Ask Lisa: Should I Pick My Man or My Career Opportunity?

I’ve been with my man for 2 years now but for the second year I been out of town at a trade school. I have the opportunity to further my education for free but I would have to go out of state. He says that he’s starting to get depressed and cant take not being with me any more. He says he wants me come back home. Should I go back home to him like my heart is telling me or go to advanced training like I want to do?

Lisa’s thoughts…

I think sometimes we need to pull the lens back on our situations to determine the right path for us. Ask yourself what the long term consequences of each action might be and whether you’re ok with them. Sometimes relationships are put the “the test” when one partner has to leave for a period of time, whether it be to school, a military deployment or other life events. If you are building a foundation for your career future – is this something you’re willing to give up? Is it possible if you made this decision, you’d carry resentment towards him and regret the decision?

When I work with couples, I encourage them to strike a balance together and be supportive of the other’s hopes, dreams and goals – which sometimes by default can put strain on the relationship temporarily.  A solid relationship foundation can withstand it but not without work. Being apart is hard on couples and requires extra effort to stay connected.

Talk to him about his insecurities around you being gone and ways you could help relieve them but still develop yourself. On the other hand, if the trade school isn’t that important to you and there are other options – then maybe you can explore them.

Regardless, try to stay focused on the “big picture” and remain sensitive to his feelings while validating your own wants and needs too.


Need advice?  Consider a Relationship Consultation for guidance.

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Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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