How Much Grief Can a Relationship Handle?

GoodTherapy | How Much Grief Can a Relationship Handle?Although grief is a part of life, it can be one of the hardest parts of life, and one of the most difficult to understand. At the end of the day, grief is a very lonely journey. People who are ensconced in the process of grieving often say they feel like they’re alone, like they’re going crazy, like the rest of the world is buzzing around them while they’re trapped in a bubble, and like they’ve lost themselves and wonder when they’ll be “normal” again. It’s a process that is very internal and confusing, and it can be difficult to feel a sense of connection in the world.

To be in an intimate relationship with someone who is in this space can feel just as lonely and confusing. You want to be there for your partner, but don’t know what he or she needs or wants. You want the person to feel better. You want the person to be him/herself again. You want the person to be able to support you on those days when your life feels hard. Or maybe, very simply, you just want that smile or playfulness back that used to be so fun.

When a person is grieving, his or her capacity for giving to a relationship is far less than normal. He or she is consumed with comprehending the loss experienced, and with coping with the multitude of feelings that accompany grief. In many cases, a person experiences depression alongside the grief, which can feel like another barrier to relating with him or her.

I’ve seen many couples, of all lengths of relationships, struggle through these issues and wonder how their relationship can survive such a raw and inevitably difficult time in life. It would seem that the longer a couple has been together, the greater the ability of both people to stick through the hard times with each other, possibly because they have made a commitment to each other, or because there is more trust developed in the relationship. But what I’ve witnessed is the success of many of these couples, regardless of how long they have been together, as they have moved toward each other, rather than away from each other, during this hard time. If two people believe in their relationship AND feel that they can get their needs for connection met AND there is patience available in the partnership, the outcome is usually positive. How long they’ve been together is less of an influence if these pieces are present.

  1. Get some of your needs met outside of your relationship. The simple truth is that your partner can’t be there as much as he or she could before the loss because the person is busy experiencing so many feelings and reactions to that loss. You may feel upset or angry that this is the case. If you do, talk with someone about it. If you’re judging yourself for feeling this way, talk with someone about that as well. And amid all of it, understand that your partner just can’t be there as much right now, and it’s OK for you to seek friendship and social connection with your friends or social spheres more regularly. You are experiencing something fundamentally different than your partner, and you cannot expect yourself or your partner to be in a different place.
  2. Have patience. Your partner will return. The grief will integrate into his or her life and psyche, and be less of an overwhelming force that shrouds each day. Grief doesn’t ever go away; however, it does subside, and your partner’s “normal” personality will come back, albeit with more of a personal understanding of what life means to them. This is an opportunity for you to connect with the person in a very deep way. The things your partner will come through this experience with are incredibly important and will offer you not only a perspective on how grief feels, but also a perspective on your partner’s unique way of finding meaning in life. This could be an amazing source of connection for you both as you gain understanding about this deep and sacred aspect of your partner’s psyche.
  3. Understand your own grief. Grief can beget grief. Seeing someone we love grieve often reminds us of our own grief, and can remind us in very visceral ways what it was like to lose someone—or a pet. In the grand scheme of things you do not have to put your experience on hold; in fact, this would be detrimental to your relationship and to yourself. In the moment, you may have to put aside what you’re feeling in order to be fully present for your partner, but please come back to it. Give your own experience the space it needs, whether by talking with someone, journaling, making art, taking a walk, or just sitting with it. When your partner is ready, he or she may even ask you about it.
  4. Let your partner feel all of his or her feelings. For those of us who take our responsibilities seriously, the experience of watching someone in discomfort or distress can trigger a cascade of our own discomfort that we often assuage by trying to say the right thing or by trying to find a solution to the “problem.” If there is one thing you remember from this article, remember that feelings are not problems. Your partner must feel the entirety of his or her experience if he or she is going to get through the grief in one piece. This means that there is nothing “right” to say, there is nothing you can do to make the person feel better, and in fact when you try to make the person feel better you’re creating a dissonance between the two of you that will just make your relationship suffer. Your partner needs you to simply hear what this is like for him or her, and to accept it. Accept your partner’s feelings as his or her truth, and accept the fact there is nothing to do about it. The act of simply listening without rushing in to change anything will offer more than you can imagine.

© Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Amy Winchester, MA, LPC, Identity Issues Topic Expert Contributor

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Tyla

    March 26th, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    There is something to be said for getting some of your own needs met outside of the relationship. I know far too many couples who come to depend solely on each other for everything, and then when one partner is unable to give back, the other feels lost because they have become unable to do things on their own anymore.
    I don’t ever want to lose that little streak of independence that I have and I don’t think that my husband would actually want me to. I want to still be me even when we are together, and I think that both of us maintaining our uniqueness is what maksusstronge e r when we are together as a couple.

  • L Daniel

    June 5th, 2018 at 6:34 AM

    I just love how the author automatically assumes we all have “friends” (or even extended family members) outside our marriage. Not so. Some of us are grieving due to the LOSS and ISOLATION of these people (due to narcissistic abuse and our own spiritual growth that steps on the toes of “friends” without trying and causes them to abandon us because they prefer staying stuck in a box). There is nothing more painful than being hated because of your love of the truth and not even understood and attacked by your own spouse sometimes. This is exactly what Jesus Christ said would happen to people who love the truth in Matthew 10:22 and 10:36. With much wisdom comes much sorrow, the more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18 Those who have “grief” and still have friends or extended family have a cake-walk compared to those in my boat. Our society prefers lies over truth. Just try telling them anything you’ve read or discovered on ANY subject that does not correspond with the mainstream status quo. You will ostracized and shunned in short order. I’d rather be alone than sacrifice truth for fake, phony posers who love and practice lies.

  • Beverly M.

    August 29th, 2018 at 6:56 PM

    This is the best advice/information I’ve ever had on this topic. My mate has been grieving the loss of his wife of 3 years. Her birthday was yesterday and the anniversary of her death is very soon. I’m getting the silent treatment , no calls no visit no contact and this rips my heart apart not sure if he will ever open up to me and allow himself to love again,; this was the best explanation as to why he is this way. Now my problem is becoming does he want what we have and does he recognize my sincerity and love

  • Tammie

    September 12th, 2023 at 9:32 AM

    My partner and I broke up because I thought he needed space to sort out his feelings and see if he could make room for someone new. We live far apart so the distance exacerbated his struggles and my feelings of not being an important part of his life. I may have made a mistake by letting him go. I didn’t want him to feel pressured to rush through the process to try to make me happy. I wanted him to be fully ready to accept me and my love without feeling guilty for his happiness. I thought if I stepped back and took off the pressure of trying to maintain a relationship with me would help. It may have added to his pain instead. He may never come back to me and I need to find peace with that.

  • Mandy

    March 26th, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    A huge mistake is to tell your spouse that what they are feeling needs to stop. Why? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to feel that grief? Because it is uncomfortable to you? Wouldn’t you want to be able to process all of the things that you were going through?

  • Brandt

    March 27th, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    If the relationship is strong at its very core then I think that it can withstand a lot more than some would give it credit for. It is those who have those that are built on sinking sand who will find that in essence the relationship really can’t hold up when the going gets tough. These are the times that you will see will make or break a relationship. generally things are easy when life is, well, easy. But life isn’t always like that and is bound to throw some punches at you maybe when you are least expecting it. If you have a strong core then you can muster the strength to push through all of that. But if you are just surface strong and beneath it all there is just weakness, then you might not be able to get through something as heartbreaking as a lot of grief.

  • fee

    October 7th, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    I have a friend that is going to grieving his wife pass two years agoI met him at church we have been talking as friends for 6 months how can I help him are just to be there for him saying couraging words what steps do I take without me trying to have a relationship right away but be there for him

  • josh b

    March 27th, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    There will come a time when you will take all you can take and that will be about it. Most of us will do all we can and then we have had it and that’s it. You have to think about yourself too and without sounding too selfish there comes a time when you ahve to draw the line and insist that enough’s enough.

  • Ben

    May 16th, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    120% agree.

  • Townes

    March 28th, 2014 at 3:44 AM

    There are bound to be times in any relationship where it feels like when it rains it pours. There are just simply going to be times like that no matter how strong or weak the relationship is. But if you have the tools to deal with times like this then you will find that all of this can be just a bit more manageable. This means talk to one another, make time for each other, and don’t forget to comfort each other. You may need to talk to your partner and you might just need to hold him, or sometimes he or she might just need some space but knowing what he needs or being able to ask for it is going to be a key component to getting through events like these as well.

  • Cameron

    March 29th, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    It seems that there are some families who simply have to take and take and take and yet they manage to hold on and survive while there are other families who only have to endure very small things and they can never manage to hold it together. I want to go to those people who always seem to have so many terrible things going on with them and ask what is that glue that holds them together through thick and thin, what keeps them strong while others of us are so weak that even the simple things will tear us apart. I don’t know if they love each other more or is they have simply found a way to love each other better and more completely. It shouldn’t be such a mystery but I think that for a lot of us it still is.

  • hyland

    March 30th, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    There will be those people who are not sut out to handle all of the pain that comes along with the grief and they are not able to handle the support that someone who has experienced a painful loss naturally needs. It isn’t that this is a selfish person, but you know that there are just those people who do not have the capacity to give back to others all that they will need. The bad thing is that usually you can’t judge this or find this out about them ahead of time, you really don’t discover that about them until you need them and then find that they don’t have everything in them to then give to you.

  • Keri

    November 9th, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    I have experienced this first hand.

  • Merritt

    March 30th, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    I don’t think that my wife realizes how much she is hurting me when she tunes me out.

    AI want to be there for her to comfort her but she acts as if I am the last person that she wants near her. That makes me feel very useless and unwanted and then she doesn’t understand why I don’t want to have that much to do with her later.

    How can I, or why should I want to, when I have spepnt all this time and effort trying to get close to her and then feel like all she does is push me away?

  • Jeanna s

    March 31st, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    Merritt- I know that what you are going through is hard but you have to understand that what your wife is going through is difficult on her as well. All I can say is give her time, space and love, and hopefully those things combined will remain the glue that will continue to hold the two of you together.

  • Stephanie

    March 31st, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    there have been times since my husband lost his dad that I have sort of mourned the relationship that he and I had together before he experienced this

    i don’t wnat him to feel as if he can’t have the feelings and experiences that he does but I would like to have a part of him back that I think that I have lost but I feel so unfair even asking that of him at this time

    so we are both feeling these losses but without really knowing how to process them fully and that can be very confusing and frustrating for both of us

  • Megan

    June 27th, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    I know it’s been years since you wrote this, but I just needed to let you know that I 100% feel these same feelings. This resonates with me so much. It’s only been a month but it’s been so hard. I hope it’s gotten easier for you/yours.

  • Julie

    July 28th, 2016 at 7:08 AM

    I am going through the same thing with my boyfriend of 4 years. His dad passed away in May 2016 and roughly 2 weeks later he turned into a completely different person. Our relationship isnt the same and he has gone so far as to tell me he doesn’t think he loves me. That is the hardest thing in the world to hear and understand when seemingly everything was close to perfect prior. I am really trying to be strong and supportive and not have emotional breakdowns everyday but I miss him…. Patience has not been a virtue of mine but this is surely making be develope more patience than i ever imaginegd i could. It’s also showing me how very much i love and care for him…. Which makes his withdraw from me that much harder…..

  • Merry

    February 9th, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    It’s been a few years since this post, but I appreciate the insight. My partner is grappling with the most devastating grief, but one year after this loss, it’s taking its toll on our marriage. Sometimes I have no idea how to handle the crushing weight of it, and it is an incredibly lonely feeling.

  • Tibbs

    November 9th, 2017 at 7:08 AM

    Again I know this post is from ages ago, but I just want to say how much this resonates with me right now too- reading these replies made me tear up as I understand them so well. My boyfriend of 2 years lost his dad 7 weeks ago and he’s completely pushed me away, won’t talk to me, barely sees me and we’ve had a few arguments where he’s said things that are point blank horrible. The hardest part, both for him and for me, is that I also have an end stage lung disease and he was my carer. Now he’s barely around and when he is he has shouting episodes where he tells me how i’m not looking after myself (i’m doing absolutely everything I can, my life currently revolves around my health) and that he shouldn’t have to watch me suffer. I can’t help being sick, i’m sicker than I’ve ever been and he can’t even come to the hospital because of the anxiety it causes him. He’s made a few really nasty comments out of nowhere like ‘well at least you’re alive’ as if he’s trying to make me feel guilty in some sickening way and I just don’t know how much more I can take. There is grief and then there is this and i’m really struggling to cope with his aggression on top of not being around to help me in the way he used to. I feel like I’m practically grieving for the loss of him, or at least for the person he used to be. The hardest part is not knowing how long this will go on for, I’m dreading Christmas mainly for his sake but also for my own, I’m constantly walking on eggshells waiting for the next explosion and it’s so exhausting. He also keeps having a go at me if I’ve not told him any medical updates due to not wanting him to worry, but when I have told him, he doesn’t show any care. He’s going through hell right now and I’m aware of that, but I find myself hating how we are, how he’s become and I honestly don’t know if I can take it anymore.. but if I ended things I’d feel like a monster after everything he’s been through. Like a few people on this thread, my emotions seem to shift between feeling deep sympathy and love for him, wanting to be there and wishing I could make things better even just for a moment – and hatred, resenting him for how he’s become and the way he’s treating me. Every single one of my friends has told me to leave him, that the things he’s said to me are disgusting and nothing should excuse him, not even grief. Sometimes I think how dare you take this out on me when I’m going through so much myself and do nothing but try and support you, how dare you act as if i’m being selfish for even mentioning my own feelings or asking you to simply talk to me. I know I can’t try and say how I would be if things were the other way around, but I **** well know I wouldn’t be acting the way he has been, and it really is just so ****ing hard, especially when some days he seems almost like his usual self, and then the slightest thing will set him off and we’re back to square 1 again…


    April 2nd, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    If the couple loves one another and is willing to communicate and talk things through, I think that they can survive pretty much anything.

