Relationships and law school

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Sarah_songbird
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Relationships and law school

Postby Sarah_songbird » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:34 pm

I know that relationships are work, and law school is work, but can someone clue me in on just how much work it really should be?? I am starting to wonder....

My boyfriend and I have been together for six years now. Five of that we were long distance between PA and TX because I got a great job requiring me to move. During the last two years of that, he was doing additional undergrad classes beyond his degree, trying to get into law school. I had told him that when he knew where he got in, we could talk about maybe me moving to be near him. During this time we had talked about our future together, but he had said with his future as a lawyer up in the air, he wasn't ready to commit to marriage yet. Fast forward to now...He is going to a law school in OH, so I looked for a job (the job market in my field is difficult, especially in OH.) and found one an hour from his school. He said he wasn't ready to move in together yet, needed to be on his own for a while first, so he got an apartment near his school and I got one where I work an hour away. We see each other on the weekends and talk on the phone daily. Not much change from our PA-TX relationship, except for the frequency of the in person visits.
Whenever we talk about our future, he always frames law school as what he's doing to make a solid future for us. That made more sense when we were further apart--get into law school and I'll relocate and then we won't have that barrier between us. However, it is still there. He is adamant that we can't get married until he is out of law school and has passed the bar and has a career started. That means that we will have been together for 8+ years before proposing. He seems to think that there is no possible way to do well in law school and get married at the same time, that we would have no time to spend with each other while he's in law school. I asked if for next school year he would be ok with finding a place halfway in between and living together. He does not want to do that either because he says law school is too much work and we wouldn't get to spend much time together because he needs to focus. I'm wondering if this is really the case or he's using it as an excuse. The impression I get is that he thinks life will get easier after law school. I have a sneaking susupicion that life never gets easier. And I feel resentful that I moved across the country for us, but he won't move 20 minutes away for us. Where is the balance between individual goals and relationship stuff?
I know that law school is quite hard. I am working on a masters degree while working full time. I get it. I give him time to study, I back off when I need to, and I am supportive of his studying and ask him how classes are going all the time. I feel like I've been a model girlfriend from that standpoint.

I guess what I'm asking is for some perspective from other law students in relationships or who got married or are married, or recent graduates who know about the work load after school. Is anyone else in the same boat? Is his reaction normal, or am I justified in feeling the way I do?

uvabro
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby uvabro » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:38 pm

If it's in OH, and not Ohio State/ND there's a very high chance he won't be able to support a family anyway - probably about 90% so hopefully your field is paying the bills.

Sarah_songbird
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Sarah_songbird » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:41 pm

He got a scholarship and is paying his own bills, and I am financially stable on my own. It's not like I would be draining his resources.

uvabro
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby uvabro » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:43 pm

Odds are he'd be draining yours. Lawschooltransparency.com. There's >50% chance he will be in more debt because of his pursuit of the law from the school he is in. If you don't care about money then that's great. But if he thinks of himself as a successful lawyer, he may become a difficult person to live with. Unemployed lawyers are not fun to be around.

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Drake014
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Drake014 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:49 pm

To answer your original question, law school is hard. Practicing law is usually less stressful for most, I think. I didn't have a particularly hard time in law school or now that I'm practicing, but I'm generally regarded as the exception. Its very difficult for me to judge your boyfriend's personality without knowing him.

To answer the question you didn't explicity ask, I don't expect this to end well for you. The desire to be together appears very one sided from your story. You moved across the country to be near him but he doesn't want to live together? I don't understand this, other than the view that he's not sure he wants to stay with you and is keeping his options open should he decide to leave you for other opportunities.

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bandenjamin
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby bandenjamin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:53 pm

Plan your life as if you expect him to never want to get married. Is marriage a big commitment and a ton of work? Yes. What makes it easier for me and my wife is taking advantage of every second of time we can spend together. Living together means you can have a 15 minute break here, or enjoy a fast meal together during a study break. The biggest key is you both have to be honest about your feelings as well as your needs. He will need time to study, so you have to be careful about coming off as being too needy when it's that time. He'll need to understand you need your husband to man up and be there to support you when you need it, even if it's a scheduled 15 minutes to bitch about your crappy day at work.

It may not sound nearly as romantic as "but we're in love" but it can be done if you both know what the "rules"/expectations are and keep communicating. As cheesy as it sounds, use a lot of I statements (I need this, I feel that, I want the other thing).

