“I promise to love and support”: Part 1

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.

Graduation day

My future lawyer! Graduation from the University of Mount Union, May 2012

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.


5 Comments on ““I promise to love and support”: Part 1”

  1. This is awesome! I like the theme of your blog. I do learn a lot from your blog. You are like a “Love Therapist”! lol

  2. Congratulations to both of you on your engagement (and congrats to Jesse on Georgetown)!

    Law school is an incredible strain on a relationship (I will not lie to you about that), but your love will bring you through many trials past Jesse’s three years of law school. It’s a long three years, but it is the beginning of a great amount of new opportunities for both of you.



    • Christina says:

      Hey Alecia! It’s great to hear from you!

      If anyone can relate to the journey I’m about to take it’s you. Your points are spot on and they are what will get me through the next three years. The fact is it’s only three years and, ultimately, Jesse is preparing himself for the future opportunities he wants to pursue (that will likely benefit us both). Despite the challenges these years will bring we will be facing them together. I know Jesse’s love and support are what will help me get through this time without completely losing my mind.

  3. […] “I promise to love and support”: Part 1 → […]

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