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6 year relationship, partner moved out without telling me

Community Member

Hi all, (posted this in intro, but removed triggers to post here)

I’ve suffered general & social anxiety since before my teens, which lead to depression. At 43 I found out I have Aspergers, my wife wouldn’t accept this, I instigated our divorce in 2012. I found a new partner familiar with Autism (having 3 sons on the spectrum: 1 autistic, 1 aspie & 1 ADHD).

We were together for 6 years, living together for 4 years. Last Friday I returned from a work trip to find she had moved out, taking her children & belongings. It must have been planned months in advance, but I had no idea. We had our difficulties, but I thought that we had open communication, & we would work through them together. As I had done in my first marriage, I was open to counselling, & had been working with my psychologist for the past 6 months, right up until the Wednesday before.

In the very little she has communicated with me since leaving, she has told me we have to sell our house, our relationship is over, & she has already set herself up in a new house.This has ripped my heart out. But she also said she is losing her best friend, & hopes I can find it in my heart to still be friends with her. (?)

I have taken sick leave from work, & lost over 5kg in 7 days because I cannot eat more than a few bites. I have a constant feeling of dread, anxiety, nausea & misery. I have isolated myself from my family & have no friends close by. If I did I don’t think I’m ready to see them anyway. My only 2 close friends both live interstate.

My ex partner & I have started to talk about the financials. This has increased my dread & panic. I do not want to get ripped off, but I don’t want to upset her either - I still love her so so much. I eat next to nothing, sleep from 4-5pm till 10am-12pm, work on preparing the house for sale (on my own) for 3-4 hours, then go to bed again. Sleep seems the only way to get through hurting.

I’ve even looked into cuddle therapy, as I am a very tactile person, & used to cuddle my partner a lot.
I always gave her a kiss goodnight, when I left for work, & when I returned from work & told her I loved her 2-3 times a day.
I did the majority of the housework, organised our finances, shopped for groceries & planned most meals.
I also gave her space to socialise with her friends as often as she needed.

After my divorce, my ex wife said I was a catch. My ex partner wants to stay friends.

The pain of her abrupt and emphatic leaving has emotionally crippled and shattered me.

16 Replies 16

Just Sara
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi and welcome TP;

Your story touched my heart so I wanted to respond and let you know our forum community's here for you. It takes courage to reach out for help on here too so I'm proud of your decision to post.

It seems you're suffering severe symptoms of grief; not unexpected after what you've gone through. I do understand as I too have felt this loss which crippled my life for a time.

I'd like to offer some advice if that's ok. It seems things have progressed very quickly by what you've written. There's no reason for you to get everything organised by your ex's timeline. Taking time out for yourself to grieve and lick your wounds is a priority in my eyes.

I'm glad you've taken leave from work. Lack of quality sleep plus emotional pain can render one's capacity to focus, null and void. That's why trying to finalise financials might not be ideal at this time as decision making and prioritising requires a clear mind/focus to clear the fog and put yourself first. I say this with deep respect and empathy for you and your situation.

I hope you can push through to allow a person you trust into your life to cry with and ask for help. We all need someone in times of loss and abandonment.

I'm sorry you've been placed in this situation and send warm, kind thoughts your way to ease the pain...just a little.

Take care TP; I'm here for you...

Sez (Hugs)

Thank you for your very kind words of support and advice, Sara.

You are right, things are moving fast. Initially my ex partner said she was thinking of selling before Christmas. But a real estate agent came through on Thursday (Friday?) and said now is the time to sell in between the 1st COVID-19 Peak and potentially the next; the rest of the year is unpredictable.

I had immersed myself into hours of labour, prepping the house because it was a very good distraction and burned up all my nervous, anxious energy. If I was lazy, I could drag my feet and do nothing without my ex partners help (I have done every home improvement and all maintenance in the past 4 years on my own). But that’s not in my nature.

The idea of slowing down a lot and being kind to myself and to grieve, sounds really nice. I am taking a week off to spend it with my own children during the school holidays. They have been my life savers through my divorce and now this. I’m not sure I’d be here now if not for them.

Putting me first is also something I’m not used to lately. I need a break. I was going to ask my ex partner if she would consider going to Relationships Australia Victoria with me. They offer a mediation service where we can discuss our finances and come up with a solution that we can both be comfortable with. This means that we can have free advice with a third unbiased party involved and not feel alone or ganged-up on.

