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Relationship Decisions Forum
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Avatar universal

Cross Country Move

I recently moved over 2000 miles from all my friends and family to be with my long-distance beau.  I have been here only a few weeks and am thinking that I may have made a bed decision.....only because I feel like I should be happier.  I am missing my friends and family terribly and am not sure what to do.  What is the amount of time that I should give this to make sure that I am not leaving before I give this a chance.  I know that it can take time to get used to a new living situation/city etc. Just wondering if there is some kind of timeline for getting used to a new place, or at least feeling like you are at 'home' because I am not there yet.  Thank you!
3 Responses
765715 tn?1235398661
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Dear Beazo,

Yes, a move like that is always problematic, and sometimes a trap. Same thing as older folks moving away from where they've lived for decades, just to get away from the snow or whatever. Then they discover they've lost their context, friends, etc., and they hate it. Sometimes they just move back.

The wise ones visit, longer and longer, till they pretty well know it's all right to stay.

You've moved for the relationship, and it's perfectly understandable. But some of the same dynamics may apply. You'll have to do some of that testing retrospectively.

One possibility is that you have a simple case of  dislocation/homesickness. If so, as you get more acclimated, you'll feel better and the symptoms will moderate. In this scenario, it has nothing to do with your man. Your relationship could be great, and the problem could still be there, full-force. In this case tell your man about your feelings, and say the doc said he has to pay special attention for a while!

Another possibility is that the feelings don't go away, still with the relationship ok. Here  the issue would be some kind of unfinished business with the people at home, probably your folks. The fix is figuring out what it might be, and resolving the conflict, in the new place or old, by yourself or with help.

Number three is a problem with the relationship itself. Here it would be that you found being with your man less wonderful than you thought it would be, or that there's more incompatibility then you ever imagined possible. This sometimes happens when we're young, or with long-distance relationships, believe me (some wag said the cure for idealization in a relationship is actually living with the other person!) The fix can be anything from re-establishing  the relationship on a different footing, growing into it, to some counseling, to simply folding your hand, leaving, saying you made a mistake and starting over.

I'm not at all saying the latter is going to happen, but if it does, don't be embarrassed, or abashed, or scared to call it as you see it. I had a relative who did, and she made the right decision to bail and find someone right for her (a marriage of 66 years). I'm the product of that decision!

To answer your specific question, it takes quite a while to get one's bearings in a new place. You can hasten the process by becoming involved with new friends and acquaintances, getting a support system to take care of the SAME needs you've always had, creating helpful and soothing routines, having regular times to be with your man, eating and sleeping well, etc. It's the familiar, small things that get us through the day.But remember that no matter what, you're going to feel tired and somewhat spacy for a while.

Connect with the people back home all you want, but notice what you get from them, and try to replicate it in your new place.

The more you do these things, the more likely you'll feel better,  "home". But it will take time. Specifically? Two months to a year. Or so.

Cordially,

Dr. P.

Avatar universal
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! It helps to hear these things from a third party.  
Another thing that I think may be adding to this issue is that I recently (within the last 3 months) stopped the use of antidepressants that I had been taking for about a year and a half (Zoloft).  I read that there are side effects from quitting this, like crying spells (which I have experienced), dizziness, etc.  I was thinking that this could be part of the problem.  What do you think?
Then, I have never had a 'great' relationship with a man and I worry that I am placing all of that on my current beau.  for example, I racked up some debt getting here that he swore he will help me pay off....but he hasn't had the money thus far to pay the balance down at all.  So, I freak out because I have been in debt for a guy before and it ended at the courthouse.  I don't know how to stop blaming him, and feeling irritated and upset with him about what happened in the past.
I love him, and he is a great man.  I think I just need to clear up some issues before this can go smoothly. and he is freaking out like this is how it will be forever, which is not helping at all.....I know I'm rambling. Thanks again!
Avatar universal
Dear Beazo,

Sounds like you've got a group of related issues. Instead of just freaking out, maybe just address one at a time.

First, there's the Zoloft. Of course it could be part of the problem, heightening your feelings about things, and making you moody. The side effects, both from taking this excellent medicine, and discontinuing it, are well-known. So are the approaches to solution. I do not claim particular expertise in this area, but see, for example (this isn't  a professional endorsement of their contents) http://depression.about.com/b/2005/02/21/dizziness-from-stopping-zoloft.htm and http://bipolar.about.com/cs/antidep/a/0207_ssridisc1.htm. These sites, among many others, discuss the side effects and the techniques to limit them.

More directly, I'd urge you to discuss your symptoms with the doc who prescribed the Zoloft.

Now, about the relationship. Yes, you apparently are placing a huge bet on it, and the man, especially because of your history of bad relationships. This is a setup. He can't possibly measure up, no matter his goodness. Maybe he's a good guy, or maybe you just thought he was. In any case, there's obviously another level of the game here. You  haven't told me about your issues with men) but clearly you've got to deal with them and understand them thoroughly, assuming you haven't already.

On the debt issue, it's so loaded with meaning that it could torpedo the relationship, because of the issues just mentioned. You'll need to get rational about it quickly, separating it from all the assumptions, distortions, and wishes you have about him/it. And perhaps there's some important personal theme about you being in debt to a man??

I don't understand if this debt happened with the same guy in the past. If so, then there's clearly a fix in here. Why would you do it again?

If this isn't the case, you'll have to understand the debt realistically. Can he pay it off reasonably soon? If not, what other recourse do you have? Again, separate it from your previous bad experience and make a plan, compete with timelines if possible.

If your man is in fact a good guy, be careful not to make a bad outcome with him a self-fulfilling prophecy through chronicallhy anxious behavior.To the extent that the problem is with you, get the help you need to get yourself under control. This may include your getting a therapist, going back on the Zoloft for a while (why would you d/c it when you're moving, a stressful time??) and doing all the other things mentioned in my first email to you.

Tell him I said this level of stress/confusion won't be forever, assuming your problems are pretty much garden-variety. However, for resolution you, and the two of you as a couple will have to look the issues directly in the face, and deal with them.

Resist the temptation to mush the things discussed above into a ball, put the ball into the closet, and soldier on. Keep them out, separate, and on the table, where you can see and deal with them independently, every day. Do this and over time I'd bet the problems will resolve.

Cordially,

Dr. P.
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