1 week into long distance with fiance-turned-medical student.. and struggling.

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
602 posts
Busy bee

Med school is very hard, so your fiance is likely going through a very tough time. Some people get unpleasant when faced with challenges, which is not the most charming character trait tbh. Give him sometime to adjust, but in the long run don’t feel like he needs to be able to get away with whatever just because of the med school excuse.

Post # 17
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee

Adding to happyjuju’s accurate 3-categories of relationships, I’m concerned about this:

“I am honestly starting to regret encouraging this whole medical school thing if it means I am losing the person I love.”

Medical school is HARD. It becomes your life and is all-consuming. Neediness, insecurity and demands of attention being paid to you will end up causing you to spiral out of control and lose the relationship. I experienced an entire mindset shift and for the first two years, believed NOTHING else mattered as much as school did. I think a lot of people re-evaluate relationships during this time. I absolutely would have cut things off with my partner if he made my life more stressful by needing constant contact, reassurances, and (why do people do this) emotional explosions/confessions before major exams. I just couldn’t have dealt with it and would have comfortably chosen being single instead.

Give him time to settle in, and then try to decide what emotional and reassurance needs you have. Open communication is essential, but honestly I feel like the only relationships that I saw really working out (usually leading to marriage) were couples where the non-medical partner was self-confident, secure, with a strong social circle of their own, a positive attitude, not clingy, and extraordinarily supportive of their partner (sending food to a study session was a good example, above).

Post # 18
Member
1387 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

I just want to say that’s it’s been a week and it’s been a lot of stress on both of you. Things are going to shift one way or another. I’ve never been in Med school but have done long distance for 3+ years (different states at one point) and it is hard but you will adjust. I am needy just like you but I have wrangled my insecurities and respected my Fiancé at the time and now husbands needs in terms of support and communication etc… we are finally going to live together again in a few short weeks-progress lol I’ve kept myself busy with work and hobbies and the likes. 

are you 2 close enough to plan date weekends when it is convient for both of you? If you can I’d focus your energy into planning those encounters, something to look forward to ya know? 

In all though,look forward to eating everything you want and having the whole bed to yourself-no judgement if you eat a whole pizza by yourself. Things will get better! 

Post # 21
Member
10597 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

graces7 :  

Graduate school and professional degrees (even law school and the bar, been there, done that) don’t really compare with med school. It’s set up to be nearly unsurvivable under the best of circumstances.

Your bf’s behavior, while disheartening for you, is completely understandable.  He really doesn’t have time or headspace for relationship issues right now. One misstep and he could be out the door with a pile of shattered dreams.

Thus, you are at a choice point. Can you be back burnered for a few years, knowing there is an end date?  And a rewarding career for the man you love?

It’s perfectly ok if you can’t.

Unfortunately, getting things back to where they were before med school is not one of your options.

Medical school is a very jealous mistress.  If you try to make him choose between you, she will probably win.

Post # 23
Member
747 posts
Busy bee

graces7 :  Sure!! To be honest the BEST thing he ever did for me was understanding when I needed to be left alone. Of course I wanted to spend time with him and text/ call, but sometimes I needed time to just focus! Helping me study was aweful for him I’m sure, but it was a very sweet gesture that I never forgot. He now claims to have am honorary doctorate because of how much he studied with me 😂 there is no right or wrong way to support your spouse, it’s all about understanding. Best of luck bee, you’ll get through this!!

Post # 24
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee

graces7 :  Hi bee! Neither me nor my fiance are in med school, but we did do long distance thousands of miles apart for a bit. One thing that I did was put together a little box with lots of notes for my fiance to open at different situations. I purchased a little wooden box and decorated it. Inside, were envelopes titled like, “Open when you’re feeling stressed,” “Open when you’re feeling sad,” “Open when you can’t sleep,” and “Open when you need a pick me up”. Most of these had just notes or pictures in them, but sometimes I included something like a starbucks gift card. I found this helpful because my fiance could open these at any time, without having to call or text me. It also made me feel like I was helping to support, even when I wasn’t there. Good luck!

Post # 25
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - Vineyard in Italy

Hi bee! Former med student, now attending physician here. I totally understand the way you are feeling, as you are undergoing a major life change, that involves not only a career adjustment for him, but also the distance, a difficulty for both of you. I remember med school days and he is probably terrified, under a ton of pressure, and for sure he misses you too and misses his previous, surely easier life. 

It is just a phase, and both of you will eventually toughen up. You really have to, otherwise you won’t be able to handle the hardest time of all, which is residency. I remember how I was in residency, when I was working 28, even 30 hours shifts all the time. I could not make it to social commitments, had to pass up hanging out with friends all the time, never worked out and ate whatever, whenever. I saw and endured the most horrific things, and at that time I was actually responsible for patients, whereas you are not when you are a med student. I was single by choice the entire residency, and honestly I admit that no one would have probably been able to “bear” my grumpiness and schedule then. That said, he will need your support even more then, and then things are going to change, COMPLETELY. You can do it bee!!!

Post # 26
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I did long distance for a year with my husband, right up until a couple months before our wedding.

At one week in, you’re both still adjusting to the huge difference in your life and the way your relationship functions. I also know that sometimes I felt like I missed him more, because he was able to compartmentalize so much better than I could. It’s likely that your Fiance is distant, because he is worrying about school and stressed with that. He’s already got a test to study for. I think that because you’re unhappy with the distance that you’re internalizing things and making them about your relationship and your emotional connection, when in reality he’s just trying to stay afloat with med school.

You absolutely did the ring thing in encouraging him to follow his dreams and attend med school. You’ll have to endure this for a while, but it will help your future, and it’s only a short time, compared to the rest of your lives married.

I think I would put out of your head the thought of leaving right now. It makes the distance worse, because you keep weighing staying or leaving, and that’s something that dominates your thinking. Instead, think of yourselves as fully committed, leaving is not an option, and this is just something you have to get through to reach the rest of your lives.

Post # 27
Member
10597 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

graces7 :  

Also, I have seen a message board for med students to talk about their med school lives. I didn’t go very far into it, but I would imagine there must be a similar forum for partners of med students.

 

 

 

Post # 28
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee

graces7 :  When I said “constant contact, reassurances,” etc. I was not speaking of you specifically. That was a generalized set of behaviors people exhibit when faced with adapting to a partner who is suddenly not emotionally or physically available to them. The “emotional explosions/confessions” was a comment in reference to another thread where a Bee was dating a boyfriend in nursing school and laid out demands for his attention in a dramatic fashion the night before an exam. The behaviors are fairly common, and my suggestion of the personality type that will get through this was not what you aren’t (I do not know you, so it was not a commentary about you), but what DOES work in my experience.

futuremrsbee83 :  <-  Her post was far more explanatory and positive, but this same concept was what I was referencing.  You have to be prepared to be and feel almost single for sometimes many years, and it simply isn’t a lifestyle suited for most people. People who make it through tend to have a very strong sense of self and not need deep companionship, especially with the addition of long distance. I feel like it is a hard and lonely road to be a partner to someone who isn’t really available.

It sounds like the two of you work very well as a team and you are an incredibly supportive person, with a fully developed social circle and work environment, and these were the things I was suggesting that a person needs. It isn’t an easy or fun life for a partner.

Post # 30
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee

I feel like he wants you to break it off with him for good.  Maybe he know it’s not going to work, or maybe he is depressed or he could have met someone else….I think the only shot you have to make it work is move to be with him.  I hope it all works out!!

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