My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6 years. I currently live abroad going to medical school and he lives in Houston, we have been the long distance for 3 years. My parents have always been overprotective and don’t agree with our relationship and this has bothered my boyfriend this whole time but I always tells him it’s gonna get fixed. This summer he was very upset I was with my family the whole time and didn’t dedicate time to him. I agreed and said I was sorry. Well he had a female friend coworker that he liked to talked to. I had told him that she liked him but he denied it, of course. Anyways, she is married and has a kid. Well, I go visit him and he seemed strange, she kept texting him and I told him that needed to stop, I asked him did anything happen between you two and he responded yes, I couldn’t hide it from you. I made him tell me how many times and he said 4. I asked him why and he said he doesn’t know, he said he was super frustrated and upset at our situation and he enjoyed talking to her. But he said he was really really sorry and that he loves me, he chooses me and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make me happy. I didn’t deserve what he did to me and he is very very sorry. So he stopped talking to her but I still have this distrust and anxiety attacks as to why did this happen. I feel like I could have prevented it somehow. I decided to forgive him but it still hurts. What can I do? I really want our relationship to work but don’t know how to heal this wound in my heart. I see myself married to him, but how can he help me trust him again. I need help :( Thank you.

A: This is a tough one. The fact that you live so far apart and there is no opportunity for couples therapy right now makes the issue very difficult because of the feelings you’ve described.

I think for the moment what I would do is set up a couples therapy weekend where the two of you could work with other couples and a trained therapist to learn more about managing your long-distance love. Here is a link to one of the better-known programs.

Long-distance relationships can work, but they take some genuine attention to mutual appreciation for each other. Here’s a recent article I’ve written about this topic.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral