My boyfriend of almost five years (living together for 18 months) is graduating and currently looking for a career in his field.
I’ve been out of school for a year, working at a job I absolutely love, and have worked hard for my current position.
However, my boyfriend’s looking for jobs outside our city - where our families and friends live and where my job and life are.
Initially, a fresh start sounded nice, but I grew unhappy as he kept getting interviews. I’m finding it very difficult to leave behind everything I worked so hard to achieve.
But I don’t want to lose the man I love, and not being with him everyday will only hurt just as much as leaving my life behind.
Should I be okay with only pleasing him and leaving myself unhappy once again?
Forever Lost Gal
Everyone has their own take on this dilemma: What can you handle giving up for love?
Here’s my take: If you and this man want to be together forever, you accommodate. And he does, too.
You look at the options – is your job one you can advance in and feel satisfied for years to come? How does what the job he finds compare?
If his job gives him a better start, but yours is in a better place for, say, raising a family, is it possible to go elsewhere for a few years and come back when you’re at that next stage?
Mostly, you need to look at the situation differently (with less anxiety). It’s not about “only pleasing him” while leaving yourself unhappy. If you move with that attitude, you’ll resent him, and that’s just wrong.
This decision is about being a mature couple that can discuss choices and find the solution that works best for a number of reasons, at least for awhile.
Two years ago my husband and I were like every other couple trying to make ends meet. Then the small company which he’d helped build was bought out, and he got a significant share.
I’m thrilled of course, but something’s changed. He’s now suggesting high-end trips that would take us away from our kids for longer than I think is a good idea.
He’s even buying stuff, like new furniture, as a surprise without asking if I like it, and bought himself a new car with no prior discussion.
I’m happy for him to feel successful.
But it’s OUR success and I need an equal say in what it means, don’t I?
Richer, but not Happier
It’s still a pretty new circumstance so you’re both going through an adjustment.
Congratulate him on the success, which he clearly worked hard towards, and show your appreciation (I’m sure you did early on) before raising the following idea:
Say that, since there are so many opportunities now, you’d like to start talking ahead about potential ideas together.
That way you can think about which ones are no-brainers and which require additional arrangements.
Say that you still want to be true to yourselves as to who you are as a family.
So if there are trips that require more time, maybe they can be taken in summer or at Christmas when the kids are out of school and benefit, too.
Perhaps he’s acting alone because until now, he felt you’d hold him back.
Show him your partnership by accepting that more things are possible, and helping him find the ones that work best for all of you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the injured former athlete who’s depressed (April 20):
Reader #1 – “He should coach or officiate the sport he once played. Youths would value the knowledge of a former pro, and he could still be around the sport he knows and enjoyed.”
Reader #2 – “Get involved in volunteer work with a youth athletic club.”
Reader #3 – “Swimming can provide good cardio-vascular exercise as well as diffuse muscular exercise without putting too much stress on individual joints and ligaments.
“Some community pools have therapy pools which are kept at a warm temperature.”
Reader #4 – “I recommend you read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and/or You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.
“I got hurt, then was cut during my tryout at pro camp for the Montreal Allouettes, and never made it like
“Celebrate your time as a pro, but heal and move on.”
Tip of the day:
One partner’s job/city move shouldn’t be decided as a one-sided benefit or loss.