My boyfriend and I have been living apart for a year - he was supporting his father who was close to losing the family home. Because of our work schedules and the distance (23-hour drive or expensive plane ticket) we’ve been unable to visit. I couldn’t get vacation time and he was forced to cancel his trip when a close relative faced serious legal problems.
Finally, he was scheduled to return permanently. En route, he learned a family member had suffered a medical crisis. He stopped where he was, halfway, staying with family in that area and waited for change in the situation. That was three weeks ago.
The relative’s in a coma and not expected to make it. I want to be supportive during this difficult time, but it’s increasingly stressful and heart-wrenching for me. I’ve waited so long and now don’t even have a timeline.
I love him; he’s very apologetic about this. How do I be supportive when I’m having trouble supporting myself through uncertainty? Due to his guest status and other complications, it’s one call a week and spotty emails.
Should I even continue? I don’t think I’d be able to break it off at a time like this.
- Frayed Nerves
Get a grip on the strengths you’ve clearly possessed and shown until now. After a year apart, these frustrating weeks are still relatively short-term. Also, he’s now a 12-hour drive away … you could take an overnight train/bus and stay in an inexpensive hotel for two days, to get through this exasperating situation.
You’ve got a conscientious guy who’s stayed committed to you and has every intent of coming home. Don’t let your nerves rule your heart and mind. Hang in. This, too, shall pass.
I’ve been dating someone who lives about an hour and fifteen minutes from where I live. I have two children and they really liked him and his family. I went through a messy separation and divorce with their father and the kids got shuffled around.
My boyfriend and I planned to move in together, so after three years we started to make arrangements. The week before I was to move, my child’s councellor said it wasn’t a good idea at the time. I was torn. I love him very much, but I had to make my child my priority.
He was very upset and said if I didn’t move, our relationship was over. I can’t move on from this. People commute to work daily for longer times than it takes us to get to each others’ homes, so I was hoping our relationship would make it through this.
But he says he can’t live like this. Am I delusional to think we could’ve made it? We still text back and forth after a year of being broken up.
- Still Devastated
The break-up wasn’t about the commute. It was about this guy’s inability to understand your responsibilities as a mother took precedence over his needs. You did the right thing at the time: Your kids had been through a rocky time, and you had professional advice to leave them settle in with you longer.
Your boyfriend’s reaction indicates that he would’ve been just as rattled if the kids’ needs ever came first, still, after you moved together. Frankly, he wasn’t prepared to be the kind of understanding step-father these kids obviously need.
So, get past it, knowing it’s better to have parted without first experiencing a joint household of conflicting needs, tension and fighting. Move on.
My daughter-in-law annually joins my husband and me at a cottage we rent in Maine, so we can be with our grandchildren. Our son’s job is overseas; we only get to see their children there.
However, their mother signs them up for day camp, then takes them afterwards to visit the cottage-area friends she’s made. We’re left ignored in the home we’re paying for! We don’t want to “punish” the children, yet wonder if we should drop the cottage rental plan?
Talk to your son and daughter-in-law together, explaining – without blaming – how important seeing the children is to you and how you find the cottage scene isn’t providing that opportunity.
Say that you think it needs re-thinking and you’d like their input. This gives the couple a chance to figure out what’s not working, themselves, and hopefully recognize their need to make changes. Worth a first-step try!
Tip of the day:
When impatience rules your better qualities, regrets are bound to follow.