“I promise to love and support”: Part 1Posted: March 9, 2013
Confronting adulthood is scary. But, what is even scarier is confronting adulthood when you are in a serious relationship. Approaching major life decisions together can challenge both your relationship and sanity.
Since I started dating Jesse, he made it clear that he would be going to law school after college. I remember lying on his dorm room bed in the fall of 2011, crying because I was so overwhelmed by the thought of having to leave my mom, and all the comforts of living at home, behind. I also felt like he was not considering the impact this decision would have on both me and our relationship. He did not seem to understand why I was so upset. He said, in so many words, “I don’t understand….You knew I was planning to go to law school.”
In this moment I felt helpless. I realized that, sometimes in a relationship, compromise, in its most equal form, is not possible.
While your love and respect for one another unites you, you are still two different people. Each person has their own unique life experiences and personal goals. This is what often causes friction in a relationship–when one person wants or needs something that is not conducive to the wants or needs of the other.
As blogger Liz states in her response to question posed by A Practical Wedding reader, if you are truly invested in the success of your relationship you realize that
“…you’re stuck considering someone else’s feelings every time you make a major decision. That same team that makes you capable of conquering the world, is the reason you need to call home before you set off to do it.”
In “Ask Team Practical: Sharing the Sh*t,” the aforementioned reader is concerned with how to “make it work” when a couple’s life goals do not seem to match. In this post, the reader feels that her husband is
“…generally more concerned about finding the perfect job and furthering his career. I’m generally more concerned about living in a place I like and having friends.”
This reader’s words, to an extent, echo the thoughts I have. Jesse is concerned with going to the best law school he can to maximize his opportunities to get a well-paying job after he completes his degree. I am concerned with living in a place where I feel comfortable and being close to home. What we both can agree on is that we want to live together (especially since we have been in a long-distance relationship since we started dating).
Liz’s conclusion is that both individuals must be involved in making an important decision because
“…agreeing to stick with someone during rich/poor and better/worse means you both have a say in deciding how that plays out.”
What I have realized is that sometimes compromise means you have to suck it up and make the best of your situation. If Jesse wants to go to Georgetown Law and I want to be with him I need to accept his decision. I think the biggest challenge for me is that in order for me to support Jesse’s dream I have to confront all aspects of adulthood at once: moving out of my mom’s house and moving hours away from her, renting my first place, finding my first post-college job, etc.
This coming fall is going to present me with some of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced, but I won’t have to confront them alone. And I know that in the future Jesse will be fully supportive of my dreams. Sometimes compromise is not immediate. This can be a frustrating concept to accept but it truly represents what a workable marriage is all about.