I’ve always prided myself in being more emotionally available in my relationship than most other guys I know. But after listening to Brooke recently I started questioning that. I’m in a long-distance relationship now for ten years running. I’m in the Caribbean and she’s in New York. Before Corona, I’d visit her once a year, except for one year when I did so twice. She’s visited me twice as well. So a couple of years ago, she was complaining bitterly about not being able to deal with it anymore and not knowing what to do with herself and how rough it is. I can relate completely because I feel the same way, but we just haven’t been able to fix things so we can be together physically despite my trying. It’s still a goal I’m working on in earnest.
So I would listen and then we’d both join that same pity party of feeling sorry for ourselves. But after a few months of her getting more and more emotional about it, I’d feel extremely uncomfortable because I haven’t been able to come up as yet with the extra cash I need to pay off my mortgage. Leaving without that being fixed is something that feels irresponsible to me especially since I have 4 (grown) children and an ex who would suffer part of the consequences.
So at one point, I told her I don’t need her ranting about it for hours whenever we got a chance to connect with each other every few days. I’m working at the solution as best as I can, and unless it’s to explore other solutions, I really can’t deal with the fact that her whining had become the only thing we dealt with in our conversations. In a sense, it’s like I went against the grain and communicated to her I wasn’t going to be emotionally available for THIS particular discussion so often. I don’t know if this is gender-related or what, but for me, being emotionally available should have some kind of positive result. But this was beginning to feel like emotional blackmail. It had turned into something else when I felt totally drained and beaten up after listening to it for half-hour non-stop.
Anyway, she has responded since then by going to the other extreme. She never reaches out to me anymore. There are zero complaints, we have no conflicts about anything, and the relationship is completely superficial. After 2 years of that, I’m the one now at my wit’s end. I’m about to request we put our cards on the table and try to resolve it. Thought I’d get my coach in on this before I do. I’ve started earning a little money coaching, but I’m still a ways to go.
Was I being unreasonable or overly insensitive asking her to stop? Or is this just an unfortunate situation of two people with too much baggage who should never have gotten together in the first place? Those are the questions that keep coming up for me. Btw she isn’t financially able to move to the Caribbean either with a heart condition, grown children of her own and a 9-5 that barely pays the bills.