Author Topic: Am I Being Selfish?  (Read 3113 times)

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Am I Being Selfish?
« on: August 26, 2016, 02:17:47 am »
Is it selfish to want your significant other to avoid talking about marriage or kids if they are willing to give up that possibility for a long-distance, permanent job offer?

Because I don't have a problem with my girlfriend taking the job offer if it possibly means us not being together. I couldn't live with myself if I found out that I kept her from a successful job offer she considered. But is it selfish to want her to NOT bring up the idea of permanent commitments if she is willing to take that job at all costs? Could you marry or have kids with someone who would be willing to give that up for a job offer that ends your relationship? Am I just being an asshole?
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 03:36:28 am »
Since neither has yet happened, it sounds like both are still on the table. Are you asking her to pick one or the other?
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PoFP

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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 04:18:17 am »
Since neither has yet happened, it sounds like both are still on the table. Are you asking her to pick one or the other?

God no. In fact, both are possible simultaneously. She's just made it clear that if the offer comes, she's going to take it, even if it means we're not together. There's a slim chance that I could find a job where she would be, but that's a big if. I immediately considered all things I could do, including possibly giving up what I wanted my career to be. But she didn't even question it for a second. She wondered why I asked how long she'd be gone for a long-distance internship. Which is a demonstration that you are not dedicated enough to someone or the relationship to have kids or get married, at least not any time soon.

And, as I said, I told her that it's completely fine to take the job if it means we aren't together. I just don't think she should lead me to believe that she is willing to make a permanent commitment when she's openly willing to throw it all away.

It's not that I disagree with such a decision, I just want us to be realistic and honest with each other about how important our relationship is to each other. After hearing how easily she'd have given it all up for the job, it made me feel cheated for all this time that she's spoken of marriage and kids. I felt safe and got VERY VERY attached, and I would be devastated now, if she kept up the marriage talk and then left me for the job. At least if she was more realistic with me now, then her leaving in the future wouldn't be so hard, and wouldn't seem so disingenuous. But she doesn't seem to understand commitment, so she thinks that it's ok to talk about these permanent commitments when she's willing to walk away for something else.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 04:27:13 am »
She's just made it clear that if the offer comes, she's going to take it, even if it means we're not together. There's a slim chance that I could find a job where she would be, but that's a big if. I immediately considered all things I could do, including possibly giving up what I wanted my career to be. But she didn't even question it for a second.

Well, sounds like you have some value judgements to make, because I don't think she is callous so much as seeing her dream job right there.  It's possible that she's playing dominance games, but there isn't enough information available for me even to guess.  If she is, run, do not walk.  If she's not, you have to decide if you can tolerate a period of time as her second priority.  It happens, and it's not the end of the world.

But yeah, if you aren't each others first priority, for fuck's sake don't even consider having kids.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 04:44:10 am »
Also, marriage and kids are waaaay different things. It might be her way of confirming you'd still be in a committed relationship even if she was away for a while. Or, she's pointing out that such a thing is impossible, and you should split as friends. I don't know enough about you two to tell.

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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2016, 07:24:51 am »
On the bright side, it seems like you guys have already been talking about this, which is good.

On the down side, you still need to talk. I wouldn't so much call you "selfish" as apprehensive. You're been wary of the unknown, which seems to me that if she's already at the stage of discussing these massive life steps, you may not be on the same level. This isn't a bad thing, but you guys NEED to be on the same level when it comes to marriage, and then children. I would say it would be okay to offer her a polite suggestion to hold off on the long term planning until you see what happens with the job if you feel it's hitting a particular nerve.

You're not in the wrong, you just have a different view on what's important in the here and now, versus your girlfriend, who is, as my cousin the shrink calls it, "renewing the contract." Clearly, she wants to be with you for the long haul, but, she also wants this job. Both of these are awesome things, except that part where she said you'll go out with tomorrow's trash if she has to in order to move. That raised a red flag. I don't think she understands the obstacles of a long-distance relationship.

