Boyfriend's Ultimatum / Life Advice

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
2174 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Here are my two cents on the situation. 

First of all, you are being coddled by your parents and your boyfriend. I think that you really need to step up and take some responsibility for your life. You need to finish your masters and you  need to do it quickly. A MS in Biology is a great degree and there are a ton of jobs out there that you can get for that degree.  (I have a BS in Chemistry and have worked with a ton of chemists and biologists in multiple medical fields). So you really need to focus on that and complete that first. If things are overwhelming, ask for help or direction from your supervisor. That is what they are there for. But you can’t procrastinte. If they need something, and you need help, you need to ask for it right away. By putting it off and then having to ask someone else, you are only creating more work for yourself. I agree with PP to get some sort of timing app to help you get your tasks done. 

If you feel overwhelmed by a task, or put it off because you don’t know where to start, just dive in and start something. I used to do this, I would put off assignments and tasks that I just wasn’t sure how exactly to start. That led to things being pushed off for way too long and then I was rushed to finish it in time. I learned that if I just started somewhere, I could work it out along the way. For example, maybe I wasn’t sure how to start a paper. So I didn’t, I would just write the middle part of the paper and as that went along, the beginning would work itself out, or I could ask someone to recommend a beginning. But at least I had something. And once I had part of the task done, the rest of it didn’t seem so overwhelming. 

I also agree that you should be seeing someone and getting medication if they recommend it. I promise you that if you are having trouble with a part time Masters program, you will have trouble in the “real world”. Use the finishing of your Masters as a way to get you ready for a job. Treat it like a real job. Wake up at 7 AM, brush your teeth, put on real clothes and sit down to do work. Take an hour or half hour break at lunch and then come back and finish up. Divide your tasks into smaller pieces that you can check off throughout the day. Have a list of things that you can finish in 8 hours and get them done. Then at the end of the day, as you wrap everything up, make your list for the next day. If you have to go to the library, put it on your list and devote a time to it, do it at the beginnig of the day, so it is out of the way and not hanging over your head all day. Get used to being in “work mode” for that long. 

It really sounds like you have been coddled for too long by both your family and your boyfriend. I am sensitive to your health issues, but you are correct in that you are 29 and it is time to get your life together. You will feel so much better about yourself once you do! Once you get your “work” part of your life together you can tackle other parts, like getting a job to help pay for your rent, or getting in shape (once you are on a “schedlue” it makes it so much easier to work out and eat healthier!) 

Post # 32
9828 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

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justasmalltowngirl :  You’ve already taken 4 years to get an MS that should take 2 max. It’s absolutely time to buckle down. Head out of the clouds, bee, this is real life. Set small writing goals for yourself – when I was writing my thesis my goal was 5 pages per day. Maybe set up some kind of “incentive” or rewards program for yourself. If you complete x pages per day then you reward yourself with x hours of free time, or something else.

Honestly, it just sounds like your life needs structure. I can’t imagine you have much discipline or structure if you’re 4 years into an MS with nothing to show for it.

And you can absolutely find work with an MS in biology. In fact, I encourage you to start applying now. There are always academic labs looking for lab managers or technicians. You should absolutely be doing some kind of part-time bench work, in the least, if your MS isn’t taking up your full attention.

Post # 33
1485 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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justasmalltowngirl :  im so glad. We all have struggles, we’re all human. It’s Ok and beneficial to ask for help and sometimes just having someone, other than a Psychologist, and in addition to, can help. There’s places like Smart Recovery which is an online area you can chat on that has groups specially for ‘over eaters’. There’s also ‘over eaters anonymous’. I’m not saying you have this problem and I’m not diagnosing, I’m just giving an example of support groups that are out there. Trust me, when someone else who has the same or similar problem as you says, ‘me too’, it helps! Good luck to you Bee 🙂 One step at a time…

Post # 34
191 posts
Blushing bee

Hey Bee,

Just wanted to say that I know where you’re coming from. My husband also gave me an ultimatum of sorts similar to what you’re experiencing. It sucked and I felt hurt when it happened, but like you, I knew it came from a place of love and concern.

My then boyfriend and I moved across country to find work. He was able to find a job immediately while I got rejection after rejection. My confidence took a turn for the worse and I became increasingly depressed. I gained a whole bunch of weight, became lethargic, had no energy to do anything other than wallow. I lost all motivation and my self esteem was non-existent.

I was complacent with being a taken care of. My mom and boyfriend took care of my living expenses and I became scared of trying to do anything by myself. To take care of myself. It was easier to do nothing.

Boyfriend eventually gave me a soft ultimatum too, saying that I needed to get my shit in order if we want to have the future he and I had dreamed of. I’m so glad he did because even though i didn’t want to, and even though I was afraid of rejection again, I put myself out there and got a job at the first place that would hire me, started paying for my own shit again, got a little bit of Independence. I got a therapist (which I had been against) and antidepressants and antianxiety medication. Once I started feeling more comfortable with being A Responsible Adult again, I started to have fun. I realized one night at a Christmas party that I couldn’t dance 2 songs back to back without being winded. I decided that I needed to work out, not to lose weight, but to do something that I enjoyed. I lost 70 lbs over the next year doing cardio/Zumba/dancing because I just wanted to dance. Not because I wanted to lose weight. 

We’ve been married for 2 years now, happier than ever, I’ve lost all the weight, can dance as much as I like and I see my therapist and take my meds every day. I think that the ultimatum and the subscequent therapy-leading-to-medication is what really saved the day. Without boyfriend’s steady support and kick in the pants, I would have found it 10000x harder to find the motivation to get me out of that rut. 

So my advice to you is to do the scary thing because you need to do it for yourself and for your joint dream/future. It’s going to work out in the end! You can do it! You have boyfriend who loves you!! You have support from the Hive!! And ultimately, I think you’ll find that your love is stronger than your fear. Best of luck, girly!!

Post # 35
30 posts

I echo PPs in that once you get stuck in a rut it’s very hard to get out of it, and when you feel like you have so much to change, it’s easier/ safer/ more comfortable to put it off as too big and overwhelming to change. 

A thing that helps me when I feel that way is to break things down into two or three manageable tasks in a day and then call on a friend or my SO to be my ‘accountability buddy’ – I text or tell them the three things at the start of the day and then have to report back at the end. It really does give you a kick up the bum when you know someone is going to ask, and it’s also helpful to analyse yourself to identify the things you’re putting off. 

Is there anyone you could ask to be your buddy? If not you could post on here or PM me and I’m happy to help! It’s even valuable to start at one task per day – it won’t overwhelm you but by the end of the week you can list all the things you’ve achieved and then work up by adding tasks when you feel a bit more in control.

Good luck! 

Post # 36
9976 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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justasmalltowngirl :  You say you are “fragile,” I’m sorry to hear that, can you explain why you feel that way about yourself?  Have you endured trauma that you have not yet healed from?  

A tip:  Do at least one thing per day that you consider difficult, for a month.  Then two things the next month, and so forth.  Start slowly and build up.  You’re almost 30 and while I understand depression and anxiety it’s also a good idea to start challenging yourself and no longer allow your parents to enable your helplessness.  It’s not a healthy lifestyle you’re living and you deserve better.   Make up your mind that the next 30 years of your life are going to be much, much better than the previous 30 years have been.  Good luck!

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