runner0402 Posted August 27, 2019 Share Posted August 27, 2019 My girlfriend and I have been together for 2.5 years. We met while both at home and have gone off to college about 2 hours away from each other. We finished our bachelor's degrees and now are both working on our master's degrees in the same cities we were both in during undergrad. My GF seems to have avoidant attachment and I have anxious attachment. This has caused strain at points: reconciliation during fights is difficult for her and she doesn't always respond well for my needs for reassurance. She is, by all accounts, a great and caring person though and tries to make herself vulnerable, but ultimately her upbringing makes her need independence and distance from emotional situations. After being long distance for the entirety of our relationship besides a few holiday breaks, I am living at home while attending the second year of my graduate program and she is about to come home for an internship this fall. This means that we could finally have a chance to have a normal relationship for a few months until she goes 2.5 hours away this spring to finish school. I was a D-1 Athlete on a Co-ed sport last year at my new graduate program. I was in classes with another female teammate who also was new at the school. We started out as friends, but had a ton in common. We had more in common than my GF: political views, lifestyle views, education, athletic endeavors, humor, etc. I found her physically and personality-wise attractive, but I have always had staunch opinions on cheating and always have prioritized my relationship. Although my GF didn't care as much about this and actually found it a hassle at points, I always stayed-in, hardly partied and always made sure to Facetime her before bed because I knew that long-distance wouldn't work without staying out of insecurity-inducing situations. At the start of our relationship, we defined cheating as going to someone else to fulfill needs and obviously anything physical. I would spend time in class and during team trips with the other girl. we were both new to the school and shared classes so it was easy enough to get along; however, it never got farther than that. She D'Med me once and I had a short response to stop conversation. We didn't have each other's phone numbers or snapchats or anything. Meanwhile, my relationship was straining. We had gone a month without seeing each other despite not being terribly far and both having cars. My GF had a pretty full courseload, a job during most weeknights and a weekend job so she could pay for rent and necessities. There was very little time for me and she started to stress and get more and more distant due to the way she handles stress. Additionally, throughout our relationship she has shown symptoms of depression: very negative self-esteem despite being attractive, very low self-worth despite working in healthcare jobs devoted to caring for and improving the lives of others and being intelligent and kind. This would rear its head when she got overwhelmed: her support system is not very good and she begins to withdrawal from everything, most specially me. She believes that she cannot do better or that she is not enough to make me happy and becomes self-destructive threatening our relationship. Our team had a spring-break trip down south early spring. I spent some extra time with the other girl while traveling and doing coursework together--all consequences of our proximity of being at the same hotel for a week. Also, the other girl was among my closest friends due to the fact she was the only member of the team in my classes and we both were new to the team so experiencing similar situations. My girlfriend was withdrawing even more--last time this happened we broke up for a day due to her stress before she apologized and asked for me back. Feeling this coming on again, I facetimed her one day. In tears, I explained to her how I was feeling emotionally distant and unimportant. I asked how I can help her feel better and asked if she would be open to talking to a therapist at school to manage her stress or if there was anything I could do differently to help. She was pretty unapologetic, accused me of making her think she was depressed (when she was saying she felt worthless, tired all the time and always doing stuff but not getting anything back), and that our situation would remain the same until she graduated school. She said we could take a break if I wanted so she can get through the spring with the multiple jobs and school--which to me seemed pretty selfish and it wasn't like I was asking for a lot, just for her to reply to my texts a little more promptly and be more open to conversation when we facetimed instead of her shutting off the lights so she could fall asleep easier afterwards. With the uncertaininty of my relationship, I was more open to the other girl than ever before. We hung out a bit just the two of us. Nothing happened, just some schoolwork and talking. She always seemed excited to talk to me, which is something I hadn't felt for a while with my GF. There wasn't anything more than some jokes and talking about our sport and our classes. We got back and my GF was incredibly apologetic and said she would be different (which was a theme). I was receptive and said we could work it out. Meanwhile, I still had class with the other girl and we still had a few more trips together for competition. The other girl, fully knowing I had a GF, always managed to insert herself when I was feeling insecure and emotionally-distant from my GF. She began texting me pretty often, more than my GF and always replied quickly and kept the conversation going, which never happened with my GF and I always found problematic in a LDR. This kinda continued during the spring. There would be periods where my GF and I spent a lot of time together and things were good for a while and there wasn't much with the other girl. Then there were periods were we were more distant and I was more receptive to the other girl. I found out she had feelings for me and really liked me. I had a conversation with her saying that I liked spending time with her and I was confused by my feelings and didn't want to lead her on. She said that she was fully aware of the situation and it was okay and she would back off if I wanted. The attention made me feel more satisfied emotionally--she filled the gap in my relationship. There were things we could more easily talk about and even things I tried talked about with my GF and she didn't really respond to. I noticed I would pick fights with my GF after spending time with the other girl: like that my GF didn't seem interested in my life or that she wasn't supportive, etc. Eventually, my GF caught on and asked if something was up with me and the other girl. I said "i don't know" and explained how she liked me and that she was a good friend and it was tricky because I didn't want to hurt my relationship with the other girl because we had many mutual friends on the team and in class. She was a little upset but understood that she hadn't been very available with me. Despite this, my GF continued to be on and off available and at the end of the year, me and the other girl ran into each other and ended up going out to eat, getting ice cream and hanging out while I told my GF i was with a friend. At the end, she went into hug me which I was a little uncomfortable with and then she kissed me on the lips out of nowhere and I stopped it saying I have a gf and I can't. Hours earlier, I explicitly told the other girl that I wouldn't cheat on my GF just to make sure intentions were clear, so I was pretty angry at what happened. I felt super guilty and she left. Eventually my GF had a break from school and came home. We spent weeks together and it was all good. I was happy. I knew that the other thing would fade because it was summer and we wouldnt have to see each other. I cut off communication. My GF went on my phone and saw texts to the friend I said I spent the night with saying I was with the girl and she freaked out about me lying. She said it wasn't anything to breakup over and that it would be okay, but asked me if anything else happened. Afraid to hurt her more, I said no, but after a few weeks I felt better about our future and incredibly guilty. I told her about what happened and that I stopped it. She was in shock and obviously hurt, but we kept on dating. I visited her in her new summer internship and things were good. After a month she said she didn't think she could get past it and can't trust me. I told her that I promise not to do it again and that I cut communication with the other girl. We worked it out. Last week, after not seeing each other or really talking due to me being on vacation and her being busy with her internship, I visited her with a friend who came to see me. She was a bit off, but she seemed alright. I mentioned that classes started next week again (meaning that I would have to see the other girl again). She seemed off the rest of the time but with my friend there we couldn't talk. I visited other friends and couldn't Facetime at night. She became more distant by text and refuted having anything wrong. We were both coming home for the last weekend (about 15 min away from each other) and on the car ride back, after not talking on the phone or Facetime for days, she said that she wanted to be honest and that we could talk on the car ride or in person. I said lets talk now and we can finish the conversation in person. She said that she couldn't trust me anymore: not that I had done anything else during our relationship to make her doubt me, but that the incident was causing too much stress and anxiety for her. It was making her too sad. She said that she was just someone who held grudges and that I wasn't continuing to do anything untrustworthy, but she just couldn't handle it. My car had just gotten rear-ended moments before and I was in the midst of an hours long drive, so I was a bit unable to handle the situation as well as I could. I reassured her that I wouldn't do anything else and anything that she needed I would do (access to phone, social media, location tracker) and that I am so sorry and that I regret it terribly and if anything it showed me how much I valued our relationship. She said that she needed a break or a breakup because she knew I wasn't a fan of the idea of the break--this was never really officially decided. She also told me she knew something about what happened that I didn't know she knew. There were minor details that I may have glossed over or may have forgotten (the incident was three months ago), but nothing totally material. I asked what it was and she refused to tell me. Saying that it was my chance to come clean and that telling me would defeat the purpose. I said