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

posted 10 months ago in Relationships
Post # 62
Member
10433 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

 

littlemissdimsum :  Okay.  Here are a couple to get you pointed in the right direction, but after that, you’re on your own. There are tons of articles, just plug any of the personality disorders into google and “brain”. Or, do it the really easy way:  google “Cluster B brain”.

Note the strong link between brain structure and empathy.

As neuroimaging continues to improve, we’ll know much more about the biochemical basis for mental disorders, putting us into a chicken vs egg dilemma. And, it raises some significant ethical concerns.

https://www.gulfbend.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=41569&cn=8

 

Included because you are in med school and can handle it. Fascinating stuff.

 

http://www.imedpub.com/articles/the-cognitive-neuroscience-of-narcissism.php?aid=22149

 

 

Post # 63
Member
10433 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

graces7 :  

Bee, you did too much for this guy. Way too much. Over the top extreme too much. I don’t doubt that your heart was in the right place, but many people would find your behavior suffocating.  I would.

Your posts reflect a certain omnipresence in this guy’s life, the morning texts, the Care Packages, constantly inserting yourself in ways you think he needs, but, he never asked for, that could drive a lot of people away.

Everything you gave was given freely. He does not owe you a relationship. It’s not selfish for him to assert his right to be free.

The way he’s handled it has certainly been inartful, but he’s not a felon for moving on.

My hunch is that he had to get pretty brusque with you just to get you to hear him trying to end it.

Bee, you were never required to do all of the supportive things you did. That was all entirely your codependent choice. 

However, your anger is good. Anger can be galvanizing. It gives you the energy and drive to make things different.

You absolutely have to start letting go, Bee. Therapy could be a big help to you. You don’t have to suffer this much.

Post # 65
Member
7906 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

graces7 :  For the record, I don’t think you sound at all suffocating in the way you describe your interactions with him since he went to med school. You’ve made it clear that he was the one who asked for the care package, which you haven’t even sent (justifiably!). You’ve said you might send him a single good morning text per day and only talked  2-3 times per week in the beginning. For fucksake, your grandmother just passed away and your fi doesn’t even know about it because you’ve respected his request not to talk to him…but you’re suffocating him? If he feels suffocated by such minimal interaction with his fiance, that’s on him – that is not your fault.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to the codependency theory…it does seem like you enjoy the role of being needed and that you probably gave too much of yourself (with not enough in return) to help him overcome his alcohol issue and get into med school. But yeah, if sending one text per day and talking on the phone 2-3 times a week is “suffocating” then I guess my husband and I are both corpses because we talk a lot more than that when we are apart, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Also, I disagree with pp that his behavior wasn’t selfish. Of course it was selfish. He is a Taker. He took and took and took from you, and when it was your turn to need something in return (a few minutes of his time each day while he’s away?? crazy!) – he suddenly says you’re a burden and casts you off. Yes it’s his right to treat you however he wants, to end the relationship if he wants, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t behaved in an appallingly selfish way. 

Post # 66
Member
1530 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

I am kind of late in responding to this, but my own experience with my fiance was very similar, so I couldn’t not comment. 

I have been with my fiance for 5 years, known him for 13. We had only been together for 2 years when he went to med school, however. We were used to long distance, we both went to colleges far from our hometown. But we had learned how to manage it, and while it was hard, it was doable. 

When he went to med school though, that changed. He was incredibly distant. He was angry all the time. Blamed me for all of our problems, saying I was too needy and expected too much and he just couldn’t manage a relationship and med school, and simply didn’t want to. He drank a lot, prioritized partying with his classmates over talking to me at all. Granted, I expected too much of his time and got an attitude when I didn’t get it. Both of us hold some blame for how bad our relationship had gotten. He didn’t want to be in a relationship with me, but he still acted like he was when it suited him, or when he came home for breaks. There was a lot of “are we getting back together? aren’t we together? what is this?” It was very draining and stressful. In all honesty, looking back on it, I shouldn’t have stayed and put up with all that I did. I would have advised literally anyone else to walk away and never look back. I did try to stop talking to him, but ultimately I couldn’t do it. He was my best friend and having him in my life was more important to me than having him as my boyfriend. It hurt like hell to just be friends, and it definitely wasn’t good for me to do, but I had to for me. But I started being a little selfish – I didn’t drop everything to talk to him. I didn’t roll over and accept all the blame. i.e. I became my own person again.

Our story has a happy ending. Eventually he did come around and realize what he was doing, and that being overwhelmed and stressed was not an excuse to string me along. He started trying harder, but still not always hard enough. We fought more often than we were happy for a time, though he admits now it was primarily because the first 2 years of med school are so stressful and he didn’t know how to manage it.

