It really sounds like you need to decide IF you want to work to salvage this relationship. If so, there are no guarantees it will work, but there are some tips that would make it more likely: One, both of you need to recognize that time away from each other is a vulnerability in your relationship. If ongoing trainings or deployments will be a likelihood, then you need to figure out how you are going to survive those separations without turning to other people. Two, if you really want to commit to this relationship, you will need to make some hard choices. It seems like living with this close friend where there is obviously sexual tension is a huge risk to take if you really want to be committed to your girlfriend. It would just take one moment of weakness to ruin any trust and intimacy that you might have developed with your girlfriend. Creating more rigid boundaries for yourself will send a strong message to your girlfriend that you are committed and will help insulate you to the risk of betraying her trust when she is away. If neither of these actions seem do-able, then you probably should work to move on. Good luck!
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As a YourTango expert that has coached women in the LGBT community over the past 15 years through my company Anita Charlot International, Inc. and my online relationship school Relationship Architect Academy, I can honestly tell you that the length of time in a relationship does not warrant staying in the relationship if it is not healthy for you. Every day we are growing, changing, stretching the limits of whom we have been as we discover who we want to be. At times this will mean that the very relationships that we have fostered will change.
The fact that your ex kissed you and told you that she loved you – isn’t necessarily an invitation to get back together. Two people can love each other dearly and not be in a position mentally, emotionally or physically to actually be in a committed relationship.
Relationships based on “how long two people have been together; obligation; not wanting to start over” are relationships that are bound to end with one or both partners feeling resentful. I’ve seen this play out all too often with the couples that I have coached in the past. In the moment of vulnerability one or both will fall into the arms of the closest person…then the retaliation begins “you did it to me, now I’m going to do it to you,” trust is never fully recovered and they waste the remainder of the relationship being miserable but feeling obligated to stay.
Having been in the military myself, I would suggest that the two of you love each other from afar. During this time away, begin to work on understanding who you are outside of a relationship. Learn to love and accept what you discover about yourself and then what type of woman will allow you to live the quality of love that you really want. But first, you must allow yourself to grieve your relationship as it was in the past, understand the issues that tore you apart and heal from whatever pain is present. This will be challenging with the dynamics of your living arrangements…but not impossible.
Women that I work with one on one in my VIP Breakthrough Sessions and/or during relationship retreats have been able to identify their relationship patterns, understand the “spirit” of the person that is “perfectly-imperfect” for them, and go on to have loving, long-term, meaningful relationships. You can too!
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