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Long term relationship in jeopardy

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Hi, I hope this is the right forum for this post... I really apologize for the length of this post and I appreciate you taking the time to look at this.


I'm having some difficulty sorting out some feelings I've been having and I could really use some advice. I've been dating a girl for over 6 years now. Most of our relationship has been long distance because her college was a few hours away from me. When she was at school, I visited her biweekly for the most part. In spite of the distance, our relationship was great for the first 3 and a half years, maybe even the stuff movies are made of. We got engaged after the end of our third summer and planned to get married after she graduated (this was probably naive on our part). During this time I'd made a substantial compromise for our relationship though. I decided against transferring to my dream college after I had been accepted, because it was too far away from hers. i didn't mind this compromise at the time because being near her was most important to me.


During the summer after her third year in college, things changed a bit between us however. I had some complications due to a chronic illness that made it painful for me to be intimate with her. As a result we weren't intimate nearly as much as we had been up to that point. Unfortunately, she took this the wrong way and began to feel that I wasn't attracted to her anymore. She became pretty mean to me during this time and didn't really seem to have sympathy for how I was feeling physically. We talked about how she felt quite often, and I was always as reassuring as I could be. I really did think she was still one of the most beautiful people I'd ever seen! (and still do)


The physical pain I was experiencing lasted for a few months all the way into the late fall of that year. By then though our relationship had changed quite a bit. We were more like friends than anything else (she felt this way especially). At this point she started to make some decisions about her future that really hurt me. She planned a trip to another country during her winter break with a friend. After the trip, we started to patch things up again for a bit, until she decided to volunteer as a researcher in another country when she graduated college. As reluctant as I was to let her go on the trip, I knew it would be beneficial for her when she applied to graduate school.


Her research trip lasted almost a year. We kept in touch over the phone when she was able to make it to a city about every month. I also managed to visit her in the middle of the trip. We had a few difficult fights during her trip. Eventually I began to feel as if I was falling out of love with her. Not because of the fights, but because of her recent actions.


By the time she got back, I didn't really know how I felt about her. Part of me still loved her, but a big part of me also resented her for the trip and how long it was. To put some icing on the cake I call my life, her last position had earned her enough respect so that she was offered another much shorter project this fall. While I wanted her to stay to work things out, I couldn't deny that this project would be her guarantee for the grad school of her dreams. So off she left on this second project.


Since she's been gone, I've felt really distant from her emotionally. I don't even feel like even her friend anymore. She wants to come back as if nothing has changed. She also wants me to move with her when she goes to grad school in the fall. I just can't move with her. I've really started to like where I'm living now. My friends are exciting and wonderful, my family lives near by and I'm on track to being very successful at my job. All of these feelings are starting to make me think that we shouldn't be together anymore. The problem is that I feel really guilty about wanting to break up with her. I agreed to her going on those trips, I just can't believe how difficult they've been.


I just don't know how I can sort out my feelings. Am I being unreasonable about the way I feel? Should I attempt to work out my relationship with her through a counselor or should I trust my gut feeling? I'd really really really appreciate someone's input into this. I feel like I can't get objective advice about this from my friends, because they always side with me. Please let me know what you think of all of this! Again, thank you very much for taking the time to read my post!

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Well, it all depends on you.

May be you could do an pros and corn list.

List down the good and bad things in this relationship.

Consider at this stage of life, what do you think is the most important things.

Then you could decide from it.


From what you are describing in the text, she seems very selfish. However, I do believe that there are something that pull two of you through this 6 years.

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Hi there and Welcome!


Well it seems that your girlfriend has no problems with doing what is right for her. She puts herself first quite a bit. I am not saying it's a bad thing but it seems like a bad thing for your relationship. So what you need to do is figure out is this the kind of life you want and what you would want in a lifelong partner. I mean, do you really want to stay with someone who puts herself first all the time, without discussing things with you first and perhaps coming to a compromise? I mean, a big thing in a relationship, especially in a marriage is compromise. I think it is in her personality to do this so I don't think this is going to change. Once she finishes school and I am sure she will continue to do this. But it would happen in different situations.


You are falling out of love with her and you resent her actions because she does not include you in her life and that can be very difficult. Those things screams volumes. I always advocate listening to your gut. It is usually correct. So maybe sit down one night and write down a list of things you want in a partner and see how your girlfriend fits into the picture. You will be very surprised, it's a real eye opener, I have done it and I was like wow. So maybe try doing that and see where it takes you. It might not hurt to talk to her about things and find out where she stands and how she feels. Maybe you can work something out. I really hope everything works out for you. Take care.

