LoveShack.org Community Forums

Reload this Page LoveShack.org Community Forums > Romantic > Long-Distance Relationships

Struggling with LAT (Living Apart Together)


Long-Distance Relationships Coping with geographical distance can make or break a LDR. Share your experiences and questions here.

Like Tree2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30th January 2019, 8:20 PM   #1
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Struggling with LAT (Living Apart Together)

Not sure if it's the right forum but my relationship often feels similar to a long-distance relationship. No precise question but I'm just looking for a bit of support. Perhaps also looking for validation of my emotions.

So we are Living Apart Together. Been together 2 years. We both have kids (me, 7 and 10 yo, her, 12 and 15 yo). We live 35 min from each other and because our exes don't want to relocate, we each have to stay in our current houses so that the kids are close to school.

We have slightly different split custody schedule. One week every other week for her but for me it varies more. Our custody weekends are synchronized but during the weekdays I have the kids Mondays are Thursdays. So during her week without kids she'll usually spend Monday-Wednesday at my place. When we don't have the kids we (usually) spend weekends together and when we have the kids, I'd say we see each other at some point during the weekend 30% of the time.

When it's her week with the kids, half the time we won't see each other for a full week (quite often it's because I get a cold and she doesn't want to catch it). I find that quite hard and I'm sure people in this forum can relate. The "problem" is that we don't feel the same way about it. I miss her a lot but she doesn't. She doesn't have the "miss" gene she would probably say. She's super happy when we see each other but when we're not together, life goes on for her without a hitch. We don't keep a very lively connection/communication when we're apart and I feel that I only have a part-time girlfriend. I'd like to feel desired/missed more. I want to feel connected.

I feel that spending time together is not super high on her priority list. For example, two weeks ago she was asked to work overtime Saturday and she agreed. Fine, no problem. It was our weekend together but I can understand that things come up. Now she had the opportunity again this upcoming Saturday and she decided to work again. We had plans but we had to cancel them. Her reasoning is that she'd like to bank in some hours because she'd like to take a longer than usual vacation with her kids this summer. She's actually planning a 3-weeks road-trip with them. I won't be able to join them, I couldn't leave my kids behind for that long. Bringing them along also wouldn't quite work, I don't have the money and my 7 yo is kinda too young for that.

Anyway, I'm ok that she's going on that trip, I mean her kids won't be young forever and there won't be many more opportunities like that. We won't get to take vacation together this year. Fine. But now this plan is eating away at our 4 days per month together too. This is where I'm starting to feel low on the totem pole. We've both been training hard for a long endurance x-country ski race and because of that, our weekends are booked solid for training. There's not much left for romantic one-on-one time. I miss that but I don't feel that she does. That's where there's a disconnect. I wish that at some point she'd say "Hey, let's plan a romantic get-away weekend, it's been a while". Nope, not gonna happen.

To compound the problem, calendar dates are not very important for her. For example, she never does something special for valentine's day. I do and I wish she would too. For Christmas she got me a small gift and told me that the rest would be a surprise later but nothing yet. Gosh I feel like a girl talking about her boyfriend, lol.

Anyway, I don't doubt for a minute her love for me. When we're together our connection is great and she often tells me she loves me in person. But much less often when we're apart. Everything is muted when we're apart and it's eating at me slowly

Anyway, thanks for reading my rant. I'm kinda depressed tonight.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2019, 8:31 PM   #2
Established Member
 
Cersei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 384
Why can't you suggest a weekend getaway yourself?
Cersei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2019, 8:38 PM   #3
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Yes of course I could, and I will. But my point is that I'd like to feel desired/missed. I'd like these suggestions to come from her sometimes. I'd like her to take some initiatives.

It's similar to when we don't spend weekends together, I wish she'd call sometimes. It would be nice to know that I was on her mind and she was thinking about me / missing me. When I mention that to her she replies "If you wanna talk to me, you can just call". Which misses the point.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2019, 8:49 PM   #4
Established Member
 
preraph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 23,532
Her kids come first. She's too busy with them to miss anybody, I guess. So only 35 minutes apart. I can't imagine that it would violate any state laws if you each moved 15 minutes to the middle and lived together. Most laws just keep spouses within for example 90 minutes but it varies. Then 15 minutes to the schools each or new schools. Just saying, people do it all the time. Honestly, she probably just doesn't have much time and doesn't feel driven to MAKE it work. But that doesn't mean she doesn't love you. Just means she has no neediness and her kids are her priorities and what she plans around, which is often the case even when you are husband and wife living together, just to put it in perspective.
__________________
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
"The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way in its animals are treated." -Gandhi
preraph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2019, 10:07 AM   #5
Established Member
 
Mrs._December's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 507
Let's cut through all the sweet talk about romance and love and all that nonsense, and get to the chase.

You're whining because you're unhappy that you're not getting sex.

