Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Partner wants time to himself - I have to partially move out?

Community Member

My partner of 3 years has out of the blue decided that I need to take some things and go stay with my dad for a while.

It was incredibly unexpected. He says he’s depressed and anxious about his life - his career, future etc. and needs time to himself to figure it out and just needs his space which he “never got to have” with me there...? He wont seek help as he doesnt want it on his medical record and doesnt want my help either.

Going back 3 years ago, he got me to move in with him. My life at home had been toxic so I packed up and left without hesitation. Being told to go back there crushed me completely - especially since his family had become mine and I now had nothing.

We havent broken up and its the last thing I would ever want. He says he still loves me but doesnt know what he wants or what he can handle. I honestly do not understand what that means and it’s been crushing me physically and mentally. I myself have become very anxious. I dont sleep, I cant stomach food, and my work performance has dropped to the point where I spoke up to my boss’s and they said I need to take some time off. I wouldnt know what to do with myself if I had time off.

I just want to see him. To talk to him. He ignores my texts for days sometimes. I know to give him space no matter how hard it is, but some of the things he says (like loving me but not knowing what he can handle) have made me feel so worthless as a human let alone a girlfriend. He has said that keeping me in limbo is just as crushing for him yet doesnt know what he wants.

I’m just so alone and feel a burden on the people around me. Stuck between two homes where I’m not wanted in either.

6 Replies 6

Community Member
I am in a similar place in my life; it doesn't change the situation but it makes me feel a bit better to know someone else is experiencing the same thing as me.

My partner and I have lived together for 3 years now after moving from our home town to another state completely. He has some family here but my whole support network was built on friends I met through him and his family members, who I still feel don't accept me as family. I've always tried hard to stay independent in case we were to live separately, but I started study this year after we both discussed that I would be able to depend on him financially. Now his family circumstances have changed and he feels like he needs to be responsible for his father and younger brother who are both moving in with us until his dad can find a job. I like his brother and dad but they both have issues with alcoholism and other substance abuse issues and our apartment is incredibly tiny. I've had money go missing while living with them in the past and don't trust them to respect our property; its not going to be a healthy environment for any of us. I really want to support my boyfriend because I know he's doing what he feels is best for them and would regret not helping them otherwise- but I'm also worried that having me there as well is going to put another layer of pressure onto him because he knows its going to be such an uncomfortable situation for me. I have worked really hard to get ahead since moving because we've both grown up knowing what its like to struggle and I dont want to live like that anymore. I sacrifice doing a lot of social things which is hard at 22, because I am sick of living below the pov line basically. I do worry that living with unhealthy people and no structure is going to make my partner want to live like that all the time. I'm not sure he sees the reasons behind why they're both always drunk?

It's hard because moving out for a few months would be one less person for him to worry about; I think that is what he is sort of hinting towards would be best for him. I feel like his family take advantage of how together our life is now though, because we have both worked so hard to make it that way. It feels sort of like all of the sacrifice I have made for us is now being given to them. I love my boyfriend but its hard not to feel slightly resentful towards the whole situation...

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Ratlady,

I don't know if this will help or not, so please forgive me if I put my foot in it, but I am a strong believer in men needing and having a space of their own. And the reason for that belief is that I read a book called "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" and it changed the way I related to men!

Men and women are very different creatures in a lot of ways, and sometimes I think we humans tend to forget that. Please note that I'm not saying he's right and you're wrong, or you're right and he's wrong. Nothing like that at all. What I am saying is that men and women relate differently to each other. Men need a sort of 'cave to go into to think about things, and then once they've sorted things inside their heart and head, they come back out to the world and can once again be with others. They may also need to talk with other men, but men also can be quite determined to fix things themselves and only ask for help when needed. Women, on the other hand need to talk and talk and talk it out aloud with other women, and then they can once again be okay with others. Women can and will also encourage each other to talk things out, knowing that asking for help is not usually a strong point.

Of course I am talking in a very 'general' way and those principles may not apply to every person in every situation. We are all unique in our own way.

There was another metaphor in the 'Mars & Venus' book that helped me to make sense of some things, an that is that men are like rubber bands; they need to 'stretch back and away from' others sometimes just to 'remember themselves' so that they can come bouncing back.

