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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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I have been in a relationship for about 8 months now. He lives

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I have been in a relationship for about 8 months now. He lives in Nova Scotia and I live in Saskatchewan. He has moved here to live with me a couple times, but ended up going back home. He has now gone back home again, but wants to come back here with me. We have a lot of issues to work on, but he says that he doesn't think we tried hard enough. I have kids, which he is not used to and he says that he let too many things get to him and that he realizes that he was stressed out and knows that he needs to get over some things. We love eachother a lot, but I'm just scared. Do I give it another try? I'm worried about what my Mom will say if I do. I know that you can't tell me what to do, but some insight would be greatly appreciated.
Hello and thanks for using!

You certainly could try again, although I'm concerned about the fact that there's been a cycle of calling it quits when things get complicated (to the extreme degree of moving back!) I'd suggest you consider talking through all of the issues at hand BEFORE he moves this time. Try to identify any underlying problems that cause tension and brainstorm how you might handle them more effectively in the future. Talk about how you solve problems as a couple and whether you feel there are healthier ways to address the issues than how you've gone about it in the past. It may be helpful for you to come up with this game plan when you're not in the midst of experiencing the problems that tend to arise. Ask how he's feeling about the plans you make and what he wants for your future. Share your feelings and be honest about what you want as well. Perhaps if you've done all of this you'll feel better about the prospect of giving it another try. Or if the conversation doesn't go well, you'll know this likely won't work and will have saved yourself a lot of trouble. Either way, it's your life and you get to make your own relationship choices despite what family members may think about them.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

We have been talking a lot about how to deal with problems differently. Since he's been home, he is very rational. I'm just scared that if he comes back, he will be all stressed out again and we will just end up fighting. He is also not used to being away from home, which stresses him out. Is this normal for a 32 year old? When we argue about things, we tend to butt heads. He is very hard headed and maybe I am a little too. He keeps saying one of us has to give in, but I can't give in about something that I know is right. Or if I explain to him about something that I said that he took wrong, he still just hears what he thinks I meant. We are a lot the same, but come from two different backgrounds, I am very understandig about his. I'm just not sure sometime that he is of mine. He's used to things his way, can this change?

Perhaps you could suggest ways for both of you to cope with the stress in general -- That way you'll each have an outlet if tension arises. Schedule some "alone time" (for each of you) -- What would help him to feel like he has some space / time to unwind? Guys' night out? Joining a sports league or gym? What about you... Any interest in joining a volunteer organization? Or taking up a new hobby? Think about what each of you could benefit from in terms of ways to unwind when you need to. Add that to the plan you create when you're considering giving this another go.

To answer some of your questions, it is normal for anyone to be away from home -- everything is new, the familiar support system is missing, and the comforts we've come to rely on are suddenly not there. The degree of stress this causes varies greatly based upon a person's coping skills and willingness to establish a new home by finding their way around, meeting new people, and making connections.

I don't think there's a need for anyone to "give in" when you have a disagreement. Sometimes it's best to simply acknowledge that you disagree about something. See if you can find a compromise that makes you both happy and if not, respect the fact that it's normal for people to have differing opinions.

If he's used to having things his way, that is something that can change... However, I think it would be a matter of time (maturation), changing values and priorities, and / or recognizing that there are times when it's important to see things from another's perspective.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I also had a talk with my Mom about him coming back. I know that she is just trying to protect me. She was upset and said that she just can not support me in this decision if he comes back. Asked how many times i'm going to let him do this to me. She doesn't like him. But really hasn't had much time to get to know him. I probably shouldn't have told her some of the things that were said when we were arguing. I tried to explain that I didn't say some nice things either, but she thinks I'm making excuses. I'm not, it takes two in a relationship, it's not all him. Yes, some things he said were extremely hurtful, but I do understand that he was stressed and he says that is why he said them. He says that he knows that I'm a good person and good Mom, and that he didn't mean it that way. Am I being naive and stupid, will it be the same if he comes back?
It very well could be... However, if it's a mistake, it's your mistake to make (not your mother's). A few things to consider...

Are you second guessing because you know your mother is right? Do you typically trust her judgment? Are there other people who would agree with her position on all of this? If so, it may be worthwhile to think about why that is. All of those people have the advantage of an objective viewpoint.

There's a chance this could work out... It would take a lot of work on both of your parts to figure out how to break out of this cycle you've forged. There's also a chance that you'll put yourself through another round of heartache only to find yourself right back where you started.

Bear in mind that there are other men out there who have the same wonderful qualities, but without the need to work on how to deal with stress, solve problems maturely, and stay put when things get complicated. You deserve that and the time you spend trying to fix something that may be beyond repair is time you could possibly have met someone else who fits that bill. Ultimately, you'll have to decide if this is worthwhile or if its time to move on. Do you honestly see the potential for change? Or is it time to consider another future for yourself?
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