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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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Okay, this is a tricky one. My boyfriend of 4 years ...

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Okay, this is a tricky one. My boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me 2 months ago. We are both in the military and for the past 2 years we have been surviving off of a long distance relationship and the occassional visit here and there every few months. When he broke up with me he gave me no real reason other than that he was talking to another woman, and that he was confused. Well this woman is also in the military and he met her while she was in his class for a school. She was only there for 30 days, and she went back to her post in missouri away from him, he is in virginia. Well since the breakup I have went to visit him twice and get no real answers other than that he is confused and that he was lonely. However, when I am there it''s like we never broke up he is just as affectionate and sweet, and since we broke up he has continued to call me everyday sometimes two and three times, which is more than we communicated while we were together. Please help, i''m confused.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 6 years ago.

HiCustomer

I would be happy to help you think through this situation. Please answer these questions for me first so that I can better answer your question.

What are your ages?

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship before?

Does he still have contact with this other woman?

Does he say what he is "confused" about?

Have you talked with him about marriage before?

What do you want out of this relationship?

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to JR, M.A.  Post: Thank you for responding in such a timely manner. I am 26 years old, and he is 42. I have never been in a long distance relationship before, and i'm pretty sure that he hasen't either. As far as I know he is still in contact through the phone with this woman, however I think that's as far as it goes. When he first broke up with me he did not say what he was confused about, however, the last time that I was there I suggested that it could be because we had spent so much time apart, and he was lonely and when this other woman came into the picture it made him feel good, and he agreed. We have talked about marriage before, him moreso than me. I would have to say that as far as this relationship goes, I want him and I want him to communicate with me so that I know what went wrong. The last time that I was there I asked him if he loved this woman and he said no, I asked him if he loved me and he said that when I was with him he thought that he did.
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 6 years ago.

HiCustomer

It sounds like you are in a very tricky situation. If you keep your heart invested in this relationship, you are running the risk of being hurt very badly. There is a discrepancy between what he is telling you and how he is behaving when around you. He claims to be "confused" but acts "affectionately" with you. He is sending you what is called a "double message." That is, he is telling you to draw close with his behavior but his words are expressing something contrary. The tricky thing about long distance relationships is that they foster a false sense of closeness and connectedness. That is, they make you believe that you are perfect for each other because when you talk to or see one another, it is usually to share positive feelings and experiences. Long distance relationships can build a false sense of security and closeness. Men tend to require close physical contact to feel connected in relationships. When you are apart for that long, it usually results in wandering eyes on the man's part. He probably noticed this other woman and was intrigued by the attention she gave him. Although you attempted to give him attention over the phone or in a few intimate meetings, he was likely looking for female attention.

I would suggest that the two of you sit down in your next visit and have a very serious conversation about the future of this relationship. It is wrong of him to keep you hanging on for all of this time. If you are, in fact, no longer together...you should not be talking to him every day or going to see him at all. You are continuing to put up with this treatment because he is giving you some love and attention that you desperately crave. Search inside yourself as to the reasons why you need this man's attention and affection. His behavior seems very unstable and it is likely that he is struggling to understand what he wants out of his life. At his age, he may be struggling with mid life crisis issues. Although there is nothing wrong with dating a man that is this much older, it may cause you a number of problems that you aren't even aware of yet. You are young...you should not let this man and his confusion keep you on a leash. He needs to "man up" and make a decision about his future. He is not 16 years old. As an adult, he owes you decent and honest response. As long as you continue to talk to him every day and go to see him on occasion, he has no reason to make a commitment to you. You are helping him stay in a state of confusion by allowing him to suck you dry without giving you a real commitment in return. I'm guessing you probably feel pretty empty inside and thinking of him makes you feel better. You are worth more than this!!! Let him know that you need a real answer from him. Keeping up this pattern of interaction is very unhealthy and may lead to a lot of regret on your part. You deserve an answer from this man! Go and get one already. You can do it!

If you found this answer helpful, please click accept so that I get credit for my work. Bonuses are appreciated. I would be happy to help you with any follow-up questions. Please feel free to request me again if you have future questions. Good luck to you!

JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience: I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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