Partner Is Numb And Left Me, What Should I Do?

Question

Asked by Confused44

Partner Is Numb And Left Me, What Should I Do?

Hi there

I know this is a difficult one to answer but I am interested in any help anyone can give me on any similar situations etc. My partner was suffering with depression when I met her, this seemed to disappear for a while and within the last few months has started to return. We have been together for 8yrs. She has now said she has no relationship feelings for me, she loves me but is not in love with me and does not feel the same. She says that she has been feeling that way for 3yrs but hasn't been able to tell me. We had always been able to talk about everything but obviously not this. She feels I was rejecting her with the intimacy, and I admit I probably got carried away with the day to day life but I never thought it would come to this, never realised she would doubt my love. She has now talked it all through with me (why couldn't she do it before???) and since she has told me, she wants to go out all the time with her new friends (she has got to know over last couple of months) and has now moved out and thinks she might want to start a new relationship 2 months after telling me. She has just started counselling (this week) and has refused medication. She has told me she wants to talk to me about her counselling after every session. She says she is not sure she has made the right decision and just feels numb to everything, all our animals, everything. I love her so much, didn't see she was feeling so bad and just want to show her how much I love her still. Is this running away to a new life, new person normal? Is she likely to realise all her feelings for everything have gone and that she can start to feel again for me aswell and it is the depression talking and making everything seem so black for so long? Will she realise she is numb to everything and not just me and that maybe it is all related to her illness? Or am I conning myself? Please help, I love her so

Answer

Hello, Confused -

I'm really sorry you're going through this. It's a crisis I've experienced not from your perspective by from your partner's. I believe it is not at all unusual for a seriously depressed person to imagine that breaking away will be the answer - or at least a partial one. I spent many years in that state of emotional numbness but never thought at that time that it was part of depression. To me, the relationship was the problem, and I couldn't think about much except how to find a new partner and a new life that would restore the love and intimacy I wanted back.

Your partner seems to have been depressed for a long time, and it is a good thing that she is in counseling - and also sharing her reactions with you. I agree with Jerry that her behavior is a form of manipulation but perhaps not a conscious one. Depressed people are completely wrapped up in themselves. The key to change, though, is not in your hands but hers. She is the one who has to see the extent of the effects of depression and make the decision to take charge of her own recovery. I think the best thing you can do is be completely truthful with her about the effect on you of her behavior. You need to take care of yourself - possibly with counseling of your own.

As Jerry says, you have to do what's right for you - and telling your partner is important. Whether or not she can hear what you're saying is another matter, but that's her issue. I wish I could offer more, but she's the one who has to change.

John

Answered by John Folk-Williams