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Since early spring this year I have been developing a relationship

with a very nice lady...
Since early spring this year I have been developing a relationship with a very nice lady who is suffering a great deal from allergies. We met in Iowa, USA. In May I had to suddenly travel with her from Iowa to California, so that she could breathe properly. I needed to return to Iowa, and subsequently to England, so I haven't seen her since then, but we have been in regular concoct. Soon after I returned to England she asked me if we could Skype, as her condition had taken a turn for the worse. I was hesitant as our Skype and phone calls tend to go on for a long time, and I believe my reply to her request came across as "detached" and rather uncaring. She was clearly much affected by my tone. Since then we have only been in touch once, although part of the reason may be that she is really very sick at the moment. My question is: if in circumstances like this one gets tired of being supportive to someone who is sick, does it mean one doesn't really love them, and never could love them enough to make a successful marriage? I am trying to work out whether, through weakness of character I made a big mistake in this relationship that I should try to make up for somehow, or whether my behaviour just means it is not meant to be.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/18/2013
RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I a very sorry to know about your situation.

Customer:

Hello I am looking for an answer but I don't see one at this point.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Based on your story I believe you are a caring and responsible person, but just happened to have a hard time coping with the demands this situation presented. It would be a deficiency in your character if you happened to be dishonest or manipulative, but you are the opposite, you care about this person, but also know that you do nto feel you could cope with the demands a relationship under these circumstances present.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

For love to be real doe snot mean it has to deny reality and the limitations we all as human beings experience. Many times people try to do that and end self-sabotaging and hurting much more the other person.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX right.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If by being truthful with yourself and honest towards her, you see you can and want to work on it, then go for it but being consistent with yourself, your feelings, needs and expectations.

Customer:

However, I am afraid I have jeopardised my ability to provide her with further emotional support, by not being able to provide it on this occasion

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

(If I get disconnected please be patient, my notebook battery is getting out of power)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do apologize for that.

Customer:

I think part of my problem is that I cannot really committ to a complete marriage-type of relationship after knowing her such a short time and under such extraordinary circumstances. But I do want to be able to offer her emotional support while she is sick.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That makes perfect sense, is responsible, mature and realistic.

Customer:

I think for me the issue is to work out how to really be consistent, so that I don't make her feel let down again. Do you have any suggestions about that?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think it would be irresponsible and even insensitive to commit to something serious this soon.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Be honest direct and empathic at the same time

Customer:

I feel I should really make more of an effort to be there for her, now that I realise how strongly it can affect her if I'm not fully there for her

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Take responsiblity for your own feelings and actions, while showing you care and want to support her as much as possible

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

but not in a codependent way. Self-sabotaging cannot help anybody to offer healthy and fulfilling love

Customer:

What do you mean by "take responsibility for your own feelings and actions?" Do you mean don't attribute the cause to her or her behaviour?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It sounds healthy and proactive, just do not allow it to get distorted with a codependent approach, where you end ding something you do not feel like doing

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Being honest about what you feel and want to offer, without feeling bad about it, not getting committed into something you do not want because of being afraid to hurt her feelings

Customer:

I see.

Customer:

But, and this is the general question I am grappling with right now,

Customer:

in many comitted relationships, such husband / wife, or parent / child, one really does have to do things one doesn't feel like doing, when another person is depending on one. In that sitauation, is it normal to twinge of unwillingness sometimes, before getting on with what needs to be done? Or don't those kind of feelings every come up in healthy family situation?

Customer:

And if that's the case, when does that unconditional willingness to help emerge. In romantic stories it seems to be there right from the start of the relationship, even before marriage.

Rafael M.T.Therapist : As human beings we are all vulnerable with limitations and imperfect. Our first need, right and responsibility is to take good care of ourselves and that starts by being honest, understanding and supportive with ourselves.
Customer:

But I think you'd agree that often life puts us in a situation where we need to go outside our own comfort zone in order to help others? and society expects that: for example when a parent has to take special care of a child?

Rafael M.T.Therapist : We all could feel afraid, nervous, tired, frustrated and annoyed many times in our lifes, actually everyday, even when with our love ones, and that does't mean we do not love them, it means that we are humans, we are not perfects and that the needs and expectations from those we love could be very different than those we have. In fact they could be opposite or incompatible because of time, priorities and many other factors.
Customer:

I see, so you are saying it does not mean we don't love them , just that we are imperfect. That is comforting, because I feel that probably describes my situation when I didn't support my friend.

Rafael M.T.Therapist : Sure. I do totally agree with that. But that reasonning should never be taXXXXX XXXXXterally in situations like personal relationships, specially in young relationships where it would be impossible for anybody to know how well or not it could develop.
Customer:

You mean it is not possible to tell at this stage whether I love her enough to be a good husband?

Rafael M.T.Therapist : Didn't you say you just started this relationship a short time ago? Then how could you be sure that you really have what it takes to make it work. A long term commitment, like marriage, should be prepared with caution, insight, assertiveness, responsibility and a very realistic approach, otherwise you would make commitments that you would not be able to fulfill no matter how hard you try. Healthy and fulfilling relationships require time, hard work, a lot of ch
Customer:

yes, we met in the spring this year

Rafael M.T.Therapist : ... A lot of sharing and real mutual knowledge. You need by experience itself, and again it requires time. I think pushing a serious commitment too soon,will not be responsible, assertive, neither really help in the long run, but sabotage any good potential that may exist to build something healthy and fulfill.
Rafael M.T.Therapist : ...fulfilling
Rafael M.T.Therapist : Please take the time to reflect on it making sure you are fully honest and truthful with yourself and towards her
Rafael M.T.Therapist : I hope this could help you to work on it. Important decisions require time and caution too. Please be patient , gentle, understanding and supportive with yourself too.
Customer:

Thank you very much. I appreciate your comments. I think we should stop here. I will do the rating now. Once again thank you.

RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified
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RealSupport
RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
3,191 Satisfied Customers
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach

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