But things got much better. Still hard, since it was long distance and we didn’t get to see each other often, but not toxic like it had been in the past. I ended up moving out to where he goes to school to be with him for his third year, and we got to a much better place – the best place we’ve been in for our entire relationship. Part of that is because he’s not under as much stress, part of that he’s learned to manage it better, and part of that is I’ve learned to let go a little and give him space and not expect him to answer ASAP. Honestly I think it was because we took that time apart.We’re back to long distance now for his final year, since he’s doing rotations all around the country, but we’re still in a good place. We’re getting married this May, and even though we’re long distance, we’ve never been happier.

Ultimately, my advice is to focus on yourself for now. This likely doesn’t spell the end of your relationship, but this does mark the point where you need to switch your priority to making yourself the person you want to be, which it sounds like you know. If that means stepping back entirely and not speaking to him for a while, do what you need to do. Things will get easier for him after the first couple years, particularly after his first Boards exam. Tbh, my fiance was like a different person after passing that exam (in a good way). Loving a med student is hard. Med school puts your relationship through a ringer – some survive, many do not. It is important for you to respect how hard this is for him, but still keep your own needs in mind, and prioritize them for now while he can’t. It’s okay to be selfish right now, just as long as you stay mindful that he has needs too. He won’t realize this for a while, but there is life after med school. Throwing all this away may seem easy right now, but in 2 years when he can finally see the next step on the horizon, he’ll likely get his act in order. In the mean time, you do you, live your best life, and then decide whether you want to give him a chance to shape up.

I’m a firm believer in if it’s meant to be, you guys will find a way. Focus on your needs right now. It sucks, it’s painful, and it’s hard to lose the person that has been your best friend for so long. It feels like your world is turning upside down. But it will be okay. Just take it a day at a time.

Post # 67
Member
10433 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

graces7 :  

Oh, Bee, honey. Of course, the girlfriend-who-loved-too-much does not define you. If my post suggested such a thing, please accept my apology, I certainly was not trying to imply such a thing.

Bright, savvy, competent, powerful women get suckerooed by these kinds of guys all the time, unfortunately. That woman is a big prize, and he stands to gain in some way via his connection to a super sharp woman. Narcissists are very invested in image management.

Had your relationship included open, healthy communication, this heartache could have been avoided. 

Everyone has different needs in terms of space and contact. What feels stifling to one person may feel like the bare minimum to another.

Many years ago, before texting, voice mail, and cellphones, I had a bf who called me every night at 10 pm. It was nice in the beginning, when you’re struggling with uncertainty, but it didn’t age well.  I actually hated it. I felt as if I was calf roped to the damn phone. He took night classes, so I couldn’t reach him and just how do you say, “hey, quit calling me, dude”?

You truthfully say that, while you appreciate his efforts to be in contact, every night isn’t really necessary. He was quite relieved. He didn’t like it either, but had thought that’s what good bfs do.

No one on the Bee or anywhere else is the ultimate arbiter of how much reaching out is too much. It’s absolutely individual.

However, when the need to give of yourself is coming from a place of fear, rather that the sheer joy of giving, check yourself. Giving x number of nice things and loving gestures do not add up in some kind of cosmic ledger. Again, he does not owe you a relationship. 

If there was good communication, he could have lovingly told you that all of those lovely things you do are wonderful, but make him a bit uncomfortable and he’d feel better if you didn’t try so hard.

Relationships are not meant to be this difficult, Sweet Bee.

Post # 68
Member
5131 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

sassy411 :  However, when the need to give of yourself is coming from a place of fear, rather that the sheer joy of giving, check yourself.

Spot on. Being a giving person is ok, but you need to realize why you are giving so much.

graces7 :  Bee, my relationship with my ex was very much like yours. I’m a very giving person in a relationship, I supported my ex endlessly through all of undergrad, applying to medical school, and the first year of med school. He’d always been super busy and spent a lot of time apart even though we lived together, but med school was different. I looked at it as my duty to make everything at home stress-free. Looking back now, it was absolutely out of fear. I felt like I had to do all these things to make sure that he knew he needed me so that our relationship could survive medical school. He still became distant, started hanging out with his school friends more instead of coming home, all while still giving me no indication that he had any problem with our relationship. Out of the blue one day he told me he wanted a break. He didn’t have the time to focus on me (I also found this very confusing because I really wasn’t demanding anything from him). I went through all the same emotions as you. Worrying about him. Thinking I’m just going to focus on myself and he’ll hopefully come to his senses (who would throw away a 6 year relationship?). Eventually, I realized that I needed to just give up on him. I actually never told him that I wasn’t down with a “break”, I just committed myself to no contact and decided that we were broken up. Only then did I really start to heal. He never contacted me again, so I guess he got the hint. Girl, I would not waste time even entertaining the idea of making the relationship work. Get angry. Move on.