  • Shannon

    May 24th, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    I lost my mother a little over a year ago and I could be the person you are speaking about in thus post. I know my husband feels hurt because I can’t over my grief for losing my mother and I shut him out way too much. I just can’t get the old me back, hard as I try.

  • Ed W.

    September 18th, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    I totally understand what you are going through. My girlfriend for 4 years lost her mother 6 months ago and we have been struggling with her grief. I have tried to be supportive and I think she has ended it. all of a sudden she has blocked me from her phone and her face book account. I love her very much and I never want to lose her but right now I can’t tell if I have or not. This is very difficult. She says she just needs her space. is there nothing I can do? Ed

  • Amy

    December 9th, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I am that spouse left by the roadside as well. I am a second wife, the family never really wanted to know me; and now my Father in Law has passed after a year and a half of decline. My Husband is out of state for the funeral and support his Mother. He won’t speak to me, he won’t answer any communication. I lost my Father to medical error some years ago and my family went into silence. I am in healthcare now and deal with elderly and dying people. I feel so isolated and lost. I fear I will lose him, I think I did the day his Father had the stroke a year and a half ago.

  • Kristin

    August 2nd, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    I lost my mom last year and have been feeling like my boyfriend does not understand that I cannot be the same person yet. I think I’ll show him this article. Hopefully it will help him understand why I can’t be there for him in the same way yet, but I’m making progress every day.

  • Ryan

    September 26th, 2015 at 4:37 AM

    My father in law died a month ago from cancer. My husband warned me that he was going to fall to pieces, and that he was going to need me to be there for him. The thing I never saw coming is that he is no longer there for me in almost any way. I was not prepared for the sudden and almost complete vacuum of emotion, intimacy, and companionship. It’s almost as if I have lost him. I am trying to get him off the sofa. I am trying to keep him from falling into a deep depression. It’s all backfiring and pushing us apart. How can I “be there” for him while he has made an island of his grief?

  • Samantha

    November 22nd, 2015 at 9:48 PM

    You sit in the middle of that island with him. And even though he may go into a depression…if your love, marriage, and bond is strong enough…he will come back to you. There is no time limit. And im sure you feel lonely and sad too. And i know you’re missing your husband. But, wouldn’t you rather miss him while he lies next to you instead of missing him because he couldn’t experience his emotions in his home without the fear of offending someone? I only commented on this because i am on the same end as your husband right now. And i know that my husband is having the same feelings you are. He misses me. I have been here physically, but i dont even feel like im awake. I am not the best mother i can be right now. So, im thanking God for allowing me to have a man that can step up when all i can seem to do is sit down.

    I have recently lost my former boyfriend, before my husband. But he wasnt just an ex, he was my best friend. And everyday is a struggle. I dont know how to live in a world where he doesn’t exist anymore. This is not only my first boyfriend to pass, my first love before him passed in a tragic car accident. And months later, i met this man. He saved my life. I only pray he knows what he really did for me. How he not only changed me, but how he showed me a different love. A love that has a bond that even though is was broken here in the physic world, i still feel it everyday. Ive had the privilege of loving three different times. Three very different loves. But ive also had the misfortune of loosing two of them. And even though i have an amazing husband and beautiful child with that man…i am grieving the loss of another man, another live, and what sometimes feels like another life.

    So, my advice, i know may not be good, but i think just allowing him to experience this and trying your best to understand that these emotions are uncontrollable. The sadness is overwhelming at first, the anger sneaks up on you, and the denial makes you come to a hault. Waking up sometimes is a struggle because as soon as my mind is awake, i see him, i feel him, and i long for him. I just miss him. If you can just stand beside him, not in front of or behind him, and you can do that every day, and not push for an immediate outcome, i promise you he will eventually start to smile again and his heart will begin to open again.. And when it does, it will be all for you.

    God bless. Xo

  • Lacey N

    April 20th, 2017 at 3:14 PM

    i know this is old but i am dealing with something similar and i am desperate for help. my boyfriend is grieving the loss of his childs mother. its absolutely devastating and my heart aches for him but i often feel like now that shes gone he forgets all the reason they were “exes” in the first place. like he remembers her as this perfect love of his, while when she was alive he loved her and respected her, it didn’t seem like the case. i don’t want it to destroy our relationship and i do evrything i can to support him. he is open with me, takes comfort in me and is very grateful to have me but it is difficult being the significant other to the bereaved when they are mourning a past love. i am not applying any pressure to him or in anyway trying to change how he feels. i just need help coping.

  • Flower

    September 30th, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Hi Samantha. I just lost my ex boyfriend who was my first love. Although our relationship was lots of ups and downs which ended with him leaving me to get married to someone else, it was not always that way. Over the years we made amends and forgave each other. I miss him now. I miss that part of my life. It’s hard knowing that I can’t just call him up and have catch up chats like we used to. I have so many regrets. My husband is not being very superive so I feel lost and alone. I have to pretend to be happy when I just want to cry. I want to have just one more chat with him. I would tell him everything that was on my mind… None of this means I love my husband any less but I don’t think he gets that. I just want to disappear… I feel so alone and lost.

  • Tosha Dale-Brown

    December 26th, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    Im on year 4 of the ” grief” portion. My boyfriend lost his mom. I have no anything (help, understanding, intimacy) The loss of his mom is more significant than anything I have going on. More fights. out of the blue just gets sad and drinks. He said I dont understand. I dont. He is mean now. He is killing the relationship. reaching out doesnt help. Others get tired faster than you. He has become mentally abusive. He just doesnt care about anything anymore, including me.

  • Zareen

    July 13th, 2017 at 2:02 AM

    I need help, I have some questions too

  • kare

    July 13th, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    tell it here :)
    if you want to

  • Heather

    December 10th, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    I’m reading this with tears streaming down my face. My husband lost his mom suddenly 6 months ago. I’m feeling every bit of this. I’m lonely I fear I’ll lose him. He is always so angry at me, so hurtful. Petty things set him off and he explodes. I feel unwanted, I feel he doesn’t love me. After reading this, I may be wrong…this seems natural but it still sucks. I’m at a loss of what to do. How much of this can I take before I pack my kids up and leave?

  • D

    January 18th, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    U replied exactly with the same things I wanted to say. I was reading and crying from how I feel. I am also having the same problem and I am not from this country and came all the way here for my husband. I am heart broken. And on top of all of that I am nine months pregnant and we r expecting our first child within 3 weeks or less. We r not ready for the baby and my husband does not care and I am so stressed about it. I don’t know what to do. I am so miserable.

  • Heather

    January 19th, 2016 at 6:09 AM

    D, You must be strong for your baby. Hoping your husband changes when he see’s his newborn baby. Stress will make for a hard labor. Can you find a nurse to talk to?

  • D

    January 19th, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Thanks for responding. To be honest with u. Since last night I just started to pray to God to give me strength and to make him get back all the love he used to have for me in his heart and for his son. It did help me a lot to calm down and know that The Lord will heal my broken heart. I will also pray for u, if u would like me to…

  • E

    January 31st, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Im so sad too . My husnand list his mum just 3 months ago and i feel he hates me because he lost her. I tried talking and he says he wants me to suffer as much as him. He doesnt see I grieve my morher-in-law of 30 yrs too and I feel I am grieving loosing him too. I dont think I can do it. I want to but he reaaly hates me snd is so hurtful at times.

  • kare

    February 24th, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    This is so heartbreaking to hear these stories. I’ve been left once, suddenly he refused to have any contact after his daughter got critically ill. He never came back. When he recovered he looked for a new partner and is engaged now. Now again, my new b.f. mother had a stroke. He flew to France. He talked at first but when she went into a coma he stopped because of being at hospital day and night. I understand. It’s hard to take twice in a row. I’ll be there for him too, but preparing to have the same thing happen again. Both these men wanted to get married prior to this. Both were serious about us.
    Men, reading this, is it hard to come back to the same g.f. if the relationship was still developing? The first man engaged the very next woman that came into his sights. Besides sitting tight and being there with no pressure, how can I help my current b.f. (from a guys perspective pls). Men grieve differently maybe?

  • Angela D

    April 8th, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    I cannot handle listening to my partner and his family’s ongoing grief about the son who died from cancer 7 years ago. I have been listening to this every birthday, every christmas and every family gathering i attend for the last two years. I cannot listen anymore i’m afraid. I’ve had two family members die in the last year and still my partner continues to go on about his brother who passed from seven years ago. He watches old footage, toasts his brother at family gatherings and visits and has told me many stories about his bro and past family life. I’ve listened with compassion, but now i just cannot anymore. It makes me angry because there are complicated issues to do with domestic violence from his girlfriend at the time of his brother’s death and i don’t want to hear about that anymore either. It makes us both angry. He says that its not fair that i shut him out, but i’d rather continue with real life as it stands now instead of constantly taking this trip backwards. I’d rather focus on having a happy life. My friends and family have said to me that he needs counselling and to move on from it. It does affect our relationship because we both get frustrated with each other and i get angry and want to shut him out. I care about him and have listened and empathised jn the past, but i’m at the point where i’m now cynical and care more about tangible things, not ghosts of the past.

  • Rosalind

    July 4th, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    When your husband dies, when you have been in a relationship for 40 years, you just feel like garbage.

  • Susan

    April 15th, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    I’m going through the exact same thing with my now ex-boyfriend. His wife died suddenly 2 years ago (she had cancer and died at the age of 30). For the 7/8 months we were together, he treated me like a queen and always made sure that I was happy. When the anniversary of her death came along, he seemed to flick a switch and he broke things off out of the blue. He’s asked for time and space by himself in order to get professional help, but I’m hoping and praying that he comes back to me. Only time will tell, I guess.

  • kare

    April 16th, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    I wrote about my bf whose mom had a stoke .Well she died in march. He contacted me one or twice to say he appreciates the support, and loves me more for it. And his dad is not coping well so he desls with that now. Ive concluded that in the first year relationships are drlicate with this kind of grief. It is about how best they can cope and to give to a relationship is near impossible when in grief. To accept support is just as hard for some people. To feel like you are leaning on and not giving to a relationship can shift it. Loss is hard even in established relationships. I have given up thinking he’s returning at this point. So sad for him and the whole situation. Of course if he reaches out I will be a support, but as he accepts his loss i have to accept ours as well. Simply, death and grief changes things permanently, and those left behind suffer collateral damage. Loved ones of loved ones included.

  • davc

    May 2nd, 2016 at 1:44 AM

    For me, at the beginning of the year I got talking to a lady from work, and then started meeting up with her, and things were going really well, momentum was building up very well, and I liked her and wanted to get to know more and more – and it seemed the feeling was very much mutual – even if we did spend hours talking there was always more we could talk about still. She lost her Grandfather a month ago, who I know was the closest male role model in her life – and called him the best man in her life, they were very close – well, it seems her family as a whole are very close. A day later, she told me what had happened and that she’d get back to me when she is in a better frame of mind. She has definitely retreated into herself from what I can see, and as we work in the same place I’ll admit it’s been hard to see how tired and low she has looked at times, and a month later things are still distant but I’m not rushing her of course – I told her to take her time when she told me what had happened initially and I stand by that. Although I admit I suffer from anxiety and depression, so although thankfully I believe I’ve offered my support without being too much… I have been feeling erratic and probably looked it at times in passing at work although I’ve not vocally stated it, I have managed to keep myself largely cool even though I just want to go over and talk – work isn’t the best place. Although the rare one on one time (which has only been at work) has been encouraging, I saw her briefly on Friday too and the warm look we gave each other left me feeling a lot better about things. I’m giving her lots of space and I’m in a tug of war with myself – one day I can have a frame of mind of “it will all be okay” while the next I can think “what if she doesn’t want to pick things up where we left them again!” – to the point where I’m not sure how long is too long – I know now I’ve done all I can without crossing the line and I hope space and time will do things the world of good in the end. For me, I’ve withdrawn as well in the meantime, because I never did deal with uncertainty very well at all… but I understand grief is something that can’t be measured, and cannot be guessed from the outside, she is just as quiet on social media while before she would regularly post or share things. I have fingers crossed she is okay and that things will pick up again soon.

  • kare

    May 2nd, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Davc, Its been a 3 1/2 month ordeal for my guy so far… He’s still in contact occasionally. He puts it this way… “I’m lost in time and translation, as they say”. He honesty doesn’t realize how much time passes. She might come back to you when she gets out of that lost feeling. In the meantime you might relax about it and decide to not decide. Thats what shes having to do because shes not able to make a decision at the moment. She hasn’t ended it right. That’s what I’ve done to take the pressure off myself and it helps greatly. Do something for you. When she returns she’d be glad you were okay and she doesn’t have to try to ‘repair’ anything with you on top of what she went through. If she doesn’t return then you’ll know when it’s right to make a decision. There’s a disconnect between how us b.f./g.f. and the griever experience this. Nothing is intentional.

