After five years together, my boyfriend took a job in Africa.
I had to let him go so he can continue to do what he loves.
We've been having a long-distance relationship for the past six months.
I was going to travel there soon, but now he wants to take a break, though not a full break-up.
He said he needs some time to think about things because he's been feeling lonely all this time.
I told him I’m feeling alone too, but I keep going by looking at pictures of him and writing about him in my diary.
We’re supposed to go to his sister’s wedding together. I told him that I already bought the gift.
I didn’t ask if, when we’re together then, we could discuss this break.
But I said that when he's ready to talk about us, I’d wait for him.
Should I give him his space and wait for him to call me or should I start a conversation about the break?
A Break a Break-up?
It’s a break, so far, if he’s keeping contact and still plans to attend his sister’s wedding with you.
But it’s a break-up if he still won’t discuss it once you’re together. Maybe his loneliness led to meeting someone there, and he’s confused about what to do.
You need to know what’s in his mind and heart.
Meanwhile, think more about you.
No relationship is worth giving up your own voice just waiting and hoping indefinitely. You need contact in person, a plan for the future together, or freedom for both of you.
I married a year ago after being divorced and single for eight years, during which time my youngest daughter still lived with me. Her older sister’s married with a young child.
My daughter didn’t take seriously my two-year online romance with my now-husband. I thought she’d be happy for me.
But she’s been hostile to him since he moved in, after our wedding four months ago.
She’s said some nasty things to him in anger, and now they barely speak even though she’s still living in my house with us, having moved to the basement.
I’ve offered to help her financially to move into her own place. She’s 24, has a decent job, and can afford a modest apartment.
She refuses to move. What can I do?
You can evict her, likely causing a long-term rift between you. You can sell the house and move with your husband, which could also cause a huge divide.
Or, you can talk to her as a concerned mother, about her and her reaction to change in both your lives.
She’s scared, resorting to stubbornness to somehow push you back into the life you shared before marrying.
She’s experienced loss before through your divorce. Perhaps she’s had abandonment fears, or doesn’t trust that anyone’s love can last, not even yours for her.
Tell her that your love for her is still strong and lasting, no matter whom else is in your lives.
Since your marriage and her reaction is hurting you both, say that you want to go to counselling with her, to help you both.
Make sure she understands that you need the counselling as much as her.
It’ll take some time to achieve mutual understanding and her willingness to move on.
But with assurances that your mother-daughter bond is still very strong, there’s more likelihood that this will work than any other forced tactics.
I’m with a wonderful girlfriend, three years after my bitter divorce. She’s great with my two sons.
However, my mother is still constantly worried about me. She calls daily, asks intrusive questions (e.g. “just don’t get her pregnant, what if you break up?”), and questions my every move (“why does she have to be there when the boys are with you?”).
How can I end her repeated mistrust without hurting her?
Accept that she’s a grandmother worried about your sons, and a mother who wants you happy.
Reassure her that all is going well. Allow yourself to be open with her about your plans – e.g. if all continues as is, you believe that this girlfriend is there for keeps.
Say that you want her “help” in being warm and welcoming, because what’s good for you is also good for her grandsons.
Invite her over, or on an outing, occasionally, so she gets to appreciate your girlfriend.
Tip of the day:
Years of long-distance become a “break-up” if there’s no discussion about a future together.