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by Susan

My partner and I have been together for about 12 years. We are not married, but were engaged for a few years (no children). He is in his late 30s, and I am in my mid-30s. For the last few months he has been withdrawing, become more irritable, and I have seen him looking at other women. However, there have also been times when he has been sweet and loving. He has been depressed in the past, and we have separated for a while.

He has now decided that he wants to be happy and that he can be happier without me. Since then, he has shut down completely -- refusing to acknowledge me or my pain, and carrying on as if he has been freed from the shackles of a terrible relationship.

I don't know whether he is having some sort of a mid-life crisis, or whether he really believes that our relationship has been holding him back from finding any fulfillment in his life. I believe that some close relatives have been validating his negative feelings about me and spurring him on. These same people have been through unhappy relationships. I love him very much, and would do anything to save what I believe was a precious relationship.

Noel's response
I don't know what to suggest except that you figure out what you want in your life with or without him. You may find some help in the other stories on this site.

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