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You guys have been apart for so long that it is almost like starting over. Why not look at it like you are already broken up and figure out if you want to start dating this girl all over again. Like Kellbell said, put some thought into what you really want in a long term partner and see how she matches up given all you know about her at this time.


If it doesn't make sense then it is going to be pretty hard to get your heart to come around and really love her again. If it does make sense, then start over just like it was day one and put everything into it. I think over time our love does have its ups and downs, but it can always be coaxed back if you want to. We all change a lot in college and sometimes our goals change. Figure out if you really want her the way she is today, with the goals that she has. If you met her at a Christmas party today would you be dying to get her number or would you run the other way?


I know it is confusing, I'm kind of evaluating my relationship and the heart and logic fighting each other gives me fits.

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Thank you everyone so much for your advice. I bit the bullet and wrote a list of what I thought my ideal women would be like and what an ideal relationship would be like. I am embarrased to say that I didn't even know where to start. Fortunately, other people have put their lists in these forums, so I was able to find some inspiration As you might expect from my first post, there were a lot of gaps between an ideal relationship and our current relationship. The exercise made me quite sad, because she was at one point very close to an ideal partner!


I also thought about what it'd be like if I met her at Christmas party as you suggested ratherbesailing (I'd rather BE sailing too If that were the case, I'd probably be interested in her because of the external reasons -- looks & overall personality, since they'd be all I have to go on. The deeper aspects her personality and how we "click" wouldn't come out until we'd been together a little while. I honestly think that if we were to start dating now with no prior involvement, we'd probably be together for a few months until she went away to grad school and then we'd probably split up.


So now I'm at the point where I'm feeling a little more strongly against continuing our relationship. She has been available to talk on the phone the last few days and my mounting feelings against our relationship have made it very difficult for me to talk to her. She's trying to make a bunch of semi-longterm plans and it's hard to agree to them because of how I feel. It's also hard to talk about "us" in general. When we were able to talk around Thanksgiving, we agreed that we will have a lot of work to do on our relationship when she comes back. The list I made last night though is starting to confirm what I had already thought -- that we just might be incompatible now.


We've both managed to include our parents in these troubles and that hasn't made things any easier -- my parents want me to move on and her parents (from a different culture) think we've been together too long to split up. That has made it difficult for me, because I'd like to stop by her parents today. I know it will be uncomfortable, because they will talk to me about this. It really feels like I'm thinking about breaking up with two people at once! I know I'm going to have to just suck it up there and go over as uncomfortable as I'll be.


So how do I continue talking to my girlfriend until she comes back? As I said, the more I analyze our relationship, the more I'm confident that I want to move on. I feel really guilty about how I feel. In a sense, it's like I'm breaking a promise I made to her if we breakup. I wish this weren't happening around Christmas time!


Thanks again everyone, and I hope you have a nice holiday season!

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I am so sorry things are so tough for you but isn't really eye-opening and powerful when you make a list of what you want out of a partner and then figuring out how yout partner fits into the picture? I mean it really put things in prospective.


I am really sorry about how things went but from your last post, you sound like you know what you have to do and that it is for the best. You have a tough and long road ahead of you. Hang in there and stay strong.

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I'm sorry to hear of this dcfc.


My impression is that you two have grown apart, due to a significant degree to her repeated decisions that are not really compatible with your relationship. It's a difficult stage of life. People DO make decisions that impact grad schools and careers and things like that, and often people don't want to make compromises in those decisions because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that the decisions are too important for their long-term future ... this is why a lot of breakups happen when people change life stages from HS to college, college to grad school, grad school to starting career ... in part it's because sometimes people want to make those kinds of decisions "unencumbered" by relationship considerations. I suspect this is what your GF has done here, but at the same time she's trying to hold on to you and also include you in her future plans (again, orientated around what she wants to do).


I think you know what you need to do here. It's sad and painful, but it doesn't seem like you two are compatible any longer, and also that it's very much a one-way street for your GF (she gets to do what she thinks is important for her lofe and you ... get to follow her).


I'm sorry to hear you are going through this around Christmas time. Please do take time out to get support from family and friends in this difficult time.

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