To be a somewhat cynical dick, it kinda sounds like he has major commitment issues and will always be putting it off for some future magical date that will work (After I finish law school, pass the bar, find a job, make junior partner, make senior partner, make equity partner, make named partner, become a supreme court justice). I helped my wife with a lot of our planning and was my time commitment for our wedding was about 48 total hours (including ceremony). If he can find that much time for you now, what will it be like when he's putting in 80 hour weeks trying to make his billable hours?

This is a tough question and really only one you can answer. If you're happy with that type of relationship, then carry on. Otherwise you may want to take a break (no phone calls/visits) and see if you still feel the same after a few weeks of not speaking to each other.

tl;dr: Honesty and planning can make it work. It will require sacrifice all around, but only you can decide if it's worth it to you.

shock259
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby shock259 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:15 pm

As always with relationship advice on a forum, we are only getting one side of the story. That said, he definitely seems to be either scared of commitment or not that into you.

Sidenote: it's also a little disconcerting that you guys have been together for 6 years and 5 of that has been distance. I know life happens and stuff, but I think most people in serious relationships will take steps to stay in the same area. Why didn't he move out to you when you left for your job? He can take undergrad courses anywhere.

Sarah_songbird
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Sarah_songbird » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:21 pm

It's a very complicated story, but he ended up losing his driver's license for two years over an unpaid ticket, and he lived with his parents and went to a school just 15 minutes from there. If he had moved to where I was, living in the suburbs of Houston, he would have paid a ton more in tuition and had transportation issues. Living with his parents, they drove him everywhere.

There are always two sides, and it's not his fault that I moved 1500 miles away and didn't move back for five years.

Part of the difficulty in our relationship is going from long term distance to trying to negotiate for no distance. I feel handicapped that way.

uvabro
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby uvabro » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:31 pm

He sounds like a loser. If you pulled back he'd come around because dudes that can't keep a driver's license in third tier law schools prob aren't raking in women. I work pretty hard and I'd make time for someone I loved.

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Crowing
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Crowing » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:32 pm

does he have some sort of religious reason for not wanting to live together? if thats not at play id be very suspicious

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suralin
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby suralin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:54 pm

Crowing wrote:does he have some sort of religious reason for not wanting to live together? if thats not at play id be very suspicious

cubswin
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby cubswin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:55 pm

People get married in law school, have kids in law school, etc. Some girls at my school got married the summer after 1L, and I would think they got stuck with a lot more wedding prep than their non-law student boyfriends. Law school isn't that much different of a time commitment than a full-time job where you have to take work home with you sometimes. Law students just tend to love to complaining and worrying.

So, truth be told, he could probably make time if he tried. But he might honestly believe he doesn't have enough time for you, so it might not be a fear of commitment or a bigger issue. Just talk to him about it since it's clearly bothering you, and don't put too much stock in anything people on here say (which I suppose includes me).

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Elston Gunn » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:05 pm

Law school is hard but it's not as hard as having a job and definitely not as hard as having kids (I assume). Sounds like he's just not really into you.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby justonemoregame » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:09 pm

What's his gpa? Can you get your job back in Houston? How do you lose your license for two years for an unpaid ticket?

shock259
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby shock259 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:16 pm

Sarah_songbird wrote:It's a very complicated story, but he ended up losing his driver's license for two years over an unpaid ticket, and he lived with his parents and went to a school just 15 minutes from there. If he had moved to where I was, living in the suburbs of Houston, he would have paid a ton more in tuition and had transportation issues. Living with his parents, they drove him everywhere.

There are always two sides, and it's not his fault that I moved 1500 miles away and didn't move back for five years.

Part of the difficulty in our relationship is going from long term distance to trying to negotiate for no distance. I feel handicapped that way.


Again, I'm only getting part of the story, but these are kinda crappy excuses. Love isn't like a Disney movie, but he should be willing to (and want to) make some sacrifices to be near you. Those reasons plus the current claims he's making about law school are in a similar vein: they're all fishy and seem to be thinly veiled attempts to keep his distance and not commit.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt. I don't know the ins and outs of your relationship.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby SemperLegal » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:17 pm

I think there is more to the losing the license aspect than he (or you) are letting on.

If he has time to call everyday and visit on weekends, he has time to live with you. It might mean he spends a lot more time in the library (or a coffee house) doing his studying, so that he is not distracted. but there is no reason that you can't live together.

Law school, outside finals week, requires less of a time commitment than any professional full time job I have ever heard of. If he syncs his study schedule to your work schedule, I don't see a reason why you can't live like any other normal marriage-bound couple.