Correct?
Mrs._December is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2019, 11:39 AM   #6
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs._December View Post
You're whining because you're unhappy that you're not getting sex.
Yes I'm whining but better here than pouring all that on her (but we do discuss these things). And no, it's actually not about sex. We do get lots of sex when we're together and honestly I really can't complain in that department. It's actually one of the highlight of this relationship. What I'm lacking is romance. It's probably way more typical for a girl to want more romance from her partner but hey, some guys would like more romance too, that's all.

@preraph: We prefer to keep the kids close to school for now. It works for us. I just wish we kept the romance going when we are apart. Isn't that the key for long distance relationships? We are in a "part-time medium distance relationship" but it should work for us as well.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2019, 11:41 AM   #7
Established Member
 
preraph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 23,532
I sympathize, but it's not as important to her as it is to you. I'm sure 80 percent at least of her attention and concern is just on her kids. And you have kids, so you must realize that they are not conducive to 'romance.' They're underfoot and have a lot of needs and take over your life. You're stuck with what's left over.
preraph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2019, 12:40 PM   #8
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
True. As I said I'm just venting a bit. I have a wonderful girlfriend. I probably sound like I'm complaining a lot about her (I shouldn't) but I'm just trying to get advice on how to cope. I understand the situation with her kids and yes they do take up a lot of time.

But some situations are harder to understand. Like when she chooses to work overtime instead of spending that day together (when we have only 4 days a month to do activities together). I mean she probably already has 50% more vacation time than I do, it's not like she absolutely needs to bank more hours.

I admit that the problem is mainly on my side. I know I shouldn't depend on her to be happy and I should do my own things when she's not available. To a large extent I do but at some point, I feel that it's normal to want to be spending quality time with one another.

I need to be fair to her and mention that she did ask me first whether I did mind that she worked on Saturday. I said no even though deep inside I did mind. That was a mistake. I didn't want to her to feel restrained in her liberty but I wasn't honest with my feelings. I came clean and explained myself to her this morning. Of course now she can't back out and I don't want her to. I said I didn't mind and I must own my words.

Anyway, just writing about all that has helped me. I already feel better. I'll finally see her tomorrow night after a week and it's gonna be great, we'll have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for listening to my rants
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2019, 10:08 AM   #9
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Might as well post an update... What a let down last night. I'm on the tail end of a cold (been 7 days and symptoms are low) but my gf is scared **** of caching colds (she hates being sick) so she was very distant all night and we didn't have sex. That's a first after being away for a full week... Usually we're all over each other as soon as we're through the door but not last night. I keep trying to convince myself that it's only because of the cold but I can't help but fear that it's just another step in the romance slowly fading away between us for that past 6 months or so. I mean when I was sick before we'd still have sex, just not kiss.

So the huge question in my head is, is this simply the normal phasing out of the honeymoon phase and things will find a new balance or is this the beginning of the end? Obviously, since I'm anxious, I can't shake the thought of the later out of my head.

She saw that I was disappointed last night and she said that she knew it was gonna be like that i.e. I'd want sex and she wouldn't. She kinda played innocent and said something like "what's wrong with just cuddling"? "If I don't wanna have sex doesn't mean I don't love you."

The whole issue of not wanting to feel pressured came up again too. She also said that she was very close to not coming to my place tonight because she didn't want to catch my cold but she knew how much I'd be disappointed so she came. Nice of her in a way but her comment makes me feel that she did that out of pity for me, even if she later added "but I also wanted to see you".

It's difficult for me to comprehend how a small cold can be enough to turn her off so much. Makes me think her attraction for me is not very high to begin with.

I feel down and unattractive right now Go away stupid cold. I need to find a way to make myself more upbeat. I'll see her again this afternoon after her work and obviously, if I'm all depressed, that won't be a very effective way to make her attracted to me.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2019, 1:33 PM   #10
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,138
I don’t know who the idiot was who invented the “Living Apart Together” phrase, but as you have found out it is imposssible unless you live next door to each other.

No telling what is going on in the GFs head, but your arrangement sounds like a friends with benefits with a touch of we love each other tossed in. That doesn’t mean she is in love with you. There is a difference and you may be asking for more than she is willing to give.
Simple Logic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2019, 10:27 AM   #11
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Yes, LAT is hard at time, I wouldn't say it's impossible though. I would be quite interested to hear from people that are in successful (or not) LAT relationships.

Yet another update. We had a great talk Saturday about the events Friday night. The frustration on both sides. How we should handle it next time. Etc. We didn't find a miracle solution but we are both committed to making this relationship work and that's the key. She mentioned again how I'm the first guy who she hopes she'll grow old together with. She didn't feel this way with the father of her two kids.

Bottom line is that we ended up having a wonderful weekend that deepened our relationship. Gosh I love making love with her, it's so intense. Our times outside the bedroom as just as wonderful too, I'm truly blessed.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2019, 12:15 AM   #12
Established Member
 
justwhoiam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 3,762
I'm glad to hear you're happier now. It's just that... from a woman's perspective, she doesn't seem to be in love with you.

