Reconnection Experiences and Ideas

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Reconnection Experiences and Ideas
6
Sun, 11-17-2013 - 1:25pm

Quick background I've had a 4 year relationship that was unconventional because it was a combo LDR and living together experience (physically about 1/2 together and 1/2 LDR, emotionally 80/20 connection on values/goals/beliefs).

4 months ago she moved to a new city and we'd discussed that I would be there as well, with a transition to moving 100%.  The transition time was to be 3 weeks there 1 week in our hometown; with the objective to make the transition easier for me to make friends and get integrated into the community.  No sooner had the move happened, than I was notified that my job was at risk which caused anxiety and focusing my energy to try do what was needed to make it work.  

With the changes she pulled away and asked for time to think about what was going on.  Eventually, she decided we needed to break-up as the vision she had for how the move would work and how it was actually happening didnt fit with her needs/expectations.  We had a few issues over the course of time, at first I was not into the relationship as much as she was, more recently that flipped - why this matters is we really dont have major issues other than the missed expectations and that she had not felt my commitment/desire over time.

We're at the proverberial fork in the road, the inflection point where we go together or go apart and hence the ask for help.  There are some mixed messages in the process, she says we need to be over and it's because of the above (expecations and I wasnt where she was in the relationship when needed); at the same time when we talk she says she'd like to be stronger and let us get together; she allows me to continue having shared accounts (Amazon and the like), and when I've asked to connect she agree's and we're able to talk.

A part of me realizes I didnt give as much as I could have in the early part of our relationship, that changed in the past year and she recongnizes some of the changes as well.  The being more aware of her needs and giving more of what's asked - previously we had been in the dance many couples get into where there is a push/resistance to requests on both sides.  Another part of me says the best is to walk away, leave as is and put all behind me - hence the internal tension and ask for help to get perspective and other thoughts.

The idea that does not equal walking away is to demonstrate the commitment to her and the relationship and showing up at the new city in person.  This would be without the expectation of moving in or staying together (while I would like that outcome, I would not want to create a situation where there was a feeling of obligation or responsbility).  My thoughts are that being in different cities and the only communications being phone conversations, we're not connecting the same as if in person.  Showing up would demonstrate the commitment to her/us, and that we can be entirely different than we were in the past.

Question - what other alternatives are there that would show committment and have an environment where we could see if there are opportunities for us to move forward?  Packing it in and moving on would be the path of least resistance, yet doesnt feel like it would serve as well in the future.  For me, putting it all out there even if it fails would feel better than not trying and regretting it later.  Trying a demonstrable, significant move with me having all the risk without expectations or responsbilities on her end seems the best I could do.

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Tue, 11-19-2013 - 7:45pm
I really appreciate your comments and perspective. It's not been easy thus far and the slow end to communications in my view puts any future at significant risk - without communication the commitment doesnt develop (it wanes). It would be hard to clarify everything without a long post, yet your post indicates you get the essence of what's occurring. The idea of us splitting time between the locations was my ask/need as it was a big change for me - for her, she lived there while doing her PhD and it's an outstanding place for her career. The points you make about needing mutual commitment ring true - recently it's been a one-way street and I'm feeling that nothing will work. This idea was a gasp at closing the gap and seeing if there is something mutual. I deeply value your time and comments, it's clear they come from the heart and from experience. We all learn on our journey and thanks for sharing some of the knowledge that you've gained
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 11-19-2013 - 1:49pm

One other thought. . . commitment isn't about gestures that say, "Look how committed I am."  My DH has never been one to make grand gestures, or even small romantic ones like bringing flowers, but he is the master of doing things that he knows REALLY matter, like fixing things around the house immediately, hanging up towels, cooking a sweet potato for me instead of the regular baked potatoes he made for everyone else, making sure that when I cook breakfast on the weekend I have all the ingredients I need, etc.  I didn't appreciate his practical nature when I was in grad school and he gave me a big woolly hat and gloves for Christmas instead of the promise ring I was hoping for, but believe me, I sure did appreciate them when I went back to upstate NY in January. 