  • B

    May 5th, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    I would love some advise. My husband lost his grandmother 2yrs ago, aunt 1.5 ago, and now his father 2 weeks ago. It has been a very sad and emotional roller coaster as we have only been married 2 years. My husband is very close with his mother… Maybe to close and goes to her for comfort instead of myself. It hurts me as I feel like I am here with open arms. I have had my experience with death and I am positive about many things. He pushes me away and it is hard for me to not take it personally. All three deaths we have argued.. The same way each time. Yesterday we were driving in the car in silence, which is totally fine, and the first words that come out of his mouth are… Your sisters message to me about my fathers death wasn’t sincere. It shouldn’t have been from her and her husband. They should have contacted me seperatly.. This has been a common thing with all tragedies in his life. Nothing is good enough and pushing away. I asked my sister if I could read the message and it was very sweet and caring. It’s almost as if he made up words that were not even written in his head.
    After we had a little argument he left and went to his mothers for comfort: what am I doing wrong?

  • davc

    May 9th, 2016 at 6:07 AM

    Kare, thank you so much for that reply, and it’s definitely one of the wisest pieces I’ve read about it and explains so many things I couldn’t find an answer for in myself. I delved straight in and commented without reading any other comments originally, and because it is such a new situation for me – there is little in the way of advice I can give unfortunately, but I really hope we all find the light at the end of the tunnel soon. And Kare, you’re right, she would not have to repair anything. And reading ‘nothing is intentional’ is comforting, because despite doing well in masking it most of the time, I’ve been all over the place, and I hope that has had no impact on her when seeing me about at work and if I did look off form – I like to think we’re allowed a few minor blips along the way eh – we’re all human at the end of the day. I didn’t get a chance to explain my anxiety etc to her although before her Grandfather’s passing it was something I was about to explain as I started feeling off form in myself before that, so she is still none the wiser on that.

  • kare

    May 9th, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Davc, you’re welcome. Look after yourself is the main thing. It’s not selfish and it will be very important if she comes back. And also if she doesn’t. I had a cranky day yesterday. It was Mother’s day and my Mother is lost since 2010. Specific days don’t get easier. So I can understand when all we want to do is grieve today. I don’t want a distraction on that day i just want to be miserable and also think about my relationship I had with her.. This is years on. It wad a reminder of the grief our partners are facing. So we just cannot take anything personally as our loved ones walk through their grief today.
    i struggle with it all too. Its natural i think. If its pushing you down too far put yourself #1. You have to.

  • Robert

    May 14th, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    I’m having the same issue with my girlfriend she lost her ex husband two weeks ago everything was fine till he passed away then she told me to leave her alone and to give her space and time I tried to reach out to her she got very upset with me and doesn’t want to answer my text or calls I told her I would be there for her but to no avail she will not speak to me I love and care for her very much but I feel she may never come back to me again I’m so heart broken

  • kare

    May 14th, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Robert it is heartbreaking. This has happened to me THREE times with three different men. I struggle to understand thus lesson I’m supposed to be learning in my life This is getting ridiculous and how can it be a coincidence. All we can do is look after ourselves. And accept whatever happens. Sometines great people become unavailable overnight. Im not deciding either way yet – it is painful though.

  • davc

    May 22nd, 2016 at 9:50 AM

    Absolutely Kare, you’re spot on. Our own grief on anniversaries etc will definitely remind us of grief the people in our life would be facing. A different situation, and I do not dare guess how anyone is in a grieving process, but I keep on thinking if I’m hurting and missing someone quite a lot who has been going through a grieving process – then I dread to think how much they might be missing and grieving a person they have lost. Not sure if that makes sense but that is the best I can describe it. Plus looking after ourselves is definitely crucial, you’re right, thankfully when motivation is low and for each low I’m starting to do things for myself so much easier, I’ve already put myself into two things I’ve been meaning to do for years, one new hobby and a course. Although now I’m in a torn state, this lady seems to be getting back to good form, well from what I can see, and seems to be getting back into the swing of things… yet there is still no contact and I’m feeling happy that she seems to be back into the swing of things, yet sad and confused over no contact. It’s been hard to see her in work day in day out when I am feeling that there is a line I cannot cross – but for example, when I drove past her the other day there was such a warm smile and warm eye contact between us. So many things are crossing my mind still and sadly none of which can be answered, like might she still have effects of grief which may be blocking things, or if she seems more herself might getting back on track be imminent, have I held on too long etc etc… just my overthinking nature I’m afraid. She might not have drifted away I don’t know – but if so it’s so hard to see someone whose company you like and wanted to get to know more just drift away, and this is just at the beginning of things so I am feeling I don’t have the right to really be feeling like I do compared to everyone else who has posted here and have been in something much more established. My gut feeling and my heart still say hang on in there.

  • kare

    May 23rd, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Davec… keep on looking after yourself. One of my b.f. recovered then went on to meet and get engaged to someone else. We had definitely strong feelings for one another, but the grief shifted something. I look back, it was never established enough between us, as you say, very new. Sometimes the easly stages of an attraction can’t sustain such a blow. I’m glad you are taking some hobbies and courses. It makes me happy to hear that you are improving yourself. If not for this lady, then the next one who IS meant to be with you will be so grateful. Don’t lose hope, but be a realist as well. It will come clear at some point for you in what is best for you to do. When it gets really hard… just put one foot forward then the other.

  • davc

    July 14th, 2016 at 1:43 AM

    Thank you for all kind replies Kare, I haven’t checked into this page in a while because unfortunately it’s not turned out well, but I can’t find it in myself to explain the negative situation that has happened in full because I still care about this lady and will still be a gent… which is just a case of letting it go and giving a smile and hello in passing (which is very difficult given what has happened, to sum up – she does not have a good view of me any more and I really don’t understand why.) I certainly did not do anything other than what I’ve mentioned previously, and giving the space especially in a work situation was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m feeling so hurt and heartbroken, and annoyed… but like I said, I’ll remain a gent, I hope for everyone on here, that their situation ends up with a very happy ending.

  • N

    June 28th, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    I hope someone sees this as the last post was some time ago. My boyfriend has just lost his grandad. His family are very close at times like this. I have told him I’m here for him but he just won’t talk to me. We’ve exchanged a few text messages but that is all. He has told me he’s struggling and there are things he needs to do for and with his family. But I feel completely shut out. I don’t want to be a selfish girlfriend, but all I want to do is support him and be by his side. But he won’t allow me to. I’m not even sure he’ll let me or want me at the funeral with him. It hurts me because for me a partner is there through thick and thin. I just feel unwanted, unimportant and pushed aside.
    Should I ask him not to shut me out. Or just wait patiently for him to come to me when he is ready??

  • Dan

    July 8th, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    Hi N,
    People are still reading (me at the least)!!! This thread has been such a comfort to me. It’s been 3 months since my girlfriend lost her father and my morning was filled with self doubt, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. As partners, we have to take care of ourselves. Sometimes that will mean seeking support elsewhere.
    I, too, having been mulling over having a blunt conversation I which I just lay it all on the table about how much pain I’ve been choking back. I think a much better path is to seek a neutral third party for a therapeutic outpouring or reach out to a support group. The reason is that I believe people are much more perceptive than we give them credit for initially. Our significant others know that they are hurting us in the process of dealing with their grief. But for that to stop is to ask them to stop grieving. They cannot do this. Hopefully if they see that we can take care of ourselves for a bit and be there most of the time that they stumble, they will come back to us. One foot in front of other as Kare said.

    All the best

  • Heather

    July 8th, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    Hi, It has been some time since I commented last. My husband lost his mother 1 year ago this past June. If you read my first comment, then I’ll just follow up with that…my husband has been able to deal with this loss much more effectively, he has opened up to me and we have been closer than ever. It was a ROUGH ride let me tell you! But our love always prevails and I know he didn’t mean to hurt me in the process of his grieving so I stood by him through it all. So glad I did, because he is my everything and so are our little girls. It is always so helpful to talk to someone you can relate to and have some encouragement and that the light is on the other side of the grief tunnel. Hang in there everyone! God Bless!

  • kare

    July 8th, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    I’m into this for six months. I moved on emotionally,and like you Dan, chose to NOT have the blunt ultimatum type conversation. I chose instead to give time and space and be neutral yet suportive. I hhadn’t heard from him for two months (he’s with family in France). But as Heather said he’s slowly coming out of the fog and has initiated contact again and is truly grateful. Had I been blunt, he probably would’ve gone for good. At least now we have a decent starting point if we both choose to start again.

  • davc

    July 14th, 2016 at 2:37 AM

    I am so very glad to read about the progress in the last couple of messages. And as I said in a previous message, I hope anyone who is still facing their struggles has a very happy ending indeed.

  • N

    July 14th, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Hi everyone

    Thank you. I have only just seen these latest posts. I’m glad and happy to say that I didn’t have the conversation with him. I let him know that I’m here if he needs or wants. But politely asked him not to ignore me. Since then he has opened up a little and started talking to me about the funeral arrangements and a speech that he is going to read. I feel that I have been supportive. He doesn’t want me to go to the funeral, he said because he doesn’t want me to see him upset,there will be people there who I don’t know and the only thing he wants to be thinking about that day is his grandad. I can’t really argue with that, I know his ex will be there as they have a child together,but I’m.ok with it. I’m trying not to take it personally and just roll with it. It’s not a reflection on our relationship, if he didn’t want to be with me he simply wouldn’t be. feel quite close to him at the moment and realise that we have different ways of dealing with grief. I turn straight to him in any event of stress or upset. He turns into himself,I have to respect that.

    Hope everyone else is ok x

  • Julie

    July 28th, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    This is the first thread I have found that has shed a bit of positivity and light on how I am feeling since my boyfriend lost his father in May 2016. Everything that has been said by all of you resonates so strongly with me. The “flip of a switch” with his emotions and feelings towards me and the grief I am feeling over the loss of the love of my life is so overwhelming I can’t handle it some days. He is just so disconnected and his behaviors are polar opposite of what he used to be. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the soft, loving, affectionate man I fell in love with , but it doesn’t last long. He says he “feels nothing for anything” but in the next moment he says he knows he loves me deep down, he just can’t feel it rite now… I don’t know what to do to help him get himself back. I don’t want to push, but I don’t want to seem like I don’t care either. It’s a struggle every single day, but I tell him I love him, even though he doesn’t reciprocate. I touch and hug him even though I can’t feel the love that was once there. All of this with the hope that one day he will come back from wherever he is and love me again.

  • Heather

    July 28th, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    Hi Julie,
    I’m sorry you are dealing with this, I feel you, as I went through this exact same thing. It has now been a year since my husband’s mother passed away unexpectedly. He has regained his life back, his positive attitude and love for me and my girls. It was so rough, I cried so much..until I couldn’t possibly cry anymore. I became stronger, he became more dependent on me and my love. I gave him the space, let him have his alone time, wished he’d come around..and he did. So just hang in there, it’s not going to happen over night, but show him that you will be there no matter what (if that is what you choose to do) and that when he’s ready to talk that you are there to listen. Listening is key when it comes to those that are grieving and don’t know how to handle the extreme feelings of sadness. I hope days get easier for you. XOXO

  • Julie

    July 28th, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Heather, Thank you so much for your response. I keep telling him I’m not going anywhere and that is exactly my plan. I waited too long and have gone through too much to give up on him. I’m finding strength within myself that I never knew I had.. He finally agreed to go to a grief counselor and I’m hoping It helps… In the meantime , I try to keep my meltdowns to a minimum and show him strength , love and caring concern. Hopefully it’s enough.

  • N

    July 28th, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Hi everyone

    If it’s any consolation Julie, things are improving here too. Just give him time and gave faith in your love. People deal with things in such different ways. My boyfriend has emotional issues as it is, but I have to trust in the fact that we’re still together. The additional stress of his ex doesn’t help and there are other issues like her using his child against him so he now feels the need to compartmentalise me. But I know what we have Is real and worth it. So for now, I’m hanging in there too. Now the funeral is done, things are improving. Time will tell. Xx

  • Heather

    July 28th, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    I wanted to leave my husband many times, I was defeated, his grief was so overwhelming and it was becoming that wall between us. Hang in there…I did and I am so happy I did, I love my husband with everything thing I have and so do our little girls. Happy to hear that I wasn’t the only one in this position, talking with others that are in a similar situation is soooo helpful!

  • Julie

    July 28th, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    The thought of leaving him hasn’t crossed my mind. What scares me is it has crossed his. He tells me he sees the pain in my eyes and hates that he is causing me to be so sad. He says he knows running is not the answer. I would much rather be sad with him there than devastated and lost without him there. I am so thankful that there are others here who understand this because my friends haven’t a clue and think i am crazy for sticking with him. Healther and N – you are a godsend to me rite now.

