Jump to content

France to the US - long distance problems


Recommended Posts

My partner and I have been together for just over a year now. He's in France and I'm in the United States, with a 7 hour time difference. I've visited him twice, both for about 2 weeks, and he's visited here twice, once for a week and once for a month. When we're together, we're unstoppable. He understands me more than any other partner I've had, we have the same sense of humor, he's incredible patient with me, and my family absolutely adores him. When we part, however, a switch flips, and he returns to his anxious, depressed, insecure state. Early in our relationship, I had to take a step back, because it felt like every call we made, I was playing therapist. He eventually got a therapist, but only meets with them ~twice a month, so progress is slow. He needs to be independent if this relationship is going to work. When we are apart, he only (ONLY) thinks of the next time we can be together, and he constantly stresses about making enough money to eventually work together. He does not enjoy his time alone at all, and I do. In the year before I met him, I spent so much energy learning to love myself and be alone. It was hard and took a lot of trial and error, but I did it, and I wonder how I ever sustained relationships beforehand. Now, when we're apart, our calls involve a lot of me offering advice on how to feel better, encouraging him not to worry too much about the distant future, and suggesting things for him to bring to his therapist. 

He's like a different person when he's away, often snapping at me that I always tell him the same things, and that he just needs me to listen. He says "don't feel pressure to give me advice, I know you don't want to be my therapist." But... I really do need him to figure out how to be independent before we can eventually live together. Even telling him that makes him break down. WHAT DO I DO???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you do is accept that he is not well-suited to this long distance arrangement.  I don't think you should be the one to tell him to be independent -that comes across as a parent or therapist role I bet.  

In all you've only spent two months or so together in person which is a very short time with a lot of time in between.  I was long distance with my future husband but we'd been serious in the past, and we could see each other every two weeks.  And we had marriage/family plans.  Why would you two live together? Because one of you would relocate or because you want to be together for commitment reasons? What would show you he was independent and ready to live together?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you prepared for him to cling to you like a burr if you two do eventually live together? Are you OK with giving up any semblance of an individual life or activities without him such as meeting a girlfriend for lunch and shopping or going to a coffee house or art gallery by yourself? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

What you do is accept that he is not well-suited to this long distance arrangement.  I don't think you should be the one to tell him to be independent -that comes across as a parent or therapist role I bet.  

In all you've only spent two months or so together in person which is a very short time with a lot of time in between.  I was long distance with my future husband but we'd been serious in the past, and we could see each other every two weeks.  And we had marriage/family plans.  Why would you two live together? Because one of you would relocate or because you want to be together for commitment reasons? What would show you he was independent and ready to live together?

We'd live together to further our relationship toward long-term commitment. I'm likely going to Vet school in in the UK in September, and after about a year of school, I'd be getting an off-campus apartment, whether or not we live together. The connection we have is undeniable, and we call at least every other day when we're apart, but I know it's not the same as being able to see each other. Still, I feel more confident about this relationship than my previous three year non-long-distance relationship. 

I think when he's able to be apart and not immediately revert to his depressive symptoms, I'll know that he's more independent. I'm just hoping that happens before I get an apartment in Europe, because I know we cannot live together until then. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Are you prepared for him to cling to you like a burr if you two do eventually live together? Are you OK with giving up any semblance of an individual life or activities without him such as meeting a girlfriend for lunch and shopping or going to a coffee house or art gallery by yourself? 

No, not at all; that's why I'm more willing to wait to live with him until he finds a sense of independence. Before I met him, he was very depressed and found life meaningless... So it's really difficult for him to strive toward any goal other than being with me. 

I do love him, but I also feel stuck. I've been in a situation similar to his before, and he knows that. I tell him I'll be patient with him, so if I eventually have to break things off for codependency issues, I'm worried about what he'll do. (I know that's a horrible reason to stay with someone, but I really do love him. He's shown me more grace with my anxiety than anyone has. I can be a real handful and we're really fantastic at communicating...when we're together in person). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, CinnamonRoll said:

No, not at all; that's why I'm more willing to wait to live with him until he finds a sense of independence. Before I met him, he was very depressed and found life meaningless... So it's really difficult for him to strive toward any goal other than being with me. 

I do love him, but I also feel stuck. I've been in a situation similar to his before, and he knows that. I tell him I'll be patient with him, so if I eventually have to break things off for codependency issues, I'm worried about what he'll do. (I know that's a horrible reason to stay with someone, but I really do love him. He's shown me more grace with my anxiety than anyone has. I can be a real handful and we're really fantastic at communicating...when we're together in person). 

Having been married to someone who suffered from depression, I highly recommend not subjecting yourself to being with a partner who doesn't have it under control. He presently does not, and he might never get it under control. And being independent might not be something that changes within him even if he does get treatment. There is also no guarantee he'd stay on the med or stay with a therapist. I know my ex said he felt numb on the meds, eventually got off, and became ever worse.

With a foreigner, you might end up marrying before you really know them well enough because of VISA rules in your country, because living together is not possible. (I know your case will temporarily be different because you'll live in the UK). There would be no rush if you dated a local.

IMO, it's best to date someone you don't want to change in a major way, and that it's foolish to hope for major changes, if that's the only way you will be happy.

He's already emotionally manipulated you whether you know it or not, when you think he'd crumble to the ground without you. He's wormed that worry into your brain, and it's a form of control. Sorry, but the bad outweighs the good here. Yeah, I think you need to get out now and save yourself from a lot of grief.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You, um, do know is that what you see now is what you would be getting if you live together? 

Problem with long distance relationships is that, without seeing each other, it takes a lot of time to notice some stuff. Its easy to be all good for a week or two. But if you would be constantly dating in person, his demeanor, his "snaps" at you would be noticable very quickly. Like this you spent a year on somebody who clearly has mental health issues and is even abusive toward you. Because snapping at you isnt really healthy and you know it. So, cut him out before you entagle even more with somebody who is clearly far from ideal partner. That is also one of the consequences of LDR. Fantasy how the other person is ideal. As you dont spend a lot of time together and cant see the other side.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think he's really in a place to have a relationship, OP. 

When one person isn't functional on their own, it is going to be nearly impossible to have a healthy connection with them. He depends on you for happiness, which is a serious red flag. He's already draining you and he's an ocean away. This will be magnified once you are on the same soil, as you will probably find you can barely breathe because of the way he clings to you. 

This relaitonship has already become all about him and his needs and his mental health. That's not viable in the long-run and he shouldn't be punishing you because he doesn't have his mental health under control. 

Does he not have any friends? A social life? What does he do with his free time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depression causes people to be manipulative. All they can think about is their own needs. They are incapable of understanding that other people have needs and wants. They view any attempt at having a life of your own as "proof" you don't care about them which causes them to retreat further into their depression until you pay attention to them. They cling and cling. 

How does he react if he messages or calls and you don't immediately respond? Does he tell you how low and horrible and hopeless he feels if he can't talk to you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...