How to tell your boy/girlfriend/spouse...?


Ralph Wigg...

I have a question slightly, but not really, off topic. Interestingly, no one seems to have posted this topic until now. Imagine the following: You have a boy/girlfriend/spouse on the one hand. On the other hand, it has always been your dream to do an LLM abroad. To what extent do you let influence your decision IF and WHERE to go (maybe to a less reknowned institution not that far away) by the fact that a) you have a hard time leaving her/him back for one year and b) he/she has an even harder time being left alone home for one year without all the opportunities and experencies you might encounter during your LLM-year?

I have a question slightly, but not really, off topic. Interestingly, no one seems to have posted this topic until now. Imagine the following: You have a boy/girlfriend/spouse on the one hand. On the other hand, it has always been your dream to do an LLM abroad. To what extent do you let influence your decision IF and WHERE to go (maybe to a less reknowned institution not that far away) by the fact that a) you have a hard time leaving her/him back for one year and b) he/she has an even harder time being left alone home for one year without all the opportunities and experencies you might encounter during your LLM-year?
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Verona

My LLM cost me a marriage. Was NOT worth it!

My LLM cost me a marriage. Was NOT worth it!
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Medland

Personally, I think its worth going to the best school you get into. I can understand it is a bit bittersweet for any spouse, while you are excited about being accepted, their happiness for you is mitigated by the fact that you are potentially moving halfway across the world.

Nevertheless, I believe if it's the right person for you they will understand. One academic year shouldn't break any strong relationship... as it is only 8-9 months in the US or 10-12 in the UK.

Ultimately, I believe a huge responsibility falls to the person leaving and how you present this to your spouse. This will dictate whether the relationship endures the length of the LL.M. Are you willing to visit your spouse at least 2-3 times during the year? Can you help them find a job and relocate for a year? Can you sell this to them as an exciting sabbatical year in London, New York or Paris? What concessions are you willing to make?

I ultimately believe spending a year away actually gives you an opportunity to step back and evaluate the relationship you are in. If this is the right person they should support you being the best that you can be, in this case the most educated.

Good luck to everyone spending a year away from a loved one, its not easy!

Medland

(This is all assuming you just have a spouse, or girlfriend. Not kids.. in the case of kids they always come first...)

Personally, I think its worth going to the best school you get into. I can understand it is a bit bittersweet for any spouse, while you are excited about being accepted, their happiness for you is mitigated by the fact that you are potentially moving halfway across the world.

Nevertheless, I believe if it's the right person for you they will understand. One academic year shouldn't break any strong relationship... as it is only 8-9 months in the US or 10-12 in the UK.

Ultimately, I believe a huge responsibility falls to the person leaving and how you present this to your spouse. This will dictate whether the relationship endures the length of the LL.M. Are you willing to visit your spouse at least 2-3 times during the year? Can you help them find a job and relocate for a year? Can you sell this to them as an exciting sabbatical year in London, New York or Paris? What concessions are you willing to make?

I ultimately believe spending a year away actually gives you an opportunity to step back and evaluate the relationship you are in. If this is the right person they should support you being the best that you can be, in this case the most educated.

Good luck to everyone spending a year away from a loved one, its not easy!

Medland

(This is all assuming you just have a spouse, or girlfriend. Not kids.. in the case of kids they always come first...)
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Oldtimer

Wise words by Medland. There is, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it all depends on your situation. If you can, the ideal in my opinion is to bring your partner along, but ONLY if they have a plan of their own. Can you seriously expect somebody to just be there waiting for you? And if he or she comes, you should be aware that this will inevitably affect the way you interact with your classmates, which I would argue is as important as the degree itself (it's all about bonding and networking!)

If your relationship is strong it will survive and become stronger, which will not be easy because temptations abound in this type of environment! Skype and other modern IT wonders make it easier to handle than a few years ago. This may sound like empty words, but I speak from experience: I married my girlfriend, who staid back home, after my LLM! This being said, I know plenty of relationships that didn't make it, including one were both went to the same LLM program! The morale being that there are no warranties when it comes to love!

