I love my wife dearly I do, but this long-distance relationship depression is now taking a toll on me. Let me tell you a little more about myself and my story from the very beginning. I’m Sanjay, married to a great girl for a year now, who I met when we were both getting our master’s degrees. We’re both working in different cities in the US now.
I decided to become an entrepreneur. Working for someone else did not excite me at all and I couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. On the other hand, her goals in life were more toward climbing the corporate ladder. I knew I’d have to give up a lot of things, like vacations, hanging out with friends, attending parties, etc. in the short term to be successful in my venture and she wasn’t comfortable with the whole idea.
Despite knowing this, I proposed to her and she accepted. I tried to convince her to think on similar lines and help me with my venture, but she wasn’t ready. We thought that we would figure out a way to handle this stuff once we started living together.
Dealing With Long-Distance Relationship Was In Our Cards
Before our wedding day, we had some doubts about whether we should go ahead or not since we were very different people and had very few things in common. Our life after the wedding wasn’t going to be traditional or simple, we knew it already.
We’re from completely different backgrounds and states in India. Our upbringing was totally different. But we never shared that concern with each other and went ahead with the wedding, thinking that being nervous is only natural. Our love will sail us through.
We also knew that after the wedding we’ll be spending some time working in different cities since we’re limited by visa situations. My wife put in a lot of effort initially to increase the communication and understanding between us, but I didn’t reciprocate since I was busy taking care of my professional career.
Then the long-distance relationship anxiety kicked in
Along the way, I hurt her by saying some mean things multiple times, which I should have never said in the first place. I pointed out our differences often and try to put down her social circle by telling her to give time to some productive work, and telling her to manage her money wisely. Yes, we were having marriage and money problems on top of our impending long-distance relationship depression.
We tried to meet in person every 1-2 months. But now the situation has worsened, as there is a lack of communication and coping with long-distance relationship has only gotten worse. My wife told me almost a month ago that she is undergoing depression and is consulting a therapist. She also told me that our marriage is a big reason for her depression and she wants us to separate.
My wife was unhappy in long-distance relationship and wanted to separate
She says that she doesn’t have anything left to give in this relationship and she hasn’t been able to develop any feelings for me. Talking to me or my family is like an obligation and she doesn’t want to be in this situation anymore. And with this, her long-distance relationship depression has only gotten worse.
However, I think that since we haven’t really lived together, we should give it more time and see how different things can become. I’ve already told her that I’m willing to do or change whatever she wants to make this a happy marriage, but she insists that there is no point, since she doesn’t have any desire left to be with me anymore. I have asked her for some more time but it seems like she will not budge.
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Although she understands that effort has to be from both sides, she doesn’t think that she can do it anymore. She told me to think about and tell her the action plan that I want to implement and then she will consider whether she can give me more time or not.
I think that since she has long-distance relationship depression, she has a very negative outlook on everything and lost the hope that we can live happily together. It’s my duty to help her to get out of this depression phase. As for concrete actions, this is what I’ve thought of.
I’m Willing To Change And Make Her Want To Come Back
I’m willing to make lots of changes for her to stop being unhappy in a long-distance relationship. I shall make it a point to video chat with her every day so I give her my full attention. She has complained about it a lot earlier. Not sure how it will go since she has a lot of resentment for me.
I’m also considering taking 1-2 weeks off from work to go and stay with her. I think our marriage could really use that. To help her with her long-distance relationship anxiety, I will make it a point to not react badly when she throws my past comments at me. I will deal with the anger instead of taking it out on her. If things are getting really bad in a fight, I will just agree to whatever she is saying and not argue with her.
How can I get back on track with my marriage? How can I bring back the hope in her mind that we can still work together on our relationship and be happy?
Our counselor, Prachi Vaish, has this advice to offer:
Both of you have indeed hit a rough patch in your marriage and I can understand the heartache you both are going through. However, the good thing is that both of you are taking steps in your own way to get things back on track. First, let’s talk about your wife. It is natural for her to have had some expectations when you got married about the kind of time you’d spend together or about the bond you’d forge and apparently those expectations weren’t met.
I do understand that you were focusing on your career and it took up a lot of your time and energy and you’re also right in thinking in retrospect that maybe you both should have discussed this subject earlier. But what’s done is done, so instead of looking back, we look forward, okay? You need to understand that investing time and effort in your relationship needn’t have been seen as a responsibility or another “thing to do” while you were busy. In fact, the time you spend in your relationship needs to be your stress buster, something that lifts you up when you’re down and tired.
The time you invest with your partner acts as a buffer that gets stronger with time and can provide you the support you’ll need in your tough times. It acts in the same way for your wife. Being alone while being in a relationship can be the most painful thing and that is how she probably felt and sank into a state of depression.
The steps you’ve suggested now do seem to be the right thing to do at this time, except maybe you could modify the part where you say you would agree to whatever she is saying and not argue…if you simply just say “Yes, you’re right” to everything, you may come across as patronizing or as if you’re just trying to get her off your back. Don’t be afraid to have deep conversations about real feelings.
The more she is able to open up to you, the closer she’ll feel to you. It will take time if I have to be completely honest, but if you do it right, it will be worth it. All the best!
(Names changed to protect identities)
Long-distance relationship stress is unmatched by any other kind of relationship out there. Being so far away from the one you love can make you feel all kinds of things. Keeping up with their schedule, putting away your doubts – it all takes a lot of work, energy and maturity.
Yes, physical distance can certainly take a toll on a relationship. Dealing with long-distance is not easy and is certainly not for everyone. The distance can make one cranky, feel insecure and also make one feel lonely. This can worsen mental health which will further affect a relationship negatively.