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Erin942 11-26-2008 08:26 AM

Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
I've posted before about the ups and downs I've had lately with my boyfriend of nine months. I'm 29 and he is 34. He has been asked to relocate for work 300 miles away to a state we both hate and do not want to live in. It is the same title and role, not a promotion, but more challenge and responsibility and maybe a little more money. He wants to accept it and take a chance on it. And he wants me to move with him. We've been really shaky lately. He nearly broke up with me earlier this month and I am just starting to establish confidence in him and us again. I've done long distance before when an old boyf moved for work. We tried, we failed and we watched all of the good drain out of it as it died a slow, agonizing and resentment-filled death. Distance would only drive us into the ground, it would absolutely destroy us. In my mind, we are not strong enough to survive it.

He is sure we would work out. He said he wants me to move with him and be with him there, that it is not permanent, that he feels he needs to do this for his career and he wants to accept the challenge, but he wants me there, too, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, as he said. I get where he is coming from -- he may be bored with his work here -- but it does not meant the first opportunity for change is the best. There may be other opportunities here in his current job, to take new projects or try new approaches. He could try to find a different company to work for locally if he doesn't think he'd be happy staying in his current role and district. He just said he doubts he could, that there are barely any jobs in the field and it'd be hard to find anything. That other companies may not be as strong as his and he could switch jobs and be unhappy or get laid off. The thing is, if he wants me to move and leave my career here, he is asking me to take that risk -- a huge risk with my livelihood, finances and esteem. My occupation is also very specialized and my position is rare; it is very hard to find jobs in my field and industry. Not impossible, but also hard, especially in the economy we are in. It may be me who is stuck without a job, or in a lower position, going backwards in my career. I could hate it or get downsized, too. My current job is fulfilling and stable. I know I don't have to worry about being released due to economic conditions. He is asking me to take a much bigger gamble than he is taking. And I don't feel good taking it.

He is very much a risk taker, a "we'll figure it out" type of person. He worries about bills when they come, he gets into situations and then tries to work out of him. I am cautious and planned. I calculate my moves. I think things through before I decide. His thought is that life is unexpected and I should take a risk with him and see how it pans out. I need stability, metrics and a plan. And we've had some ups and downs lately. We nearly broke up earlier this month. I told him because of that we are fragile and I am fragile. That I don't have total trust in him and in us right now and you need a stable, solid relationship to make such a huge move. I am petrified I would give it all and move with him and have him freak out and leave me. That I'd be alone in a strange place with no friends, no family, no connections and maybe no job or income. To me, no identity.

He is upset that I can't see it working out. The only end to the distance would be me moving at some point. I hate the state he is moving to. He does too. He says to give him two years to get established and then we could move back. I told him two years isn't any plan to live by, that things could change. That in two years would he really be ready to come back and would he even have the chance to do it. He said if he didn't he'd switch jobs then. But obviously you can't make decisions like that, you never know. He wants to settle in the state we're in now, to raise a family here where his family s and our friends are. But who knows if and when that would be and if it would happen. I am willing to try the distance because I love him. I will accept and respect his decision to move because I have no choice. I will do what I can to support him. But I feel so sad that he is making a choice he knows could very well end us. If I beg him to stay and he does, he resents me. If he leaves, I resent him. I wish I was more positive, but I only see negative outcomes of this.

Of course, it's the worst time for all of this. Just when we start getting back on track, right at the holidays. I have three days ahead of being on and smily in front of his family. Three days of trying to hold myself together when everyone will be asking me if I will be moving with him. I am just a wreck. We talked and argued most of the night and I wound up crying myself to sleep on the couch. It just hurt to be in the same bed with him last night because I was upset. I really hate drama, I hate all of this. I hate feeling so out of control and hurt.

I can't help but take it personally. That he is choosing a work opportunity, and not even a fantastic one, just one opportunity that came by, over me. That he is willing to gamble me in this and lose me. If he needed work or was going to make a lot more money or was getting a promotion, it'd make more sense. But it is none of that. I feel selfish but I can't help but be it in this right now.

Willapp 11-26-2008 09:33 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Even in a secure relationship I would always advise caution before relocating purely for the benefit of a partner - it can cause a great deal of strain and exactly the feelings you're currently experiencing. In your fragile situation I would say it's madness to even consider going with him, remember HE nearly split up with YOU just a few weeks ago! Now he's expecting you to quit your job and move somewhere you dislike, purely for his benefit and on the off-chance your relationship works out. It's crazy!:confused:

Think about it - what if a week after moving you split up? You'll have to either move back again and try getting your old job back (unlikely) or make the best of it living somewhere you don't like.

Unless there's really something about the relationship worth saving, I would let him go his way and you go yours.

Cakies 11-26-2008 10:05 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
he is asking you to make a huge commitment to him and he is making no commitment to you. If he loves you so much he needs you to move across the country with him why hasn't he asked you to marry him? Obviously he is not ready for your relationship to be permanent, he want the option to leave and if you move across the country for him only to break up then your screwed and he's fine. That not fair at all. I wouldn't move across the country for him unless you are ready to marry him and you get that commitment from him before you go.

negot 11-26-2008 10:16 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
I think that you should be in a more committed relationship (married) before you take the step of moving and leaving your job. The fact that you are so different when it comes to risk taking may become a problem as well. That has been a problem and a source of resentment in my marriage. I am a risk taker and my husband is cautious and wants to plan things. Your values are worth thinking about before you make major commitments.

chris031181 11-26-2008 10:31 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
I am so sorry to hear the situation you are in! I can understand why this would be hard on you. It seems to me, after reading this, that you know this isnt the best thing for you in your life right now. You need to think about yourself, your life. I know it's hard b/c you love him and want to support him, but you also need to think about how much this will affect you and your life. Especially if things are rocky for you both right now. Are you planning on continuing the relationship if he moves without you? Maybe you could try it long distance.... I am sure it would be hard but maybe it would prove something to yourself.... I wish you the best of luck and hope things work out for you! He needs to do what makes him happy and you need to do what your heart is telling you! Good luck!

elatedgiraffe 11-27-2008 05:34 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Do you think in some weird way that he wants to move away from this relationship and although he is asking you to go with him he knows deep down that you are a planner and will not go?:confused:

Just a thought. Just went through something similar. Secured a job and everything where my boyfriend was moving and asked me to come with. We fought too about every detail and just the whole thing. I did like the area, whereas you and your boyfriend aren't fond of where hes moving.

Well long story short, I have stayed put. I started really thinking about the future with him and as soon as I was about to move he started acting weird. He said he loved me, wanted me to come, missed me, but his actions and tone was completely different. He later admited being cold because of all our fighting.

Anyway, Big decision Girl. Make a pro and con list. Do you really see yourself with this guy for the long haul if you look at life differently? What will your back up plan be if the two of you broke up?

Me and my ex actually broke up right before I was going to move and picturing myself in his town, but not with him, but working and not knowing anyone but him and his family is why I decided to stay. So you need to think it through and what happens if things don't work?

Im like you, a planner. My ex was like your boyfriend. Its a big change and a big deal but if you think you have nothing to loose and want to give it a shot I say why not?

I did not have that freedom because the job was expecting me to be there long term and was breaking my lease. I certainly did not want to work a couple months and not be able to deal with him and the town and move home. I was going to move to the COLD north 1,200 miles from home.

And if things arent working out now are they going to work out when things get stressful??

Either way--you'll have to make a decision and run with it. You can always go and come back.

I do have days though that I kind of regret not going. But I also have days that I am glad I didnt because in the long run I dont think it was best for me to be around him anymore.

You have to decide whats best for you and only you know that. Not him, not your friends, not family...just you.

Erin942 12-01-2008 01:38 PM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Thank you all for posting. I really do appreciate your advice and perspectives.

I know it is nuts to move for him. I have a solid and stable career here, a nice apartment, wonderful friends -- my whole identity is here. I love my boyfriend and don't want to be apart from him, but it would be foolish to gamble all for him when things are not steady right now.

I have to admit I do wonder too, especially this past month, how compatible we really are. We do get along well and have a great time together, but we are also very different. He is a bit all over the place and not settled, and I am more cautious, organized and have my stuff more together. I know what I want and what to do to get there. He isn't sure what he does want and how to get there.

We had a good holiday with his family and tabled the future and move talks until we came back from his parents'. He knows choosing to move may be the end to us but he is also sure we can make it work. I am just not. I know it seems negative, but I am trying to see things realistically, and I think distance would not bring us solidity and strength.

