He was at a mental health unit he befriended a female patient and ended up going missing for three days
I am a 22-year-old gay man and I have been in a relationship with my partner for six years. We live together and work together and normally have a close and intimate relationship. But over the past year he has had serious mental health problems, namely depression and anxiety, and is now going through a process to find out if he has bipolar disorder.
He has self-harmed and taken overdoses, ending up in hospital for days at a time.
But in May when he was at a mental health unit he befriended a female patient and ended up going missing for three days.
After he was found he was extremely upset and couldn’t stop hugging me and telling me he loved me. I was suspicious of this behaviour and then he admitted that he’d had sex with the female patient, even though he’s adamant he’s gay and always has been.
Should I stay with him to support him through these hard times, even though the mere
thought of him being with someone else is killing me? Or should I try to build a life for myself?
Only you can make that decision, but I don’t think you should stay out of guilt over leaving him to cope with his condition.
Ultimately, you can’t cure that and he needs to continue with professional help. What he did was very hurtful and it’s still a betrayal, whatever the circumstances. You’ve stood by him, been a good partner and he’s abused that trust.
If you’re going to stay with him, then do it because you love him and still see a future for the relationship.
However, I do think some time out from each other would be a good idea. You’re only 22 and have been together for six years already, and now you’re coping with his condition.
It’s a pretty intense and serious situation for young shoulders. And be honest with him that this isn’t about his condition. You can still be supportive as a friend, but it’s about him sleeping with someone else – a woman.
You could both do with a few weeks apart to get your heads clear – it’s hard to think when you’re living and working together. That’s a big pressure.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems