I'm hoping you can offer some advice. Your blog recently
discussed how to handle a long-distance relationship, and from reading
this I know that you and your husband were long-distance for quite a
while before he moved to the US. I'm wondering how to handle the fact
that my boyfriend just accepted a job offer in another state. We're
both in the same career field, one that lacks flexibility; jobs are
scarce and regionally-based. Essentially, we both have to move to our
jobs, instead of finding jobs where we'd like to be. To be blunt, I
have no desire to move to that state where I am unlikely to find a job
myself. I have recently finished grad school, and I am crestfallen to
have to have to make the decision: do I move with my boyfriend, or do I
continue with my career path (which will probably take me elsewhere) and
force us into a long-distance
relationship? Following him means (at least temporarily) abandoning my
hard work to get to where I am in my own career. In addition, I've had
my heart set on moving back to be closer to my family, and moving with
him will not bring me any closer to them. Did your husband have any
difficulty in deciding to leave his friends and family, to come to you
in a brand new country? I feel like I'm being ridiculously selfish. I
should be thrilled my boyfriend got offered this fabulous job- his dream
job, really. Instead I'm wallowing in self-pity that I can't have my
cake and eat it too.
Poster, I'm sorry that you're facing a tough decision. Sometimes life throws us a little curve and forces us to compromise. I don't blame you for feeling down about this!
To answer your question, I am certain that my husband felt it difficult to leave his family and friends to come live with me, but by the time he did it, I'm also certain that the decision was an easy one. We faced our hardest decision when we entered our relationship knowing full-well that it would stretch on for a long time as a long-distance relationship so that we could both finish our educations. When we stood where you are now, we chose to buckle down for the sake of our careers. A few years later, the priorities shifted for us and it was time to put our relationship first.
I can't tell you which choice is right for you right now. I will tell you this, though: I think that long-distance relationships are most likely to work when there is an end in sight. If you decide to move back home to be near your family and endure the distance for a while, you and your boyfriend should devise an end to that scenario -- maybe he moves to be with you after a while, or maybe you stick it out for one year, and if he still can't find work near you, you move to be with him. It's important to have something to look forward to like that.
On the other hand, if you do move to live with him in this new and undesirable local, outline a plan of escape for the two of you together, so that you needn't feel trapped there forever.
Talk it out with your boyfriend. Figure out where your priorities lie, both as a couple, and also as a pair of individuals. Talk plans and scenarios, and find something that you can both live with. Think broadly, and cover some extreme possibilities (What if one of you were not to work for a time? Switch professions? Work together or at the same company? What if you stayed apart for a few months? A few years?) Be aware that this conversation might be painful for both of you -- your not wanting to follow him to his new job might hurt his feelings. Be ready to explain why you're feeling the way you're feeling about wanting to move back home, and be sure to help him to feel your love and commitment despite your hesitation to follow him to the ends of the earth.
I'm sorry that I have no easy answer. These things are so very personal, so specific to your relationship and your situation. Whatever you choose, make the most of your compromise and work to improve your situation over the coming months and years. Good luck to you and to your boyfriend at his new job!