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Relationship Health Message Board

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I've posted here before, but here's a little background for those of you that are new to the boards:

I am a 24-year old teacher that is currently in a 3+ year relationship with a 22-year old guy. He has just graduated from college and will be attending graduate school for the next few years. I resigned from my current school and have found what appears to be a FANTASTIC job near his graduate school. We plan to move in together this summer and, somewhere down the road, get married. We practically lived together during college and are very excited to be able to see each other all the time again (I've lived half an hour away for the past two years). We have talked about getting married, and he's made it clear that he feels I am the one for him but he is not ready because he still feels like a student. I can totally understand, because I wasn't ready to marry him right out of college either. This hasn't been much of an issue.

However, my parents have really ruined all the excitement of this experience for me. Actually, my dad has been kind of silent about the whole thing. It's my mom who is the problem... she is devestated that I'm moving out and away (about 4 hours from home) and cries ALL the time. I am the older sibling (my sister turns 20 tomorrow) and have always been the homebody. My sister is going away to Spain next semester and I think my mom is suffering through empty nest syndrome. Still, it's making things extremely hard for me to leave.

My boyfriend's family has been incredibly supportive and are so excited about this change for us, even though we will be living 3 hours from them. However, I am feeling absolutely NO support. The teachers and students at my school are devestated that I'm leaving....the kids are crying all over the place. Between home and school I'm starting to feel like I died or something! It's making it extremely hard for me to move, because I feel like I'm disappointing everyone and that I'm breaking up all this happiness or something. I feel like if I had encouragement at home, I could feel free and happy to pursue the life that my heart is telling me to go for. Right now, I feel like I'm nothing but a disappointment.

It's also frustrating because, even though my parents really like the guy I'm dating and would be happy if we ended up together, they seem to take some of their feelings out on him. His parents treat me like one of their family. They beg me to stay extra time at their house, and send me cards and letters all the time. My parents have been great to him, too, they really have.....but there have been some times where they get really weird about including him on family trips or outings. I know they are sad that we don't do many things "as a family" anymore, but it really hurts me when they don't want to include him, and I know he notices.

I feel like they are trying SO HARD to accept me leaving and to accept that I have fallen in love, but the pressure and sadness that is constantly surrounding me is starting to drive me crazy. My boyfriend has been very patient with my emotions but he is getting frustrated with how down I am all the time. I just can't help it....I don't know how to please everyone and still be happy with my decision.

Does anyone have any similar stories or ways I could approach this? I have showered my mom with affection in hopes that she will not take this personally, but I'm starting to become emotionally drained. Thank you to anyone that can offer opinions or share insight from their point of view.

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