If kids are involved, then it is a completely different ball game. I have two toddlers and I would not leave them alone for anyhing in this World. This is the reason why places like Boston and NYC were out of my list now that I was considering to go back to school. But this is me and my highly subjective opinion, which doesn't mean that the situation could be different for others. It may even be that the temporary separation is more than justified by the chance to improve their lifestyle later on. Follow your heart on this one.

Wise words by Medland. There is, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it all depends on your situation. If you can, the ideal in my opinion is to bring your partner along, but ONLY if they have a plan of their own. Can you seriously expect somebody to just be there waiting for you? And if he or she comes, you should be aware that this will inevitably affect the way you interact with your classmates, which I would argue is as important as the degree itself (it's all about bonding and networking!)

If your relationship is strong it will survive and become stronger, which will not be easy because temptations abound in this type of environment! Skype and other modern IT wonders make it easier to handle than a few years ago. This may sound like empty words, but I speak from experience: I married my girlfriend, who staid back home, after my LLM! This being said, I know plenty of relationships that didn't make it, including one were both went to the same LLM program! The morale being that there are no warranties when it comes to love!

If kids are involved, then it is a completely different ball game. I have two toddlers and I would not leave them alone for anyhing in this World. This is the reason why places like Boston and NYC were out of my list now that I was considering to go back to school. But this is me and my highly subjective opinion, which doesn't mean that the situation could be different for others. It may even be that the temporary separation is more than justified by the chance to improve their lifestyle later on. Follow your heart on this one.
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odysseus

It is extremely hard. But I always remember an excerpt from Coelho's "the Alchemist": "...love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love...the love speaks the Language of the World."

It is extremely hard. But I always remember an excerpt from Coelho's "the Alchemist": "...love never keeps a man from pursuing his personal legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love...the love speaks the Language of the World."
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canada40

Not a good idea. It costs my friend his marriage. Think twice about doing it.

Not a good idea. It costs my friend his marriage. Think twice about doing it.
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MAB79

I am surprised how many think that an LL.M is worth more than a serious relationship or even marriage. Wake up and try to think what you are telling.

Would you be happy if you found out your gf, wife etc. would not at least try to listen to you and leave no matter what is at stake? Are we so selfish nowadays and not even think of a possible compromise?

Fact is: a LL.M is a nice thing but obviously costs you more than you get from it from a monetary point of view. I am doing what some of you suggested and am doin my LL.M although my gf is not able to be here all the time. Luckily she was from time to time. But still, I am afraid or worried that I could lose her and although I really think that the LL.M is a great experience, I would never forgive myself for being that selfish if it would end. You might gain friends and stuff here but you will never get what a relationship can give you, if you think that you are together with the one person.

So, look around and try to figure out if there are schools closer to you that are good too and more than that, try to talk with her about possibilities to do this together etc. But do not just got to a school because you wanted when you love her or him. An LL.M last for 1 year, a great relationship could last for life...

I am surprised how many think that an LL.M is worth more than a serious relationship or even marriage. Wake up and try to think what you are telling.

Would you be happy if you found out your gf, wife etc. would not at least try to listen to you and leave no matter what is at stake? Are we so selfish nowadays and not even think of a possible compromise?

Fact is: a LL.M is a nice thing but obviously costs you more than you get from it from a monetary point of view. I am doing what some of you suggested and am doin my LL.M although my gf is not able to be here all the time. Luckily she was from time to time. But still, I am afraid or worried that I could lose her and although I really think that the LL.M is a great experience, I would never forgive myself for being that selfish if it would end. You might gain friends and stuff here but you will never get what a relationship can give you, if you think that you are together with the one person.