  • Jay

    August 3rd, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    This past winter I was traveling with a family member in Asia. We were in an area with no English and quite secluded when out of no where my family member died. It was such a struggle with extremely high stress levels. I returned home very sick and 20 lbs under weight. The women I had been seeing before I left and said she had found passion again, was excited to see me, knew what had happened, and said online she was there if I needed to talk. The first night back we went out for dinner and it was like a light switch being shut off, she was done. She dropped me off and said she was busy for the next week. Things fell apart. There was a nasty side that I had never seen or heard before. “I gave you everything the first night back” and “we only knew each other a short while and I don’t have to or feel the need to take on your drama.” She said she knew nothing about death and apologized but could never face me in person again. Passion over rules grieving in my books.

  • Julie

    August 4th, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Jay – I am so sorry your friend didn’t stick by you through your grief. Some people just can’t handle a relationship that isn’t always Rainbows and Sunshine and if she wasn’t willing to put forth the effort to see you through your rough time, you have to ask yourself, is she worth worrying over? One thing all of this with by bf has taught me is the griever needs someone with an open ear, a soft heart and loving arms and it sounds as though your friend held none of these qualities. It’s tough enough grieving the loss of a family member, but to have to grieve a lost relationship on top of it, I can’t imagine. I am so sorry you are going through this ….

  • Jay

    August 6th, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Thanks Julie. Yes, two unexpected events within such a short period of time has been tough on the heart. Like a friend of mine said “despite not knowing anything about death she doesn’t seem to get empathy…sorry to be blunt.” In this case it may have been a blessing in disguise. It’s too bad because I am such a loyal person and would help anyone whether I’ve known them for seconds, minutes, months or years. But to give the benefit of the doubt perhaps there was some trauma in her life which has taken away her ability to deal with hard situations.

  • Sj

    August 10th, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    I was with my boyfriend for 2 months when his aunt got sick. He asked me to go to the hospital with him . I was there with his uncle when they switched the life support off. I did it for my boyfriend. The day after he died he ignored me and went out with his friends for a drink then contacted me two days later . He seemed to act depressed and fall apart around me then if a friend turned up he would be laughing and joking and planning days out and holidays. He went distant just before the funeral and ignored me . I still went to the funeral and he spent the whole day speaking to me like dirt in front of people. His friends told me to give him this day but if it continued to walk away . I spoke to him the night of the funeral and said I was there for him . He said he was a horrible boyfriend and didn’t deserve me . I told him I loved him and I knew he couldn’t help it . He has now ignored me for a week , I’ve tried everything but it’s only me he is ignoring. He’s boasting on social media about going on holiday in two weeks and then pushing the only person who was there for him away . I don’t get this . I said do you need space he didn’t reply, I said do you need to talk he didn’t reply . I finally said are we over and he didn’t reply . I told him I won’t contact him again . My hearts breaking but there’s nothing else I can do . His friends have said he is always like this and he does the silent treatment because he is stubborn and used to do it to his ex . His friends said he is and idiot for the way he is behaving. I feel awful because I actually feel as though he’s using the death as an excuse for his behaviour.

  • kare

    August 10th, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    Sj, wow that’s horrible. I feel so bad you are having to go through that. Nobody deserves to be treated that way, however, having said that I really don’t think you should take it personally because if it were a different woman as his girlfriend he’d be doing the same. Sometimes it’s easier to dish the pain out to someone else than to feel it. And those closest we do it to because it feels safest that way. Nevertheless, you don’t need to subject yourself to it so I’d take a bigstep back if it were me. It may make him either realize he’s doing it, or he won’t and you save yourself some greif. Either way remember its nothing much to do with you, but how he’s handling it- poorly. Be kind to yourself. Time will eventually sort this out. Go do your own thing for now.

  • Heather

    August 11th, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    SJ, sorry to read that you are in such pain. I think that since you were there with him at the time…he’s relating death to being around you, it might be that constant reminder that cannot get out of his head. Not fair..because he will lose a good thing. But somethings happen for a reason, you deserve better. BUT if you love him then give him some space..believe me, it’s not easy..takes a long time to get over someone you loved so very much. Let him boast and do his own thing, show that you are okay without him, he may come around and if not…then it wasn’t meant to be.

  • Melissa

    August 11th, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    My boyfriend (of many years) and I just experienced the loss of a mutual close friend. Unfortunately, my bf was present when the tragic accident happened. We are both both deeply grieving this loss. What i’m having trouble with is he hasn’t even acknowledged that I’m hurting too. I know he has experienced a very traumatic event and how ppl react is very different from one another. He calls me every time he remembers a detail or has trouble with handling something related to losing our friend like going into a place they used to hang out, but he seeks out other people to spend time with to comfort him. I’ve barley seen him except during the funeral events. During the events he wanted us to go together, but distanced himself from me and would walk away if i came near. I’m trying to give him his space and be understanding of his needs to grieve. I’ve sought out my friends and family for support and comfort, but i’m hurting even more that he can’t at least acknowledge that i’m going thru this too. Our mutual friend was like a brother to me. I introduced him to my boyfriend when we first started dating and their friendship grew over the years. Im trying not to be angry with my boyfriend but it’s very difficult.

  • Dan

    August 29th, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    Hi Melissa. Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of such a special person to you. As you can see, being pushed away by grievers is a common theme on this thread. Your situation is new to the board as you and your SO are both grieving. Hang in there and try your best not to let bitterness into your heart. In these tough times, it may often seem that your emotional needs are being respected or met by your SO. It’s ok to speak to people about, it’s ok not to. There’s no right way to grieve. Trust in the strength of the relationship you have built up until now. All the best!

  • Jay

    August 12th, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    It was very nice of you SJ to support your boyfriend after only dating two months. I had read a great little description that the natural human response when grieving is to push loved ones away, for if you have nothing close to you lose, you wont be subject to feel loss again.
    I was present when the death of a close family member took place in a foreign country this past winter. After 7 months of going over everything that took place abroad and when I arrived home I can say that I did seclude myself from a lot of people including the girl I was dating. There was a sense of feeling stuck but I was still able to know that she didn’t have time to deal with me after the first few hours we met up. I did contact her again when I felt a bit better, but she had no time. I was always polite and nice but I could see how being nasty to a partner is a way of pushing them away to avoid dealing with another loss. Your loved ones will come around and if you have patience things will work out.

  • Sj

    August 13th, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Thanks for all your kind replies . He sent me a message saying he was a horrible person and he was ashamed of himself for the way he has treated me . He said his heads burst whatever that means . He said he is confused but he has feelings for me . I asked him what did he want , he said he just wants to be alone and can’t face seeing me . I told him I didn’t want contact anymore as it was hurting me to much , he said okay . He text me later on telling me I looked beautiful . I said you’ve ended our relationship and all I am doing is trying to move on with my life which is what you asked for . He seemed sad about that . He said I don’t want you thinking that this isn’t affecting me either . I went away for a few hours and read about grief and I sent him this email .

    I have been reading up on grief . I know mad . What I have been doing to you is unfair , you can’t help the way you feel at the moment and I need to understand that instead of being selfish and thinking about how I am hurting . You’ve lost the most important woman In your life and I can’t imagine how that’s making you feel. I get you need to be alone and I get you need to deal with this grief in your own way . I also know now that not being able to handle being around a people at this time is normal an all . I’m not giving you any ultimatums anymore and I’m sorry it took me to read up on it and not use common sense . I’m here for you whether that is as your girlfriend or someone you need to talk to . I’m not going to abandon you at this time . That’s what love is isn’t it excepting things . I don’t expect to be a priority in you life . I am here and I’m not going away. I will text you and see how you are and if you cba to reply it’s fine . If you need a cuddle I’m here . If you need to talk I’m here . Just know that and know I’m sorry for this past week putting pressure on you . I don’t know how to handle stuff like this . You don’t owe me nothing this is my choice to do this . Speak soon xx

    He Didnt reply to the email as such but said a joke a few hours later . I will check in every few days and see how it pans out . I am in the nursing profession so I can show compassion and love for a person in a big way . I am going to give him time , how long I don’t know as this is very hard for me as I love Him so much xxxx

  • Dan

    August 29th, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Sj, That is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time. I’ve recently shown some cracks in my armor towards my girlfriend who is bereaving her father and I wish I had remembered this site in the last couple weeks! She’s been coming back in spurts which is great, but it made me expect things to resume like normal. I may owe her some of your kind words.

    It’s funny how the more I would attend to her, the more I became dependent on her for my self worth. I had just moved cross country to join her when her father passed so I still don’t have too many friends that I can have a face to face with. This site has saved my skin twice now. Reading your words and reflecting on what has transpired over the past five months for me has brought me much needed clarity.
    Thank you all.

  • Lou

    August 13th, 2016 at 3:14 PM

    My partner’s son took his own life in May of this year and it has affected me deeply. I had known his son for 7 years and we were close and connected as we both suffered from depression. Since his death my focus has totally been on my partner who is suffering so much and talks about taking his own life every day. I am trying to be supportive, loving and caring as much as I can but what makes this even harder is that my partner behaves as if I’m not there. If he talks about his future he doesn’t mention me and he is angry at me for not getting him more help for his son to prevent his death. I am tired, torn, grieving and feel alone and I have lost the loving, optomistic partner I once had. I also have 2 children whom I am supporting and fear my partner will also take his life and if he doesn’t we will never be as we were before. Time I know will help but to hear him talking so negatively every day is awful.

  • kare

    August 13th, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Jay thank you for bringing the other side of this. It’s difficult for the person who’s there for someone who is emotionally spent from a loss. Would you say that if you knew that you didn’t want to be with her again, would you have had enough left in you to actually cut it off? Or would you just have left her hanging?

  • kare

    August 13th, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    And I don’t mean you personally – I mean any person who was in your position… you’re first hand experience is valuable to snyone on this site who’s been left not knowing what to do or what’s going on. Thank you so much.

  • Jay

    August 14th, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    I think the griever creates a lot of confusion for his or her partner without even realising it. It’s a possibility I did this to my partner but i dont think ill ever have the chance to sit down and talk with her so I’ll never know. I believe the griever will always have the same feelings for their partner that they possessed before the trauama, however, following the death of a loved one we enter into a Bermuda triangle of thought trying to process the feelings of loss and in turn the relationship gets lost in the swirl. While this is happening you will be pushed and pulled but you’re still in their thoughts no matter how distracted they are through the grieving process.

  • kare

    August 14th, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    Thank you- that’s both comforting, and realistic. He has been over seas for 7 months now since his Mother got sick, and died 5 months ago. Now he is trying to get his Dad sorted as they were married 50 years. He doesn’t tell me much- just the odd update here and there and how he feels like his life went ‘down to nothing’. Weeks and months go by. I have a busy life, so sometimes I also don’t realize how long it’s been. Perhaps we’ll meet again and if so Id be thrilled- but he’s in his Bermuda triangle. I hope he comes out of it ok. Sometimes I wonder too what else this has bought up for him as he lost a wife in his earlier years. I’m thankful to you for explaining your experience. It helps create some grounding.

  • kare

    August 24th, 2016 at 11:19 PM

    Jay, sooo right you are. I had a very long loving conversation with him this morning. What you said is exactly how he explained it today. His feelings from before the tragedy are just how they are today. It’s like he suddenly popped out the other side of his silence. And cannot express enough how much it got him through knowing I was there, giving him space. Even though from my side felt like being ignored for six months. It helped just getting on with my life and that too was one less worry for him. So much has happened we don’t know where to start, but just one step at a time. I think rather than disecting this we’ll just begin slowly to reunite. Thank you again Jay. Your words meant so much.

  • Lou

    August 15th, 2016 at 4:30 AM

    Thank you Jay that really helps! My partner is clinically depressed and talks about ending his life every day. We don’t live together and sometimes I don’t hear from him for days and I worry so much. I am trying to get help for both of us and if you have any advice on how I can help him I would really appreciate it. I am there for him, I listen, I let him talk and don’t judge but he seems oblivious to the fact that this is affecting me too and then I feel selfish for feeling that way

  • Jay

    August 15th, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    Compressing death up death is definitely going to trigger more emotions and if the first death wasn’t dealt with properly the next will be more difficult. I hope you get a chance to talk with him Kare, I’d love an opportunity myself to one day explain my grieving and how I was/am feeling.
    Lou you are taking on a lot and that is commendable and very honorable. I am not a professional so I can’t recommend any advice for such a serious situation. Listening is always comforting and hopefully with you leading by example and going to speak with a professional he will follow.

  • Susan

    August 19th, 2016 at 6:15 AM

    I lost my dad to cancer almost 3 months ago and I start my grief counselling at the end of September. During my consultation, she gave me some great insight which could help some of you. “Imagine grief like a set of scales. There are people on one side who try to rebuild too quickly and the grief catches up with them without warning. Then there are people on the other side who are buried so deep in their grief, they do not have the strength to rebuild. It’s all about keeping it balanced”.

  • davc

    August 21st, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    I thought my earlier messages earlier on the 7th July were going to be my last on my matter, and my aim was draw that line, move on… which I’ve kind of done, but again, that hasn’t been that easy. As I said before, I work in the same place as the lady I mentioned earlier on in the year, and very recently I’ve been ignored… and I can’t help but pick up an awkward and angry feeling whenever we are close by… that itself is hard to ignore and let go over my head… and is indeed a sad way for things to end up. It is almost 5 months after her loss and just over 4 months since we last contacted. I confess I don’t understand why there might be some negative thoughts towards me and I’m probably tying myself in knots more than I really should to try to figure out why. Even though I’ve moved on from the thought of anything happening between her and I and even really speaking ever again, at the end of the day I still care regardless about her as a person, so, although I do confess to feeling hurt – I can’t let it fester and treat her badly as a person because it hurts to be ignored etc so I couldn’t bring myself to dish that out in return.

  • kare

    August 24th, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    So sorry you’re in such an awkward and difficult situation. She hasn’t the emotional capacity right now to explain herself. Don’t take it personally. It’s probably easier for her to ignore you than face how she’s treated you. Move on as best you can and if its hard to work with her then maybe your workplace has a trusted or outside counsellor that could help you cope with the day to day workplace interactions or has some suggestions for you. All the best :)

  • Kate

    September 10th, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    My boyfriend of 8 months lost his mum to cancer 3 weeks ago. We knew it was terminal about 6 months ago.
    My boyfriend has always been one to be quite shut off at times and as I describe it, disappears into his cave where he won’t reply to texts or can be quite moody. We were away camping at the weekend and I thought it would be a good time to be together and for me to be a support for him but it resulted in him being quite irritable and cross with me at times and quite emotionless. In the end I had a go at him saying why did he find it so hard to say he loved me, that it was great to be together blah blah blah. Of course when we got home i felt totally hurt and questioned myself whether I wanted to be with him (i now know how terribly selfish of me). He has now backed off and i understand why but has told me he needs his space. At the time, I said to him I wouldn’t contact him because I found his ignoring my calls/texts too hurtful and if he wanted to contact me he knew where I was. He has messaged me daily and phoned me but all very short.
    After reading the above messages I have realised what a prat I have been. I have messgaed him, saying I don’t expect a reply but have explained to him more or less what is being said here on this forum. I only hope in time, i don’t know when that will be, he will come back to me. At least he is still checking in.

  • N

    September 19th, 2016 at 6:26 PM

    I met my boyfriend 4 months ago. Everything was so light and fun and it seemed like the perfect fit. We got into a fight 2 months in because we work in the same building and he told people about us when I wasn’t sure I was ready because I wanted people to know i take my job seriously. Other than that bump, which we worked out, everything was amazing. The next day when we were supposed to go to the beach, his dad went to the ER. He was supposed to meat me at the beach after work so I turned around picked him up and rushed to the ER. His dad passed after we went home to get rest. The next few weeks were filled with friends, family, funeral, ton of calls, and a lot of tears. These last 2 months since the death of his father have been a rollercoaster. The first 6 weeks I was glued to his hip but these past 2 something seemed so distant. There have been a lot of disagreements just because everything seems one sided, understandably. It is the hardest thing in the world to see someone you love and not being able to make them smile. I apologized to him for maybe making anything worse. that I am just frustrated on trying to help him. Yesterday he told me that his head is in a million places and that he has nothing to give and no one or nothing can make him happy. He said he can’t be in a relationship even though he cares about me. He said we weren’t on the same page about a lot of things and that he is sorry. I let him know that I understand and that I’m sorry he is going through this and I’m sorry I can’t help and if I made it worse and that I will respect his space but if he needs me I am here. What do you all think of this? And what do I do from here?

  • Jak

    September 26th, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    This article and thread has been helpful.

    My wife lost her parent within the past year, and I relate to everyone who has mentioned the hot to cold attitude, the with drawl, and yet the seemingly “fine” facade in the outside world. I have been feeling rejected by the space she is demands and feel my needs aren’t getting met. I have caused a fuss over this a few times – the same conversations. It is so frustrating to see someone you love in so much pain, and not being able to do anything about it. Then feeling guilty for asking for basic relationship closeness, and not getting it. She says she doesn’t trust me. She has a point. My emotions have been unreliable. I am trying. By connecting with friends, and trying to do my own thing. But I miss our relationship so much. It resonated with me to think about that and relate to it how she must be missing her parent so much more. I know she feels upset that it is affecting me too. I want to be solid for her.
    Any advice on how to get it back together, after letting her down so many times?

  • Junior

    September 26th, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    My ex gf lost her mother to a terminal disease back in May. Before that our relationship was doing well as we had just celebrated six years together. It was after her mothers passing that she started acting distant towards me and not wanting to engage in much conversation. Being that she was grieving I decided I would try to let her have her space for the time being and be there for her when she needed. We were together for about 2 months after that before she initiated a break up. She had very little to say about it other than it was something she was avoiding. We’ve had very minimal contact over the past two months of being broken up, almost reaching out every two weeks. I lost my father earlier this month unexpectedly, and I saw her briefly at his viewing. Other than a couple of intense stares and a long hug, there was nothing more than small talk between us, and we have not spoken since then. That was two and a half weeks ago. I have noticed she has been going out alot with friends which I am happy about as I do love her deeply, but ever since the split I’ve reached out and receive pretty neutral responses. I have heard from a mutual friend that she is doing well, however I feel alienated by her behavior towards me. I’m not sure whether to continue to reach out and try to make amends, or give her the space and time to heal and deal with the aftermath of her mother’s passing as well as the breakup. Advice?

    On another note, I wish I could provide good advice for those of you who are married but I would suggest counseling for both you and your spouse. Professional help from a therapist or a priest would definitely help make things better for both parties. Best of luck to all who find themselves in this position.

  • Z

    September 26th, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    I’ve read through the comments hoping to come to conclusion and perhaps to understand what I’ve been going through. My situation is different than many of you. In December 2015 my five year relationship came to an end when I moved out in January. We were engaged and were to be married this past November, but due to a clerical error, that didn’t happen. Long story short, after being apart for a month or so, we started seeing each other again, and things haven’t always been smooth. He has become quite distant over the past few weeks, but he would respond to my text and we’d get together every weekend. This past Friday, his Dad passed away. He has become even more distant than normal (as he has been the past few months) When he received the call (6:30am Friday morning) he didn’t tell me, it wasn’t until Saturday evening that I found out about his Dad’s passing. Since then, he hasn’t replied to any of my texts. I’ve told him I’m there for him, asked if there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll be here for him, he just has to let me in. No replies from him at all. I know he needs time to grieve, but wouldn’t it make sense to seek comfort in the ones you love? I question whether our relationship was over before his Dad past and this event has given him an ‘out’ with no need to respond? Do I continue to support him from the sideline, even though he does not respond at all to me? We’re not young kids who haven’t had life experiences, we’re both in our 50’s, both been married and divorced. Do I wait for his response? Will there ever be one? Was our relationship over before? I know I’m searching for answers you won’t have, but I needed to get this off my chest. Writing this is somewhat therapeutic, yet I know I may not receive the answers I need. Maybe I just needed to write it all down? I feel completely lost.

  • M

    October 10th, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Give him space and his alone time, he will.come around. Grief is extremely complex
    And difficult on the person going through it. Also take the time to take care of yourself because if you are not strong and healthy, there is no way yoy can take care of someone

  • Marian

    October 10th, 2016 at 5:06 AM

    My partner abandoned me a month after my dad died to marry another woman. His reason for leaving was depression and 2. His needs not been met. What made the situation worse was that I discovered he and his wife had a baby 8 months after he left. I was crushed!
    Indeed, I slipped into a world of my own a month after my loss. Isolation and withdrawal became a place of comfort and peace. I was in deep depression; I rarely communicated, I developed migraines, I felt sadness, anxiety, confusion, fear, hopelessness, uncertainty, insomnia (still cannot sleep at night) and anger. I was like a programmed robot, just going through the motions of life. It was so consuming and powerful. I never imagined I would be hit with so many emotions at once. It is an extremely difficult thing to experience and sometimes difficult to put into words what your emotions are.
    So to those of you struggling with partners who are bereaved, it is really not about you. And to second what Kare said, please do not take it personally. ..waves of different emotions continuously crash over you and sometimes you are not aware of what you are experiencing until 4-5 months into it. So please, be patience with us, give times, give us space ( if requested) and communication is key. a simple text saying, “I am here for you”, “thinking about you, etc. really goes a long way to help. Your kind gestures may be met with silence, a disappointing reply but it does not mean that we do not care. As someone pointed out in a previous thread, you are in our thoughts and I thought about my ex constantly in my darker periods but what I could not do was talk to him about my emotions at the time because I did not know what they were let alone express them.
    Sending you all warms hugs and love

  • T

    October 14th, 2016 at 12:09 AM

    I am going to try to make this as short as possible, my boyfriend and I met and instantly hit it off, and eventually moved in together, leaving his family & everything in FL to be here with me in CA. He knew coming down that his grandpa was very ill and that he didn’t have much longer to live & he would have to go back up at some point, well after being together for 8 months, that time came. We anticipated he would be gone for 3 months the longest. It was hard being apart and him dealing with that, then just recently while he was there Baton Rouge was flooded very badly & his family lost everything, including their house. So ontop of losing his grandpa, that happened. I felt horrible, this was in August, Around the begining of september his grandpa finally passed & unforuntely some drama escalated & a so called close friend of mine chose to imaturely write him a few lies that just added ontop of all of he was dealing with. The last time I heard from him he was texting my friend saying his phone was completely messed up & that he wouldn’t block me or anything that he needed to get a new phone & explained how messed up he was with everything & then some. He began to explain that whatever was said to him didn’t change the way he felt and still feels about me and that he loves me more than anything & that he would be getting a new phone ina few days.. I still haven’t heard anything from him since. He is not active on social media, I’m still all over his stuff, and I’ve mailed him letters, I’ve had people try to contact him, everything. About two weeks ago, his “cousin” replied from his phone stating he wouldn’t talk to anyone or even cared to look at his phone and that his cousin needed a phone for being down there with the funeral and everything to help the rest of the family out. That was the last. We had a VERY serious relationship, we were planning on getting engaged hopefully shortly after he returned home. The way he was texting me about everything going on, made me feel so bad for him i’ve never seen someone so messed up, His grandfather was his dad, so I mean I can’t imagine everything he is going through along with losing his well “parent” he is the nicest, most mature, most geiune guy I know. And we were very much in love, I haven’t had any doubt that he wasn’t going to return and i’v held on and waited, and just been positive. Any other relationship I would have been like ok, we are clearly done but something is just TELLING me, it’s not over, along with some of my closest friends who wouldn’t hesitate to say T you’re wasting your time even if it would hurt me, they all seem to think this isn’t over.. but now there’s just a very faint sliver of me wondering… I just can’t imagine him to be the kind of person to just vanish, at least not even explain that things won’t work out..I guess i’m asking for advice?!

  • D

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:17 PM


    You are in a tough spot with a lot of uncertainty. I don’t have any advice for you. Just support. Keep doing what you feel is right. And keep taking care of yourself first and foremost. I know that trying to live in that other person’s headspace is too tiring and too prone to misunderstandings. All the best.

  • R

    November 14th, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    My girlfriend lost her mum a month ago. She’s 17, turns 18 very soon. She is young, however, so intelligent and way beyond her years mentally. She’s grounded, fair, caring, wonderful, talented. I don’t know what to say to her anymore. She lives thousands of miles away – we only have computers and devices to communicate/see each other, we also fly to each other quite frequently (monthly to bi-monthly), and we’ve been together over a year. She doesn’t talk to me anymore, or if she does it’s trivial and not even half hearted. I feel so alone, like i’m losing her. I love her. She’s applying to IVY colleges in her country (whilst and during her mothers death). I have helped her as much as I can in regards to this, I have tried to be supportive (even though it kills me, because I feel like she’s choosing to leave me, or expects me to wait 4 years for her. I am a few years older than her). She doesn’t hear me when I talk to her, or she apologises for completely being vacant (basically a mess – grieving). I feel so selfish, but it’s all I have of her, and if I can’t talk to her I have nothing. I don’t have the luxury of sitting in a room with her in silence…just being. She’s my best friend, I miss her and love her so incredibly much. I know there’s nothing I can do, so I am trying to be there for her and focus on myself. I hold my feelings in because I don’t want to distress or overwhelm her, however she notices when something is wrong, so I can’t help but be honest. We used to text all day, constantly, now It’s sporadic and empty. We say I love you regularly (but are we just on repeat even though we do mean it?). She’s now hanging out/speaking with an old friend whom I’ve met. He’s lovely and in a relationship with a guy now, sometimes I feel so jealous that she’d rather speak to him instead of me, even though she denies it, she used to have a thing for him when she was depressed before she met me. I’m not a distraction anymore, but a problem she needs to pacify . I don’t really have anyone else to talk to, she’s who I talk to. I have friends but I don’t feel comfortable talking about my true feelings, I don’t like being completely exposed. All I know is that I love her a tremendous amount. She’s incredible and wonderful, frankly I’m scared she’ll leave me when she goes to college, even though she professes she won’t. I don’t know what to do with myself, and if anyone has any comments, I’d really appreciate your advice/thoughts. Thanks R

  • D

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    It may be surprising but to me, it sounds like you two are actually doing alright. It obviously doesn’t feel like it or you wouldn’t be here. I can relate to so much of what you’ve said about being desperate to be supportive, occasionally letting your feelings bubble up and overtake you, and those nasty feelings of jealousy. The fact is that she isn’t completely broken and in need of you to shield her. She is slowly incorporated this grief into her everyday life and will occassionally need you. Just let her know (and prove to her) that you will be there if she needs it. That said, she is going to need support from people that aren’t you. That’s true of any relationship at any point in time. The flip side is that you can’t just wait on the side for her. You will feel used and it won’t be fair to either of you. Reach out to people!!! Text a person from your phone right now about something totally ordinary. “Hey did you see that sportsball game?” “Hey look at this funny video I found”… anything. It can really save you from these feelings. You need to take care of yourself if you are going to take care of others. I wish I had given this advice to myself earlier. All the best.

