Excitement in Life


(United Kingdom)

The Question


Hi Noel,

I have been with my partner for nine years and it was just a few days ago he decided that he needed some excitement in his life. Our relationship has been fantastic; we have deep emotions and feelings for each other, and we care deeply for one another. We would miss the other person if we are apart for even one day. Physically (sexually) it has declined however. We do have different libidos (mine's higher than his), and initially (for the first couple of years) the sex was fantastic. It has dwindled, but due to the other fantastic aspects of our lives we compromised and (sadly with hindsight) did not work to improve the sex part of our lives.

My partner started up his own computer business approximately 5 years ago. It was a tough time: he would spent hours alone by himself cooped up in a room researching, programming etc, and would be happiest when I am back at home with him after my work. He seemed to be very content being by himself. As time goes by he would not want to go out as frequently, take up a hobby, or meet new people. I guess maybe at some level I was to blame as my insecurity of him meeting someone else. I thought he was happy, being safe in the fact that our relationship was safe, secure and loving.

After another 4 years, his business has grown and has become successful due to the high regular income it brings in. We then decided to go to Thailand as he had never been to the Far East, and wanted to see the that side of the world. It was during that period he realised 'the grass is greener' due to the attention given to him by younger Thais.

After we are back home in the UK, he told me that we needed to separate. He felt that we are best friends, and he still loves me and care for me deeply. But he wanted to experience excitement, date more younger people, take up a hobby like surfing. He told me he felt like our relationship was secure, safe and emotionally good, but is that what he will be doing for the next 20-30 years: Sitting in front of the computer programming, waiting for me to come home? He is 35 and I am 30

He felt like he was in a rut and needed to do something to change it. He did admit to me he is/was (mildly) depressed, though he was happy to accept it without doing anything to cure it. Furthermore he said that he is no longer sexually attracted to me. For this he is going round the world travelling, seeing other countries, dating and more. He said he could not do it with me as I will restrict his freedom: he wanted to wake up, and if he feels like doing a particular activity, he can do it without bypassing me or have my consent.

I am in a dark hole, trying to crawl myself out. From your experience, could you possibly give me some advice on what you think is happening to my partner, what will happen during this journey of his and his outcome? Would he realise what we had was precious or would he throw everything away for the sake of seeking constant thrills and excitement?

Thank you for your help.

Noel's response

It sounds as though your partner is having a full-blown midlife crisis, which will end at some point, although how soon is unknown.

My guess is he will grow tired of the thrills and excitement, discovering that they don't fulfil him in the way he hoped. He may then decide to come home, and may or may not ask to get back together with you.

If he does ask, it will be your decision whether you want to get back together, and on what conditions, as you will not be able to go back to the way it was before he set out on his adventure.

As he is 'dating and more', if he does want to come back, you will need to insist he be tested for STDs and/or AIDS.

Hope this helps a little.

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