- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2016
I need to get this out in the open in some format, because mulling everything over in my head is making me crazy. I don’t have a support network that I feel comfortable discussing this with, so I’m hoping some of you could give me insight/guidance etc. Just having an objective audience will help!
I’m almost 23 and my SO is almost 24. We’ve been together since age 18/19 and have gone through three years of long distance and have now been living together since last year. He moved from his home country to be with me. I want to preface this by saying I love him more than anything and the thought of losing him makes me feel sick, but here it goes:
I feel like I’m not living up to my potential by being in a relationship with him. Before we started dating, I had dreams of going to grad school, joining the Peace Corps and establishing a solid career doing something impactful and meaningful. Now that my SO and I are so serious, I am choosing to forgo grad school, forgo the Peace Corps and will eventually become a Stay-At-Home Mom after working in a job not related to my field for a few years. Everybody had such high expectations of what and who I was going to be, (I had such high expectations!) and I feel like I am falling short and disappointing my family, professors and myself. I feel jealous that he is in grad school and that he will be ‘living up to his potential,’ so to speak. We’ll be doing a bit more long distance, as I finish up my undergrad program in May and he graduates his grad program in December. I will be moving to where his new job is located. He sacrificed so much by moving to my country initially, so I feel like a petulant child complaining about the sacrifices I have to make. But I feel too young to be giving up this much, this soon. And without any formal commitment (i.e. engagement or a set wedding date), I am worried that something may go wrong along the way and I will be royally screwed. Even WITH a commitment I think I would be nervous to sacrifice my financial independence at this age. I am in a field with very high earning potential (if I get my master’s I can expect to make 6-figures by my mid-late-twenties…but if I stick with just my bachelor’s, I will be stuck in the $40k-50k range for a long, long time). We decided for me not to pursue graduate level education due to the large debt load and the fact I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom within 5 years of me entering the workforce. As far as traveling and Peace Corps goes, he is not interested and does not want to do 2 years of long distance with little communication. I can’t say I blame him.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, I feel like I am completely torn in two. Part of me wants to see the world, pursue higher education and, as cliché as it sounds, I just want to know that I’ve made a difference and left things a little better than I found them. The other part of me wants the quiet, middle-class life with the 2.5 kids and the white picket fence with the man I love. He is the only person I can see myself with and I don’t want to lose him. But I can’t have it both ways. I am crying as I type this because no matter which avenue I choose, I feel like I’m sacrificing too much and will regret everything. I’ve discussed this with him before, but not to the point he would ever think I have considered leaving him. I am clinically depressed, anxious, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I’m losing motivation to even finish the degree I’ve worked so hard on. I’ve seen a therapist, but the cost became prohibitively high and I had to stop.
Have any of you been in this sort of position before? Any advice you can provide would be so, so wonderful and greatly appreciated.
Sorry for the wall of text, thanks for reading.