Transition Confusion

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Transition Confusion
9
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 2:15am

Hello

I could use some insight from a woman's view and relationships in transition.  My GF and I have had complicated long-distance relationship for the past few years - started together then she had a move for a job and we did the long-distance thing, with a few months where she was on sabatical and were together. 

The past year we've known about a move for her to a new job/city and I've said I'm wiling to relo to but would need a bit of time to transition.  The city doesnt have any immediate work for me but could find something with a bit of search.  

What's confusing is we've talked about the transition and now that it's in swing, (she's there and I'll be there next weekend for the first time), things became really different.  Instead of talking multiple times a day on IM and phone, it's silence - perhaps a call once in the middle of the day, but nothing like before.  When I asked and pressed to get info, she told me that this is not what she wanted - she had a different view of how the move would go and we would have done it together and she is upset/hurt that she's doing the move alone. We've struggled in the past with communications - when she is hurt what show's up is anger, she has pressed for things she wants and I've decribed what I can do - sometimes her wants/my capabilities dont match.

Two weeks ago we had a discussion which led to her saying she didnt want to talk for the next 2 weeks because she is angry the way the move is working and it's not how she wanted it.  (one other point that I'm sure is a factor but hard to know how much, is she told people in the new town that I would be moving there and didnt set expectations on timing, etc. and believe the lack of my being there causes her some embarrassment).  She has also been clear on wanting to be married for quite sometime, I've had concerns because of our lack of communications and pressure that "we should just do it" even though I'm often on the receiving end of anger.  Why this matters is I think she put deadlines in her mind about being engaged/married and those passed; she's expressed that things are not going to be the same since she's moved - I took this to mean I needed to visit more often than before and I'm willing to do this and have let her know as much.

I've had some complications with work and am able to make my first trip next weekend.  (The transition just occured the 4th of July so it's a bit more than a month in total).  We've struggled in the past with communications - when she is hurt what show's up is anger, she has pressed for things she wants and I've decribed what I can do - sometimes her wants/my capabilities dont match.

The crux of the sitiuation and question is what feelings could she be having that makes not communicating a good option - it's killing me with anxiety and love withdrawl.  

If she was out of the relationship all together, I would expect she would tell me not to come visit this weekend - she knows I'm coming and has not said there's no reason to make the trip.  I'd like to ask where she is/what she's thinking but wanting to respect the radio silence that she's saying she wants.  So, I'm asking for your help and insight on what feelings she may be having and how best to help when there next weekend - also would appreciate any thoughts on why the request for not communicating

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 2:28am

I'm confused about something: "The past year we've known about a move for her to a new job/city and I've said I'm wiling to relo to but would need a bit of time to transition.  The city doesnt have any immediate work for me but could find something with a bit of search"

If you've both known about the move for a year, why weren't you ready to move when she had to? Why are you feeling that you need more than a year of transition, and how much more time do you need? In other words when will you be ready to join her? Have you been searching for work in that city?

I would like to understand this situation better before speculating as to why she is behaving the way she is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 9:54am
Great questions and let me expand. The move was known for 1 yr but it was between 3 cities, the decision was finalized in Dec so less than 6 months of time to be in a new place. The other question about time needed is a great question and requires some introspection. I'll think more about this and the first impression is that last summer was not easy for us and based on our interactions/behaviors towards each other, it would not have worked and hence my reluctance to jump in entirely - new job, new city all for a relationship that at the time was not set-up to succeed. What's changed is our relationship has been fluid, we've continued to develop, change and grow together (from my viewpoint). The work I do requires travel and home office, for now I can move and look for work in KC - the only factor would be travel m-thur and we'd be together on weekends. (This has been known and the part of the plan, since we didnt know which city the role I had with travel would fit for any of them. Your questions are causing me to think and reflect on the past months, and looking back it seems she has been slowing pulling away but communicating that she is in this and wants us to work/be married, etc. Perhaps the move was a milestone and that with the natural distance was something she planned to use to end us and was not sharing with me. If that's the case, it seems odd she would have me visit this coming weekend and have additional trips planned for later in the month. Thanks for the help, the questions make me look more at what's happened. Maybe what's really going on is I dont want to let go and start over, we've dedicated 4 yrs to growing and the idea of being alone, trying again is a lot of work. Maybe this fear is driving me and maybe she has fears that we'll never work and her time is better invested elsewhere....... Too much for a man-brain and please ask more questions, share your thoughts. Thanks!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 10:05am

Great questions and let me expand.  The move was known for 1 yr but it was between 3 cities, the decision was finalized in Dec so less than 6 months of time to be in a new place.

