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My boyfriend didn't think I could do a hard major in college and now I've lost confidence

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 March 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 13 March 2018)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Hello everyone,

My boyfriend and I have been kind of rocky since the start of this year. I am currently a computer science student and he has already graduated with his masters and is currently working in the field.

I am currently a receptionist while working through school at a marketing company. We live together and don't have money problems. We had a fight earlier this year about my major and school. He wants me to reconsider my major and do something easier like marketing and try to move up in my company. I would like to commit to computer science as I find it rewarding and fun.

We talked it out a bit. He doubted that I could commit to a hard major (which he has done) and didn't think I could do it. He says now that he had a moment of doubt and thinks I can do it, but the damage is kind of permanent on my self confidence. I am plagued with these questions like.. can I do it? My bf didnt believe in me (he says he does now) but can I really do a hard major?

I was speaking to his mom earlier this morning and she kind of hit a sore spot. We basically re-enacted the conversation between my bf and I. In this case, she kept pushing for me to go into marketing because I am a people person and if I want to have kids someday I should do something easier aka saying finishing my cs degree will take too long and it'd be too hard for me. I just let her talk and didn't really reply back because I didn't want to come off as rude.

It is very frustrating.

I am not a bad student. I win scholarships every semester for my work and dedication. I do very well in school. They know these things.

While my boyfriend has then apologized and now is really supportive and really apologetic, I am frustrated that comments like these keep popping up.. stuff like "oh maybe you can switch to IT work instead of computer science." and etc.. I do agree that computer science is hard, but I am halfway through my bachelors already. It is extremely hard but at the same time it makes me want to stick to it because it's a great major and again, I enjoy it.

I am not sure how to handle this situation. Please advise.

View related questions: confidence, money

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (13 March 2018):

Honeypie agony auntPROVE HIM WRONG!

It's that simple. You got into the program and YOU can do it. REGARDLESS of what HE thinks.

His mother!! (dear gods!) should have absolutely NO freaking say in what degree or job you take or choose. So you are good with people GREAT! that can also help you in MOST other fields! WHO cares what she thinks you should be doing? She isn't paying for your education, is she? So she has absolutely NO say in this.

Neither is it your BF's choice to DECIDE what degree you want. YOU OBVIOUSLY do well in school to get the scholarships and continue.

GO for what YOU want to do. NOT what he nor his mother wants you to do.

Marketing is a stressful field with ridiculous deadlines and drama... I know I have worked at an add agency for a short while and jeeeez the drama. It's also a HIGHLY competitive and creative field, it's VERY much about BIG personalities.

Stick with what YOU want to do and what YOU love. Your kids will APPRECIATE that you carved your own path.

And YOUR choice in career field has NOTHING to do with your abilities to MOTHER a child. NONE.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (13 March 2018):

Aunty BimBim agony auntUh oh. Another question that gets me riled.

Tell your boyfriend's mother to get out of the 1950s! Tell her that if and when you decide to have children her son is going to reduce his hours to part time to take 50% care of his children (and the housework) and you need to get into something ""HARDER"" so that your share of the paid work time is comparable to the other parent.

And while she is struck dumb and trying to decipher the above you continue following YOUR dreams and if your boyfriend tries to take you down tell HIM to get his head out of his behind and either support you or shove off.

Just keep repeating your own words to yourself "I am not a bad student. I win scholarships every semester for my work and dedication. I do very well in school".

From me its a congratulations on winning scholarships EVERY semester for your work and dedication. If you were my daughter I would be VERY proud of you.

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A female reader, 02DuszJ United Kingdom +, writes (12 March 2018):

02DuszJ agony auntYou're lucky enough to have found something you're passionate about and GOOD at. Don't let anyone ever take that away from you. You win scholarships, you enjoy it so you're likely very good at it- the only obstacle you have is self doubt.

There is MONEY in your field. It's the perfect career for starting a family because it's something that is not going to die out, it is just getting bigger. It's very well paid because it's a highly useful desired skill.

I agree with Allumeuse that your bf's behaviour creates alarm bells.. when you love someone they bring out the best of you and raise you up, not drag you down.. look I had an ex who was average at art, his painting n drawing but wanted to do a masters in art and become a professional artist maybe. But who was I to step on his passion? Critique his dreams.. maybe he'll make it maybe not. But I saw how IMPORTANT it was to him and the thought of saying to him "you're not great at what you love, don't bother mate" is not something that crosses the mind of someone who loves and supports you.. which is why I agree he may have a personal hang-up about it.. the competitive element is likely. If he's insecure then both of you doing the same lucrative thing is going to make him feel like you're a rival.. if you're better than him at what he thinks is *his field* he's going to struggle with it if he is insecure. Maybe he's not even aware of it on the surface.

So whether you fail or not is not the issue. He should be supportive regardless. Put your foot down and go for what YOU want. My dad is a very judgmental guy, and always tried to deter me from doing certain careers because they're not exactly what he *thinks* I *should* do.

It is a competitive world but everyone's gotta compete. And if you ENJOY doing something you have a good chance of being good at it because you'll WANT to keep driving forward with it. And you ARE good at it- so this is your best bet to compete.

So whether you fail or not it's your first dream. Imagine if he ends up this big executive with this big salary doing what you both love.. and you're wondering what if? What if YOU followed your dream path and ended up like him.

Go for it, you'll regret it if you don't. To hell with ANYONE else.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (12 March 2018):

This is a two tier issue. The first issue is that you feel like you've lost confidence because your boyfriend doubted your academic ability. Let's deal with that first. There are lots of reasons why he might not want you to do the thing he is doing. He might be threatened that you'll be better than him. He might see your lives together as some quasi fifties sit comfortably where you give up work and have babies and he brings home the bacon or he might think you can't do it. We do not know but I'd take his opinion as the view if a man with an agenda. His mother may have his back on this. Or she may be the person who taught him to put down the people he says he loves and tell them they aren't good enough. So you shouldn't think of them as two people who think you can't do it, just one.

Why not ask the opinion of someone who knows knows how you are managing academically? A tutor. A trusted fellow student. They have no agenda. If they are broadly encouraging, ignore those voices who try to bring you down. Use your indignance and anger to raise you up. Computer science is tough. But it rewards application and the solution to getting it wrong is to try again. There is no script that says marketing is better for having babies. If anyone tries to tell you one career is better than another for babies ask them how the PM of NZ will get on as she is pregnant right now.

The second issue is that people close to you are trying to pull you down not raise you up. If it's just a one off then if they apologise accept it and use your anger to make sure they never doubt your ability again. If it's a regular thing, with scant evidence to suggest they are right, you should see it as evidence they do not have your interests at heart, only their own. And you should make your own path. The very best of luck.

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