As for having a wedding in law school, >5 1ls here are planing their own weddings. A few of the men are expecting babies, and at least one is helping care for a new born. Law school is intense, but it pales in comparison to real life.

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skw
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby skw » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:22 pm

While you guys have "been together" for 6 years, if 5 were distance, you have not really been together. Being with someone day in and day out is dramatically different than visiting and doing the LD thing. I can see why he is not ready to get married, but I cannot fathom why he is unwilling to make some sacrifices to live with you or very close to you so you guys can take things to the next level and see if you are compatible long term. I am married and happily so. While I work on school a lot, I have time for my husband and we are fine. I will say I have less time than I did when I was working full time, but I prioritize spending time with him and have managed this while staying at the very top of my class. As a woman, I would gently suggest that it probably was not a great idea for you to move for this guy without an engagement ring and some understanding on timeframe for the future. You sound like you've got yourself together. I suggest you pursue your own career and interests. Though you probably don't want to hear it, you may suggest to your guy that you see other people. If he is not ready to consider committing to you until LS is over, I think you owe it to yourself to experience other people and confirm it is really worth it to you to wait for this guy. This might also make him think. So far it's easy for him not to commit to you because you are always there. If you're meant to be together you will survive a brief period of exploration. This guy needs to step up, or you should step out.

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jessuf
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby jessuf » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:48 pm

Don't waste anymore time with him. Women decrease in value as they get older. End it now and find someone who a.) can manage his time better and b.) won't be unemployed forever.

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mephistopheles
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby mephistopheles » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:17 am

uvabro wrote:He sounds like a loser. If you pulled back he'd come around because dudes that can't keep a driver's license in third tier law schools prob aren't raking in women. I work pretty hard and I'd make time for someone I loved.




this guy's a card.

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bobbypin
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby bobbypin » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 am

Jessuf wrote:Don't waste anymore time with him. Women decrease in value as they get older. End it now and find someone who a.) can manage his time better and b.) won't be unemployed forever.

I agree.

I think that he is just not that into you or has serious commitment issues and is not that into you.
You should do what is best for you. Find a career where you want to live, be it near family or near a beach, and leave him in Ohio. Start dating other people. You will find someone who would walk over hot coals to spend 15 minutes drinking coffee with you. Good luck!

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stillwater
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby stillwater » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:26 am

this dood is a loser

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reasonable_man
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:26 am

Is he still cheating on you ALL THE TIME now that you both live in Ohio; or is the rule on that "same state = cheating?" Seriously though, you're sorta pathetic and you need to look closely at the fact that you're wasting your best years on a person who is unwilling to accomodate you in any way shape or form. As soon as this guy bangs out the chick he loves; you're old news. Stop this nonsense and move on. Women who do what you're doing (have done) fucking baffle me. You can do better.

Randomnumbers
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Randomnumbers » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:36 am

Sarah_songbird wrote: During the last two years of that, he was doing additional undergrad classes beyond his degree, trying to get into law school.


How does this even work? Law schools care exactly nothing about any undergrad classes after you get your degree, and just about nothing about any grad level classes.

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Icculus
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby Icculus » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:42 am

Sarah_songbird wrote: And I feel resentful that I moved across the country for us, but he won't move 20 minutes away for us


First off, this is the death knell for a relationship unless you explain it to your boyfriend, he understands, and he makes some changes.

Overall answer: this guy keeps putting off anykind of committment to you, you two have essentially been a long distance relationship the entire time you've been together, you moved across the country for him and he seems to be making zero accomodations. TCR is to get the fuck out now. Is law school tough? Yes. Does it prevent you from being in a relationship? No. really, until the end of the semester he should have enough time to be with you and study.

Edit: I also know of several people at my school who have had children during 1L or 2L, so I mean, he should be able to carry out a relationship.

guinness1547
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Re: Relationships and law school

Postby guinness1547 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:01 pm

Drake014 wrote:To answer your original question, law school is hard. Practicing law is usually less stressful for most, I think. I didn't have a particularly hard time in law school or now that I'm practicing, but I'm generally regarded as the exception. Its very difficult for me to judge your boyfriend's personality without knowing him.

To answer the question you didn't explicity ask, I don't expect this to end well for you. The desire to be together appears very one sided from your story. You moved across the country to be near him but he doesn't want to live together? I don't understand this, other than the view that he's not sure he wants to stay with you and is keeping his options open should he decide to leave you for other opportunities.


Exactly. Not ready to move in together after that long is ridiculous, and it means he probably never will want to.




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