And I can tell you that prior to reading the Mars & Venus book, I never understood why my men seemed to become distant sometimes .... and also that my chasing them 'into the cave' and trying to 'pull in the stretched-out rubber band' never helped. Not with the men in my life.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little bit, and I do hope, that with a bit of time and space, that he will coming bouncing back to you, and that you can welcome him back with open loving arms.

Take care. Let us know how things are going. xox

Community Member

I can relate to your circumstances - in a different way but I can understand how you feel. So I too feel better that someone is experiencing something similar.

I can relate to living in an unhealthy family environment, my dad having remarried someone that was a word I wont be using on here. She may not have stolen my property but did more petty things like closing the ducted heating on cold winter days where my clothes were drying and I’d be going to work the next day in wet clothes. Leaving spiteful notes under my bedroom door. I had to put a lock on my door because she would close the heating in there too and put my things in there if she happened to not like where they were in the house. Those are just mild things, the screaming arguments we had lead me to isolating myself in my bedroom for a few years - hence why I moved out so quickly the moment I could and why it’s so devastating to be told to go back there. My dad is very passive and only really realised what had happened when I left.

I can also somewhat relate to you depending on him finanicially while you study. I’m not studying, but I’m going for a police officer role. I used to just work and work and work to save money. Dead end jobs, two at one stage, digging myself an early grave. He was the one that drove me (in a positive way) to strive for more. To have a career. He helped me through everything and supported me constantly. I’m now in the candidate pool and have honestly lost so much motivation because he was my motivation. Him and his family were always happy to help financially - now I can’t even afford to rent a house comfortably.

I somewhat regret not being a bit more independant, for getting way too comfortable. We’ve been through some crazy rough patches but we’d always pulled through.

I hope you (and me both) figure out what’s best and things work out!

It’s nice to just be able to let it all out so keep us updated. 🙂

Hi Sober, let me start off by saying that your profile pic made me chuckle. It’s so very relatable.

Your response was quite relieving in some way, it may not necessarily be what’s going on with my partner as I dont know, his family doesnt know and I dont even think he knows whats going on, but it’s given me more of an understanding of I guess men and what could possibly be happening.

I guess it’s just crushing because I didnt think I would ever be put in a position like this. How awful it was when I came back ...”home”? And saw that the pictures of us had been taken down and some of my stuff tucked away just to give him space.

I guess it’s difficult to have space when you’re living at home still and his room was my room so all of my stuff was in it. Difficult too because your dads is an hour away so driving back and forth becomes incredibly tedious

I think I need to pick this book up and read it for myself though.

Thank you for your response, it’s greatly appreciated.

Community Member

I suppose this update is more for myself than anything but I want to share.

I saw a doctor on monday who referred me to a psychologist. It was the next day and an hours travel. I messaged my partner politely but casually if I could stay the night in the spare room to save me 2hrs worth of driving. He didnt respond. I went to my dads a confused mess. When I went back the next day and spoke with his mum, she mentioned that he had asked if I was there and that he had seen the message but hadnt know how to respond. I took that as him being scared of how I would respond if he had said no as that way it helped me understand and not be annoyed or anything.

The psychologist helped and made me understand more about myself. I was hesitatant that I felt any different initially but then I opened up to my partners mum about it and I felt a lot more confident that I was, and everything else was going to be okay. She suggested I message my partner about it when I was ready and later that day, with shaking hands, did.

No response.

It was crushing. Granted I’d told him that I wanted to talk about it when he was ready, so I guess I hoped too much. He did text me this morning, but it felt very deadpan. Saying maybe some time on the weekend.

It was a huge weight off my shoulders to have gotten that out of him atleast, and the only positive I have was that it wasnt necessarily a negative message back. But now I’m back to a very vulnerable state.

I want to write a letter, and I will, as if given the opportunity to read it to him its easier than blurting random crap out and becoming a flustered mess.

The anxiety and constant illness in my stomach is overwhelming. I am grieving and genuinely so terrified to lose the love of my life.

Hi Ratlady,

Thanks for the update. I'm glad your are getting some help and support for yourself. We all need it from time to time, and those who admit they need it, and follow through with getting it, are some of the bravest human beings I know!

Try to remember to take things just one day at a time; you don't have to solve all of life's problems by the end of the week ..... and another thing; most of the things we fear never come to pass. And even if they do, you are already building a support NETwork (note the 'net' part of that, in that we are here to catch you should you fall!) for if and when times to get tougher.

Take care and keep reaching out. We're here for you. xox