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Do I Stay or Do I Go?

I recently had a reader contact me about living the geo-bachelor lifestyle.  She was in a committed relationship with a military member, but had some doubts about being able to sustain a long-distance relationship when he travels to a remote assignment.  After his remote, his orders show he will not be returning to the same base, and this will affect their relationship greatly.  She asked, “Do I stay or do I go?”

Through our conversations, I learned that she had been given advice from everyone:  her family, her friends, the random cashier at Target.  Everyone she came in contact with had an opinion about her relationship.  Mostly, negative.

I realized, through her story, that I, too, have found myself in similar situations.  Where I had to decide if I stay or if I go (and leave my husband).  How did I ultimately decide what was best for me?  Read on.

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I dated my husband less than a year before we tied the knot.  The wedding came upon us quickly as the decision was made within a few days of finding out I was pregnant, and my (then fiance) needed to be married to me, if I were to be on his orders.  This was a scary thought.

I had to decide if I was going to stay with him (and be married) or leave him, and ultimately be away from my unborn child’s father.  I had to decide to put a pause on my dreams, to follow a man I loved to an entirely new state, without a job, friends, or anything.

Everyone had an opinion.

I shouldn’t go.  How could I leave my family and friends?  I hadn’t known the guy since I was 10, so how could I leave school and move with him?

Easy.  I was in love.  

Did I know if it was going to work out?  No.  But considering how many marriages end up in divorce, with or without the military influence, I thought it was worth taking a chance on it.  Risky?  Yes.  But if I didn’t go, I would constantly ask myself, “should I have gone?”

Instead of having regrets, I pushed everyone’s thoughts, opinions and ideas out of the way, and just focused on our relationship and what was best for it.  What was best was for us to be together

Fast forward, 13 and a half years and I have found that I did make the best decision for us.  I pushed aside all the negative opinions long enough for us to develop a sustainable relationship.


 

Going back to the original reader’s dilemma, should she stay or should she go?  I didn’t feel I was in a position to judge her relationship.  It wouldn’t be fair for me to say: “you should do this…” because frankly, I don’t know the inner workings of their relationship.

And neither do you.

Unfortunately, too many of us let others’ opinions dictate our actions.  We seek out advice when we are insecure of our own decisions.  And that’s OK.  But remember, only you and your significant other really know what’s going on in your relationship.  So others’ opinions may be an inaccurate representation of what’s really going on.

So how can you make a big decision without everyone having their say?

  1. Listen to their advice

    Yes, its OK to listen to their advice.  If they are providing their opinions, chances are, they really care about you.  And that isn’t so bad, now is it?

  2. Take it with a grain of salt

    Their advice comes from their own life experiences, likely, not yours.  Take others’ opinions for a grain of salt – it likely isn’t law, and even if there are strong opinions involved, know that it is only because they have their own experiences.

  3. Thank them for caring

    Seriously, thank anyone who will give you advice.  You are not obligated to take their advice, but at least your acknowledge they cared.

  4. Discuss with your significant other

    Any good advice you get, share with your significant other.  They will have their own opinions of the advice, but if you feel it is sound, share it.  Your beloved will also have opinions, but ultimately, the two of you should make this decision.

  5. There is no perfect answer

    Typically, when you are faced with a “stay” or “go” situation, there is no easy decision.  If there were, you wouldn’t be in this dilemma.  So understanding that this will likely become a compromise situation where there is give and take.

 

My situation is different than yours will be.  If I had listened to everyone, I  wouldn’t have left my own state with a man I loved. And more recently, I wouldn’t have stayed here in Colorado. I would have packed up my bags and moved to California – unhappily.  I don’t know how much happier I am here, than there.  Who knows, maybe I would’ve loved living there and should have gone.  But I will likely, never know.

Make the right decision for your family. And the rest will fall in place.

 

What big decisions have you and your significant other made?  Any that you regret making?  Share below!

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  • I lived a similar situation. We had a child together but then broke it off. About 6 months after my oldest was born we decided to make a go of it, and I moved to be with him. Everyone said it was a mistake, but 18 years later, we’re still going strong! We’ll celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary in three weeks so I think we made a great choice!

    • Good for you guys! 16 years is a great accomplishment! I’m glad you guys took the risk despite others’ opinions!

  • Good advice! You should always listen to yourself, to your gut.

  • I am with you – each person has to do what is right for them. My husband and I were engaged super fast and had any of my friends done what I did, I would have told them they were crazy. But we both had past experience and (marriages) under our belts. It’s easy, it’s awesome and we’re enjoying “newlywed-dom” still – it’ll be three years this July.

    • Congratulations on 3 years! It sounds like you both learned from your first experiences and knew exactly what you wanted with this one! Good for you!

  • Justine Y

    This is so true in life, you are your own best advocate, no one else can really know what’s best for you–despite what they may think, lol. I like that you said to thank them regardless though. It’s always good to be gracious and kind because I’d like to believe that most of the time the advice of others comes from a place of love and concern.
    And yes, there are rarely any “perfect” answers. I still often wonder if we made the right move when we left TX and moved back to CA (long story) but you can’t live with a “woulda, shoulda, coulda” mentality.

    • I hear you Justine – we’ve had a few “would, shoulda, couldas” in our lives, but they have all taught us something that helped in the future!