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Dating, deployment, decisions

Hello Guys,
My name is Stephanie and I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 3 years now. We are both in the military so of course we are apart most of the time. Things were great at the beginning, but we went through some rough times. We got through them though.

I found out he had cheated on me and I forgave him. He promised to change and he did. I deployed, and well our relationship became very distant, and I ended up cheating on him, and he found out about it as well. He told me we would work through it, and we did. However I kept in contact with this other guy for a while and my boyfriend told me to stop all communication with him. I told him I would but I didn’t. So this in fact brought more problems to our relationship. So I eventually cut off communication with this guy and I have been trying to prove myself to my boyfriend ever since.

However, I feel that he has become very distant towards me. He is busy with work, but he does not seemed to be bothered by the fact that I am scared for our relationship. He tells me everything is fine, and that I am just paranoid!
I find myself bringing up things that start an argument between us, and then we get upset and end up not speaking to each other for days.

I am supposed to go see him in about 2 weeks and I’m excited but scared at the same time. He always tells me that we are fine and that I need to stop with all the accusations and talk about us not being okay because we are.
He says that the reason he is distant is because I always want to argue and he is tired of it. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

He says that he is still in love with me and that he obviously does love and care about me. I’m just confused. I don’t know if I am paranoid or if this is really over??

Can someone please give me some advice.

Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Thanks for writing.

Your relationship is only over when you decide you don’t want to try anymore, or if your boyfriend decides he doesn’t want to try anymore. What’s happened is that the trust between the two of you has been damaged by both of your indiscretions. That type of damage can last a long time, even if you’ve worked through a lot of it. Earning back trust can take years, and often it’s never earned back. Feel good that you’ve both forgiven each other. Most couple don’t get that far.

The long distance nature of your relationship also adds to the overall feeling of insecurity and uncertainty you’re feeling. You have to rely on words alone, not body language, or a daily hug, or anything else that might make you feel more certain about the relationship. And when trust has already been breached, the distance only exacerbates the problem.

So the question is, do you believe what he’s saying? And that’s solely up to you Stephanie. He sounds sincere when he says he still loves you. But do you believe him?

We can understand why he doesn’t want to argue anymore. Arguing is exhausting, emotionally and physically, and if that’s all you’re doing right now, that’s even more exhausting. Once again the distance just amplifies this, because communication is being done by phone, Skype, email or text. Once you hang up, or finish the last email, you are both left feeling sad and lonely, with no one to process with. That’s tough.

You two need to do some talking that’s for sure. However, you also need to remember that you love each other. What we mean is, you need to remember WHY you fell for each other in the first place. This means, enjoying each other’s company WITHOUT fighting or arguing, at least for this next visit.

So maybe you need to trust the words he’s saying and just try to enjoy your upcoming visit. If you’re truly going to be together, you don’t need to hash everything out when you see him in a few weeks. Try having some fun, and postpone all the heavy stuff for another time. Celebrate what brought you together in the first place. But make a pact that at some date in the near future you’re going to discuss your relationship. That should not be ignored, and he should be on board with this. You in particular need to process how you’re feeling, and he should respect that and be open to it. But you also need to respect that he’s tired of arguing, and try to be a little lighter, at least for now.

If you still love him Stephanie, you owe it to yourself to keep trying. After this upcoming visit, you’ll have a much better sense of how you feel, and how he feels. We can’t say whether it will work out or not, but you won’t have any regrets, and that’s all you can really ask of yourself in this life.

Best of luck and keep us posted.

THE GUYS

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4 Comments on Dating, deployment, decisions

  1. Guys I must say I am lovely the manner in which you deliver feedback to all individual encountering one issue or the other Particularly relationship problems …Wow! You are doing such a good job and I have nothing more to add here!..Please keep up the good work.. God Bless 🙂

  2. ditto with fatima da

    Stephanie – what a tough one. Long distance relationships are SOOOOOO tough, however can be done.

    I definitely agree to have some fun when you catch up – make it light – remember why you fell in love.

    Then if you both decide to stay together, develop a strategy to make your relationship work.

    I imagine the US has similar programs to Australia for military personnel such as with relationship education. I suggest checking it out. Love has a way of working out … if you are both willing and do the work (in this case learn how to not only be in a relationship – but also in your particular kind of relationship).

    Wishing you success in love and life

  3. I have to say that it’s hard enough to overcome cheating in a relationship, but for a long distance relationship I think it’s impossible. I say this because trust is taken to a whole other level in a long distance relationship because you don’t have the regular reassurances that couples that see each other all the time have. Once trust in broken I think that the distance does these relationships in over time.

    When I was first dating my husband he was on a nuclear sub that did an enormous amount of sea time. We saw lots of couples, even married couples, who couldn’t survive infidelity because there is that certain kind of trust that couples that spend a lot of time apart have built that is the foundation for how they have survived the distance. I hate to say that sometimes trust can’t be repaired, but in these types of situations, I think that is true.

  4. Enter your comments here…
    Cathy Love your comment,very positive…I’m a similoar situation not as though but things can always work if you want too,I so agree…Don’t despair and move a long Steph…
    You can do it…Best of luck!!!

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