I have been in a relationship for almost three years, half of it being long distance. We have had small disagreements which somehow became very huge obstacles. We have the same values and we want the same things in life; however, we are at two different points. I can be seen as moving forward career wise and with life knowing what I want and moving in that direction, while he feels stuck.
What made our break to what I think is now permanent is that he has been going through a depressed state which was highlighted after our last major fight. I wanted answers about moving forward, and he was not ready and said he didn't feel like he could provide what was required at the moment in a relationship.
I do not want to hold on to someone who doesn't know where he is going, but neither do I want to give up what we had. We both feel that we could work it out, but being in a long-distance relationship is proving quite difficult.
What are your thoughts?
At the beginning of a New Year couples want to review their relationships to identify what weaknesses and strengths exist and make a conscious decision whether to continue or discontinue depending on the findings.
According to your assessment of the relationship, whereas you have ambitious personal and career development plans, your partner on the other hand is indecisive and seemingly stuck. This is no doubt disturbing for you as it would be very encouraging if your partner showed some interest in developing his skills and advancing himself professionally.
One can understand and appreciate that one can reach a crossroads in life and not be certain which direction to take which can lead to a state of depression. Your responsibility as a caring partner is to emotionally support him and patiently work with him as he gets back on his feet again.
However, if he is just not interested in moving forward with his life and is unconcerned about the health of the relationship, then that's another story. You would then need to take a more proactive approach to dealing with the issue.
Another factor that is significant is the physical distance between you both. Not having him around to have that critical face-to-face conversation does not help and only complicates matters. So one can empathise with you as you try and navigate this dilemma as you are being held in a state of uncertainty.
It is good that you both have shared values and interests, but it would be better if the conversation could go beyond the sharing to actioning. In other words, the dialogue should be centred around how we are going to move forward as a team, pooling our ideas, thoughts, skills and resources towards a mutual benefit. It becomes very frustrating when only one partner is exerting all the effort and the other partner is cruising along with no precise direction or goal.
The truth is, if you don't have that serious heart to heart conversation, not an argument, at the beginning of the year, chances are you will go through another year making little or no progress regarding the growth and development of the relationship.
Let your partner know what your expectations are and that you are not prepared to bring any dead weight into the New Year. All the best.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/