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Up in the Air

May 13th will be one year for my current relationship. We dated in high school and reconnected last yr after I got out of a horrible relationship and he came home from deployment in Africa. Everything has been great between us..very intense love and the promise to be together forever except in the case of lying, cheating, or stealing from one another. I know he loves me a lot, I can feel it when we are with each other.

He and his dad own a flooring co. He just started a new job contracting with another company which takes him to be out of state Sun night through Fri noon, so we're seeing way less of each other than we used to. I don't mind, it doesn't impact my feelings for him-if anything, I love the time I have with him more.

A couple of weeks ago, he told me he considered ending things with me b/c this new job (which is not temporary) is very stressful and takes up all of his energy and it's not fair to me. I asked him if his feelings had changed, he said not at all. He said he was feeling guilty and that recently he didn't feel like he'd been giving me what I deserve. I explained to him that our relationship and love was unconditional, and that I did not want to break up, that I loved him so much and I literally don't see a future without him in it. Since then, I've been trying to prove to him that this will be worth it. He told me he knows it will be. I've recently been backing off because I think I'm overdoing it and I don't want to stress him out more.

I TRULY believe he is the love of my life. I just want to know what I should do, if anything.

Re: Up in the Air

It sounds like you're doing everything right. By reassuring him that you're in this for the long run, and that if his job takes him out of town during the week, and back to you on weekends, you're okay with it, you've done the right thing. Make sure that your weekends together are restful and upbeat so that he can see that this is working for you and for him. If the weekends become stressful and full of conflict or guilt, he's not going to stay in the game. But, if you can show him -- not tell him, but show him with your behavior -- that you understand the "for better or for worse" part of long-term committed relationships, he'll be okay.

The only thing you have to watch out for is if he wants to break up and he's trying to make the break up about his new job distance problem, so as not to hurt your feelings. Sometimes people who want out will look for a crack to leverage into a break. For instance, if he really didn't want to continue the relationship, and he knows that one year is a landmark for people looking for a commitment, he may use this new work schedule as an excuse to end things.

But, if what you're saying is true -- that he wants this relationship to go the distance, but doesn't want you to suffer because he can't be there for you during the week, the way he used to be -- then he's just being sensitive to your needs and giving you the opportunity to walk. You don't want to, so show him. If he brings it up, or if there's a chance to talk about your future together, let him know that you'd be willing to move with him if it looks like he's committed to the job and to you. 8-)
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.