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kevbo's avatar

How do I handle my gf's regular emotional reactions to our long distance situation?

Asked by kevbo (25644points) December 3rd, 2009 from iPhone

My gf works out of town (and has for some time), so we generally see each other on weekends. Despite the routine, she still gets upset/emotional the day before she leaves and if she is delayed getting home. Obviously, I’m lucky to have someone who feels so strongly for me, but my inner guy has gotten to thinking “C’mon already. This isn’t a surprise.” I’ve kind of lost my bearings on how to be supportive (or whatever the flip I am supposed to be in these moments). So, help me out.

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10 Answers

Dog's avatar

I have the exact same situation. The day and night before a trip my spouse is unhappy at the thought of leaving. It puts a bit of a damper on the time we have but it seems completely unavoidable regardless of what I try to say or do to make it better.

Really I do not think, since we cannot alter the emotions of our significant others, we have any control in this area at all. Perhaps our best bet is to not let their unhappiness get to us. (And yes- it really is a compliment and I am very very grateful to have such an awesome man in my life.) I will be watching this question with interest.

kevbo's avatar

@Dog, do I ever hear you. Well, at least I’m not alone.

StephK's avatar

Well, being as I’m the member of the long-distance relationship who does most of the traveling & tends to get upset at leaving, maybe I can offer some tips.

First, as @Dog suggested, concentrate on being happy. It’ll lighten the mood for both of you. That being said, don’t come off as unconcerned… obviously, you’re not unconcerned about it because it’s affecting your partner. Let him/her know that it does matter to you but that you want to make the best out of the time you have remaining.

Also, I know my SO always talks to me (usually via texting) once I leave & asks me to let him know when I make it to my destination. These things remind me that he’s still thinking about me, it makes the drive home less lonely, and if something happens to me between there and here then at least someone knows roughly where I am. Triple whammy!

As for being delayed on the way to my SO, this just doesn’t happen to me often. I’m a great organizer and plan for traffic/weather/etc. Knowing how long I’m got to be stuck on the road helps. If something does happen, I take it in stride. So no suggestions there. Sorry. :)

Also, I’m interested to know what “em pas” means in your topic tags….

prepares herself for the reprimanding that inevitably happens when she admits she texts and drives

rooeytoo's avatar

I usually am away from home for 2 days every 2 weeks or so. I can’t wait to go. I do wish we could go together but we can’t so I just enjoy my time alone, doing what I want to do when I want to do it. I know that he will be there when I get back and it will be nice.

So just tell them, this too shall pass, enjoy the “me” time and have a hell of a reunion when you get back together!

YARNLADY's avatar

Sometimes it just helps to be sympathetic. Just say, I’m so sorry, I understand, It is sad for you that we have to part, and other things. Agree with whatever you can agree with.
Ask her to talk about her feelings and why she is feeling that way, then listen to what she says.

Don’t say anything that’s not true, i.e. Don’t say “I feel that way too”, if you don’t.

It could be adult separation anxiety, which could be resolved by counseling.

StephK's avatar

@rooeytoo : I sympathize with the female in this relationship. I might feel the way you feel if I were in your situation, but as this is a time in my own relationship where there’s considerably less ‘we’ time in comparison to ‘me’ time… well, it really is a bit of a emotional bump when it comes time to say goodbye. The reunions are always fun though. ;) The female in question might feel the same way as you, too, but currently it’s a different set of circumstances.

Dog's avatar

@Dog immediately texts spouse on the road a love note after reading @StephK‘s response…

ccrow's avatar

My husband has, for many years, spent a lot of time on the road. In the past, there was little to no advance notice. That was very hard for me to deal with- it started when our kids were babies & continued for many years. For me, it is much easier to deal with these days as now there are no ‘surprises’. But back then, I could not just be happy for the time we had before the separation. All I could think about was that he was leaving again. Maybe it’s a chick thing? Maybe you guys are better able to compartmentalize it.

kevbo's avatar

You know, I just got to thinking that I always get depressed the day she leaves (after she’s gone). Same thing, just different timing. Lucky for her, the worst is that I just don’t feel like talking. I suppose I can talk about that.

jamielynn2328's avatar

Communication is the key here. You need to listen to her when she is upset. She needs to feel as though you guys are in this together at all times. If it continues to seem really negative, you should try to think of a good way to tell her how you are feeling. Getting a bit sad and scared about the impending week without you is okay, but if it starts to feel like the time you get together is being sacrificed, don’t be afraid to talk to her about it. If she feels like you are with her and not against her, then sharing your feelings could end up being a very good thing.

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