I don't know how long you two have been together, and forgive me if I overlooked it, but it's easy to talk about and romanticize a future when you're earlier in the relationship. This can lead to some trouble if you rush into things.

Has she said, out loud, that she wants you to come with her? If she hasn't, I'd reconsider staying with her.

In short, this requires a serious, sit-down conversation.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2016, 07:50:19 am »
Quote
It's not that I disagree with such a decision, I just want us to be realistic and honest with each other about how important our relationship is to each other. After hearing how easily she'd have given it all up for the job, it made me feel cheated for all this time that she's spoken of marriage and kids. I felt safe and got VERY VERY attached, and I would be devastated now, if she kept up the marriage talk and then left me for the job. At least if she was more realistic with me now, then her leaving in the future wouldn't be so hard, and wouldn't seem so disingenuous. But she doesn't seem to understand commitment, so she thinks that it's ok to talk about these permanent commitments when she's willing to walk away for something else.

Projecting a long distance relationship by way of an emphasis on being "VERY VERY attached" seems like a contradiction worth exploring before directly confronting her about it?
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PoFP

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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2016, 04:07:47 pm »
She's just made it clear that if the offer comes, she's going to take it, even if it means we're not together. There's a slim chance that I could find a job where she would be, but that's a big if. I immediately considered all things I could do, including possibly giving up what I wanted my career to be. But she didn't even question it for a second.

Well, sounds like you have some value judgements to make, because I don't think she is callous so much as seeing her dream job right there.  It's possible that she's playing dominance games, but there isn't enough information available for me even to guess.  If she is, run, do not walk.  If she's not, you have to decide if you can tolerate a period of time as her second priority.  It happens, and it's not the end of the world.

But yeah, if you aren't each others first priority, for fuck's sake don't even consider having kids.

I think it's much less dominance games, and much more not understanding the level of commitment she is talking about. I can definitely tolerate being her second priority. It'll hurt, but I'll tolerate it. I just want that to be clear. I don't want to pretend that I'm her first priority until she gets the job offer, and then have to say goodbye.

Thank you for your input. The underlined was my initial thought when this whole situation started. It's the driving force behind this entire disagreement.

Also, marriage and kids are waaaay different things. It might be her way of confirming you'd still be in a committed relationship even if she was away for a while. Or, she's pointing out that such a thing is impossible, and you should split as friends. I don't know enough about you two to tell.

She definitely wants a committed relationship, and has stated that she wants me to move out with her. The thing is, it's easy for her to say that since she'd be the one with the guaranteed job, and the support group in-house (She has an uncle out where the job would be).

On the bright side, it seems like you guys have already been talking about this, which is good.

On the down side, you still need to talk. I wouldn't so much call you "selfish" as apprehensive. You're been wary of the unknown, which seems to me that if she's already at the stage of discussing these massive life steps, you may not be on the same level. This isn't a bad thing, but you guys NEED to be on the same level when it comes to marriage, and then children. I would say it would be okay to offer her a polite suggestion to hold off on the long term planning until you see what happens with the job if you feel it's hitting a particular nerve.

You're not in the wrong, you just have a different view on what's important in the here and now, versus your girlfriend, who is, as my cousin the shrink calls it, "renewing the contract." Clearly, she wants to be with you for the long haul, but, she also wants this job. Both of these are awesome things, except that part where she said you'll go out with tomorrow's trash if she has to in order to move. That raised a red flag. I don't think she understands the obstacles of a long-distance relationship.

I don't know how long you two have been together, and forgive me if I overlooked it, but it's easy to talk about and romanticize a future when you're earlier in the relationship. This can lead to some trouble if you rush into things.

Has she said, out loud, that she wants you to come with her? If she hasn't, I'd reconsider staying with her.

In short, this requires a serious, sit-down conversation.

Boom: This is what I told her initially.

Also, I believe your interpretation of the situation is quite accurate, regarding her feelings. This is a relationship going on 2 and half or so years. We are both young (She's 19 and I'm 20), so this may actually seem kinda silly. I don't know.

