Help me emotionally support my long-distance SO
April 24, 2014 1:53 AM Subscribe
My SO and I have been a primarily long-distance relationship for 3 years. Help me help him support him emotionally.
posted by smangosbubbles to Human Relations (6 answers total)
We see each other every 1-2 weekends, and occasionally for longer stretches. This is the first significant relationship for both of us (he is 25, I'm 23).
His father passed away relatively recently, and his job needs him, yet doesn't value him. The result of this is feelings of impending doom (his words), chest pain and difficulty breathing that I'm thinking are panic attacks. He has seen a therapist once, and I hope he will continue to make appointments with his therapist.
This summer, I will be even further away geographically (increasing from 1.5 hours drive to 3 hours), in order to establish a professional network in the area we want to move to in the next 3-5 years. This move was decided months before his dad passed, and cannot be postponed or altered (it's part of a professional program requirement, and without it I will not graduate). We currently have plans of moving in together after the summer (September).
But until he and I are local, I will be supporting him remotely (which means I can't do my normal "I love you, I care about you" routine of making sure he's fed, laundered, and hugged). His primary love language is touch, I subscribe to acts of service. Either one of those is fairly difficult to do from another state.
Both he and I are struggling to come up with how to support him through losing a parent and the constant stress of his job.
1. How can I best support him emotionally, while long-distance? (Most of the time he is not having panic attacks, so this is where I need the most help.)
2. How can I best support him through these panic attacks? I already know he needs to see a therapist and learning coping and breathing techniques on his end, though it's slow going on convincing him of that (I think he's convinced that I will be able to help him through every panic attack, but I am less sure.)
He is relectant to videochat most of the time, unfortunately, so text-based suggestions are preferred.