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Miss_Molecular

Will our relationship survive a chemistry PhD?

4 posts in this topic

My boyfriend of two years is planning on going to grad school for a chemistry PhD next year. I've heard nothing but horror stories about grad school relationships and I'm wondering if I should just end things now. If we stayed together, he would want me to marry him and come with him which wouldn't be a problem. I know long distance wouldn't work so that's not an option. But once we got there what are the odds of grad school not killing our relationship? I imagine a doctoral in basket weaving is hard enough so his program will be very challenging and time consuming. I'd be working a regular 9 to 5 and possibly finishing up my bachelor's (maybe) so would we even have enough time for each other? I expect him to be gone most of the days Monday through Saturday. 
It doesn't help that I wouldn't be able to understand his work or help him with it, as I'm not studying or interested in physical chemistry. I'm into molecular biology and biochemistry. Grad school may be in my future but not at the same time as him. 
Any of you guys made it through with their sanity and their relationships? I'm not looking for an excuse to leave him. I'd really like for things to work and I'm willing to make it work but I also don't want to volunteer for failure.

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Maybe I'm biased, but I don't think grad school was any harder on my marriage than any other job would have been. 

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I think pre-emptively calling off a relationship before they even start grad school is too extreme (and does sound like "an excuse to leave him"!). I've seen people break up shortly after starting their Chem PhD...but not at a higher rate than after starting other major life events (e.g. breaking up after you start college/your first professional jobs). 

If you want to stay with this guy...stay with him. Maybe you'll break up with him partway through grad school...but maybe you won't (and wouldn't that be better than breaking up with now?). Maybe you'll break up with him after he gets his PhD. Who knows unless you try to make it work?

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Don't give it up too easily (unless you are just wanting that excuse). I am about to start a Chem PhD program later in life and have been married for 12 years - I don't intend it to end that.

 

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