She's Under Huge Work Stress, I Don't Have a Job

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
My relationship with my girlfriend was utter bliss for the first eight months. When we moved in together after 7 months. Therafter, my financial situation became bleak and she began to take up the slack. Our relationship started to go into a tailspin. She has been in several relationships in the past with deadbeats, but I have a doctorate degree and could not find a job. I guess she believed she was in that same situation again.

She became distant and self-serving. She is beautiful woman of 25 years; a Leo; a strong, proud, leader who likes attention and is very reluctant to communicate and share her emotions, especially in the last two months. She can be in the most dire situation, but won't let you know that she needs help.

I am a 32 year old cancer; super sensitive, somewhat needy, yet extremely giving. We talked about our problems and decided that I would move in with my parents and she would transfer 4 hours away because of a great job opportunity in her present company (this was two months ago). She told me she had always given 110% to her relationships and never focused on her own life and that it would be impossible to carry on with the relationship given the circumstances. She did not want to leave me, but she wanted to take some time and space to fulfill her potential.

She now lives with her sister and her sister's boyfriend. Later on, we decided to date; not date other people, but concentrate on our own lives. She wanted space to fulfill her professional goals and I needed to get out of financial hell and eventually gain employment near her and we would then reevaluate our situation and possible reunion; there was no guarantees.

She is the type of woman who would let me know if she was unhappy and wanted to move on. She has been emotionally unavailable since moving. I know she is under tons of stress and has never dealt with such responsibility. I talk to her once or twice a week. She doesn't call much because she has been working over 80 hours a week. It seems that I keep giving and giving and she is just along for the ride. However, I have visited her three times over the past 6 weeks and things seem to be getting better, but she still seems reluctant to open up to me. She acknowledges that she enjoys our time together, but never really seems happy. There is no indication of another man or that she is lying to me.

I am supposed to spend this weekend with her; partly because of a job interview I have on Saturday and partly to help her get ready for a Halloween party. I offered to help her with the party and she thought it was a good idea. My dilemma stems from my inability to talk to her. We talked things out before we parted, but if I bring it up again, she gets upset because I tended to bring it up too much. Moreover, I am afraid that I am wasting my time on her.

I've made the decision to try at all costs and sacrifices but don't want to end up with a broken heart. She tells me she loves me only when I say it first; I try not to say it much unless I deem it appropriate. She had introduced me as her boyfriend to to her co-worker last week, but tells me that I have been seeing her too much and that I am not abiding by our original agreement of "space." However, her stress built up so much last week she bagan crying and I offered to stay with her a few more days and come see her earlier than planned this week.

I am confused! I seems that she isn't dealing with her job stress well and I might be too overbearing. Or I am just blowing things out of proportion and I just just calm down and have some patience. Please help!!!! Advice
First off, please don't start assuming that she will act a certain way because she's a "Leo" or that you'll respond in a certain way because you're a "Cancer". Believe me, I know families with triplets and those kids were born at the exact same minute. They are COMPLETELY different from each other. You and she are both INDIVIDUALS with many, many traits and are COMPLEX.

She obviously isn't just a strong, powerful woman! She has needs and desires and hopes and dreams like EVERY woman does. The more you pidgeonhole her into one particular trait, the more you overlook the complexity that she is and then don't handle her well, and problems arise. Like these that you're experiencing.

She wants, like every human being, to be in a secure relationship with someone she can depend on. She's been burnt in the past with guys she could NOT depend on and took steps this time around to ensure it didn't happen again. She also made moves along her own career track, both of which are good. But in doing these things she lost her support system (you) and put herself under tons of stress, and now she is having trouble juggling all of that. Jeez, that sounds very Libra-esque to me ;)

Anyway, she wants to be a complete, happy person. We all do. But she thinks that means she has to do it all ON HER OWN which is NOT true. The most important part about being in a relationship is that you are two best friends who support each other and help each other out, and can rely on each other. That does NOT involve ditching each other when things get tough! And it does NOT mean you're bad if you ask for help. It is only bad NOT to ask for help. You are supposed to keep yourself healthy. If you're hungry, you eat. If you're sick, you see a doctor and get medicine. If you're stressed, that's what a friend is FOR.

So talk to her. She might not be used to talking. That is the fault of her upbringing, not her star sign. So get her USED to talking. Have her work out her stress and help find solutions for her. A lot of people date long distance and it works perfectly well. So date long distance! Be her sounding board, her oasis of calm. Work in finding yourself a job - even if it's just a retail store job while you keep looking for a real one! Yes, you have a doctorate. But if you think back a few decades even VERY SKILLED people were happy just to earn money to feed themselves. You have to show her you are going to make that step to do what you HAVE to do until you can do what you WANT to do. Heck, 50% of the world lives on less than $2 a day and those people are happy to EAT never mind to "pass by jobs until they find the Perfect Job".

I think when you show her that your relationship and BOTH of your progress is important to you, and that they can also be important to HER without any dramatic self-sacrificing going on, that you can start to go on a good path. If she really can't get it, get her to talk to a therapist. If she keeps going on with her "Me Against the World" routine, she is going to burn herself out. No man (or woman) is an island.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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