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Partner of 10 years showing signs of mid-life crisis & depression, maybe dumping me out of the blue

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I’m a female who’s nearly 45 and my partner, who I’ve been with for almost 10 years and have known for over 30 years, has shown signs of mid life crisis and possibly depression since Easter. On Saturday, he told me he’s feeling bad and ‘still cares about me’. It came out of the blue and I feel so heartbroken and shut out. I don’t know where I stand with him, meaning are we still together or not? I have gotten him to talk and he keeps saying ‘I don’t know’ when I ask questions about where I stand with him, why he’s acting this way, etc. 
I split up from my ex-husband back in 2009 and the divorce from him was finalised in 2013. 10 years later, I’m worried I’m about to be back to where I was in 2009.
I really love my partner and I want to help him and I’m trying to help him. I have said that I think he needs counselling and I suggested taking up a hobby or getting back into basketball, which he enjoys. When I’m alone, I’ve been crying on and off, trying to process things because I don’t understand why he’s acting this way and where this talk of potentially dumping me came from. I even asked him ‘is potentially dumping me really the answer?’ I said to him that ‘it feels like you’ve hit a hurdle in the road and given up, not just on yourself but also on us’. I pleaded with him not to shut me out.

I’ve been sleeping in the spare room on a sofa bed which is not that comfortable for the last few nights, the room itself is cold and it’s cramped. I’m doing this to give him space but I’m afraid I’ll end up having to move myself and my cat out in the future. We’re in the midst of a rental crisis at the moment and this is all scary. During the working week I go to work and have to put on a brave face and try not to think about it, which itself isn’t easy. I feel alone and I don’t know what else to do 😞

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kimberley78~

Welcome here to the Forum, it was a good idea to come here as trying to sort this out by yourself is confusing, frustrating and very upsetting - not to mention the fear of moving out. At least here you can find others who have been in this position.


I have had depression and anxiety for a long time, though fortunately nowadays it is nothing like it was. I'm not saying that is what your partner has, I'm not a doctor after all. However some of what is happening sounds pretty familiar from my own experiences.


When my depression was at its worst I did not know anything. My mind was full of hopeless ideas put there by the illness. I thought they were my own, but in fact they were symptoms. My mind was so full of these - and self-blame as I felt everything was my fault - that I had no mental room to cope with other people, not even the ones I loved.


I reached the stage where I did not even know or understand myself. I had no real idea why I was doing the things I did, and no idea who I loved -or even if I was capable of love at all. I wanted to be alone as I could not cope and that seemed easier.


To start with my partner blamed herself, thinking it was something she had done, or was not the right person for me. It was only after my psychiatrist explained to her my thoughts were well known symptoms and did not reflect reality that she gained the confidence to see things as they were. I would imagine that for you, having been though a divorce, it would be especially hard if for no other reason than your faith in something really being permanent is less than before.


I could not improve myself, and it was only after I was persuaded to get competent medical help that I started to improve. In time with medications, therapy and family support I'm now back to being the sort of person I was, knowing my mind, loving and being loved, and being reliable. I still take meds and expect I always will, but life is now good for my partner and I.


Despite all the confusion in my mind at the itme the fact my partner was there was a comfort - even if I did not realise it at the time.


Can I suggest you encourage in every way your partner to be diagnosed and then see what  happens?


If you felt like it we would like to know how you get on