Overcoming relationship obstacles
Dear Neil: My boyfriend (Type A personality) and I (Type B) are on the brink of calling it quits after an eight month long-distance relationship. Up until about 10 days ago, everything was wonderful. Truly wonderful. We had begun discussing marriage and we were both sure that we’d found “the one.” But after finding out that his boss would not allow him to move to Denver (as earlier promised), and I not being able to move to Kansas City due to my owning a successful business in Denver, things have seemingly begun to fall apart. The conflict has brought to light some significant differences in our personalities. We are both deeply in love, and neither wants to give up on the relationship. But in light of some of his recent actions/comments, I fear the personality differences are just too much to overcome – especially with the distance. He recognizes his Type A nature, but is 35 and has no idea where to begin to change his ways. Can a Type A and Type B personality co-exist in a loving relationship?- Frustrated in DenverDear Denver: If this is about a Type A personality (driven, always on the go, seldom slows down) versus a Type B personality (less driven, laid back, able to stop and smell the roses) -I haven’t heard it from your letter. What I do hear in your letter is that the two of you can’t overcome a large obstacle put in your way.I can’t tell you what the solution is to your dilemma, but I can tell you that where there’s a will there’s a way. One possible solution is for him to begin the process of actively looking for a comparable position in or around Denver. Another solution is for you to look at what it would take to open a Kansas City branch of your business -or to transfer it there. A completely different line of work for one of you is a third option. Do you guys have the determination and perseverance to overcome this obstacle in order for you you to be together?Dear Neil: I discovered a few months ago that my husband was having an emotional affair. I had to discover everything – because he would not confess it until I asked him questions. First it was just “friends,” until I found more evidence. Then he admitted they had “feelings” for each other. But because he never came to me with any information, I feel the need to always be on the lookout. He told me he has dropped all communication with her. He says he wants our marriage to work. There used to be a time that I felt cherished by him, that he truly loved me. He would do all sorts of sweet things. But now, he doesn’t really do any of that stuff. I am waiting for him to try to win me back, but he keeps saying he doesn’t know how. I need some sort of gesture that shows he is committed, and that he is still in love with me. – Scared Dear Scared: Apparently your marriage has lost its spark-the feeling that you can’t wait to be in each other’s presence. That’s where I’d recommend the two of you look first. What has happened in this relationship that has distanced the two of you so much that he is looking elsewhere, and you don’t feel cherished? What has to change in order for you guys to come back to each other? Quit looking for small gestures that he still cares. Look at the big issues that have separated you and what each of you need in order to come back to each other. Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Boulder. He can be reached at (303) 758-8777 or e-mail at his Web site http://www.heartrelationships.com
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