  • R

    January 27th, 2017 at 3:11 AM

    Hi D (and everyone),
    I’ve been trying to be positive, and it did work for a while. I went over to visit her for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I stayed with her and her family in America. Initially when I arrived I could feel this distance and coolness, I felt unwanted. It was only after a few days she slowly started to drift back to me, and I felt like she was opening up and I could feel love again. She didn’t want me to leave after Christmas, and wanted to me to run away with her (sometimes I wish I just had), however I felt it irresponsible. Things were ok for a week or so, then I started to feel her slipping away again. It’s gone from us being on the phone awake/asleep, incessant texting, to her barely replying and calling out of etiquette. She says ‘I love you’ and I asked but do you? Are you in love with me? She says she knows she is, but she just can’t feel anything (yet her actions say otherwise). She then laughed, so I asked what was it, she replied that she was turning into an ex of hers who was basically a bitch and treated her awful. I said do I make you too sad? She replied, “I’m just sad”. She’s also started hanging around someone else more, she bought them a gift because they lost their original item, which is sweet, but I obviously banked it and kept an ear out. She then started to speak to this person a little more and mention them in our conversations, they share music suggestions and they’ve made arrangements to go to a concert together (on my birthday weekend). I’ve asked her if she has feelings for this person and she said no, yet when she’s messaging them she’s happy, constant messages (whilst it’s an effort to respond to me). She messages this person exactly how we started messaging, now I literally feel like the abandoned puppy. I am so depressed, I confessed this to her. She then admitted to being irritated I was trying to be ok for her, as she never asked me to. I feel like i’m nagging and annoying, but what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to act? I’ve never been so lost. R

  • D

    January 27th, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    There’s seems to be a series of advances and fallbacks in my case, too. Although I live with my girlfriend (now fiance actually) which is certainly different. I can relate to the withdrawal that you described. The hardest part is the feeling that they are being dishonest or withholding while you are laying your heart wide open for them. It feels like a brutal job interview in some sense. It’s a powerless feeling for me.
    It’s actually caused a lot of painful personal growth for me. I’m typically a nurturer. I see need and try to respond to the need, but obviously a person can only give so much unreciprocated before feeling used. I’ve taken on (or tried to, at least) a more selfish mindset. My nurturing comes from a place of insecurity. I really just want people to view me positively, and this, leaves me vulnerable to the moods of others. But I’m also afraid of losing someone who I’ve put a significant amount of time into loving and getting to know. It’s a double-edged sword that I haven’t figured out. Cling to tightly and I lose myself. Stay to distanced and I may lose her. Tough times… hang in there, everyone.

  • R

    February 16th, 2017 at 6:48 PM

    Hi D,

    My apologies I don’t always get the notifications straight away. Congratulations on your engagement, I think it’s extremely admirable how much you’ve persevered through this tough time. I completely understand what you mean about the feeling of dishonesty/withholding information. Has it helped that you’re now engaged? Or are you still finding it difficult? I also think I may be quite similar to you in the sense I have the desire/need to help people and want people to like and love me for me. Do you feel if you try and help or talk then you’re annoying her, or does she communicate openly with you? I’m really trying to just be, it’s been a horrendous few weeks. I didn’t eat for two of them, it’s astonishing what heartbreak can do. I have actually asked her on 3 occasions if she still wants to be with me, her response was yeah, or i’ve said we don’t have to Skype if you don’t want, she said I wouldn’t Skype you if I didn’t want to. I felt like it was over, so I said I think we should talk, and she responded with I have so much on my plate right now, I haven’t even had time to think about us, I’m too depressed. I don’t think she can establish how she feels about me through the clouding of her depression, which is basically what she’s said. So what am i supposed to do with that? Wait for a harsh no? I genuinely feel like there’s a constant excuse, or like she’s stringing me along. However part of me does think/feels she loves me, however she really does have too much on at the moment. It’s like we have nothing to talk about anymore, nothing. Everything has gone, the words have been stolen, she doesn’t want to make a conversation with me. She’s completely withdrawn from me to be honest, we message few and far between, sometimes call for a few minutes, on text her responses are mostly one word (usually one syllable). I am trying to be there for her, but I feel like it’s killing me. There’s been such a transition, I understand that grief changes you as a person, however I feel like she’s mean to me now. I’m a hindrance. She’d rather talk with her friends (which I get, as they’re a distraction), however one word responses, and 8 messages a day is nothing compared to talking all the time like we used to, especially being thousands of miles away, and it’s all we have. We no longer use nicknames, the only thing that keeps me sane is the occasional ‘I love you’. I’m not going to be the one who walks away, because I could never do that to anyone, I also really do love her. So I’m taking a leaf out of your book and trying (in a nice way) to be a little more selfish, as at the moment she makes me feel worthless and so unloved. I’m trying to find love for myself again. There has been a lesson in all of this for me, in that even when you love someone, you should never pour out your love so much, that you’re left on empty. Left with no love for yourself, as you’re depending on the other person to complete you and if they change their mind….then you’re empty. I’m not saying I won’t love fully, but moving forward I’m definitely —no matter what, going to invest in myself as much as I invest in the person I love. Hope you’re ok D. Hope everyone else is holding up ok too. R x

  • R

    November 20th, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    I just want to thank you so much. This reply means so much to me. You’re right, I’ve already started to take on board when you’ve said, and things feel better. Your words have reassured me and enabled me to move forward. A love is not worth losing if it’s real. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply, I honestly can’t tell you how much it means to me. I hope you too are ok. Moving forward i’m going to put us both first. I honestly can’t thank you enough. Warm regards. R

  • Shellb

    November 26th, 2016 at 6:03 PM

    Hi everyone,
    I lost both my Mother & Father last year unexpectedly, we were a very close family. I am still grieving & on Thanksgiving day my fiance blew up at me and told me that I should be over the loss of my parents. He yelled at me telling me that death happens, everyone is going to die and that I should just be happy that they lived. When he said this I was in complete shock, totally speechless . He sounded so cold and uncaring.
    I have always known that death is a part of life however, I never knew that there was a time limit on grieving. Holidays and Birthdays are especially hard. Knowing that death is a part of life and accepting this doesn’t take away the fact that we will always miss the people we love & have lost. It doesn’t take away the fact that we may see something each and every day, several times a day or hear a song that reminds us of our loved ones.
    As I sat there sobbing while he yelled at me, he mocked me… telling me how stupid I looked, telling me I looked like an idiot, telling me I needed to see a counselor.

    As I sat there watching him make fun of me crying and heard him calling me stupid and an idiot, I made the decision that our relationship was over. He is an abuser. I am ashamed that I did not see is sooner, but that is what they do, they manipulate, intimidate, make everything the other persons fault, and that is exactly what has been going on… for too long. It’s funny, last year I did see a grief counselor and when he found out, he insisted that I did not need one.

  • Nhlulo

    November 29th, 2016 at 3:18 AM

    After my broyfriend’s mother passed… he has been pushing me away and acting so strange towards me. He spends more time with his friends and party a lot and avoid my calls everytime i try to talk to him.

    lately i have been feeling like he is sleeping around and not caring who he hurts just because he want to fill the whole that his mothere’s death left behind.

    he send text that worries me and when i try to reach out he does not respond in anyway.

  • Jak

    November 29th, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    after months of being pushed away and the target of unkindness and all of the emotional/physical closeness withdrawn, my wife and i decided to split up. so sad, cause i love her, and i only wanted to be there for her. i guess that is how much grief a relationship can handle.

  • Caroline

    December 5th, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    I am 25 and I lost my mother one year ago after a brutal 11-month battle with brain cancer. My mom was my best friend in the entire world and we did everything together. It has been an unbearable and traumatic experience from the very first day she was in the hospital. It was so out of the blue, and I watched her deteriorate mentally and physically for so long. I’m left haunted by the memories and images, and I struggle daily with not being able to talk to her, seek her advice, laugh or goof around with her. Some days I just want to die.
    I have been with my boyfriend for three years and we’ve lived together for a year and a half. My mom got sick only 8 months into our relationship and he stayed by my side. But I feel cheated out of the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship. It’s been tears and stress and fighting for the last two years for us. My depression and anxiety consumes me, and my boyfriend doesn’t know how to help. Truly there’s nothing he could say or do that would help me. I am lost and miserable and scared without my mom, my best friend.
    My relationship has suffered horribly because of my grief and depression. Reading this article has really helped me understand how my boyfriend must be feeling. I am sure he feels the way many of you do — as if he has lost me. He is probably grieving his old relationship with me. We used to laugh together and have fun and be goofy. Now I am always depressed. I miss our old relationship too. I am just having such a hard time getting back to my old self. I don’t know who I am without my mom. I feel un-anchored in this world. My relationship with my boyfriend has been a complete mess. We fight all the time because I have nothing left to give. We both feel like the other doesn’t understand us. We have thought about throwing in the towel more times than I can count. Neither of us are happy. We bicker and keep score and yell at each other. We both feel so unsatisfied and unappreciated. I am unable to give more than I am. I feel empty. And he is so drained and feels ignored. I hope that we turn out like some of the other posters on here who have powered through the grief and despair and found their ways back to one another.

  • Karina

    December 20th, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    I’ve been reading these comments with a mixture of fear, misery and hope. I’ve been married for 25 years and we always had a great relationship – we were really happy and in love, even after all this time. My mother-in-law died 18 months ago and we went through the whole experience together. He was upset at first but seemed to be OK until about 4 months ago. Suddenly he then went into deep depression to the point where he didn’t look at me, talk to me or touch me for weeks. I tried to be sympathetic and understand him, begged him to talk to me, kept reaching out but he rejected, ignored and discounted me. He was selfish, cruel and distant. He didn’t care about our anniversary or my birthday. However, he managed to put on an act and be normal with friends and our kids, which really hurt. I was so lonely. He is now better than he was in that he talks a bit more and looks at me but there is still no affection. He locks the bathroom door when he’s in the shower, won’t undress in front of me, won’t even hold my hand. We haven’t been intimate since August. I feel like we are drifting apart. I am getting counselling because I was starting to have feelings when other men paid me attention or male friends hugged me. I tried to talk to him about this too, told him I love him, that he is my man and I don’t want anyone else, that I’m scared we’ll end up leading separate lives but he doesn’t seem to have the energy to care. Please, please reassure me that this won’t last and tell me what I can do to bring him back to me.

  • Nina

    January 16th, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    I am a bereaved mother. I have lived with my boyfriend for over 10 years. My daughter passed away 5 months ago. My entire life has come to a standstill. I feel very isolated. My boyfriend has been a good support, but I do not open up to him. I can’t function right now. I cry every day for my child. It is very very difficult for a person who is grieving the loss of someone they loved dearly to come anywhere near being the way they used to be. My boyfriend has watched me go through the most painful, intense, and debilitating experience of my life. One of the reasons I do not open up to him is to protect him. I do not want to put my grief on him every day. My grief is affecting our relationship. We haven’t had sex since my daughter died. I feel no desire to socialize, so he goes to family events by himself. I am wrapped in a myriad of emotions that I know he cannot possibly understand. I haven’t given much thought to how much this might be affecting him until I read these posts. But at the same time, I do not have the energy or the desire to put an effort into our relationship. I love him more than I can say, and I tell him this, but I still cannot connect with him at this time. He asked me once if I was going to leave him. I said no, but I also didn’t really pay attention to why he would ask me that. I feel he must be feeling what everyone else on here is feeling. My boyfriend always tells me “don’t worry about me.” I think it’s time I start worrying about him and to find out what he’s going through. I am thinking now that he is also afraid that he is going to lose me.

  • CJ

    January 24th, 2017 at 5:02 PM

    My spouse of 16 years lost his only sibling(brother) in a tragic car accident. His brother was on his way to our house to eat dinner, but never made it. Our lives and relationship have never been the same. Having never experienced extreme grief, it was hard to know what to do. I tried to be supportive and went along with any and everything I thought would help my husband with his grief. After about 4 months, I just felt this deep sadness…Our life was now more about his brother than it ever was when my brother-n-law was living. And, my husband felt responsible for his brother’s widow, I started to feel like a sister wife. I didn’t want to say anything to my husband, until we had to evacuate for Hurricane Matthew. And everything I was feeling just exploded with the extra stress. We of course had to evacuate with the widow and her 2 kids from a previous marriage. I felt like my husband’s goal was to make her happy. I could even see it was affecting our 8 year old daughter. We were both feeling a loss of a relationship. Here I am 7 months in and things have improved some. But sometimes, I feel like building a wall around my heart, so the loneliness, jealousy, and anger will stop. But I just keep moving forward..fake it until you make it, right? My love for my husband keeps me here and my hope that the closeness I had for all those wonderful years will return to me.

  • T

    February 2nd, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    I just want everyone to know how glad I am to find this, I am in tears reading this but it is a comfort that so many spouses have the same feelings that I am going through. My husband just lost his mother, we were also very close. I am trying to grieve, he is trying to grieve and I feel like a selfish person wanting affection and love from someone who has none to give.

