Waiting for marriage, long-distance relationship

Hi Mary Jo,

I’ve been with my kid’s dad for ten years. How do I get over the resentment for not being married yet? 

Thanks, Jacqueline

Jacqueline,

The biggest problems caused by resentment are withdrawing from your partner, being less intimate and trusting, and refusing to be open or vulnerable. Usually when these happen, you lose the affection and warmth you once felt for your partner. Over time, the relationship deteriorates. I would recommend finding a therapist along with these four suggestions.

1. Communicate honestly about what you’re feeling with your partner and be straightforward about your expectations.
2. Take responsibility for your part of the resentment. Most resentment is caused when we give our power to someone else to do what is in our best interest. The only person qualified to know what is in your best interest is you. Ten years is a long time to wait for someone to change their mind. You need to forgive your partner AND yourself for the situation you’re in.
3. Begin setting boundaries. Is there a specific amount of time you’re planning on waiting for him to marry you? If he’s not willing to marry, is this relationship worth continuing? Only you know.
4. Put your children first in your priorities when planning. You may need to make relationship changes after you set boundaries. This may require the help of a lawyer or mediator. Your therapist can help you with that as well.

If or when you decide to move forward, don’t let this relationship dictate your next relationship. Relationships build upon each other. Make peace with your partner and yourself before moving into a new relationship.

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m in a long distance relationship. How do you keep it fair if you’re the one always traveling so you don’t feel used?

Thanks, Sasha 

Sasha,

It’s not miles that breaks up long distance relationships, it’s an inability to communicate your needs. The best way to balance who does what is to talk openly and directly about your concerns. When one of the partners feels taken advantage of, resentment builds. Resentment weakens your affection and trust.

If the relationship is new and you feel timid with being direct, plan your next get together before you leave. Talk about travel expenses and your stress level. This will give both partners ample time to step up and do their share of what it takes to be together. When couples are honest with each other about how they feel, it makes both partners grow in respect and trust.

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