Lets start with the basics... I'm an 18 year old girl. I have an amazing boyfriend. We've been together for over a year and a half. We are very serious about each other. The subject of marriage has been brought up several times. We love each other to death.
Now, I've run into a problem. Long story short, he lives in Spokane WA and I live in Colorado. My boyfriend used to live in Colorado, but two months ago, we both moved to Washington. About two weeks ago I had to fly back down here to CO because my grandmother passed away. I told my boyfriend I'd fly back to Washington after the funeral... but since I've been back in Colorado, I've started to change my mind. For one, I have a sick father living here, who needs almost 24 hour care, and I'm the only one in the family willing to help him. My dads needs me here to help him out with almost everything... and I'd feel guilty leaving my dad alone again, if I did fly back up to WA and live with my boyfriend... Also another thing has come up. Since I graduated from high school this year, I've decided that I will go to college next fall. There's a local community college here in my hometown, that would be so much cheaper than the colleges up in Washington.
For the past two weeks I have been pondering my future. I've come to a decision that it would be best for me to stay here with my dad... and it would be a good idea if i went to the local college here in CO. I think I should get my college education done with before I move 1,500 miles away from the only home I've ever known.
I haven't told my boyfriend yet that I'm going to stay down here until I've college done with...(which will be a few years down the line.) I'm afraid that he might break up with me... I promised him I'd be back after the funeral, but since then I've changed my mind... after breaking such a big promise, I'm afraid he will call our relationship over.
I just wish he'd understand that it would be best for me to get my college education over with first before I decide to move again. I just don't know...
I'm hoping he might move back down to Colorado until I'm done with college... but I don't know. I'd feel bad asking him to move all the way back down here... He's already established himself in WA... he was in a hurry to move out of the state, and start a new life. He has dreams of being in a rock band and everything.... and if I asked him to move back down here, I feel like I'd be standing in the way of his dreams... so yeah.
He told me once that he'd do anything for me.
I don't want to lose him over this. And I don't want him living so far away either... It's only been 2 weeks since I've last seen him, and it's already taking a huge toll on the both of us. I'm only whole when he's by my side...
Anyways, I would appreciate any comments or advice on this.... I don't know what I can do?
You're obviously a smart and kind young woman. You are conscientious and puts family first before anything.
I had a similar situation when I was 16. I had a chance to go to Brown University, thousands of miles away from where I'm from, California. My parents were so excited and at the time, I had a serious boyfriend (as serious as anybody can get at 16 ). I broke the wonderful news to my boyfriend and do you know what his reaction was? He said, "does that mean you're going to leave me?" Well, at 16, most people don't have the wherewithall as I do now. He started crying because I'm going to move on the other side of the country and he's going to stay in California. Me being so ignorrant (dumb is more like it) I saw that he was crying and thought, "oh, this guy really loves me". He begged and got on his knees and sobbed for days until I changed my mind. He wore me down until he got what he wanted... for me to stay with him.
Fast forward 20 years later, where is he now?
In hindsight, I should've gone to Brown, instead I went to a non-Ivy league university. I wish my parents have put their foot down and forced me to go to Brown or at least put some sense into my head. In hindsight, my ex-boyfriend was and is probably still selfish. There are very few things in life I regret, and this is one of them. I would have been more successful had I gone to Brown.
Deciding to go to school in your hometown and taking care of your father is the wiser decision in my opinion. Your boyfriend may not understand why you're doing this, but this will test both of your commitment and fidelity. Live your life the way you believe is right. Your dream of getting an education have to come first at this time of your young life and if your boyfriend doesn't understand or support your decision, it's his lost. Break ups are hard, but you will get over it.
Do the right thing for yourself and your family. Right now, your family is your father. Without an education, it's hard to have a good future. Unless you're as smart as Bill Gates.
Listen to your instincts. It's there to protect and help us.
Can I tell you something? I spent a lot of time during the same age years as you are now making decisions on my future based on the guy I was with. It never turned out that the guy stayed in the end, so all of my decisions I made (including not going away to college as I wanted to but instead staying around here for his sake), I regret now as I look back on it.
Please listen to this advice, because it's something I look back on and wish I could change (but can't). I don't want you to go through what I did.
Your Dad needs you. Family is key and should always be at the top of your priority list. And also, you have an opportunity to go to a college nearby home where it will cost less, which will work out better for you. This is a no-brainer and I think you already know that. Please don't ever make your decisions based on a maybe relationship with a guy that may or may not last. Please, please don't do that. I did that and I regret it now. But it's not too late for you! You can do it right the first time so you don't have to look back with regret!
I think you already know what you want to do, and I think it's the right choice. Don't worry about your bf. If he gets mad then he doesn't deserve you, anyway.
Thanks you two for the advice.... I really appreciate it.
Well I told my boyfriend that I've decided to stay down here in CO to get my college education... and he completely flipped out on me. He was angry that I broke a huge promise... I promised him I'd be back...
I can see why he's mad.
He told me that I should take online school and move back up with him... he says online school isn't as expensive as regular college, but I don't know.
He also said that my dad's not my responsibility and that I shouldn't have to take care of him for the rest of my life.