The other question about time needed is a great question and requires some introspection.  I'll think more about this and the first impression is that last summer was not easy for us and based on our interactions/behaviors towards each other, it would not have worked and hence my reluctance to jump in entirely - new job, new city all for a relationship that at the time was not set-up to succeed.

What's changed is our relationship has been fluid, we've continued to develop, change and grow together (from my viewpoint).  The work I do requires travel and home office, for now I can move and look for work in KC - the only factor would be travel m-thur and we'd be together on weekends.  (This has been known and the part of the plan, since we didnt know which city the role I had with travel would fit for any of them.

Your questions are causing me to think and reflect on the past months, and looking back it seems she has been slowing pulling away but communicating that she is in this and wants us to work/be married, etc.  Perhaps the move was a milestone and that with the natural distance was something she planned to use to end us and was not sharing with me.

If that's the case, it seems odd she would have me visit this coming weekend and have additional trips planned for later in the month.

Thanks for the help, the questions make me look more at what's happened.  Maybe what's really going on is I dont want to let go and start over, we've dedicated 4 yrs to growing and the idea of being alone, trying again is a lot of work.  Maybe this fear is driving me and maybe she has fears that we'll never work and her time is better invested elsewhere.......

Too much for a man-brain and please ask more questions, share your thoughts.

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 10:05am

Great questions and let me expand.  The move was known for 1 yr but it was between 3 cities, the decision was finalized in Dec so less than 6 months of time to be in a new place.

The other question about time needed is a great question and requires some introspection.  I'll think more about this and the first impression is that last summer was not easy for us and based on our interactions/behaviors towards each other, it would not have worked and hence my reluctance to jump in entirely - new job, new city all for a relationship that at the time was not set-up to succeed.

What's changed is our relationship has been fluid, we've continued to develop, change and grow together (from my viewpoint).  The work I do requires travel and home office, for now I can move and look for work in KC - the only factor would be travel m-thur and we'd be together on weekends.  (This has been known and the part of the plan, since we didnt know which city the role I had with travel would fit for any of them.

Your questions are causing me to think and reflect on the past months, and looking back it seems she has been slowing pulling away but communicating that she is in this and wants us to work/be married, etc.  Perhaps the move was a milestone and that with the natural distance was something she planned to use to end us and was not sharing with me.

If that's the case, it seems odd she would have me visit this coming weekend and have additional trips planned for later in the month.

Thanks for the help, the questions make me look more at what's happened.  Maybe what's really going on is I dont want to let go and start over, we've dedicated 4 yrs to growing and the idea of being alone, trying again is a lot of work.  Maybe this fear is driving me and maybe she has fears that we'll never work and her time is better invested elsewhere.......

Too much for a man-brain and please ask more questions, share your thoughts.

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 11:43am

A couple of things.......when you post a question, or a response to a reply, please wait a few moments for the post to show up.  It takes time on this website.

Re: your problem(s):  When two people in a good relationship are LD, it's difficult to communicate properly!  Facial expression is a large part of communication!  Why she becomes angry when things aren't going the way she wants them to?  Maybe she's frustrated, lonely, rethinking the relationship.....it could be one of many reasons......including need for anger management.  She's the one doing all the moving around, so it seems her career track is more important to her than your presence in her life.  Yet she gets angry when things don't go the way SHE wants, and takes it out on you.  She's running her life the way she wants to......and it seems she expects you to follow her like a meek mouse.  There is also the possibility of someone else in her life after all this time apart.  I think you need to go to visit her, and get it all out in the open.....why the silence on her part, what comes next, and probably taking some time off completely.  LDR's are notoriously difficult when they last more than a few months......and this has been a few years with no real end in sight.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 12:10pm

This relationship just doesn't seem very promising to me.

When I asked and pressed to get info, she told me that this is not what she wanted - she had a different view of how the move would go and we would have done it together and she is upset/hurt that she's doing the move alone. We've struggled in the past with communications - when she is hurt what show's up is anger, she has pressed for things she wants and I've decribed what I can do - sometimes her wants/my capabilities dont match.

Is it that she's upset that she had to physically move and do all that work alone and that she thought you should help in some way, like helping to choose an apartment, or that it's more emotional--that she didn't want to move to a strange city alone and hoped you would move at the same time?  Did she ever discuss this with you first or does she just have these wants that are never expressed and you are supposed to read her mind?  What happens when she wants something and you can't or won't do it?  You are going to have plenty of situations in your marriage when you don't agree on things--you have to figure out a way to get things resolved that don't involve one person not talking--and it can't be one person always getting their way either--at times you will both have to compromise.  And not talking for 2 weeks is certainly not a mature way to deal with a problem--what happens if you are living together?  Do you just not talk for days?  Some people do give the silent treatment to punish their partner for not doing what they want and it's just not a good thing to do.