there was nothing: maybe small things, but nothing I purposefully held onto. I told her that i told the other girl I wouldn't cheat right before she kissed me, which i hadn't told her. Instead of being positive about telling the other girl that, she was negative and thought that meant I thought something would happen--when i was just making sure it was clear I wasn't crossing a physical boundary. I began to get a little mad saying that it would be terrible to not know what piece of information is the cause of this and that I would just keep wondering if it was even real. She said that she doesn't owe me anything (actually i gave her money to help her out, clothes, a bed, bedding, etc that she hasn't returned, but that has nothing to do with this). I think the whole thing may have been a game to try to get me to divulge stuff, but there isn't anything else to really say. There are some minor details, but most of which I forgot or became blurred and really nothing consequential. I thought it may be a test. She said that she was done with this. I was having trouble hearing her in the car and said that we could talk more when I get back that evening or saturday morning which she agreed to. I got home and she said she couldn't meet. The next day I texted her and she said she was busy. She said she could meet me for a minute while she was somewhere so I got there but she had left saying that I didn't text her in time and her phone died. She was a few minutes away and I asked if we could meet at all and she said that she just wasn't up for it, but sorry I drove all the way there. That was Saturday. I didn't reply to the message. I sent an email to my school asking to switch classes to get out of the class I was with the other girl thinking proximity to this girl was the problem. I also blocked her on everything a week ago which I told my GF on the phone during the "break-up talk" but she didn't believe. I forwarded the email I sent to the school to her to let her know I was trying, but didn't send anything else. We haven't really communicated and I feel like she ultimately owes me a talk since our phone talk was pretty short. We've dated for years and to break-up on the phone seems foolish to me. She is back at her internship, but is gonna be home this weekend and will be home for the fall the following weekend. I am not really sure where we stand right now, which is extra difficult to me. I feel like I can get the relationship back. We were finally going to be minutes away and she was going to work in the city I have school, so she could always be on campus when I had class at night. I am totally open to living my life under the magnifying glass--I am open to fully divulging interactions and making any changes necessary for her to believe me. This whole thing has rattled my self a bit--I always believed I was super-monogamous and good with commitment, but our rough patch just really highlighted an emotional need. Instead of potentially breaking up because she wasn't meeting my emotional needs, I found them elsewhere briefly. In some sense it is emotional cheating, but I saw it as relying on my social network and justified the fact it was okay because no physical boundaries were broken, up until that final kiss I quickly shut down. At the end of the day, the other girl started off as a friend and grew to my closest friend at that school--it was a grey area for me. I enjoyed the attention and feeling positivity rather than being dragged down by the negativity my girlfriend sometimes had and the lack of emotional intimacy. Although, it may be foolish, I definitely would like to work this out with her. We have had a very serious relationship, lived in plenty of different places, worked many different jobs and attended different schools--there have been many obstacles and this just seems like another to me. I haven't heard from her since saturday night when she said she wasn't up to me, but I am honestly not sure how final this is or if she just needs time to think and we are on a break. I am still her fb photo, we are still friends on social media and although not totally receptive to me she will respond to my messages. She still has all my stuff and we left the conversation at a point where it didn't seem final... i mean on the phone after 2.5 years and driving to the same place. I know me going back to school is the source of this, but we had a solid relationship and I wanted to give it a chance to evaluate us once we closed the distance which would be this fall. I am thinking I give her some space to cool-off and I think if I get through the week of school, then maybe she will realize that me being there doesn't mean that something will start off again with the other girl. I am hoping for some advice on how to handle this. TLDR: Rough patch in 2.5 year long LDR relationship with Anxious (me)-Avoidant (her) tendenices, got close to classmate who kissed me and I stopped it and cut her off. Told gf and tried to make it work, things improved for a couple months, but she just said she was done and "needed a break or a breakup" after she couldn't trust me. Likely sparked by my return to school, but I changed classes to be in classes without her. Things seem a little open-ended right now, need advice, currently trying NC until she returns home to non-long distance for good in 10 days. Link to comment
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