  • Sarah

    February 2nd, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    My husband lost his mother to cancer a month ago. We have been married for 10 years and for a 9 of the 10 we have always been close. Right now I feel like my whole world is being snatched from under me because the man I once knew is no longer there. I know how selfish that sounds and don’t get me wrong I am 100% committed to sticking by him and supporting him completely but the pain of feeling abandoned does not hurt any less. I feel like we are slipping further and further apart. The distance has been feeling like we aren’t going to make it but I know that with the love that we have shared for all these years will help us get through this. He has been feeling like he can talk to other people more so than me which I cannot understand because I have been fully approachable. He says that he feels that he can’t talk to me and I don’t understand. My heart has been hurting so much because I miss the person that he is and I know that he cannot be that person right now but it hurts so much. I have always been there for him we have always leaned on one another and I feel like he is pulling away from me in the hardest time of his life and he won’t let me help him through it. After reading these comments I see that a lot of you are going through the exact same thing and it is very comforting knowing that I am not alone. I have had plenty of nights where all I do is cry but I now rely on prayer and faith. I know that my husband will come back to me and I don’t care how long it takes. My only issue now is finding other things to do with my time because we have always been engulfed in one another. I am so glad I found this site because it really does help knowing that you really aren’t going crazy and dealing with someone that no one else has had to experience. I wish I knew how much space to give him and how much harder to push. I am just so confused and sad.

  • R

    February 16th, 2017 at 7:28 PM

    I can’t say I know exactly what you’re going through, as everyone has different experiences. What I can say is that I feel for you. I too am trying to help my partner through their grief (even though it feels my help is unwanted). My relationship hasn’t stood the test of time like yours, however I am very much in love. I suppose the thing is grief changes people, and after such an experience people aren’t always the same, that’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just how we learn to deal and cope with it. I read a book called ‘who moved my cheese’, it really helped me come to terms with how things change and it’s better to acknowledge the changes and deal with them rather than ignore and wish for what was. The sad truth is, that life gives us difficult circumstances and our challenge is to overcome them. Say someone cut one piece of string was cut in two, it doesn’t mean that the string can no longer be as one, it just means it’ll be connected in a different way. You take the two pieces and tie a knot, it’s not as it was, however it could be even stronger than before, more difficult to cut through. Time is the hardest thing, giving them time and trying to fill your spare time. Instead see it as an opportunity to fall in love with yourself. I found out that I loved so wholly that I had nothing left for myself, and they couldn’t give me any love. I was empty. Find you, find the things that make you smile, your friends, your life. It’s so hard and I was a mess at first, but your survival mode kicks in. This page helped me so much when I couldn’t take anymore. I’m still struggling, I hope I have helped and not done the opposite. Take care. R x

  • kare

    February 25th, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Im back. With update. My guy left a year ago to deal with his mother’s sickness and death. He made it back not even a week in October before he was called back again for his dad not being well. And in the meantime i lost a sibling so i know now exactly why he emotionally disconnected. It was never personal. I am both the griever and the one left behind. I see both sides of the same coin. It’s that he didn’t have the capacity to feel grief and pour into the joy of the relationship. I feel the same way now. I’ve no longer the capacity to worry if he retuns or not. I don’t even have the capacity to be with my close friends. Both grieving… its the worst Life will go on. We will both heal. Eventually. probably just nit togethet

  • Karen

    March 24th, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    Hello, I came across this website as I searching for grief and relationships. My ex-partner and I were together for a year; we had a good relationship, we were happy, good together, had lots of fun and laughter. We were ready to take the next step, find a place (which we did) and move into together. He moved in first, and everything was going well. Then two weeks after he moved in his Dad pass, he had died from a heart attack at home alone and was found 14 hours after. I knew everything between us would change, and they did two weeks after. He became a completely different person; moody, angry, everything was my fault, almost like he hated me, pushed me away and very distant towards me. A few months after we broke up, him telling that he loved me but wasn’t in love with me. We did keep in touch, and eventually started to see each other as friends. We’d meet up for coffee, play squash, he’d invite me over for dinner. He’d include me in things, send me photos etc. Last June his Best Friend died of lung cancer, shortly after his daughter has a health scare; I’d be his shoulder to cry on (his rock as he put it), I was always there for him. He did go distant although not as bad as before. He took me to my Mum’s in August for her 80 Birthday (she’s lives in Spain), he was awful to be with; moody, angry, angry with me and again blaming me for everything. When we got back we didn’t talk to each other for 6 weeks, then on my birthday he sent me flowers to work. We started to see each other for a short while, although he wasn’t the same. Then in October his Mum was diagnosed with cancer and died late November. I was the one he turned to when his Mum was going through, call me when he had the dreaded phone call to say he needs to get home quickly as it would be soon, sadly she passed just before he got there. As time as gone on he became very distant, last time I saw him was end of January, and since then communication has been slow, and I’ve not heard from him since beginning of March. I’ve tried to reach out to him but I cannot do anymore. I lost my own Dad 11 years ago, suddenly from a stroke. I have to say it was the worse time of my life, I’ve never ever felt so angry, I’d be ok one minute then the next I’d turn into a woman possessed. It lasted about two years. Now my Mum has been diagnosed with skin cancer, she has in four places on her face and will shortly be operated on. I let my ex know as he knows and likes my Mum, although he was slightly sympatric, saying: ‘sorry to hear that I hope you Mum gets better soon, take care’, which I felt was dismissive. I have not heard from him since.

  • RG

    April 12th, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    I have found this thread so so helpful and so much of what others have said resonates with me. My husband’s father died 6 months ago, and since then he has been up and down, isolating himself, drinking more than usual, wants to be on his own, seems to lack joy and pleasure in anything. We moved house a few months before he passed away, to a renovation project and a much bigger mortgage. He feels trapped now, and resents the house, me, our life, the kids, his work, food, my family, his family. Everything really. He’s said that I could do better, that I would be better off with someone else, that he loves me, but not as much as I love him – that he’s not sure he wants the same life, that he feels detached from everything. He’s only broken down once or twice, after his Dad passed away – he crashed his car too, wrote it off.
    I swing between feeling sorry for him and full of love, wanting to fix it (I’m a practical fixer typed person) – focussing on the kids and trying to be calm and give him space. Other times I feel utterly furious and hate him – how dare he wallow in these feelings and leave me to hold our marriage, children and lives together, then say he doesn’t love me enough? How dare he be selfish, come home and throw his bag in a corner, scowl at me and go to bed without talking to me or the children, then say he’s fine and it’s me that has a problem. I can’t think ahead, I can’t plan anything, I feel like our lives are on hold until he decides whether he wants our life anymore or not. That makes me feel like a weak woman. Mostly I feel alone. So utterly alone and like I have lost the protector in my life, I feel like I have lost my rock and my sanctuary and my best friend. Feeling this way makes me angry, angry at his dad for dying. Angry at his family for not supporting him, or even ringing him to see if he is ok, angry at myself for not being enough and not knowing how to handle this for the best, angry angry angry.
    Yet I am trying to give space, to be a grown up, to be that rock for our kids. And I will wipe away the cathartic tears I am crying typing this post before he comes home from work, and smile, and try and be positive and ‘here’ without imposing, and be ‘here’ whilst he thinks he doesn’t love me enough, ‘here’ whilst he is angry at the world and the house we chose to buy together, be ‘here; whilst he shuts me out, goes cold, ignores me, isolates himself
    Wow I sound like a right angry witch. Going to make a cup of tea now.

    Even writing that down help – thank you for reading this if you are still reading!

  • I

    April 17th, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    Reading this thread forum has got really helped me understand more that I’m not alone in this process. I had been with my boyfriend for over a year and a half, then his father passed away a few months later. He has four younger sisters, so there are a lot of responsibilities on him. It was very hard on him and I did the best I could do to try and support him. He was always more invested into this relationship as I live 300 miles away in college. Once this happened, he was okay for a couple of months and then about 4 months after the death, he became so different. I started to realize how hard this has been on him and how much he just tried to forget the death rather than accept it. We started to bicker more about things, he had a temper, and felt so emotionless. I started to do the most for him, but it felt like nothing matter and I understood why. But then, he said right now I need my time alone, I need to grieve alone because clearly together isn’t helping him. He felt so emotionless towards to me as well, the love wasn’t there and that was so hard for me to hear. He told me he had to do this because he didn’t want to hurt me and he wasn’t the same guy I fell in love with so it’s not fair to me. He said just give me time, it’s not a goodbye it’s a see you later. I was broken, but I had so much respect for him doing this. I said I completely understand and will be here in anyway I can be. It’s been a little over a month, and I know it’s not a lot of time. But, I have tried to be there by just trying to steer him more towards guy as that’s what he’s wanted. He is very depressed, but won’t go to therapy. There is minimal conversation between us now, I recently reached out to him after understanding to give him space and he really did not want to talk to me at all it seemed as he stopped replying after awhile. He is doing harmful things now that he never did before and so I’m worried about him as a person more than our relationship. Along with him doing these things is him pushing away the responsibilities he has to deal with rather than starting to accept them But, I really love him and miss him and I just know he can’t give me that right now. I just want to know will he ever come back with more time? Or is this it? I have to let go emotionally, but it’s hard when you care so much. Most of you have been in similar situations, however never ended things just stood by each other. But, this is different since he chose to say bye to me and now really has canceled me out of his life. I feel so helpless and weak. I know I can never understand what’s he going through and don’t want to be selfish. But, How much more can I give and wait?

  • I

    April 17th, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    *steer him more towards god

  • peanut

    May 9th, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    my then boyfriend was soon to be husband just lost his mom almost a month ago. he found her when he went back home to visit. we was suppose to get married when he came back now that she is gone he just cancels everything the marriage and the relationship. he says he still loves me and will always be there. we still live together. we go through the daily things(motions) kiss saying i love you hugging sleeping and eating together he just doesn’t want to be in relationship he says he isn’t strong enough and don’t know when it will change. so im here praying everyday that it will change cause i don’t want to feel like a fool but i dont want to give up on him either. even though he says its over i don’t see wanting to be with no one but him. im not ready to date etc. but i don’t understand if it is over and you don’t want a relationship how can you still live with that person day in and day out and still do what a couple does? i don’t understand it. my friends say kick him out cause he is just using you and he ain’t no good etc. i don’t want to give up on him but i don’t want to be a fool either.

  • kare

    May 10th, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    hi. seems to me that he IS i a relationship with you whether he labels it that or not. It soumds to me to ne his way of aski g for emotional space. So he can process what’s going on in his loss. Just be there. He will come around or he would’ve left already. As long as he’s going through the motions of a relationship that’s what it is. Put the wedding aside while he deals with this. A wedding is emotional. He can only process so much at once. It is whether you can be understanding now that will bteak or make your future with him. just my 2 cents of opinion. good luck.

  • cj

    June 7th, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    Update- Well it has been a year now..dealing with the passing of my brother-n-law. I am hanging in there. I’ve learned much about myself. And I followed some advice from this thread which has helped me somewhat cope with this life-changing event. And life is different. I was hoping my relationship would go back to normal, but it hasn’t. This is my life now. My husband still thinks of his brother daily. We are very much involved with his brother’s widow(who before my brother-n-laws’ passing, didn’t want any part of our lives. In fact, we hadn’t seen her or the children in 3 years.) My husband is there now. He took our daughter for a visit. He also went to her house for lunch yesterday. And, we have family dinner every Wednesday, And, then we will stop by at least once during the weekend. He is still trying to make her happy. I guess they feel the same way about my brother-n-law. And it makes them feel better, because they have the same pain. I have tried filling my time by being with my family. And that has helped so much with the pain. My husband is putting most of his time and effort into another relationship. I feel like my husband grief caused him to go through something similar to a mid-life crisis. My husband and I use to go everything together; he was my best friend. And, now we are more independent of each other which is okay. But, I feel like I am drifting farther away. I feel so far away emotionally from my husband that I am starting not to want to be intimate with him. I just don’t feel loved by him and It’s getting harder and harder. But I am in this for the long haul. I planned to be a faithful and loving wife… for better or for WORSE.

  • sunny

    June 19th, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    I’ve been with my partner almost five years. Upon going in to the relationship he had three children and is wife had passed six years prior. I was lead to believe that is grieving was managed when in fact it had not. Fast forward to just the tail end of 2016. His oldest daughter had become addicted to heroin. My partner and I had our own son together three years earlier. Long story short I freaked out because I dodn’t want my toddler to accidentally ingest heroine when we visited their home. So my boyfriend became defensive to that and broke up with me. Moved another woman in their house a few weeks later. We also had a custody battle for our son. We had talks that started around thanksgiving. One thing led to another and he was sorry and wanted us back. just as that happened his daughter had gotten out of rehab and was dead by accidental overdose by the end of the weekend. now the dynamic of it all was just getting back into an already dysfunctional relationship .. I felt such guilt that against my better judgement of starting out slow again i agreed to start up where it was left off. Prior to his daughter passing he wasn’t completely there emotionally for me. and now with this great trauma here we are again. I understand the grief but at the same time I didn’t ask to be cheated on twice. It’s a weird dynamic .. he i hope unintentionally, keeps a barrier up w me. All I ask is a little more communication and reassurance of love and all I get is he can try…mind you this is what i’ve heard since before the loss of child. I feel he’s alone in his grief as well as me. I feel so alone and loss./

  • TL

    June 24th, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Very helpful. Not ready to share all but following.

