Long Distance Love Affair

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Male
My girlfriend and I haave been together for a year and four months, in that time our relastionship had its ups and downs, this was mainly to do with my co-dependant nature, jealousy, anger issues and my having slept with other people.. None the less this woman loves me and I have begun to seek help and change my attitudes, behaviours and I no longer sleep around.

A month ago she left to live overseas for what she first said was up to one year, then she said two years, now it is up to four years but in that time she may come back for short stays. I may also go to be with her for short periods. She is 10 years my junior.

We have been in contact via phone and internet chatting and I have been sending her many emails. I also helped her out with a little cash as she hasn't been able to find employment straight away. A couple of days ago she said I should stop sending so many emails because it clogs her inbox and cost too much money to check the account. I suggested a couple of days space but now she is not contacting me! I put a little more money in her account to cover emails and asked her to confirm she got it and she hasn't!

Also in the last couple of days we have been talking about our realtionship and if we should "see" other people - we agreed we should but need to work out the terms I guess - do you have any suggestions in this area?

I think I am also in deeper than her, I am ready to commit and she is not. She says she is sick of me being sad over her being away and thinks I'll never change!

I guess I'm wondering how to sustain a relationship long distance for four years?

I'm sorry this is so long but I love this woman and I don't know what to do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

RomanceClass.com Advice
I have a lot of suggestions for maintaining the love long distance, and of course tons of people do this every day with great success. But it is NOT easy, and it can be pretty much impossible if you are trying to maintain a damaged relationship. It's hard enough for two people who are contentedly in love to keep things going when they are far apart.

You say you were jealousy, angry, and betraying her trust. Those are all issues that can completely destroy even the most normal and happy of relationships. To have all 3 of those, and then to have her leave and keep increasing how long she was going to be away for, definitely sounds like she was unhappy with the relationship she had. With her cutting off contact, it also seems that she's not willing to put in the time and energy that would be required to heal these great issues long distance.

A relationship can't flourish if you are actively spending your emotional energies in other directions. I'm not saying you can't have other FRIENDS - those are quite healthy. But if you are seeing other PARTNERS in life, you just can't give everything to one of them and still see others too.

So if you are willing to be her friend, and talk with her but know that she is actively persuing other guys, then I'd say that's fine. And to be honest you may not have a choice. She already is going away for 4 years and cutting down contact with you so this may have been her plan all along and she is just breaking it to you gradually. But if you really want to try to keep her as a partner, you need to really show her how you've changed. Jealousy, anger and betrayal are things that cause serious scars that many never heal from. If you are TRULY over all of those issues, and truly sorry for the pain you caused her, and truly feel you will never put her into those situations again, maybe try talking with her, going to visit her, and really show her that you are a new person. But to be honest, it may be too late for her, the damage may be done. You might be better off accepting her as a good but distant friend, and start thinking about the people who are around you that you could start fresh with.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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