According to you there's chemistry in the bedroom, but then again, she doesn't seem to be into you, like head over heels.
So either her feelings for you are mild or this is the best way for her to express them.

Your need probably comes from the fact that deep down you know that a relationship needs to be nurtured/nourished, and it's evident she's not doing it. But leaving that aside, you need to accept the idea that her interest level is this AT HER HIGHEST. Guess if it lowered at some point.

So you need to see if you can accept that or not. Or maybe go on with this relationship until you find someone that will fall for you bad (with no guarantee that that will be a good match anyway).


Personally, I wouldn't be able to be with anyone just mildly into me. I can take the distance and all the rest, but I need to see strong feelings and that it shows, at least between the two of us.

Last edited by justwhoiam; 9th February 2019 at 12:17 AM..
justwhoiam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2019, 1:18 AM   #13
Established Member
 
hippychick3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Northeastern U.S.
Posts: 1,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooRational View Post
Yes, LAT is hard at time, I wouldn't say it's impossible though. I would be quite interested to hear from people that are in successful (or not) LAT relationships.

Yet another update. We had a great talk Saturday about the events Friday night. The frustration on both sides. How we should handle it next time. Etc. We didn't find a miracle solution but we are both committed to making this relationship work and that's the key. She mentioned again how I'm the first
guy who she hopes she'll grow old together with. She didn't feel this way with the father of her two kids.

Bottom line is that we ended up having a wonderful weekend that deepened our relationship. Gosh I love making love with her, it's so intense. Our times outside the bedroom as just as wonderful too, I'm truly blessed.
I've been in a successful LAT relationship for 5 years now. We live 3 hours apart, so 35 mins sounds like a dream. We actually lived 35 min apart when we first started dating. He moved away for work very early in our relationship, and I am the one with a teenager who cannot move. She will graduate in 2 years at which time we will marry and live in his area.

It is very difficult to be apart as the traveling back and forth can be exhausting. We spend almost every weekend together (he comes here more frequently than I go there), and I can't imagine giving up our time together to work overtime or avoid him if he has a cold. But, your gf may just have a different personality and have less need for contact.

I suspect, though, that she senses your insecurity and neediness (not in a bad way...just the fact that you have those needs) and it somewhat pushes her away even if subconsciously. I am willing to bet if you pulled away, she'd react differently. I'm not suggesting you do that...just giving another perspective to the mismatch in need for contact.
hippychick3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2019, 10:51 PM   #14
Established Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippychick3 View Post

I suspect, though, that she senses your insecurity and neediness (not in a bad way...just the fact that you have those needs) and it somewhat pushes her away even if subconsciously. I am willing to bet if you pulled away, she'd react differently. I'm not suggesting you do that...just giving another perspective to the mismatch in need for contact.
Touché. I didn't mention it but indeed she is very turned off if she feels pressure from me to have sex or spend time together. It's actually the main issue in our relationship. We talked about it and both recognize the problem but we can't come up with a good solution.
TooRational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2019, 12:49 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 32
I am in this exact same situation and let me tell you what I did. My boyfriebd and I are both divorced and he has an adult daughter (24) and a teenage son (13) who he has 50/50 custody of. I have a 5 and 7 year old son who I have 50/50 custody of. We live 40 miles apart. Due to custody schedules we see each other every weekend for the whole weekend (like you do) and stay in touch during the week through email, phone, text, ect. Let me tell you it gets hard sometimes. I miss him and at times I struggle with feeling “connected”. But I have focused on having my own life, staying independent, taking care of my kids, and not worrying about my boyfriend. This has in turn helped my boyfriend want to be closer to me. He is attracted to the less needy more independent me, moreso then to the lovesick clingy depressed me.

My advice would be to accept the situation as it is and focus on your kids and yourself. Find a hobby outside of your relationship. Something you can focus on that interests you. If your girlfriend sees you doing something that doesnt involve her, she may feel more motivated to pull you closer. But my advice is dont do it for that reason, do it so you stop driving yourself nuts and start being happy with yourself and in your relationship. You are worth it!
boymommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

 

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Living apart together (LAT)? ohso Marriage & Life Partnerships 3 18th September 2015 9:56 PM
LAT Relationship (living apart together) therhythm General Relationship Discussion 11 25th June 2013 10:27 AM
Living together for 4 years to living 40min apart with no car. MrBucket Long-Distance Relationships 1 21st November 2012 4:14 PM
Going from living together to apart Dust Breaks and Breaking Up 4 13th August 2011 11:15 AM
together but living apart?? bubbles83 Second Chances 4 2nd March 2008 5:09 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:19 AM.

Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.


Copyright © 1997-2018 LoveShack.org. All Rights Reserved.