 

Post # 69
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee

Bee, it also sounds like you seem to have some sort of a complex where you think your ex was essentially a useless, drive-less sh*t and you are this savior who got him into med school, and you deserved to get some benefits and glory from that. He may ultimately be that common, basic med student who can’t handle the stress and have no stable romantic relationship, and you may be that strong lawyer woman, but to have healthier, happier relationships in the future, you will need to fix a lot about yourself. Yes, have self-confidence, but you aren’t that amazing either.

Sorry for being harsh, but everyone is so busy trying to make you feel good, that I worry you will miss the fact that you actually need to improve yourself too. And I am not even talking about what your ex needs to do. It doesn’t matter. He isn’t in your life anymore, and definitely not even remotely important to any of the posters’ lives. So you do you, improve yourself, become happier.

Post # 70
Member
541 posts
Busy bee

blackpink :  

Wow, I could not disagree with you more about your assessment of the OP.

Contrary to what you say, I think she has shown extraordinary awareness and willingness to take responsibility. The OP shows a level of insight and humility that I, for one, rarely see from people whose SOs just break up with them out of the blue. Many people would become enraged and bitter and nasty, and yet she is channelling her energy into productive pursuits and trying to understand herself and relationships better. How many people at her age (I’m assuming she’s young) have that kind of maturity? At absolutely no stage has she given the impression of a saviour who thinks her fiance is a piece of shit. Really can’t help thinking that you are trolling.

OP, I agree with both tiffanybruiser and sassy411.

Yes, your fiance was selfish and he was a taker. There’s no two ways about that. There are literally a hundred more compassionate ways he could have handled this, and the responsibility for that is 100% on him. I absolutely think he is going through his own meltdown, which may explain why he is acting the way that he is, but it does not excuse it. Don’t you also get to be a bit weak and vulnerable, going through your own stress and having lost an important person in your life? No OP, don’t beat yourself up or blame yourself, I beg you.

That said, I do agree with sassy411, and have thought from the beginning, that the fact that you were persisting, even when you were getting so little back from him, was not good. For you, or for the relationship. I don’t think it’s a good thing to text someone “good morning” every morning when they aren’t initiating contact in return, and wouldn’t advise anyone to do that. One or two unanswered texts or phone calls would be enough for me to stop initiating altogether. My mom always used to say to me “don’t ever send two texts back to back,” and it’s a good principle. If someone doesn’t respond to your first text, then wait. Leave it. They know where you are.

The other thing is that it is all too common for men to withdraw like this in times of extreme stress and upheaval. And it’s certainly not good or conducive to a relationship. The upshot of it is that he is not relationship material right now, and it’s really better to find someone whose life is stable and who is looking for the same thing as you. And there are guys like that, I promise you, plenty of them. And there are also guys who will appreciate and value your strength and caring nature, so don’t change that. Just make sure that you are getting enough of your own needs met in return.

Post # 72
Member
92 posts
Worker bee

You’re amazing, and so strong. You handled that breakup, which was so shitty on his part, with a lot of grace and you are so right to focus on yourself. 

I would say don’t see him at this point. Don’t talk to him, because I don’t think there’s any reason to put yourself through that. It’s still a recent split and that could really set you back, and you’ve worked too hard to slip now. Don’t pick him up, don’t meet him, he gets nothing from you. Mail the ring or anything else you need to, but he deserves nothing further. You already put so much into this guy and he showed his true colours – stop giving him anything at all. 

Post # 73
Member
1781 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

graces7 :  girl, good on you. Stay no contact for your own peace of mind and not falling into bad habits. Don’t even answer the email. Just don’t do it. 

Keep on doing what you’re doing, it’s awesome!

Post # 74
Member
5923 posts
Bee Keeper

Congrats bee! You sound like you’re doing awesome! 

I would NOT see him. He doesn’t deserve that. Where will he be staying while he’s back? His parents? I’d honestly just drop off his stuff there (get some friends to help you) and peace out. It would be easier for him to come pick them up from you, but then you’ll have to see his pathetic little face. And he’ll probably try to sweet talk you into who knows what. Stay strong! You’re amazing! 

Post # 75
Member
1530 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

GIRL πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

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