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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience:  PHD LPC
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Long story short, my boyfriend and I come from 2 different

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Long story short, my boyfriend and I come from 2 different places. He is French and I am Americain. I was an exchange student when we met, we fell in love, I moved back to the US and we were on and off as long distance relationships go. After 4 painful years, I moved to France to finally be with him. I absolutely loved the life I had where I lived, where I worked, my friends, but I needed to give our relationship a real chance. So I uprooted myself. After moving, we really had to rediscover each other, people change a lot in 4 years at a young age. Things just seemed to get better and better, 1 1/2 years of pure paradise, tremendous passion for each other, we just couldn't get enough of one another. In Jan 2010, I moved out of our town to do an internship, we saw each other almost every weekend, but I noticed that our passion was seeming to ever so slightly fade, we began fighting more about the tiniest things. Finally I moved back after my internship 5 months later. I had been dieing to get a kitten, so he finally agreed, and ever since i've been back and had the kitten, we cannot seem to connect. A few months have gone by now and we don't even seem like friends anymore. He still is very passionate about me, but I find myself feeling numb to everything in life that once gave me pleasure, from the sight and sound of a muscle car, to just seeing my boyfriend could send sparks through my entire being. I can't seem to find a common ground for us to stay together now, but just 3 months ago I was completely gaga for him, how could this change so fast? I do have a lot of stress in my life, but no more so that I did when I still felt passionate. Could I be resenting him for taking me out of a place I loved to come to a place I can't stand just so he can finish his studies and then we move back to the US? Could it be that the only thing we do together is watch movies now? I miss my friend, is this all my fault?
Hi and welcome. It has to be very difficult for both of you being so busy to find the time and energy to keep the level of passion you once had going strong. I think your gut is trying to tell you something and if you listen to it you may find that you are living with someone who is the follower in this relationship. You want more, you need more. You sound very energetic and you followed your heart by moving away from everything you loved to be with him. I am not sure it is resentment you feel, it's simply that he lacks your drive for life. You may be saying that your gave the relationship the chance it needed and you are finding out that just being together as a couple isn't enough. You want someone who has thoughts, plans, one that will complement yours, not depend on you for their happiness. You may need to rethink your relationship and decide if you want it to continue. It could also be the added stress but you may find if you blame the stress and try to move on the way you plan (hoping it will get better) you will be disappointed. He loves your drive, your energy and is very content (or so it sounds) to let you be the "driver" in the relationship. You have to decide what is best for you even if it isn't what you expected when you returned. I would suggest that you have a few counseling sessions together to decide if your future together is to work. Don't count on hope, be active in finding out what you need.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thank you. I am really trying to be active in finding out what we need. However, he has changed almost his whole way of seeing things because I have opened his eyes to many things, and he has adopted the same plans as me and is willing to work very hard to make them come true for us. I am just so confused though as to how we could go from blissfully happy and a month later I feel numb. I used to be so joyous in life, and I can't seem to find pleasure in anything now, except my kitten, could this be like having a child (I treat her like one) and the newness just needs to wear off? I was so happy just a few months ago, and not much has changed for me to plummet like this. When someone attractive would walk by, I would feel it inside me, when I would eat good food it was like sparks in my body or to see a nice car and hear it pass by would send electricity through me, but I don't feel anything in my body anymore, i'm worried it's something deeper rooted...
Hi, If you have suddenly lost your spark as you describe you may be depressed. Remember, depression can creep up on you. You have made a lot of changes in your life, from moving to getting a kitten (more responsibility no matter how much joy she brings). Pets don't ask for anything from you but love (and food). Also, being the only thing your boyfriend is passionate about in life puts responsibility on you too. You decide and he'll follow, it has to add to your stress (unconsciously maybe?). Between the stress, the life changes you made when you moved and, although you may not agree, the responsibility of being the "driver" in your relationship , combine them and you may see they can be responsible for the way you are feeling. I would suggest you find a therapist and spend a few sessions talking about you and what it is that has you feeling this way. This may be one of the "roadblocks" life throws at us now and then and you may not have ever experienced them before. They are there, you face them, deal with the issues they present, learn from them and get on with your life. If the issue is more deep rooted, then you deal with it in therapy. Try not to worry, it accomplishes nothing except taking more energy from you and adding more stress. You are smart, you are aware there is something amiss and you are looking for answers. Therapy would be the most beneficial for you right now.
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 10/4/2010 at 8:14 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I agree, and I can see that now that you mention it all. I have been quietly asking myself if I have fallen into a sort of mild depression, I seem to have such radical ups and downs. I will try to seek professional help so I can try and sort things out. About my boyfriend, have you known successful couples where one starts out as the driver, but the other one catches up? My boyfriend has told me about things he wants to do, but we just don't have the time with our very demanding (ivy league) studies to finish. My last question is, can it successfully work if he discovers things and/or we discover new things we love together, or is it "once a driver, always a driver?"
Hi, Glad you have some clarity now and will work on getting help for yourself. As for your status, if you allow yourself to always be the leader it won't change. It's too easy for him to just follow you. However, if you don't want to stay in that position all the time you can work it out so that he gets to "drive" too. The secret is that both of you have to be willing to work together and change as life changes. I usually suggest to couples that they make a conscious effort, even if they have to write it down that each week, bi-weekly, or monthly, whenever they have time that they take turns making the plans, try to come up with something unique. Communication is key to a good relationship, ask for what you need and what you want. If you both find new things to do that you like that makes it even better. You will grow as a couple and you are smart to deal with this as your relationship evolves.
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 10/4/2010 at 10:44 PM EST
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