2 hours because of his studies. We all make deliberate choices on how we value spending our time, and people in medical school are no exception.

    Coincidently, my ex doesn't think I've got some nerve whining to him about appreciating my needs, so I can't imagine imagine why you would.
    I would think that as a Pharmacy student posting in spouses and partners, you would be considerate enough to use this forum to educate people on the outside rather than disparage them. Your post makes me relieved your career will be spent be working behind the counter.
     
  26. raspberry swirl

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    Dear Julie in DC- as far as bananaface is concerned, his post just shows the different personalities in medicine ... im not criticizing his comment, because to some people their medical school and career are far more important than their personal relationships. and that is ok as long as they are up front about it with the people in their lives. my boyfriend and i attend different medical schools far away from each other. both of us have sacrificed tests (and skipped days on rotations) to spend time with one another. many of my friends can't believe i'd take these risks. i'd rather have a B average and a healthy relationship than straight A's and be miserable. and without him, i would be miserable.

    congratulations on making a tough decision. you sound like a thoughtful, professional woman. with those characteristics and this experience under your belt, i dont doubt you will find happiness in a new relationship. just dont become bitter. be thankful for, and always remember the good times in you past relationships and what this experience has taught you. we all wish you the best of luck :)
     
  27. raspberry swirl

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    Dear Julie in DC- as far as bananaface is concerned, his post just shows the different personalities in medicine ... im not criticizing his comment, because to some people their medical school and career are far more important than their personal relationships. and that is ok as long as they are up front about it with the people in their lives. my boyfriend and i attend different medical schools far away from each other. both of us have sacrificed tests (and skipped days on rotations) to spend time with one another. many of my friends can't believe i'd take these risks. i'd rather have a B average and a healthy relationship than straight A's and be miserable. and without him, i would be miserable.

    congratulations on making a tough decision. you sound like a thoughtful, professional woman. with those characteristics and this experience under your belt, i dont doubt you will find happiness in a new relationship. just dont become bitter. be thankful for, and always remember the good times in your past relationships and what this experience has taught you. we all wish you the best of luck :)
     
  28. bananaface,

    Committment to academic success is negotiable. All people need to survive in the world is food, water, and shelter. Everything else is gravy, including education. Specific degrees framed on the wall or certain licenses and permits and what have yous do not affect the attainment of food, water, and shelter. As long as their exists 'wilderness' people are free and can survive. Purple_rainbow further illustrated my point stating education as up for negotiation is dependent upon the person, therefore by not being a blanketed law spanning all of society it is therefore acceptable to be pissed off about time spent pursuing education.

    I respect your devotion to your higher educational pursuits and I too am settling in the same boat, as are a bunch of us on this forum, but to get all flustered because other people might be angry over your appropriation of time just isn't cool. When the choices a person makes with their time, in this case SO neglect, it affects another life and is fair game for criticism. Neglect is still neglect whether it is the crack addict leaving her children at home unsupervised or the professional working 24/7. We don't get a double standard simply because we are pursuing a degree and license.
     
  29. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    Completing professional school is a nice way of ensuring access to food, water, and shelter. :) Each of us knows how much time we need to take to get what we need out of our studies and experiences. Taking home less than we are comfortable with can be dangerous to patients. I don't think anyone ought to ask that of their partner. In raspberryswirl's case, she is not being asked to devote less time to her studies than she feels comfortable. Only the student knows how much time needs to be put in. This is not something their partner is in a position to determine. If someone feels that there is not enough time left for them after their partner's studies are done, then they are simply in a situation where what they need is incongruous with what their partner has to give. It's not either person's fault - it's just a nonworkable situation unless the student drops out. I don't see any double standards in play. No one says that the relationship has to continue if it doesn't work for one partner. Children are different than partners, because they haven't chosen their situation and they aren't able to function independently.
     
  30. Do.the.DO

    Do.the.DO Member
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    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this one. Things are easily workable without anyone dropping out of anything.

    I think the name of the game here is "compromise". If your partner isn't prepared or willing to make concessions on issues which you feel are "deal breakers", then that's kind of a giant red flag that something's amiss. Whether it's for more time to study, more time for each other, less fighting, whatever. For a relationship to be successful, when an item is important to one person it needs to be considered relevant by the other.

    Since the OP and her ex weren't able to agree on their priorities, regardless of what they were, they both made a good decision to discontinue that relationship. It's not inconsiderate or greedy on either of their parts. Actually, it's much smarter than most. Too many people try to force a relationship when there probably shouldn't be one in the first place.
     
  31. don juan

    don juan Member
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    If it was truly love he would have been impelled to go straight to her when he finished his work. You can tell when there is true passion in a relationship. Either you feel it or you don't. She clearly didn't feel it; and neither did he. It sounds to me like he was keeping her around because it was easy and would probably leave her as soon as it was convenient to do so.
     
  32. Sohalia

    Sohalia namaste
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    This thread makes me sad (but has some very good points). Maybe someone could start an anti-(this thread) with examples of good medical relationships with give and take/compromise, especially since valentine's day is coming up? With stories along the lines of Rasperberry swirl's post.

    Those of you in good dual MD/MD to be relationships, how do you celebrate Valentine's Day, anniversaries, etc.? I would start, but unfortunately all my big relationships have been craptastic. :)
     
  33. marcus_aurelius

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    this dude sounds like a real d***. good riddens! :thumbup:
     
  34. alison_in_oh

    alison_in_oh Senior Member
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    Sorry, but choosing a best friend and life's partner by their profession is a foreign concept for me, and choosing them for a guaranteed conflict between your equally busy lifestyles is even stranger. Can't help you there.

    We (most assuredly NOT both student doctors) celebrate VD by going out to dinner at some point within a week or so of the 14th. We'll be going to sushi next week. Actually, Tuesday night might work out, but we'll see. Depends on call schedules in the SICU and such. We also typically exchange cards -- last year DH took his own EKG, cut it out in the shape of a heart, and wrote on the back "Beating for you." :love:
     
  35. Do.the.DO

    Do.the.DO Member
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    :laugh:

    I love it! Sounds like something my husband would pull...
     
  36. tupac_don

    tupac_don Senior Member
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    Yea there are plenty of fish in the sea. But you may catch a trout, or you may catch a gobbie.
     

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