Last semester, my boyfriend of 3.5 years and I started having issues. We have gone through difficult times in the past, but this time was different. We have been in a long distance relationship since 2016, so majority of our relationship has been built around the distance. He lives back home in the Chicago suburbs while I attend school six hours away in Missouri. Last semester, I was extremely busy and he had started a vigorous paramedic program. We started losing communication, the one thing that made the distance much easier.
I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression, both of which sometimes make it very difficult for me to be a positive, happy person. Because of the stress we were both under, I started going to him more and more to complain about my life. Because of the stress he was under, it became harder for him to continually listen to my negativity. He began to push away, which made me hold on tighter and become almost clingy. Along with stress, I also dislike the job I have at school, which makes me even more negative about my schedule and life sometimes.
We hit a breaking point when I came home for the summer in May. I think we were both so stressed and overwhelmed that we started to lash out at each other. He sat me down and was completely honest with me. He said he had been thinking a lot about breaking up with me because it was just so draining to be around someone who was constantly negative and looking for the next thing to complain about or worry over. He had mentioned it before and I said I would try harder, but I did not. It hurt, but I knew he was right. So I told him, give me another chance to adjust. Then I told him that I did not feel as though he was putting enough effort into our relationship. I felt neglected, unwanted and unloved, and it was making me almost resentful towards the person I love most.
It struck us both that the reason I wasn't putting in the effort to be positive was because I did not feel like he cared or was trying to put effort into loving me. We both got tearful during this conversation, because we have been best friends since our senior year of high school and have been through so much together that the thought of losing one another was beyond painful. So he told me to give him a chance to adjust as well. That is when something amazing happened.
It didn't happen right away; we went through a few weeks where I constantly felt like I was on edge, waiting for him to make the decision that this was not worth his time and effort. Because I was now home, the stress and anxiety I felt at school dissipated. I started an internship I looked forward to, I was happy to be home again and I just felt more like myself. I kept reminding myself to be positive and I actually got happier as time went on because of this decision.
My boyfriend started doing the small things again that made me fall in love with him in the first place. The cute compliments, the flirting, making an effort to let me know that he did care for and love me. And just like I have heard happens to women who are treated right, I blossomed. I became happier than I had been in a long time, my attitude adjustment and his effort driving me to it. We never would have made it without that awful conversation, and I am so grateful we had it.
Ladies, if your man loves you and wants to keep you, he will sit down and tell you how he feels. He will listen to how you feel. He will be willing to adjust himself and his ways if you show that you are willing to adjust yours. A lot of articles I read on this subject suggested that a breakup was the best option, and that is the reason why our generation has such a high divorce rate. Leaving isn't the answer when things get hard; you have to sit down, talk it out and figure out how to move forward.
Watching him blossom as well has made me even happier. Honestly, our relationship is now in one of the best places it has ever been in, all because we sat down and were BOTH willing to put in the effort to change. Relationship experts aren't kidding when they say communication is key. Communication and honesty saved my relationship, and I hope others who read this may have theirs saved because of this simple adjustment too.