I really just need her to be more communicative, then there will be less unknowns and I can come down from high-alert, super-crisis mode and calm the farm.

A very dear family member called me today, saying she and her husband are staying the night just 20 minutes from where I live. I asked them if they could come by tomorrow because I’m super lonely, and desperately need a hug and a visitor. So not like me!

I have already warned her I’ll probably just cry a lot and not say much. She’s ok with that.

Thank so much again, Sara for reaching out to me. Slowing down and calming down is a great idea.

(hugs back)

Hi again TP;

It's good you've considered what I mentioned in my last post. And yes, hugs are a treasure when the heart seems to have nowhere left to go.

It's after 5am as I can't sleep. I've taken something to help; waiting on the droopy eyes to hit. I'm probably not up to writing as much as I'd like, but thought I should reply with some encouragement and kindness after seeing you'd posted.

You seem intelligent, a go-getter (definitely not lazy!) and all round good guy. I also remember your wife said you were a real 'catch'. Mmm-hmm (I'm grinning) Don't get me wrong, it's not time to get back on that horse, but it reiterates the compliment to prop up your spirits. 😉

Your children are definitely a reason to keep going too so I'm glad you have contact planned. I remember many times my son's presence was a reminder to get back to basics and keep going. He inadvertently saved my life also.

I like the idea of a mediator, but is this the right time? Maybe there's someone in your life who could act as a supporter/advocate when decisions need to be made. You know, bouncing things off each other to redirect thoughts back to your needs and desires.

Putting yourself first after a long relationship sometimes has to be learned or relearned, so having a friend in your corner might be advantageous. Yes, having your friends pop in might be a good time to open the flood gates. I'm all for that as it leaves room for other stuff. I hope all goes well...

When I went through some of the worst of it, I used to drive the car a few blocks away, take an beach towel to soak up the tears and blow my nose as my son was only a pre-teen so couldn't do it at home. One time a policeman intervened to ask if I was ok. I blubbered the words out; "There was a death in the family and I have guests staying" Lies of course, but they left me alone.

Well TP, so much for not writing a lot. 🤐 I should know better; I talk too much when I'm tired.

Take care and lots of warm, squeezing hugs your way. Don't be a stranger eh ✌


Hi Sez,

Sleepless nights seem to be very common during depression, anxiety, crisis. I guess sleeping most of the day doesn’t help you sleep through the night. 🙂

While I’m a ‘bit’ OCD in that I check for replies to my posts several times a day, please do not feel the need to respond quickly or just because I did. Having said that, I really do appreciate your replies.

Thanks again for your kind words. They remind me of the saying, “good guys finish last”. The “good catch” comment came from my ex wife after 10-15 years of her telling me if I didn’t improve in our relationship, then she’d have to leave me. In the end I left her. I guess you don’t know what you had till it’s gone. Having to leave my children and not getting to see them everyday has hurt me so much, I am still bitter that I had to divorce. So that “horse” you speak of, has well and truly bolted.

Re: mediator timing, I’m not sure exactly what you mean. I may be able to see if my family member coming over today would consider being my advocate. She has already suggested that I might make decisions I will regret later based on being “love struck” as she put it. Beyond knowing what my future holds, my needs and desires would be to stay in my relationship. But I don’t think that is possible.

Having said that, as I said my ex partner had always said we should never have moved in together and she still wants to be friends. I’m still not clear what that means for us.

My tears have slowed down, except for yesterday, talking to my family member. The first person I’ve verbally spoken to aside from my kids since “that day”. I don’t need to go anywhere; I’m alone in a 5 bedroom house, which I’ve only left to go to Bunnings for home improvement supplies.

I’m a sensitive, emotional guy, not afraid to cry or admit to doing so, not afraid to talk about my emotions and I’m very communicative and articulate when it comes to my feelings (after time to process them). Hence I also find 2500 characters hard sometimes - just over 2300 this time!

Thanks so much for the “warm squeezes”, they were awesome! It’s been REALLY chilly here. I thought it was my weight loss, or that I’m trying to keep my heating bill down. But no, it’s officially the next ice-age. ❄️🥶

Sleep well, thank so much for the ‘company’ and only reply (if you want) at your leisure.

Hi tranquility place,

I have just read your posts and am ver moved by your words,

Sez has hive. You support and suggestions so I won’t repeat them.

many people will read your words and not post. Ut will be helped by your openness and honesty,

it must me such a sock for you and you are such a compassionate person.