So, look around and try to figure out if there are schools closer to you that are good too and more than that, try to talk with her about possibilities to do this together etc. But do not just got to a school because you wanted when you love her or him. An LL.M last for 1 year, a great relationship could last for life...
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massara07

I think the best way is to take your gf/bf along.
During a long time I planned to make an LLM but just couldn't find a way to deal with this issue with my girlfriend. I really can't assure if our relationship would have survived it.
Time went by and we got married. She got a good job in which it is possible for her to take a sabatical year. That was the perfect timing.
However, life is like a box of chocolate, isn't it!?..
She got pregnant, and now we have a baby boy.
I didn't give up and now I am willing to take my new family along.
My wife is gonna study english (a great oportunity for her to be fluent) and take care of our little toddler (he will be 1 year in september 2011).
I know this will make my LLM experience different from my colleagues'. But it is my life, my experience and I know it will be great, because I will make it great . It will be different from others, but not worse.

I think the best way is to take your gf/bf along.
During a long time I planned to make an LLM but just couldn't find a way to deal with this issue with my girlfriend. I really can't assure if our relationship would have survived it.
Time went by and we got married. She got a good job in which it is possible for her to take a sabatical year. That was the perfect timing.
However, life is like a box of chocolate, isn't it!?..
She got pregnant, and now we have a baby boy.
I didn't give up and now I am willing to take my new family along.
My wife is gonna study english (a great oportunity for her to be fluent) and take care of our little toddler (he will be 1 year in september 2011).
I know this will make my LLM experience different from my colleagues'. But it is my life, my experience and I know it will be great, because I will make it great . It will be different from others, but not worse.
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MAB79

I think the best way is to take your gf/bf along.
During a long time I planned to make an LLM but just couldn't find a way to deal with this issue with my girlfriend. I really can't assure if our relationship would have survived it.
Time went by and we got married. She got a good job in which it is possible for her to take a sabatical year. That was the perfect timing.
However, life is like a box of chocolate, isn't it!?..
She got pregnant, and now we have a baby boy.
I didn't give up and now I am willing to take my new family along.
My wife is gonna study english (a great oportunity for her to be fluent) and take care of our little toddler (he will be 1 year in september 2011).
I know this will make my LLM experience different from my colleagues'. But it is my life, my experience and I know it will be great, because I will make it great . It will be different from others, but not worse.


Believe me, about 50-60% of the LL.M.s have the same experience than you have, at least here at CLS are many married and have children etc.

<blockquote>I think the best way is to take your gf/bf along.
During a long time I planned to make an LLM but just couldn't find a way to deal with this issue with my girlfriend. I really can't assure if our relationship would have survived it.
Time went by and we got married. She got a good job in which it is possible for her to take a sabatical year. That was the perfect timing.
However, life is like a box of chocolate, isn't it!?..
She got pregnant, and now we have a baby boy.
I didn't give up and now I am willing to take my new family along.
My wife is gonna study english (a great oportunity for her to be fluent) and take care of our little toddler (he will be 1 year in september 2011).
I know this will make my LLM experience different from my colleagues'. But it is my life, my experience and I know it will be great, because I will make it great . It will be different from others, but not worse.</blockquote>

Believe me, about 50-60% of the LL.M.s have the same experience than you have, at least here at CLS are many married and have children etc.
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I have a slightly different story on this. I am getting married to my GF early next year. She is a also a classmate of mine (undergraduate) and we are now working in different cities. Both of us intend to apply for a LLM next year, i.e. 2012-13, after we get married. We hope to get admitted to the same course and if not, at least the same city, reigon, country and so on. However, if we do not get what we want, we have mutually decided to pursue a degree which is best suited for us and not let our relationship dictate where we do our Masters. All in all a difficult choice, but since it is only for 9-10 months, why not give it a go? If your partner really cares, why would she/he have a problem?

I have a slightly different story on this. I am getting married to my GF early next year. She is a also a classmate of mine (undergraduate) and we are now working in different cities. Both of us intend to apply for a LLM next year, i.e. 2012-13, after we get married. We hope to get admitted to the same course and if not, at least the same city, reigon, country and so on. However, if we do not get what we want, we have mutually decided to pursue a degree which is best suited for us and not let our relationship dictate where we do our Masters. All in all a difficult choice, but since it is only for 9-10 months, why not give it a go? If your partner really cares, why would she/he have a problem?
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