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Big time struggles

Community Member

Okay I feel this might be long.

Ive been in a relationship for 7 years with my female partner. We are an all female couple. We have generally had a good relationship with a lot of love and fun.

Her sister has been sick with cancer for a large proportion of our relationship. In the last two months her sister has really started to get sick and has been given two months to live about a month ago.

My partner has really shut me out a lot from how she is feeling and has turned to posting on online forums for support and help with the grief and also some issues she has with depression, anxiety and body image. I recently tried to find these posts because I was so worried about her that it was making me sick. I wish that I hadn't gone in search of it because I found out some things that she was hiding from me. When I asked her about a few things (in such a way that gave her the opportunity to be honest with me) without telling her I had seen what she wrote, she lied to my face about a few things.

I have since told her that I want her to feel comfortable enough to share things with me about she feels however she is of the opinion that there are some things she thinks we should keep separate and that she shouldn't have to share every thought and feeling.

This has really put a dent in my trust of her. I've told her that in a relationship I really need for there to be honesty and openness but she doesn't agree. She also thinks I'm selfish for wanting to discuss these things when her sister is dying. She's continued to discuss issues in our relationship in a public forum to which I now feel I have no other choice but to do the same.

As a result of this shutting out I've confided in a friend but also now have confused my feelings for this person.

Im starting to now see holes in our relationship and possibly our future and a misalignment of values. How could all this happen in response to a distressing situation and how could I not have seen it earlier. I feel so stressed about it all and so unsure what I want to do. It feels so distressing that I just want to leave the relationship. I'm sick and I feel so weighed down from such a long time dealing with this pending event. I feel like all the life and my emotion had been sucked from me and feel a bit like the easiest thing to do is to just go missing. I know this is irrational but I'm feeling quite distressed.

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi WB, welcome

We only get one side of the story here. Also we are members with issues ourselves so please don't expect a professional opinion.

There is it seems, some reason for you to be concerned particularly the apparent shift from a long standing level of trust and honesty. For a relationship to be of such length of time you both know what level of honesty and openness was the norm.

However now might not be the time to make issue with the topic. When is the best time in your situation? About 4-6 months after her sister has passed. Thats my view.

But .....this I totally understand is not ideal because I can feel it in your words an air of being frantic. You are suddenly feeling a big shift in your partners dedication, so much so you want to know where you stand because standing in the middle is unbearable. So here is what I would do!

I would move out and I would stipulate why. Eg you would be totally honest and express your love for her but tell her of the major unacceptable shift in her devotion. Such a shuft is nit tolerable for you.

You understand that she is undergoing serious upheavals and as her friend you are willing to continue to support her during this period if she so desires it.

Point out there is no good time to leave. Ask her when the best time is? Such a blanketed decision could snap her back to the way she once was together with her realisation that she has to abide by your needs of boundaries for you to remain her partner.

I am the same as you in that half way relationships are extremely uncomfortable and you need answers.

However abandoning her completely would be too harsh, adding to her approaching grief.

Be kind, understanding, firm, decisive and realistic. But above all remain a friend in need.

The risk is for you to allow your heart to rule your head. I wouldn't sway from a decision because I felt sorry for her. If she had you for support then that is really the extent if your obligations as it is she that has swayed away from the commitments.

Hope that helps.

Tony WK

Thank you for the advice.

I did try to talk about how I felt like I needed her to be able to talk and be honest with me. She thinks I'm being non empathetic and selfish. Perhaps she is right - I've been thinking too much about myself.

Sonething I didn't mention is she has planned a trip for a month with a friend of hers to do a course which she thinks will help her. It started me thinking that we really are not a team any more. She wants to do all these things without me, keeps saying I shouldn't take it personally but I am.

Ive thought a lot about it the last few days and I think she might be right - I am being selfish and unsupportive when really I should be caring about her and what she needs given that I don't really know what she is going through.


I understand where you are coming from. I've been in a relationship for 15 years, where my partner is more interested in her ongoing health issues, and dramas with her family, (and her continual social commentary of them and others), rather than reaching out and jointly using our free time to do things together for others. I have decided that rather than feel left out, I've moved on and developed strong interests of my own relating to sharing and caring and helping others. Unfortunately it has made us less communicative as we once used to be, but at least there is no ongoing arguments over whose interests are more important than the others'.

The only point of real crisis here is if one partner wants to go away, such as your does, or in my cases, me returning to do more overseas aid work, and the other feels abandoned or neglected, then that means there needs to be some sensitive negotiation over each others' needs and ongoing interests. I would encourage you to go ahead and build some interests of your own while maintaining the clear message that you support your partner. It would be unfair of her to expect you to stay put while she does her own thing. This is the challenge I face at the moment, so very much hear where you are coming from, and hope my comments have helped.