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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I have a combination of issues with my boyfriend. The first

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I have a combination of issues with my boyfriend. The first is my own issue. I have a huge fear of abandonment that I am really trying hard to work on. I've lost very important people in my life (through death- my mother died a few years ago- and breakups).
My issue with my boyfriend is that he is very bad at making advanced plans. He says he wants to meet up but then gets behind on schoolwork. This doesn't happen terribly often but maybe because of my own fears I have noticed whenever it does. I don't doubt his love for me, we spend a lot of time together and he's genuinely a decent guy (I don't think he'd ever cheat or anything like that). And he has tried to cater to me. For instance this summer, he has to go live 100s of miles away in his home state to live with parents, get a job and save up some money. However, (this is the problem with telling me about advance plans again) he held off on fully telling me these plans until relatively recently though. He says he really wanted to stay here with me and was trying to make that work so held off on the going home conversation because he thought he could make it work and was worried I would break up with him if he left.
We've had several tearful conversations and I have lost my head a few times already and its been less than a week since he's been home. We both have agreed that we want to wait for each other, and try to make things work with him being gone for a few months. However, I keep getting these intense fears that he is just going to forget about me instantly and I will be left alone with my heartbroken while he is already moving on. I really partially it's my abandonment issues combined with his slight flakiness and being in his own head.
I don't know how to deal with this. I don't want to be taken for a fool, but I also don't want to ruin what I think is an overall loving, caring, cooperative and supportive relationship (with someone I could actually see myself marrying someday) because I am scared. Any advice?
Hello. I understand how you can feel a bit in how you do because he should have had a discussion with you about moving, instead of just telling you this is HIS plan and what he wants to do. I think that this particular thing should have been something that both of you talked about ahead of time. He needs to understand how his choice of presenting this to you was not the best way to handle it and that anyone would feel apprehension towards the other person for making this choice. I think you do have a right to be upset about how this played out and he really needs to have a level of understanding on his part.
You said you had several tearful conversations, but did not state the outcome of them or if talking with him has helped or made things worse.
I would ask you if you believe and trust his reasons for moving away. Men want to be stable providers, do you feel that this is why he is doing this? If you trust him and his reasons and if he gave you some sort of time line as to when you both will be back together, then you need to listen to your instincts on this. Do you think he wants the best for you BOTH?
I think that at this point, you both need to continue to talk about this on a regular basis and work it out with each other to both of your satisfaction. There is no one right answer as to how this should be, other than you both need to be satisfied with what is happening in your relationship, the short term goals, the long term goals and if you are both on the same page as far as the direction you will continue to go in. By talking this through, it will help your other issues fall into place as far as being more secure in the relationship. While you do have some of your own abandonment issues which you are aware of, I do feel he does owe you a bit of security based on how he handled the move.
So, you just really need to keep talking and communicating with him about this whole situation. If you still feel as though you are not put at ease about it, then talk with him about HIS ideas as to what he feels you need to do to feel as though everything is still ok. By asking him his opinion on the situation instead of blaming him or putting him into a corner and forcing him to pick sides, you are including him in finding a solution and acting as though you are both a team looking for the answer.
A lot of people are in your situation these days. With the economy, families are separated in order to be able to stay afloat financially. It is difficult, but can be accomplished and the relationships remain good and perfectly intact. The key is communication, being open and remembering that it is you and him vs the situation, not you vs him.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for you reply. Yes he definitely owed it to me to talk to me about it extensively before he left. Because he didn't, he is now bearing the brunt of a lot of anger and frustration from me. He is actually coming back here soon to get some of his stuff, but neither I nor him know when exactly because he has not talked to his work yet about his long term schedule. I told him that he needs to tell me as soon as he knows otherwise I won't be able to make time for him while he's here. It's things like these that I really don't get an in otherwise great guy. When he comes back I plan on really sitting down with him and having a talk about expectations, coping day-to-day being away, and making real plans to see each other (that is if he lets me know ahead of time and I have time to do this!).
Our conversations were about whether we wanted to stay together while he's away. He expressed that I am very important to him and that I'm the only one he wants to be with, wants to settle down with me etc. etc. etc. I have expressed apprehension for a while about what would happen if he went away from the summer and whether I would want to continue that, so I somewhat understand his reluctance in telling me. However, I told him that I didn't want to lose him, I will miss him a lot but that I didn't want to break up.
But right now I am just incredibly angry and sad and I almost just wrote a long text to him about everything that I feel but it's his first day of work. On the other hand I need to get this off my chest so I can get back to studying! I just don't know how to handle this properly
I think you need to sit down face to face with him and have the long talk that you mentioned. What you can do in the mean time is practice. What I mean by that is, keep a mini journal as if you were writing it to him. Express everything that you feel whenever you need to get it off of your chest. This is for you to practice talking to him because you want to see on paper what the key points are and maybe even learn something form yourself by writing it down. See what things keep coming up over and over which will tell you your true concerns. Writing is incredibly refreshing and can help you more than you realize at first. As for handling it "properly", the only thing you need to worry about is being honest. You can't go wrong with honesty. Even if it stings, doesn't sound good, it's the only way you won't have regrets. This maybe a lesson he also needs to learn. By being honest, nothing will eat at you, you won't wonder if you did the right thing, etc. Be honest with yourself also. Are you sure you can handle this? When you end up back together, are you going to be able to be ok with the separation or will questions about his faithfulness bother you? Write that angry, long text. Just don't send it. You will feel better.
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