She does definitely want me to come with her. She made that clear as well. But she was unwilling to consider alternatives. Her first thought when I brought up the idea that I didn't want to restart my career by moving some place I don't have a guaranteed job (I've made a lot of progress in the last year or so.), was that we would just have to break up. Whereas my first thought when considering my options was that I'd have to restart and become ruthless in acquiring a new job and moving up in it. To make up for the restart, I'd have to expend more time an energy on the job than I could possibly expend on her. She would have to become my second priority. And I don't want that.

She also stated that she feels like if she turned down a job to stay with me, that she'd regret it in the future. I agreed with her on that. I told her that that is an ok thing to feel, no matter how much it hurt me. But I told her that she can't talk about long term commitments with that mentality. Those two things are incompatible, and it is unfair to me to imply that both are certain when they obviously aren't.

Quote
It's not that I disagree with such a decision, I just want us to be realistic and honest with each other about how important our relationship is to each other. After hearing how easily she'd have given it all up for the job, it made me feel cheated for all this time that she's spoken of marriage and kids. I felt safe and got VERY VERY attached, and I would be devastated now, if she kept up the marriage talk and then left me for the job. At least if she was more realistic with me now, then her leaving in the future wouldn't be so hard, and wouldn't seem so disingenuous. But she doesn't seem to understand commitment, so she thinks that it's ok to talk about these permanent commitments when she's willing to walk away for something else.

Projecting a long distance relationship by way of an emphasis on being "VERY VERY attached" seems like a contradiction worth exploring before directly confronting her about it?

It's not a long-distance relationship, nor is it planned to be. I think one of us has misread/misunderstood something.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2016, 04:15:56 pm »
I don't see anything wrong with her career being the top priority, and if you won't or can't move then letting go of the relationship. I don't see anything wrong with saying that she would prefer if you came along and had all this commitment stuff with her there. Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2016, 05:42:44 pm »
I don't see anything wrong with her career being the top priority, and if you won't or can't move then letting go of the relationship. I don't see anything wrong with saying that she would prefer if you came along and had all this commitment stuff with her there. Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.

I agree with most of this. However, I don't see how it's fair to marry someone you wouldn't make your first priority. It's ok to want the commitment where the new job would be. It's a whole other thing to talk about those things knowing you'd give up the consideration if it wasn't possible for the other person to move with you.

I don't want to hear about permanent commitments from the other person in the relationship if it's obvious that they aren't as committed as I am, or aren't completely dedicated to such commitments. As you said, there's nothing at all wrong with having other commitments. I just don't wanna hear about something as important and permanent as marriage and kids if it's not the most important thing to you. Because that's the only way things like that work. You can't have a marriage or kids if your priorities are not those things. She can find those priorities later in life if she wants, after her other priorities are achieved. But I'm not going to be lied to about someone's commitment level. I'm not going to be told we're going to be together forever if they don't mean that 100%.
Listen carefully. I don't have much time, and I only have 462 characters left. I'm a scientist from Area 52 (Area 51 was used to draw attention from Area 52, where the aliens were ACTUALLY stored) who was working on neural interfacing with networked devices. In an experiment gone wrong, I accidentally uploaded my mind to the internet. In the 2 seconds I had before my mind scrambled itself with the world's network traffic, I was able to store this snippet in this random internet signature. If you're reading this, let the world know tha

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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2016, 07:05:57 pm »

...

She also stated that she feels like if she turned down a job to stay with me, that she'd regret it in the future. I agreed with her on that. I told her that that is an ok thing to feel, no matter how much it hurt me. But I told her that she can't talk about long term commitments with that mentality. Those two things are incompatible, and it is unfair to me to imply that both are certain when they obviously aren't.

Quote
It's not that I disagree with such a decision, I just want us to be realistic and honest with each other about how important our relationship is to each other. After hearing how easily she'd have given it all up for the job, it made me feel cheated for all this time that she's spoken of marriage and kids. I felt safe and got VERY VERY attached, and I would be devastated now, if she kept up the marriage talk and then left me for the job. At least if she was more realistic with me now, then her leaving in the future wouldn't be so hard, and wouldn't seem so disingenuous. But she doesn't seem to understand commitment, so she thinks that it's ok to talk about these permanent commitments when she's willing to walk away for something else.

