Home / Latest  / Relationship Advice: Slipping Away

Relationship Advice: Slipping Away

Finding a road map for bringing a long-distance relationship home…
 
Dear Adam,
I met my partner about six years ago when I was in Paris on holiday. We fell in love and maintained a long-distance relationship for about a year before I helped sponsor him to immigrate to Canada. We are now married and have lived together for four years. In so many ways, I can’t complain about our relationship. We show each other lots of love and affection, laugh a lot together, and are still having great sex. However, it feels like so much has changed in the past six months. When he first got here, I was the only person he knew and in some ways he was pretty much dependent on me. He was quite anxious then and would often need emotional support. I was glad to be able to show him around and share my city with him. Now, he is often going out in the evenings with new friends; he is having a great time and seems more confident than ever. However, I find myself feeling lonely and also a little bit threatened that he might find somebody else who he digs more. Overall, I see that he is creating a very happy life here and I feel grateful for that. But I’m also scared that he’s slipping away from me. I’m not sure what to do. – Maxwell
 
Dear Maxwell,
Your relationship has gone through a few phases – the crazy romance of meeting in Paris (ooh la la!), navigating the trappings of a long-distance relationship, undertaking a bureaucratic immigration process, and finally welcoming your guy here and nesting together. This most recent chapter sounds like the first chance your relationship has had to truly exhale. In most ways, that’s a good thing – you get to live life together with less constant effort or fears that you won’t be able to share geography. On the other hand, those prior years were very intense, and intensity is something that can make two people develop bonds and feel tightly united. While you sound a little shaken, this is really an opportunity to see how your relationship grooves when there is stability – and when survival mode is no longer required.
 
There’s actually a good chance that your sponsoring his immigration process was something that strengthened your connections and deepened the relationship. It’s an arduous process and one that forces a couple to have to get serious and clear about what their intentions are. With his arrival, you initially acted as a sort of life raft – and this meant that your worlds revolved around each other. It makes sense that, as he begins to leave that contained bubble, you would feel a little threatened as you readjust to a relationship based on greater independence. Your hubby seems to have great affection for you – and you will have to learn that your attractiveness is not exclusively located in how you can provide for him.
 
Based on your question, it sounds like you might have placed so much energy in this relationship that you lost sight of your own true self. Maybe he is modelling something important for you after all. Follow his lead this time, and make sure you are socializing with your good friends or getting up to some hobbies to meet new friends. Make sure your well-being isn’t resting on the shoulders of this relationship – that way you’ll both benefit from having more breathing space while still nurturing a stable home base together.
 

 
ADAM SEGAL, writer and therapist, works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental-health questions at @relationship@inmagazine.ca.
 

NO COMMENTS

POST A COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.