 (one other point that I'm sure is a factor but hard to know how much, is she told people in the new town that I would be moving there and didnt set expectations on timing, etc. and believe the lack of my being there causes her some embarrassment).  She has also been clear on wanting to be married for quite sometime, I've had concerns because of our lack of communications and pressure that "we should just do it" even though I'm often on the receiving end of anger.  Why this matters is I think she put deadlines in her mind about being engaged/married and those passed

This is another big red flag to me.  WHy would she care so much about the opinions of strangers (basically they are if she just moved there)?  You don't get married because of appearances or what other people think.  I also wonder if both of you discussed when you should get married.  I can see if she's a woman in her late 30's and worried that it would be too late to have a baby, that would make her anxious.  And I think at a certain point, you can't date for years with no end point in mind.  But the solution is for her to have this deadline and tell you that if you can't commit by a certain time, that she should break up and find someone else--if you lived in the same place for several years and weren't engaged, I think that sounds long, but being long distance slows things way down--I don't think you should get engaged until you have been living in the same place again and see how things go--personally she doesn't sound like a great partner, but since we're hearing only your side of the story, it's hard to tell.  Maybe she feels you've been stringing her along with promises you aren't following through on.  I think the visit is a good time to get things out in the open about your future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 3:19pm

Hi and thanks for the info

Many good points raised and some I wonder about too - which is a big part of why I didn’t just up and move with her - there are red flag with the way we communicate, compromise and work through issues.  

One reason telling others I'm moving is important to her is they are not strangers - she's a prof and these are people who mentored her though her PhD, she's done well and is going back because it's the #1 program in her field.  She negotiated to get me a job at the school as a condition of her job; I've held off thus far as they didn’t have a real position but were making up a role to give me a job - one without impact of meaning but lived to the contractual terms.  

Yes, her career does seem to come first, although she would say she was willing to do anything to have had use work - including dumping her career and finding a job in another field so we could be in the same town.  (I didn’t demand or pursue this as it didn’t make sense to scrap a skyrocketing career when my job/career could be portable - easier to find a business role than a prof who's limited to locations where there are top schools).

A key issue we've had in our relationship is negotiation and compromise - I don’t feel heard when I say what I can and will do.  A perfect example is the move; I said I would and would just need time to visit and establish friendships.  I've been in the same home for 16 yrs and the idea of moving to a new place and being dependent on a fragile relationship for a job and wellbeing, didn’t seem to be set-up to be comfortable and able to succeed.  The message I delivered of being there on weekends, getting familiar with people, the city, etc and then moving was what I could do - no threat of pulling out of the relationship or ultimatums of any kind; I was honest in what I could do but this didn’t reflect her vision/wants

We have dated a long time, most of it long distance with 2 exceptions of living together once for a 3 months and once for 10 months – the 10 month period was hard as there were a few times she disconnected with communications – her justification was that she was upset.

With the questions you’re asking and views you’re offering about good relationships, I have to rethink all of this.  I will still go visit, but perhaps I’m giving away too much of myself – I’ve said what I can do, I’m acting with integrity and doing it (with the upcoming trip), and if there’s no meeting in the middle or acknowledging that I am with her, we’re working towards a future together in the same place…. Maybe I should have a new mindset about what to expect, accept and what will work

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 6:49pm

Actually you sound very sensible in your approach to the relationship--before you just pick up and move there, making sure that 1) the relationship is sound and 2) that you are going to enjoy living in that place.  I just read a lot about people who move for a relationship and give up everything and then it doesn't work out, they are far from family & friend, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2008
Sun, 08-04-2013 - 7:25pm

I appreciate your comments and thoughts; it's still very difficult to understand what's behind the change in communications.

It does seem immature, but without input it's a judgment that may not be fair. 

What is not clear to me and where I would value input - what would be the best approach forward?  

Part of me feels like we need to talk and be candid about what works, what needs to change, and how we can support each other through the changes - make it clear it's safe and it's not that I want to walk-away or end our relationship but build on what we have to be better.

A complication I anticipate with this approach, she's not engaged with this idea in the past.  It takes a few days to get beyond the transition of being together again and then I've got to head back out of town for work.

From what other posters said earlier, perhaps the challenge is not being able to communicate - and what feels like the approach is she wants what she wants and compromise is not on the list (at least not initially)..

Any thoughts/experiences in getting someone to see/feel the need to see someone else's needs and create ability to compromise?