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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19436
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My question is rather long winded so I shall try to be concise.

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My question is rather long winded so I shall try to be concise. My husband and I are separating after being together for 17 years. We are both 56. About 8 years ago he left our home for about 10 weeks as he needed to sort out his head, work had become overwhelming, he did say when returned to our home that he couldn't guarantee that this wouldn't happen again, he didn't seek any help. Last October he was going through a bad time at work, and so he terminated his contracted in February and decided to take a year out of work. I was glad he was taking time out. We embarked on a tour round Europe in April and In July I returned to the uk for a couple of months as he wanted to tour Greece in July - (too hot for me) and then do a months sailing course in Portugal. During that 2 months he realised he wanted to be on his own, not have responsibility for anyone. Since separating nearly two weeks ago he has decided that he wants to buy a boat, do more sailing in the Mediterranean and just live the lifestyle on his own and live on this boat. He loves the sunshine, being on the water and our existing lifestyle would not provide that. My question is to do with the solitary aspect of this new chosen life. Is he running away and not dealing with things again (he says not). He also has massive dental problems that he is now dealing with (his teeth are dropping out due to gum disease). Naturally this is very distressing for him and his confidence is low. I am concerned that this may all eventually come crashing down around him as he doesn't deal with issues as and when they arise. I am in bits and trying to come to terms with it all. I still want to support him with his dental ordeal and I want to remain friends. There are other things that have contributed to this but I would be here all day if I included them. I was just after an opinion. Many thanks. Maureen
Hello from JustAnswer.

Of course, it is impossible to truly know hat is happening inside his head. However, from your description, it certainly would appear that there is a significant risk that he is running away and trying to avoid dealing with life stresses.

Even talking to him may not be productive, because he may be in denial, including being in denial to himself.

In all honesty, I have also seen many situations in which the man in a couple gives a similar statement that he needs some time alone, when it ultimately becomes apparent that it was just a ruse to be able to separate from the current partner relatively painlessly.

So, he may be trying to run away and hide, but he also may be in denial or may be performing an intentional act to make it easier to separate permanently.

While you may never know the truth, the usual advice that I give to my patients is that you should be careful to protect yourself from any of the social, financial, or legal ramifications of the situation. It is good that you want to be supportive and it would be great if the two of you can remain friends, but you need to at least assure your position as this proceeds.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
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