I am sure your posts have touched many people reading.

take care there are many people thinking of you


Hi op. So sorry about things and l can't help but just scratch my head at the cowardly way she's done this and l'm just wondering has she told you why this wasn't talked about for the last yr or two first and why she did this in the way that she did or? l really don't think she deserves you loving her so much and a little bit of feeling the way she really deserves right now might even help you a bit in getting her of that pedestal.

But l was also just wondering , who's house actually is it , did you go halves in it or did you buy or what ? l don't see how she can do this and a wk later start telling your selling the house and now!. How is that ? Do you want to sell it or would you rather kep it. Even if it is half hers could you refinance if you'd rather keep it. She can't just do this then call back demanding you sell it a wk later with zero notice and sneaking out in that fashion especially if she isn't even helping , is she helping to or ? Just remember you have plenty of rights too and could probably sit there a yr or two if you'd rather, or maybe as long as you like.

Anyway , l hope your getting through and again sorry this has happened.

Hi Randomx,

There’s been several clashes between me & her kids. We have the same parenting ideals, but different delivery methods. She comes home exhausted, needs to sleep or time on her phone (often till 1-2am). I think she has chronic fatigue. Essentially, I tried to parent her children & run things because she very rarely has the time, strength or energy.

Her kids have a deadbeat dad, they are not used to a male role model’s assertive parenting. So what works with my own kids, doesn’t work with hers - there’s no respect (for themselves or me). So there’s friction. To avoid friction, I tried to direct my concerns through my partner. This just put more pressure on her - she would rather not address the issues & keep peace & harmony in the house.

So you have kids doing whatever & her trying to absorb my frustrations. After each of these “episodes of friction” she would say “I can’t go on like this, we should never have lived together, my kids are too much for you, it’s better for you if you leave us.” Each time we would talk it through & each time I thought we resolved the issue. But looking back, I was happy to continue to try to change my delivery, but she & they were not. She’d talk to me about my actions, but never her kids. Eventually she had actually had enough & left.

I don’t think she is being a coward, I think she thinks she is doing what is best for everyone. It’s more of a martyr mentality - short term fix to a long term issue. It is easier for her to run, than try to fix it.

We share a mortgage that, because of an unforeseeable event, is more than we can afford & still have the life she wants. I can’t afford to refinance, but we were planning to downsize after some of the kids moved out.

Yes, the secret planning & deception apparently going on for at least a month, hurts almost as much as the loneliness.

Neither she nor her children (boys 20, 19 & 15) ever helped with the maintenance or renovations over the 4 years, they’re not going to start now.

Yesterday I decided to slow down & calm down. Things were moving way too fast. They may not change, but I need to give myself a break to grieve and process.

Knowing her potential motivations, I can’t be mad at her. I won’t delay things deliberately & I know when she sees the details of the financials, she will be devastated. So I want a compromise. I don’t want blood or my pound of flesh, etc.

I’ve not put her on a pedestal, I just have compassion & love for her.

Thanks for the advice 👍

Hey TP; (and waves to Quirky, and RandomX - long time no see ✌ )

Just popping in to see how you are. No need to worry about me responding; I enjoy corresponding to encourage and support when I can. I hope this message finds you well and coping a little better each day.

As your story unfolds, the big picture emerges. RX provided a man's perspective re anger. I think it's an important aspect of recovery but, all in good time. If or when it hits, ride the wave and talk about it here. You obviously love to write which has proven to be a great outlet up to now.

It's cold here too. We're getting 0-1c at night and a top of 10-12 during the day. It's clear atm, but the sun isn't doing as much as I'd like. I have ducted heating so I get what you mean re power bills.

I hope you've started eating better and have stopped losing weight; got to keep energy levels and nutrition up yeah? Maybe you could treat yourself to a lunch at a nice restaurant or club with your friends visiting.

I've just received a call so will need to end things here. Sorry...will be in touch when I can.

Take care;


Hi Tranquillity.

After reading your post, I can imagine how difficult this must be for you to experience, the frustration, grief and confusion. I have actually experienced the same issue over 10 years ago when I was engaged to a lovely woman, who turned out to be someone I never even knew. It's actually (in my eyes) the worst way of leaving a situation.

I understand that you love her, however, you have been treated pretty damn poorly in this situation. Her behaviour was inappropriate and there was no respect for you. This is the behavior of someone that needs support and they have chosen to run away from the issue. How much running do they need to do.