Noticing what she REALLY needs is what demonstrates commitment.  Obviously it has to be mutual, or else there is no relationship.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 11-19-2013 - 1:42pm

I'm not sure I really understand this situation.  You were supposed to move with her, but not really move?  How does one do that when one is working?  I'm not sure the original plan sounds all that well-thought-out.

In the meantime, her "pulling away" and making unilateral decisions about the relationship because - surprise! - it hasn't worked out the way she expected isn't really the response of someone who was 100% committed to begin with.  I was in LDR for five years, and it's never the way you expect it.  We had to constantly reevaluate how we communicated with each other and learn to be honest about our expectations.  In time, it eventually worked out, and we've been married for 23 years, but it wasn't easy.  The thing that kept us together was that we *wanted* to be together.  Your GF sounds like she's questioning that basic premise.

If you want to show *your* commitment, yes, you have to go there.  Why not tell her you'll spend a week there and you two can decide together if there is a path forward.  A weekend isn't long enough, because during the course of a weekend, you're both on your best behavior (one of the pitfalls of a LDR - you never want to talk about anything serious or threatening because all you have is the weekend, and you don't want to do it by phone because you need to be face to face, so basically you never talk about anything serious or threatening until it's almost too late).  However, know that if you do commit to her, and she agrees, you have to really do it.  And she has to bear the responsibility for it too.

As for other ways to show commitment, I don't think they matter.  Either you are there or you're not.  And either *she* is there, fully emotionally present, or she's not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 11-18-2013 - 12:30pm

Excuse me?  You ASKED for ideas on what to do.........and I suggested something.  That suggestion might not be to your liking, but it was my suggestion......for you to accept or ignore.  As far as being "judgemental" is concerned......I'm not judging you at all, I'm trying to make you see the situation as it is, not as you'd like it to be.  In this situation, an outsider can see what you don't want to see......and again, if you aren't interested in the suggestion, then don't entertain it.  It is "normal" to try to make a bad situation get better.  I've been in a couple of bad relationships myself, and even though I knew it wasn't going to get better, I kept trying.....until I realized not only wasn't it going to change, it wasn't worth the time and heartache I was putting into it.  You are the only one who can judge when you get to that point.  Sorry if you have been offended.  It wasn't meant to be offensive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Mon, 11-18-2013 - 8:37am

I thought about a PM but think it's best to have it out that you're style and lack of listening creates a problem in that your input is more hurtful than helpful

The problem is your responses come across a judgement and there's nothing helpful, supportive or compassionate about them.  Lastly, giving direciton and advice when it's not asked for and it's not helpful or appreciated.

Did you read what was being asked in the initial message? There was one, very specific quesiton - "what other alternatives are there that would show committment and have an environment where we could see if there are opportunities for us to move forward?"

I look at the responses you and MusicLover provide to others and they are similar - judgement and advice that dont address what was asked by someone looking for help.  It's not clear why this would be.  Sometimes people need help and dont want to ask friends, they reach out and get told what you would do, or what they should do and not address what they are asking (or ask questions to help see the sitiation differently)

I respectfully ask that either take time to read what's asked and offer a response, or ask questions to clarify, but please stop offering advice and judgement that's not asked for - it's not helpful, it's not supportive and it's not wanted.

If you have something to comment on that addresses the question asked, please do so

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Mon, 11-18-2013 - 12:11am

I'm confused.  Back in August you were already having problems with this woman.  It sounds like everything has to be "her way or the highway"!  You say you're 80/20 on values, goals and beliefs, but you neglected to say which of you was 80, which was 20.  Let me guess, she's the 20.  Now suddenly, your job is at risk......and you need to work on that?  If you're moving to another city......you'll be looking for a new job anyway, won't you?  So, the "risk" doesn't seem to be a big deal.

I can't figure out if it's her pulling the strings, or it's you obsessing about everything and anything.  The bottom line is that if you and she were truly connected, there wouldn't be all this "tsuris".  You'd pack up and move......end of story.  But you're so busy analyzing every thing that's said and done.......that you're not seeing the trees for the forest.  You and she are obviously not meant for each other.......too many differences.  So what if you've put 4 years into what sounds like a not very satisfying relationship.  Why would you want to put any MORE time into it?  Cut your losses, wish her good luck in her new location, and move on to find someone more compatible.