issue with moving/settling down

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2007
issue with moving/settling down
7
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 12:12am

Hello all,

I am having an issue with my boyfriend and would like any advice I can get! I have been with him for four years and it has, overall, been a great relationship. We met and dated all the way through college and now I am in my first year of medical school while he is finishing up a semester at college. So right now, we are living apart but usually see each other on weekends. We talk opening about getting engaged in a year or so and marrying soon after that. Everything is good at this point...but I'm very concerned about our future.

Since I am in medical school, I will be assigned rotations by my school during 3rd and 4th year. More than likely, these will be near my school but could basically be anywhere in the state (FL). After that, of course, I will be doing a minimum of 3 years residency...again, I don't know where this will take me. So the issue is that before I went off to school, my boyfriend was extremely supportive about the move and said he would "go anywhere I needed to go" during rotations and residency. Of course the moving will make it more difficult for him to have a steady job, but he still insisted he would do whatever he had to to keep us together, particularly because I would be making more money and so my job location would take priority to his. I even told him plainly "IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO GO, I WON'T GO. I CAN GO TO P.A. SCHOOL INSTEAD" and he, again, assured me I should go.

But now he seems to be growing very agitated about the whole moving/living situation and says I am using my school as an excuse to keep him away from his family in Kentucky (his home state). To be clear, I have no problem with his family but I don't want to live in Kentucky...not now, not ever (although I'm sure it's a fine place :) ) I have told him this for years. It has never seemed to bother him until conversations about living arrangements have come up more recently (as he will soon be graduating and probably moving in with me). He even mentioned applying for a job in Kentucky after graduation....ummm HELLO I'm stuck in school in Florida and will be for at least a few more years. It really hurts me that he would even MENTION doing something like that now. I just don't get it. Shouldn't he love me enough to want to stay with me whereever I am? After all, he did move here for college!

So to those of your with more relationship experience, how does this all work out? How do couples from different states work it out when they talk about settling down? Everything seems so good between us, but I feel like this could actually tear us apart.

Sorry for the long rant....just really frustrated!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 12:43am
Stepping back for a minute, I think he should be true to himself about where he wants to live. Forget what he's said all these years, it sounds like right now he's thinking of going back home after graduation. It also sounds like despite what he has said about moving with you, he does care about living near family. Maybe they are pressuring him, maybe he's coming to this realization on his own.



Personally, only good will come if he is being honest with himself. I moved away from home to go to college and I never went back. I regret it now, though I can't do anything about it at least until my oldest daughter is grown due to custody issues with her father, which dictate I stay put. However, if I had my choice I'd be home, where my children could grow up with their aunts and cousins and grandparents around them. My ex doesn't want that, but I do. And I should have thought about that more up front, and been honest with myself about where I wanted to live rather than just following my ex around the country as I did.



So back to your situation, I think the best thing you can do is ask him lots of questions. Why is he having second thoughts, what about living in Kentucky matters most to him, how important is this to him on a scale of 1 to 10, how much might he regret or resent passing up a chance to live near his family for the next few years or, if he marries you, the rest of his life? Let him answer honestly, encourage the answers even if you don't want to hear them, because you NEED to know the answers even if they are not what you really want to hear.



The hard part is you have an expectation in mind and were counting on that, and it may not play out like you had hoped and planned. That will be very sad. He may know this will be hard for you, and he may be hoping there is a way to solve the dilemma by first dropping little hints to you about Kentucky to see how you take it. But neither of you can resolve this problem unless you lay it all out on the table, being honest with yourselves about what you really need to do and honest with each other. The bottom line is when you "just don't get" something your partner is saying or doing, you have to ask questions and talk openly with them until you do "get" them. A good relationship is one where you can say you truly know where your partner is coming from, even if you don't agree with them or are frustrated with them at times.



You said: "Shouldn't he love me enough to want to stay with me whereever I am? After all, he did move here for college!"



I'm wondering if he's asking himself the same question, "Shouldn't she love me enough to want to live near my family? After all, she is willing to move anywhere else in the country!"

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl.



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Ten Rules for Being Human
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 2:45pm

In order to have an honest conversation with your boyfriend about what each of you wants for the future, I think you need to ask yourself why you are so dead-set against going to Kentucky.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2007
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 4:35pm

Thank you both for your quick responses and advice!

I am glad that he is being honest with me. After all, it's better to have this conversation now rather than after we get married! But when I do try to ask him about why the sudden change of heart he just says he "doesn't want to start a fight" or "doesn't want to talk about it now". I just need to know more about where he stands at this point.

As for my preference, I am very close to my family--much more so than my boyfriend is. I stayed close to home for college and I'm still close to home now. I love where I live and I love being around my family. I don't think I would be very happy living hundreds of miles away (for a few years, this might have to be the case, but I'm talking about settling down). This is where I thought I would come back to after my residency is over. I understand that my boyfriend originally planned to move back home after college. But he won't even talk about somewhere in between. He doesn't seem to want to compromise on this and I feel like it's a complete 180 from when I first left for school.
Ahhhh :(

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 4:54pm

It's not exactly that he doesn't want to compromise--he says he doesn't want to start a fight.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 01-10-2010 - 10:20pm
If he doesn't want it to start a fight, then he must really think you won't like what he has to say. Is this something that has to be decided right now? Have you fought often in the past about things like marriage, moving and settling down? Do you think he generally prefers to avoid conflict by giving up what he wants (or saying he will) so that there won't be a disagreement or argument?

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl.



Photobucket



Ten Rules for Being Human
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 1:08am
Sometimes a situation seems right until reality comes forth and the actual move has to be made. Maybe he initially thought he would follow you wherever you went and then thought about the fact that he really doesn't want to be away from his family after all. It may be a case of whether he is ready to cut the apron strings with his family so to speak and commit to your relationship. If not then maybe he isn't the right guy for you after all.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 01-11-2010 - 1:09am
Welcome to the board, Kristig101~

Why is he saying he doesn't want to start a fight? Do you two have trouble talking about issues without it turning into a fight?

I have some thoughts on why he might be doing this, but the only one who really knows is him and all the guesses in the world any of us could make could be completely wrong. Only he has the answer. It's not fair of him to simply say he doesn't want to talk about it now and leave it at that, this effects you very much and you deserve to understand what's going on. Depending on your answer to the "don't want to start a fight" question, next time he says he doesn't want to talk about it now, it's absolutely appropriate for you to ask him right then to set a time to talk about it. That's a very fair and appropriate means of dealing with an issue. The set time should be within 24 hours. Letting him set the time means he doesn't feel cornered and isn't taken by surprise by the talk; he knows it's coming and can prepare for it. By having him set the time you're assuring it's a time that's convenient for him - thereby being more respectful of him than he's been of you!

Some therapist used and approved suggestions for conflict communication that may be helpful:

Ten Rules For Fair Fighting
Verbal Fencing With Someone You Love

Dos and Don'ts For Fair Fighting
Conflicts - Points to Remember
Managing Anger, Conflict & Tension









"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


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"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"