Change of Heart: Long-Distance Relationship and Semi-Open Relationship
I’ve been in a 6 year LDR with a bf who I LOVE but I absolutely hate how the LDR has turned into a complete nightmare for me. We met right before I transferred away for college & he left a year later. I was in CA and he was in NY. We made it work but only because I would pull tooth & nail to get him to agree for me to come visit. This happened every 2-4 months when I reached my limit for being away from him. His dream was to work abroad after college so he left to Seoul. That was 3 years ago and he’s been throughout Asia since, changed careers twice and is now starting his own company. My issue is multi-faceted: 1) I’m starting med school next year and have made it very clear that I needed him to be a part of this extremely impt process 2) He has a girlfriend that he’s lived with for 2 years and been with for longer. I know about her, she doesn’t know about me. I don’t date other men but he has gf’s that I’ve known about since we started but due to the abuse our relationship has taken I’m now against him having his live-in gf because of the wedge it’s put in our relationship. We’ve gotten to a point where his travels and lifestyle has reduced our relationship to texting and maybe a 5 minute phone call weekly. He’s great when we’re actually physically together. I just absolutely hate who he is or isn’t for our relationship when he’s away. How do I express my desire to close this relationship without making him feel like I don’t support his work? Have I let this go way too far with the travel + gf’s (Why buy a cow when the milk’s free)? We’ve planned for kids, marriage, I live with his parents. Help I’m so confused when I wake up at least once a week infuriated and wanting to and have attempted to break up with him because this relationship has been reduced to bits.
A: I’m not sure what you are waiting for. I’d say it time to walk away from him and into your life. It sounds to me like you have always put more into the relationship than he has, and you have no reason to worry about him. He is living with someone else, for Pete’s sake! How can you be planning marriage and children when he has never really been a true partner?
I’m not sure why you are worried that if you break it off with him it somehow implies that you don’t support his career. That’s all you’ve done, and where is he now that it’s your time to focus on medical school? Is he running to be by your side?
To be even more blunt, I’m not really sure you have a relationship to walk away from. Does texting and a 5-minute phone call really constitute a significant relationship? I don’t mean to be harsh, it’s just that it seems to me that you have made enough sacrifices and have not received much in return. Medical school is difficult and time consuming and it’s also your time to shine. Let go of him, let go of the past, and open yourself up to all the possibilities in front of you. Chances are that when you do, a real partner will show up and walk this path beside you.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Counts, H. (2014). Change of Heart: Long-Distance Relationship and Semi-Open Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/21/change-of-heart-long-distance-relationship-and-semi-open-relationship/