He feels horribly for what he has been put me through lately and swears his freakout was stupid and a mistake, and that he loves me and wants a life with me, and got really scared. He understands my confidence and trust in him has flagged and time and his work needs to restore it.

If he stays here, I feel we could grow together and develop things normally. But moving together is premature and does not put me in a better position than I am in now with work and my life here.

He is away for work this week and has promised to think everything through. Regardless of my perspective and those of his colleagues, family or anyone else, he has to figure out what he truly wants individually. If he wants to move and risk things, or if he will turn it down and figure out his next steps here. To complicate it more, over the weekend he started talking about how maybe he doesn't want to stay in this career or industry any longer. He travels a lot and is sick of it. Travel and relocation is mostly the norm in his field. He wants to settle down and be a part of a community and have a stable job where he can stay local. He said he is sick of the travel and unknown relocation would bring. So that ruffles everything too. I told him that to move and risk so much for a company and industry he may not even stay in is way risky. That he should say no to the relocation and wait it out -- look into other jobs and companies in his field and other careers outside of the industry, while he has the support and tracks down locally. So now he is going back and forth on that, too.

This is a complicated guy I have, one who I think needs more time than others to sort things out. And for all the confusion and up and down, I do love him very much. It's obviously a cr--ppy position to be in. I don't want to lose him but I can't take such big risks on him right now either.

I know I need to self preserve here and be selfish myself. But the romantic part of me that loves him so deeply is thinking do it. I know I cannot, and that is the confliction I have to deal with while he figures his move out.

elatedgiraffe 12-01-2008 09:28 PM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Erin I have to congratulate you on your strength. I know its not an easy decision to make. Like I said, Ive been there just recently. I think it is awesome that you really did some deep thinking about this decision, hence your personality. And after his recent freak outs I do agree that is now his reposnisbility to really put some effort into this. If hes not so sure about the career anyway....I dont see his reason for moving. Do you think he was just testing you to see where you stood? If so, you passed. You know you love him, but you know your boundries. That is a hard thing I just had to figure out. Stay true to what you beleive is best for you and the rest is up to him. Keep us updated on what he decides to do.:)

AllTheSame 12-02-2008 12:41 AM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Don't do it, Don't do it, Don't do it.

I am glad to read you are strong enough to tell him no, and I know ultimately you know what's best for you, but even if you are somewhat still considering going, please please reconsider.

I know this personally. I am going through it right now. I lived in a great area, had a great position at a job, just finished college, was stable and could live comfortably. Had my whole life, family, friends, networking, everything there. Met someone and decided my odds at moving up in my career were better in Iowa where he was ( and moved in from a state away with him after about the same time frame you are with your boyfriend.

I'm telling you, it's "good" for a couple weeks, and then the true colors, and the deep sinking homesickness comes and hits you like a ton of bricks.

Especially since now we are 'separated' and since my job isn't as great as I thought it could have been, can't afford to live on my own and am stuck living with what is now my ex. I thought I knew him, but living with someone opens your eyes a great deal.

I am now thankful to be moving back home on Sunday, and was lucky enough to reclaim my old job....however not where I was, but back down at the bottom having to work my way up again.

Bottom line, Please don't let others influence what is best for you. Especially some guy. Mainly because if he truly loved you, he wouldn't make you choose. Good luck.

Erin942 12-02-2008 01:23 PM

Re: Boyfriend is moving, he wants me to go with him, I don't think I can
Thanks for posting. AllTheSame, your post was really touching; am so sorry you had to go through such a difficult situation and are trying to get back to where you had been before. I know it must be incredibly frustrating. I am glad you are heading back home to the support system you have there. I hope you don't have regrets for listening to your heart and taking a chance. It's all chance, isn't it? Everything.

Elated, I see what you mean about him testing me, but sadly I think it's not testing. He's not into games or any of that manipulative stuff. He's just all over the place and doesn't know what step to take!

If this was a really great move for him to make then I'd suck it up and support him, tell him to go and love him enough to encourage him to accept, even if it meant leaving me behind. But I don't think it is, so it makes me feel even more that if he goes it is a poor decision.

I know for now there is nothing I can do. And that is hard, too. He is back in town in two days and we will talk more then, I am sure. I think he will need to let his boss know his thoughts too on Thursday.

I'm wavering between being sad and crying and just being dazed. I am definitely not thinking positively about any of it.

Thanks again for your words.

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