Projecting a long distance relationship by way of an emphasis on being "VERY VERY attached" seems like a contradiction worth exploring before directly confronting her about it?

It's not a long-distance relationship, nor is it planned to be. I think one of us has misread/misunderstood something.
My bad.  I thought you were getting upset at how the possibility of her moving defies your consideration of a comprehensive commitment.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2016, 12:41:31 am »
Couple things:

1: You guys are wicked young. 19 and 20? Here's the godawful truth: Your lives are going to change over 9000 times before you turn 30. Fuck, they're going to change at least half that before you're mature enough to get married. Now, I'm not saying you cannot and should not consider marriage at a young age, everybody's relationship is different, however, I married at 24 and in retrospect, I was too damn young. That lasted for 2 years before we separated, and it was  shitty experience. I got married again at 32, and I'm a completely different person now. The way I communicate with my husband is different, the way we manage our lives is different, and that's not throwing the military, and the bouts of true long-distance relationship in the mix.

2: Long-distance is hard as fuck. Now, again, my example is not your life. But from my perspective of looking back at myself at age 20, I would have failed miserably at this. For the majority of our marriage and a good portion of our dating, my husband has been at some distance. While I wouldn't call the time he was in Portsmouth while I was still in Providence long-distance, he did spend 3 months in Guam for training, and then 7 months in San Diego while I was still in Portsmouth. In that time, we saw each other twice. This of course does not count for any underways or deployments, which are their own animals and aren't comparable. 
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2016, 01:11:34 am »
I don't see anything wrong with her career being the top priority, and if you won't or can't move then letting go of the relationship. I don't see anything wrong with saying that she would prefer if you came along and had all this commitment stuff with her there. Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.

I agree with most of this. However, I don't see how it's fair to marry someone you wouldn't make your first priority. It's ok to want the commitment where the new job would be. It's a whole other thing to talk about those things knowing you'd give up the consideration if it wasn't possible for the other person to move with you.

I don't want to hear about permanent commitments from the other person in the relationship if it's obvious that they aren't as committed as I am, or aren't completely dedicated to such commitments. As you said, there's nothing at all wrong with having other commitments. I just don't wanna hear about something as important and permanent as marriage and kids if it's not the most important thing to you. Because that's the only way things like that work. You can't have a marriage or kids if your priorities are not those things. She can find those priorities later in life if she wants, after her other priorities are achieved. But I'm not going to be lied to about someone's commitment level. I'm not going to be told we're going to be together forever if they don't mean that 100%.

Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2016, 03:56:43 am »
I don't see anything wrong with her career being the top priority, and if you won't or can't move then letting go of the relationship. I don't see anything wrong with saying that she would prefer if you came along and had all this commitment stuff with her there. Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.

I agree with most of this. However, I don't see how it's fair to marry someone you wouldn't make your first priority. It's ok to want the commitment where the new job would be. It's a whole other thing to talk about those things knowing you'd give up the consideration if it wasn't possible for the other person to move with you.

I don't want to hear about permanent commitments from the other person in the relationship if it's obvious that they aren't as committed as I am, or aren't completely dedicated to such commitments. As you said, there's nothing at all wrong with having other commitments. I just don't wanna hear about something as important and permanent as marriage and kids if it's not the most important thing to you. Because that's the only way things like that work. You can't have a marriage or kids if your priorities are not those things. She can find those priorities later in life if she wants, after her other priorities are achieved. But I'm not going to be lied to about someone's commitment level. I'm not going to be told we're going to be together forever if they don't mean that 100%.

Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Re: Am I Being Selfish?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2016, 04:58:47 am »
Marriage is not about sacrificing your life for someone else.

This is absolutely true, but I am unsure a marriage can last if the family isn't the first priority.
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 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.