How do I reconnect with my long distance boyfriend?

I work a lot and my long distance boyfriend has felt lonely to the point of almost cheating a couple times over the last 9 months. How do I make him feel loved and cared for, rather than lonely and neglected, when I can’t talk very much? In addition, he has severe anxiety and I have depression and adhd. All of these things are putting a major strain on our relationship and I don’t know how to make things better. Every time we call we have fought for the last few months. How do I get back to a happy loving place with him?
Asked by Nicki

Hi, thanks for reaching out!

It definitely sounds like you are in a complicated relationship situation right now; any long distance relationship has its tough spots for sure, but when you compound anxiety and depression from either party into the mix, it gets trickier.  On your end, I'm sure you are feeling frustrated, helpless, and anxious about what is happening on his end of things and your own.  And for you, you are doing what you need to do in terms of your work and following on what you need for yourself, and may be feeling guilty for putting the relationship second to your job.  

The most important thing is open communication between the two of you; make sure you are telling him how you feel and hearing him when he tells you how he is feeling.  Try setting aside a meaningful time to talk each day, even if it's for a short time, just to reinforce that he and your relationship are a priority to you.  And work together to find ways to keep your relationship spark alive despite the distance.  

If trust is a concern in terms of him nearly cheating out of being lonely, it may be worthwhile to really look closely at the level of commitment and how much you are willing to stick it out if that temptation is there for him.  If your relationship is serious and you both see a future, it may be worthwhile to look at some type of couples therapy to work on healthy communication and maintaining trust while you are apart.

On his own, you can encourage him to speak to a therapist to help with his symptoms of anxiety.  It may be beneficial to him both for his own well-being and for the relationship as well, and may help eliminate some barriers he is facing to make your relationship really solid despite the distance.  

In the end, you have to do what feels right.  If you are serious, it may be taking a hard look at one of you moving to be closer to the other person in order to have a future together.  And otherwise, continue to work on communication and building trust in each other.

Best of luck to you, and feel free to reach out if you need anything in the future!