Post # 1
My husband and I were married in July and he is currently in his last year of graduate school. However, due to finances I have been forced to take a year off of school (earning my BA) and will only have one additional year to complete when I resume school in Fall 2013. But here’s the issue:
My husband will be job hunting after he gets his grad degree and this will more than likely take him out of state. His sister works for Boeing and said that she could most likely get him a job there, but we would have to move. And many of the companies he would like to work for are not where we live. But I want to finish my undergraduate degree (BA in English-Linguistics). If we moved this would not be possible for me.
So here’s my thought: Do you think it is practical and possible to make a long distance marriage work to finish school? I mean if he had to move away to wherever he could get a job and I stayed where we currently live. I have big dreams of going onto graduate school after, which would most likely require more time apart.
I’m just not sure what we should do in terms of this. I mean, if we move and I go with him, I wouldn’t be able to finish my degree which is very important to me. But then I have graduate school which I really want to do (I want to get my PhD in Applied Linguistics and be a university Professor). However, I’m worried that my desires and dreams are going to hurt our marriage. But it also sort of feels unfair to me because my husabnd gets to go to grad school and follow his dreams but I don’t…?
Has this ever happened to anyone? Having to live apart during marriage for a long period of time, like more than just a few months or a year? It’s already something that is stressing our marriage a bit.
Post # 3
Could you go check out schools near Boeing? They should have universities that offer English degrees that you could transfer, too. Also, you could check out their graduate school programs, too.
ETA: I don’t know which Boeing location he would get a job at but I found this list of universities that offer your program.
Anyway, good luck in whatever you decide.
Post # 4
We’re not married yet, but are in a similar situtation. I stayed where we were living while he went to graduate school so that I could keep my job (it is next to impossible to find such a nice job in my field right now). We’re a few weeks into our second year now and I will be so happy when it’s over. After that, I’m willing to compromise on my job so that we can be together. Have you two done long distance before? It’s really challenging but the school calendar with all of it’s long breaks makes it doable. Although I must say, that I told him I refuse to do any more long distance after we are married. We’ve done long distance for over half of our six year relationship for various different reasons.
Post # 5
I’m currently in a PhD program. It’s very common for academic couples (whether one or both but especially if both are academics) to live apart for a year now and then — or even for a number of years now and then. Academia can be a lonely life — I’m not going to sugar-coat it. You really have to love it to do it.
Post # 6
We did long-distance in the beginning, but only for a few months. That was when we first started dating. I was at a university that was I the same state, but different city. But during that time he was still in his undergrad, though it was his last year of undergrad. So we haven’t had any real experience in that department and that’s what I’m worried about.
I mean, he is gone all the time for his school right now so we hardly get to see each other as it is, but once he gets a job that will be different since he won’t have the school load plus his work at the university. However, I will have to do school (if we agree to let me stay). It’s just we’re married so I’m not really sure how that’s going to work and I’ve heard terrible stories about how people go to grad school or live apart and end up getting divorced and I do not want that to happen.
Post # 7
I am living this right now. My husband graduated and got a job 4 hours away in May. I’m staying put until December to finish my degree. It’s not an ideal situation, but good jobs are hard to find and we were already planning to leave the area when I graduated. Luckily 4 hours is not too far and my husband visits most weekends. Financially, living apart is very tough as well
For your situation, I would definitely stay to finish your undergrad. Education is important and he should understand that. As far as grad school, maybe try asking him to focus his job search in areas near grad schools you’d like to attend. If that won’t work then you will probably have to decide between going to your favorite school or living with your husband and doing a less desirable grad program . It’s a tough decision with no right answer, but hopefully your time apart during undergrad may help clarify things.
Post # 8
We talked about me just going to school wherever he ends up getting a job. But I am one year away from my degree at my current university. I should have been done with it last year, however, I transferred schools to be able to be with my husband when we got engaged which added an additional year to my degree. Universities all have different requirements for programs and I would have to be lucky enough to have all of the requirements (which is not very likely) without adding an additional year on top of my degree. Plus, out of state tuition is really expensive so I’d have to wait a full year before I could qualify for in-state tuition prices which which ultimately put me out of school for 2 years.
And grad school is tough to get into so I would have to go wherever I was offered free tutition (many grad programs do this) or else I wouldn’t be able to afford it out of pocket.
It’s just a huge mess.
Post # 9
@grownfromaseed: I definitely understand why you are so concerned. I spent gobs of time looking up things about couples doing long distance during graduate school and found equally bleak stories. I think it’s totally what you guys make of it though. We’ve found a lot of ways to make it work, you just have to be willing to invest the time and be able to trust your partner. I think the biggest thing that has helped me out was having a definite end date and one of us always had plans to visit the other even if it was 2 months away. This me a solid, mark it on the calendar date that I could look forward to.
Post # 10
I am doing a one year long distance marriage, five and a half hours apart by car through the mountains, to complete the last year of my graduate program. For me, it’s not important or necessary to get a Ph.D so this will have amounted (with our engagement) to a two year discombobulation of the life I ideally would have wanted. But, next year, I can get the job I want, so for us it’s worth it. Especially since my husband’s job is much less specific than mine and let’s be honest, more “hireable” (he’s law enforcement, I’m science). Now on a personal note let me say I am already so ready for this to be over! I think that the separation from the life I really want – with him – is making this year hard.
For you, because no one else know these things, I would say, what are your priorities? Be honest with yourself and about the life both of you want to lead that will make you happy. How much time off can you take? Can you afford frequent visits? Et cetera….
However, the first part of this is your undergrad, and so there is an end in sight for that part of it. No hesitation, I would say git ‘er done where you are.
The part about your life path…Ph.D…research and soul searching. Figure out what you need to be happy.
I agree with other posters in thinking that your situation and your temperaments are the most important factors in this decision.
Post # 11
Is it at all possible to finish your degree online?
My fiance and I were faced with the same dilemma. He got a promotion and got moved to France. We agonized over whether I would follow or stay in Kansas to finish my degree. It took a lot of time and a few frustrated fights before we decided. In our particular situation, being apart was not our only option. It took a lot of digging, but I eventually found an accredited university online that offered my degree. For me personally, I see it as, “We would survive the distance, no doubt. But why put ourselves through the pain if we did not absolutely have to?”
I hope you get it all sorted out. All the best to you!
Post # 12
I am concerned with this as well.
I am not sure where my job will take me, and SO will be in MD school, so he is staying put for at least 4 years before residency.
But getting married after graduation from undergrad is nearly non-negotiable, so I’m wondering how he would feel if we were forced to live apart, but still be married? I feel like it would be easier if you were married than if you weren’t. But I am so unsure.
Post # 13
I did it, but he was only living a bit over 2 hours away. I saw Darling Husband on weekends. He just got recolated back to the city this month. It’s a bit of a funny situation, as even though it was only 2 hours away, he couldn’t stay here overnight most of the time, because he might have been called to go somewhere that was even further away. He still has to do that at times, but it’s understood that he can’t be there as soon because he’s located here.