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Long Distance Relationships/Is Our Relationship a Good Choice?


I want to give you a warning: I will include as much detail as possible. I am sorry to take up your valuable time on something I myself should be able to decide, but I would like a second opinion. My family has never been very open to helping in this type of situation and I stumbled upon this site while browsing information on long distance relationships. I would be grateful if you do take the time to read this and respond because this is very important to me.

So I met this girl, Ashley, 10 years ago (2004) when we were both in the 8th grade. We met through a mutual friend and almost immediately we were good friends. One problem, though. She lived in North Carolina and I lived in West Virginia. I had just moved here from Pittsburgh so I did not have many friends. I found comfort in talking to her, and every day after school we were either on the phone or computer, and we often sent letters to each other.

After a few months we fell in love. It was young, blind love, but we really cared for each other. We spent hours every day learning more and more about each other, building a connection that I've never felt with anyone else to this day. Truthfully, we probably spent too much time talking, but again we were young and truly enjoyed our conversations.

We planned to spend the rest of our lives together. We talked about moving in together after we finished high school. Being naive, we didn't really consider the details of such an undertaking, but it was what we thought we wanted.

After we had been talking for about a year, my father talked to her father and we made a trip to pick her up and she spent a week with us. While she was here, we made the jump to having sex, which might not have been the best idea. We did use protection though, and nothing bad came of it. Unfortunately, after the week was over and she went home it was really hard on both of us. Waiting 4-5 years seemed unbearable. Ashley decided that it was too much to be apart, and we ended the relationship. We still talked for a little while after, but eventually just stopped communicating.

So for the rest of high school, we did our own thing. We both had various relationships and each a few sexual partners. Eventually we both ended up with children at a very young age with older partners. Both of our children were born in 2010 to partners much older than us (my partner about 5 years older than hers). At first, our relationships went well, but it didn't last long. She had already been seeing her husband, Anthony, for a year or two. I had only been seeing Andrea for a little over a year. It was at this time that we started talking again, not as frequently though.

My relationship went downhill fast. When I got with Andrea, I began using marijuana and became psychologically addicted. For the entirety of our relationship I used it, and only quit a few years ago after our split. It often caused us to be behind on bills, and I felt it was a big problem in our relationship, but it seemed like we had to have it.

With Andrea, she was never very caring. She always acted like she was better than me, and she never really took my feelings into account. My job required me to work out of town frequently, and I would always find our male friends with her when I returned, though she remained firm that nothing ever happened. A few times while I was there, her and some friends would drink while I was home with our son, and she would just purposefully bring up old sex stories that she knew made me uncomfortable. Sometimes I would confront her and tell her I didn't appreciate it, and we would argue and she would tell my friends I had a small penis. My average size never bothered me before then, but I became very self conscious. After several bad choices, we were separated and Andrea was into heavy drugs. She was raped and beaten badly at a party and suffered permanent brain damage. I tried to help care for her, but I couldn't be with her because of the way she acted. This was a hard time for me, and I was in a dark place for a while. I tried seeing other people and nothing really worked for me. I couldn't find someone I connected with.

Ashley had problems of her own. Her husband was very cold and distant as well. He dedicated a lot of his time to playing video games and was not very affectionate toward her. She felt lonely and sometimes talked to men online, though she never cheated on her husband. She found herself hospitalized as well for borderline personality disorder, but is doing much better. Ashley has problems with anxiety and self-esteem, and her marriage didn't do much to help that.

During these situations, I would talk to Ashley and we comforted each other and discuss the problems in our relationships. We maintained that we always loved each other, and we began to have a friendship again, though we talked only for short periods at a time over the years. I wished that we could be together, but I felt it would never work out. Even after all that time, our connection was still strong and we helped each other through our troubles. Sometimes we talked about being together and what it would be like, basically fantasizing about a life where we had made different choices.

Well in early 2014 (Feb-April), I started college as a single father still living with my parents. I talked to Ashley for a while in the beginning of the year, and tried to help her work through her relationship problems, and talking to her helped me stop dwelling on the past. It was like I was stuck in a hole and she threw a rope down to pull me out.  We still found ourselves discussing life together, and I felt like it was a strain on her marriage. Without telling her, I decided to stop talking to her so she could focus on her husband and stop thinking about me. I found myself back in a dark place again, as if I had fallen back in the hole. I was going through the motions of life just because I had to do what is best for my son, but I felt no emotions. I felt alone and lost, like I had ruined my life beyond repair.

Then just this month, I began talking to Ashley again. I sent her a message and as always we picked back up. I found out she is going through a divorce and we began discussing a life together. Talking to her makes me feel like a different person. I can look past all my mistakes and I
see my potential. I feel confident again, I am less conscious about myself. I know that Ashley loves me for who I am. We still have a strong connection like we did 10 years ago. We feel more comfortable talking to each other than with anyone else. It feels like we are dreaming again, like we are 14. We are both positive that we want to be together, but I stress to her that we should both be 100% certain that this is what we want. We made a plan for me to finish school (I finish next Aug), start a job, save money, and move down there with backup funds to support us while I find a job there.

It has been 10 years, and this time around we are more realistic. I have 1 son, she has 2. We are not rushing to be together, we want to set it up properly and make the move when we are prepared. I want to be able to adequately support the family, and I will not move until I am ready to do so. We truly feel that we will be good together. Since our relationship has been long distance, we communicate effectively, and feel it won't be a hard transition into a physical relationship. We have discussed that no matter how we feel, we will always discuss those feelings. We are not afraid to talk about our problems together, and we are prepared to work through them. I think that was a big part of the reason our relationships failed, negative communication.

My question is, do you think this is a wise choice on our part? Are we living in the past?

I feel like we have lived our lives apart and made mistakes. We've learned from our mistakes, and we both feel like we can build a good life together. All we would like is a second opinion. If you are willing to do that for us, it could make a big difference.

Thank you

James & Ashley

P.S. - Sorry this may have been confusing and poorly worded. =\ It was very hard to sum all of this up, and there is so much more to tell. I had to clip sections here and there. I wanted to give you enough insight into our struggles, but not so much as to waste your time or bore you.

good evening...based on everything you said, rekindling the relationship is certainly worth a try; whether it will work, no one can say, but the decision to try appears totally reasonable, especially given the love that exists between you both....all the best.

Long Distance Relationships

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