You see, my dad has his problems too. In January my mom left him, cause my dad was just verbally abusing her. And manipulating her as well... My dad treats me pretty good most of the time, but sometimes he acts like I have to pick up the broken pieces. He acts like I have to take care of him.. it's not my fault that he treated my mom the way he did... and so all of his problems become my problems. Some of my family members want me to go out and get a life of my own... they don't want to see my dad suffer alone, but at the same time, they think I shouldn't have to be the one to take care of him.
So I'm stuck... I'm not ready to leave my hometown... but then again, I can't lose my boyfriend. I love him so much... the word "love" is such an understatement.
You are smart to think of these things now, better than later, but I would say go back to your bf, and talk about it in person... I think it was wrong the way you went about it. I would be mad as heck if my bf left and said.. oh I am staying here, bye.
Fly back and talk to him in person. I think. See what you two want to do. If you want to stay stay.. do not let anyone force a decision. but your father is not your responsibility.
At the same time, your father. I am not sure what to tell you there. My mother is mentally ill and I had no problem walking away. But other family is trying to handle her. You can always visit family. But I would say talk about it more with him before you just decide. But if you have this huge feeling to stay.. then maybe break up with your bf if it comes down to it. You want a different life it seems. Plus you are 18 and still young, but if you love him as you say you do.. talk to him in person.
Last edited by angel_light; 11-03-2006 at 12:54 AM.
There are a few things that I still don't understand in your story. I presume you are an only child. Why did your mother leave your father only in January and not before? Hadn't he been abusing her verbally for a long time? When you first left Colorado, was your father already sick? Did you know how serious it was? Why do you suddenly so to say feel guilty leaving him and why didn't you feel so before? What made you change your mind about him?
I don't know if I am bringing any new insight into your "problem", but I'm going to try to break it down.
There are three main characters in this story: your father, your boy-friend and you. There are lines of responsibility linking each of you, but I think the stronger line is between you and your dad.
I understand that it'd have been better for you to talk to your boy-friend personally, but taking an airplane and going up to him certainly has a cost (and your father is in need of you for the time being), and maybe you couldn't afford it right now. Maybe you could have invited your boy-friend over back to Colorado, so that he would see, with his own eyes, what the hell (sorry) is going on here. Then he might be able to judge you more wisely.
I don't know if he has parents of his own, but the impression is that he is "free" from them and able to do whatever he wants and go wherever he feels like. It is not the same for you, and I think he should understand and respect your decision.
I think that both your mother and you (not to say the whole family) have responsibilities regarding your father. Unless your mother is divorced from him or legally separated. She should have filed for a divorce as soon as she left him, otherwise, unless I am wrong, she still has obligations with her husband. As his only adult child (you are an adult, aren't you?), you, too, are responsible. This doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice your whole life and career. It doesn't mean that you have to look after him 24 hours a day, because I suppose you are not a professional in health care. But at least you have to give him some emotional support, you have to be patient with him, you have to spare some minutes (maybe one hour) a day to be with him. You can't abandon him totally. Whatever they decide to do with your father, you must have a role in it. Unless you want him to disown you?
This said, I think that staying in your hometown is really the best arrangement for you at this moment.
I know you are in love with this guy, but you are so young. Love comes and goes. Don't throw your life away and don't forget your own responsiblities just because of one person. If he really loves you, he won't be telling you what to do. He will respect your decision, he will even encourage you to do what your conscience tells you to do. He will be patient.
Anyway, I think there are so many differences emerging between your bf and you that maybe this shouldn't be the road for you to take. You are heading for college, and he wants to play in a band. These two careers hardly have anything in common. You belong to very different worlds. How do you imagine you are going to have a stable life together? Besides, I am afraid he has very different values than yours: he leaves his hometown and that's ok for him. Whom he has left behind is probably of little concern for him. What if he leaves you behind in the future, because he happens to see some place (or someone) more promising?
No, this is the wrong boat for you. I don't think this is the right moment for you to move. Not only because of your father, but also mainly because of you.
Be honest with yourself. Think of the life you want for yourself. Of course nobody can look into the future and see it clearly, but there are clues in this story telling you that probably your time has not come yet. Probably you still need some time here (preparation) before you can make it happen.
I'm not quite ready to move so far away, but in a couple years, I think I should be ready.
This whole thing though is sad because not only have I broken this huge promise, but I have broken any trust he used to have... I know a lot of this is my fault. I was never ready to move in the first place, but I did, because I was afraid I was going to lose my one and only.
All I can say is, I hope he can forgive me (even though I don't think I deserve his forgiveness) .... I hope he can move back down here to Colorado... I hope he can find a good paying job... and I hope that once I graduate from college, we can both move back to Spokane, and start a new life together....
Thanks for answering and explaining a few points that remained obscure or misunderstood.
I agree that it is all very sad, but do you know what? I feel that you are no longer in the despair mode, so to say. You seem to be calmer now, maybe more resigned with your lot. It's good to have hopes, but it's also good to believe in the healing power of time.
I am sure you are going to get over this. We don't know yet how your story is going to end: with him or without him?
But I don't think it helps you to be feeling so guilty. Actually, our lives are not entirely in our hands. Most of the time we do what life "tells" us to do, and not what we want to do. So please relieve yourself of this load on your shoulders. You are simply following the natural course of your life.