November 9, 2013 at 6:24 am #45046tulips8Participant
My boyfriend travels a lot for work, out of the country — I’d say about 50-60% of the time. Before he got the job we had just started out. After he got it, he told me that he wanted to commit to me for the long haul. I was not clear about exactly how much he’d be traveling, until this last trip, he updated our shared calendar and — wow. Let’s just say seeing it visually put things in perspective. Often his trips are extended at the last minute or things change. It requires a lot of flexibility and patience.
I suppose I wanted to use this time to really get to know him better and make my decision. The process seems slowed down now due to the amount of time we spend apart. I am of an age that I’m thinking of having kids in the next couple of years, which is not making the slowness and space in between easier for me. I also want more of a connection. We talk often while he is gone, but it is hard to go for long stretches without seeing someone and still feel ‘sure’ about them. That everyday familiarity is lost.
I am here in our city finishing up my grad degree. When I graduate soon, most likely I will find a similar job as his. I don’t think I want to do something so separate for much longer. I am not sure if it’s too early in the relationship to discuss future plans together, or to look for jobs where we might travel together. I also do not want to seem like I am being critical of his job or the traveling that is required — but I do want to have a mature discussion about the length of his trips and how I sometimes feel depressed when he is gone.
Are these legitimate discussions?November 9, 2013 at 7:21 am #45050MattParticipant
I really appreciate the way you’re looking at this… you’re doing it with maturity and patience, which is commendable! Even your impatience is being approached with spacious consideration. Bravo! A few things came to heart as I read your words.
You’re very normal. Most relationships are challenged by long distance, and its no surprise that your heart is having difficulty. It is not only acceptable that you talk about it, it is necessary. Its where you’re at, and relationships are built on both people relating where they are at. This allows people to grow together, to continue to see deeply into each other… because the trust to share whatever comes up gives the other a chance to peer behind the curtain… to know the heart and mind directly, openly.
As you engage with him, just try to bring the same space you had in the post. Not “you travel too much” or “you need to change” but “this pattern we have is burdening my heart. What can we do?” This works for most of the bumps that arise during intimacy, travel or otherwise. It gives him the opportunity to make informed choices, follow his desires with knowledge. Perhaps you two can innovate a path out of the problem, perhaps he’d rather give up the relationship than the schedule, perhaps something else, who knows.
There are no rules for what we should or should not experience, only cause and effect. If his travelling puts distance between you and him emotionally as well as physically, that’s important for him to honor. Its not your “fault” for being this way or that and you dont just need to “swallow it down”. Its an issue, and if it can be worked out with him somehow, the relationship could flourish under the new conditions you two create. If not, you’ll be able to decide what to do next with more wisdom.
Namaste, dear sister, I hope the puzzle pieces align and fit well.
MattNovember 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm #45064tulips8Participant
Thank you for your response.
Yep, you are absolutely right. I think I am afraid to bring things up around this issue because he had a hurtful and tough experience with long-distance before me. Sometimes I feel like I”m walking on eggshells, because I don’t want for us to decide it’s too hard or that we can’t do it. But if I swallow it down, I know it will come out eventually, probably in a not-so-mature way.
I think the first step is realizing it’s okay for me to feel this way, and it does not mean I am needy or strange. Then, I will try and gently talk with him.
Thank you Matt.