My partner wants his freedom

-- Question for John --

I have had a wonderful, supportive, joy-filled relationship with my partner for the past 5 years. We also have a gorgeous three year old daughter. But he wants his freedom. My partner recently said that though he believes I am the love of his life, he feels he is “missing out” by being in a committed relationship. He wants to travel, build his career as a musician and possibly explore other relationships.

I am absolutely distraught. He and I both feel that our relationship is nurturing, respectful and a source of joy but he seems determined to explore the “what if”. I am afraid that he is making a terrible mistake (although I do understand what he wants) We now have a family and a home and if he wants to go overseas etc I would prefer him to do it when our daughter is older and we can go together or as a family. If he leaves me I know that I will never be able to take him back and I TRULY believe that he will want to return to me and our child. He is a good man and I love him so very much. I want him to be happy but I am so very scared.

-- Answer from John --

Your situation is a painful one. He sounds like a great guy, except that he may not be aligned with commitment at this time in his life. He sounds like he is still yearning to be in his Peter Pan phase, and five years is about his limit. I don’t know if there is anything you can say or do to change that. I can also completely understand your sentiments about once he leaves there is no coming back.

From the wise point of view of someone who knows the value of a relationship like yours and who is clearly ready for commitment (that’s you), he is making a mistake. However, he may not be in that place and cannot emotionally understand that wisdom at this time of his life. Sad but true. Bad bad timing for you. Possibly he is too young, but not necessarily in years, and he needs life to eventually teach him that wisdom and value. We cannot do that teaching.

At this point, you need to turn your attention towards your own healing. I would let him go if it were me in your position, and I would focus my energy on self-healing through the pain and also focus on my child. I am so sorry you are in this situation. If there is any way I can help, don’t hesitate to ask.