Relationship woes

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stephenkingfan
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Relationship woes

Post by stephenkingfan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:51 pm

Hi everyone

I am just wondering if anyone else has had an experience like mine (and any words of wisdom!).

I've been offered a place on the Plymouth course this year. I still have an interview at Cardiff which I am going to attend, but I am pretty certain now that Plymouth is the course for me. The reason I am still going to attend Cardiff is that Cardiff was my first choice until I got to the Plymouth interview and was really bowled over. I want to go and find out more about the course at Cardiff before making a decision.

Essentially either way I am going to be moving away from where I live. I have (had) a boyfriend of 1.5 years. I am almost 30 and he is 33. We've come to the decision tonight to break up. I thought for a while that we had a super solid relationship. I guess that this is the most stable and supportive relationship I've ever had, so it's weird that I don't feel surprised or more upset than I am. I feel like the prospect of moving in together so soon has really been a catalyst for a break up.

Things were fine, a few little issues here and there but I think this is basically an issue of not being completely right for each other. He's a doctor and works extremely long hours. We don't get to spend much time together. We live next door to each other so do get to see each other nearly every day, but it's not exactly quality time. We haven't been on a trip out together during the day all year, we haven't been able to meet up with my friends together since last October (my birthday - and he could only come for an hour). I guess his career comes first and that isn't something I want in a relationship.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in the same boat, where being offered a place on a training course has lead to a re-think of a relationship? And I was just hoping for some words of comfort! I'm about to munch on some cherry pie to console myself.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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lakeland
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Re: Relationship woes

Post by lakeland » Mon May 01, 2017 10:29 am

Congratulations on your place on training. I think the course can have a massive impact on relationships, even those that are pretty solid in the first place. I tried to do long distance when I started training, and after a few months, we decided to end it. The course was consuming more and more of my free time, and although I liked visiting home, I felt like weekends weren't relaxing as I had so many people to see, which meant we'd get little time as a couple.

The good thing about living hundreds of miles away is that the end really is the end. You're not going to see him around, on nights out or go to him when things are tough - it's just not practical. And without a tie somewhere else, you can really focus on a) the course and b) making a life for yourself in Plymouth or Cardiff. Important to remember that there are no guarantees you'd get a job post qualifying in the area you've moved from, so for that reason I think unless the relationship is amazing (which you've said it isn't), then why bother splitting yourself?

I wouldn't advocate this for everyone, but in your case it feels like you're saying that things are fine, but could be better in the relationship. So it sounds like you're making the right decision, even though it'll still be rough and you'll have moments of doubt.

Not sure if this has made any sense at all, but hopefully you're feeling better - and good luck with Cardiff!

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Spatch
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Re: Relationship woes

Post by Spatch » Mon May 01, 2017 12:40 pm

I'm just wondering if anyone else has been in the same boat, where being offered a place on a training course has lead to a re-think of a relationship? And I was just hoping for some words of comfort! I'm about to munch on some cherry pie to console myself.
Although I made it through training with my relationship intact, I am aware that clinical training (or any form of doctoral level study) has the potential to put significant strain on relationships. From observation across different cohorts, as well as from supervision of trainees, this can be for different reasons.

- Cases where there is a shift of power. Sometimes the partner has been taking "the lead" in a relationship (e.g. around jobs, money, family, decision making etc) and the move from being in lowly paid temp work to having a vocational profession, a high level qualification and increased earning potential alters the dynamic to the point where the relationship has to be re-negotiated.

- Sometimes both partners want to priortise their careers and clinical psychology can be just as demanding as law, medicine, architecture etc, especially if both partners are ambitious.

- Pressures of the DClinPsy mean i) that there isn't time to focus on the relationship, ii) potential for introducing stress, irritability, anxiety, iii) resentment around assignments, research, case reports reducing or intruding into free "family" time.

-People change during the course of a DClinPsy and training itself can have a profound effect on the way a person thinks or is willing to accept. They are encouraged to reflect and question things, and this naturally can get people to re-evaluate the course of a relationship and what they may or not be getting from a relationship.

No matter what the cause, break ups are tough. I have heard nicknames like "the divorce course" bandied around but bear in mind people also do get through it with the same partner as well or get married during training. Whatever happens, I wish you well.
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CellarDoor
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Re: Relationship woes

Post by CellarDoor » Mon May 08, 2017 3:50 pm

Ah - sorry to hear. It's never easy - lots of self-care is in order. I was actually in a similar boat. I broke up with a doctor just before I moved away to start training. And yes, his career would always have had to come first - and that could be tough. That said, I suppose mine definitely did too, I didn't think for one second about not going/applying locally etc., for him/us. It's still tough though - but the new adventure awaits I guess. I think in my case it was definitely the wrong r'ship for me, but in those initial few months of starting training in a new place it was hard to completely disentangle from him, because of being in a new place/feeling emotional/vulnerable etc., and needing comfort/familiarity and support. So I guess if it isn't the right r'ship - breaking up now, rather than when you leave (like me) is probably a much better way to do it, and process it all before starting. We also had our first break up the day I found out I got a place - which I, to this day, think was terrible timing on his part, but never mind. (We got back together and broke up properly when I eventually left).

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stephenkingfan
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Re: Relationship woes

Post by stephenkingfan » Tue May 09, 2017 7:09 pm

Thank you to everyone for the replies. I found it very helpful reading through, really helped me to get some perspective.

Boyf and I had a big heart to heart last week. We spoke very openly about our concerns within the relationship and have managed to resolve things. I think initially it felt easier to 'give up' on the relationship rather than talk it through, but we both realised after a couple of days apart to think, that we wanted to continue together. We had a long chat about how we are actually very happy together on the whole and our relationship is worth working through the difficult times.

That being said, I'm still not sure what we are going to do about moving. For now, we have agreed to talk once his exam is out of the way (next week). This exam is very important to him, and he is working so hard. I would hate for any worries about our relationship to get in the way of his exam.
Spatch wrote:
People change during the course of a DClinPsy and training itself can have a profound effect on the way a person thinks or is willing to accept. They are encouraged to reflect and question things, and this naturally can get people to re-evaluate the course of a relationship and what they may or not be getting from a relationship.
This really made me think - and actually this is the most supportive relationship I have ever been in - worth hanging on to!

Thank you everyone :)

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