  • cs

    July 4th, 2017 at 4:00 AM

    hi everyone
    a little over a year ago my wife’s friend took her own life. a few months later we got married (which was already in the planning for a couple of years) unfortunately the short period between her friends death and the wedding I think wasn’t enough time for my wife to come to terms with her friends death. she put on a brave face for the best part of this year which I thought she had dealt with it . it has recently turned 1 year anniversary of her friends death which my wife has been hit hard with this. me not understanding bereavement process and how it may be for someone I felt she was just falling out of love and that I was doing something wrong as she has pushed me away. even questioned her in why she was so distant all of a sudden. after a few weeks i went onto the internet seeing if anybody has been through the same thing.
    I found some really useful information on how to understand my wife’s feelings as I was trying to “fix” her pain. i feel guilty now for making her grief about us and not realising its something she cannot control
    reading these comments helping me realise I am not the only one going through this and it seems it is a common staged process. which is helpful in the fact there maybe normality for us when she has come to terms with also gives me hope
    I love my wife very much and really wish I could take away her pain and suffering. I hope we can make it through this like many of you have
    stay strong and be there is what I am trying to do

  • Elle

    July 8th, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Over two years ago our 4 yo son tragically drowned in our new pool. My husband has struggled with complicated grief and continues to do so. He drug our little boy out of the pool and tried to resuscitate him. He was our only child. My husband’s best friend who he has known for over twenty years has distanced himself from him. Also do a lot of others. The excuse is that they are just too busy. It breaks my heart to see him let down by those that we thought once cared. My husband’s grief has been made worse by others lack of empathy. Sure they will post something on Facebook like be strong dude! Or I am so sorry I have been so busy! Nobody actually calls or stops by. This deepens his guilt and he has been suicidal very frequently. Luckily I have a lot of support from girlfriends. They don’t shut me out. I am so angry at others who will not support him. I tell my husband that I don’t blame him and I will never leave him because he does blame himself for our son’s death- he was home when it happened and I was working. I am struggling with him being suicidal still after two and a half years and now I am pregnant. My husband tells me that because I have friends I can move on and be happy. My husband is everything to me and I tell him this. I stopped working night. I am home every night to be with him so he doesn’t feel alone. I just don’t understand why others can’t just reach out. If he does end his life I don’t blame him for wanting to do so. I hate to see him suffer. A mommy and daddy never stop grieving the death of their only child. It changes everything and not for the better.

  • Patty

    July 26th, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    I have a situation were my boyfriends grandmother passed away and also his mother is sick and our wedding is canceled due to him not being happy and I am so frustrated that I can not do anything to make him feel any better about the matter. I will also say he doesnt want to talk about it with me so I kind of stayed off the subject but I just refuse to be the verbal punching bag that you lash out at when it gets over whelming. I dont know if if understands that I to am unhappy because he is and I suggest that he spends more time with his mother instead of going to see the fellas and he doesnt seem to think I am trying to support him. He has no idea that yes I let him go off and try to get things off his chest but in the same token I feel he doesnt know he is pushing me away as well. I have no idea what to do.

  • @

    August 5th, 2017 at 5:11 AM

    My husband is military. We’ve been married for 2 years. Been together off and on for 15 years. Ive loved that man since I was 17 years old. There’s nothing in the world I wouldn’t do for him. Our marriage hasn’t been perfect, but at the end of the day I realize the beauty of just him and I existing in the world and the laughter we commonly exchange. Recently, his grandfather passed away while he was on a businesses trip. To say the least I had to get him a red cross message where he was to inform him of the news, he came home early. We are flying back to the states as we were planning, because we were trying to make it home before his grandfather passed away. We were a week shy and instead are going to make it just in time for the services. I know my husband very well, and have tried my best to protect him from the crap show of his family. You see, I had words with his sister after his grandfather’s passing as she decided that she had to be the one to tell him and posted the whole thing on Facebook when he wouldn’t call or return her texts. I still thank God he didn’t see them. That’s not a way to inform anyone and in my opinion is rather trashy and attention getting. But, I digress. And I haven’t told my husband of the fight I had with his sister, or will I as he doesn’t need that added drama which I view her of trying to cause. I know he needs his space. In the past week he’s said maybe four words to me. And I’ve told him that I understand he is grieving, that I am here whenever he wants to open up and I support him 100%. His words to me are leave me alone. And so I leave him in the other room. I leave him to his own devices and say nothing. Last night, he told me when we get home he wants to drop me off at my mother’s and spend the week with his family alone. He will pick me up in the rental car for the services but then probably drop me back off at my mothers to spend the next two weeks alone. I understand, I don’t blow up like I want to. He is completely shutting me out at this point and I don’t know what else to do for him except let him. He won’t even let me hug him. And his family is my family too, and I’d like to see them. Its been over 2 years since I’ve been home. But, the whole situation is a mess. And I fear this 16 hr fight with my husband in complete silence, and I’ve made sure he worries for nothing this entire trip. But, I feel alone. And I know it will get better, but how much do I just let him shut me out? Everyone grieves in their own way, on their own terms, and in their own time. Of this I am aware. I just miss him, and I needed to vent.

  • @

    August 5th, 2017 at 5:16 AM

    Also, he took off his wedding ring.

  • D

    August 5th, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Just want to say that I still read these even a year away from my greatest troubles. So to the people who are still posting, you aren’t just screaming into the void. People hear you and are thinking of you. Wishing you the best.

  • Cs

    August 9th, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Nice to hear we are not talking to ourselves on here best wishes to everyone and stay strong

  • kare

    August 10th, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    definitely, I too read these still, after more than a year has passed by. Eventually every situation resolves, sometimes the way we want it to, sometimes not. But you’re not alone in this and others can relate to the conflicted feelings. Eventually you come put the other side and can hope for happiness again.

  • Niki

    August 11th, 2017 at 3:09 PM

    My boyfriends Mom died a few weeks ago. We became friends 2 years ago. We decided to be more 8 months ago. Everything has been great. He’s my world. But yesterday he told me It’s my fault that he and his mom weren’t as close when she died. I’ve only met his mom twice and we were good up until a week before she passed. That is the longest time I’ve spent with her. I’ve never disrespected her. In fact she was lashing out at me before she died. But I still never disrespected her and I never tried to make him side with me on anything. I pretty much just stayed to myself. But somehow he feels this way. It really hurt me when he said that to me. And then today he was being distant with me again. I’ve never been through anything like this before and it really hurts me how things are and that this even happened to him because he is my best friend. So that’s why I’m here because I didn’t know how to support him so I’m online searching around because I need advice. I love him so much and I want him to feel better. After reading this I have a much better understanding of what’s going on and I feel now that I have read this I won’t take his grief so personally as he goes through the stages. Please. If anyone has any advice on how make it through this difficult time please let me know. I appreciate it.

  • T

    August 11th, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    I still have been keeping up on this thread. My update is not so positive in that our marriage is over, in actuality it was over before the death of my mil. Positive in the fact that we can both heal on our own. Niki, you make a great point.. we are here, we are looking for answers because we care. One of the most important things that we need to remember is that we are not the cause of the situation. NOTHING anyone does is because of us, it is because of something inside of them.

  • kare

    August 12th, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    D eloquently wrote ‘nobody who posts here is screaming into the void’ , and that you can be confident people who understand how it feels are infact reading this. To illustrate, there are updates posted after. It amazes me. Even a year or so after people bother to come back and let us know how it resolved for them.
    Like many, my relationship came to an end, partly because stress changes people and the relationship became different. Sometimes it might start up again and become stronger. Mine didn’t, time and distance separated us and his family obligations to his newly widowed and ailing Dad drew him into a new life in another country. And my obligations kept me in mine.
    But, since then, over a year passed and I have met another Man who is compassionate and kind and more than I could have ever hoped for. He also lost his wife three years ago, kept single and focused on his daughters, and waited until he could be truly present for dating again. Truly, often timing IS everything. We both loved and lost. And because of this we also realize how precious love is and it brings a deeper quality to our relationship. It still hangs in the back of my mind what if my former love comes back or what if… what if.. but life is short and we need to actively pursue our own happiness and well-being. And I’m sure my new partner has pain in having lost his beautiful wife of 16 years with whom he had a solid very loving and happy relationship, but nevertheless he is forging ahead too.
    So hang in there. It’s painful, it feels unending, but you certainly aren’t alone.
    Thank you to everyone who shares their trials and hurts here, and those who provide an ear and support, and those who let everyone know how life looked after tragedy.

  • Flower

    October 1st, 2017 at 8:18 AM

    I just lost my ex boyfriend who was my first love. Although our relationship was lots of ups and downs which ended with him leaving me to get married to someone else, it was not always that way. Over the years we made amends and forgave each other. I miss him now. I miss that part of my life. Hard to explains but it feels like a part of my life has also died. I feel 10 years older suddenly. It’s hard knowing that I can’t just call him up and have catch up chats like we used to. I have so many regrets. My husband is not being very supportive so I feel lost and alone. I have to pretend to be happy when I just want to cry. I want to have just one more chat with him. I would tell him everything that was on my mind… At times, it also feels like none of this is real. Its just a movie and I’m watching thinking how sad it is. Not fully realizing that its real. My emotions are all over the place. Grief, anger, regrets, sobbing uncontrollably, remembering… None of this means I love my husband any less but I don’t think he gets that. I just want to disappear… I feel so alone and lost.

  • Alice

    November 2nd, 2017 at 11:12 PM

    I just recently got back together with an ex, we were separated for 7 months and around his birthday of this year we decided to give this a try again. A week after we decided to give us another go his sister died unexpectedly. It’s been four months since then, but I find it so hard and draining. I don’t know whether or not I should stay with him because I feel terrible for feeling lonely, angry at times over our situation while he’s grieving. He knows that he can vent to me about what he’s feeling, or just talk to me about her and he says that he loves and thanks me for it but his actions don’t reinforce that . It’s just so ****ing hard to deal with because I know he won’t be the same person I fell in love with and decided to get back together again, which is okay with me but when he ignores me or forgets about plans that we’ve made it really hurts, especially because he knows that I have issues with that due to my father. I’ve let him know countless times that he can tell me that he wants space and I won’t get bothered by it, simply because I understand what it is to loose a loved one. He can be very mean at times which I don’t let get to me due to him feeling such a huge disconnect and loss in his life. Lately though he’s been forgetting me, there’s even been a couple of instances where he calls me around midnight asking me to come over to hold him and I do but once I arrive he doesn’t answer the door. I’ve waited 30 mins outside his apartment at 2 am before I decided to go back home. I’m just so emotionally drained, at a loss on how to handle this because I know he cannot meet my needs at the moment and i’m not expecting him to either. I don’t want to leave him and force him to go through this difficult time by himself but I also don’t want to feel like i’m putting myself and my feelings on the back burner either. I feel like I sound extremely selfish while saying that.

  • Tibbs

    November 9th, 2017 at 7:09 AM

    Again I know this post is from ages ago, but I just want to say how much this resonates with me right now too- reading these replies made me tear up as I understand them so well. My boyfriend of 2 years lost his dad 7 weeks ago and he’s completely pushed me away, won’t talk to me, barely sees me and we’ve had a few arguments where he’s said things that are point blank horrible. The hardest part, both for him and for me, is that I also have an end stage lung disease and he was my carer. Now he’s barely around and when he is he has shouting episodes where he tells me how i’m not looking after myself (i’m doing absolutely everything I can, my life currently revolves around my health) and that he shouldn’t have to watch me suffer. I can’t help being sick, i’m sicker than I’ve ever been and he can’t even come to the hospital because of the anxiety it causes him. He’s made a few really nasty comments out of nowhere like ‘well at least you’re alive’ as if he’s trying to make me feel guilty in some sickening way and I just don’t know how much more I can take. There is grief and then there is this and i’m really struggling to cope with his aggression on top of not being around to help me in the way he used to. I feel like I’m practically grieving for the loss of him, or at least for the person he used to be. The hardest part is not knowing how long this will go on for, I’m dreading Christmas mainly for his sake but also for my own, I’m constantly walking on eggshells waiting for the next explosion and it’s so exhausting. He also keeps having a go at me if I’ve not told him any medical updates due to not wanting him to worry, but when I have told him, he doesn’t show any care. He’s going through hell right now and I’m aware of that, but I find myself hating how we are, how he’s become and I honestly don’t know if I can take it anymore.. but if I ended things I’d feel like a monster after everything he’s been through. Like a few people on this thread, my emotions seem to shift between feeling deep sympathy and love for him, wanting to be there and wishing I could make things better even just for a moment – and hatred, resenting him for how he’s become and the way he’s treating me. Every single one of my friends has told me to leave him, that the things he’s said to me are disgusting and nothing should excuse him, not even grief. Sometimes I think how dare you take this out on me when I’m going through so much myself and do nothing but try and support you, how dare you act as if i’m being selfish for even mentioning my own feelings or asking you to simply talk to me. I know I can’t try and say how I would be if things were the other way around, but I **** well know I wouldn’t be acting the way he has been, and it really is just so ****ing hard, especially when some days he seems almost like his usual self, and then the slightest thing will set him off and we’re back to square 1 again…

  • kare

    December 16th, 2017 at 9:53 PM

    Tibbs, I feel so sorry you’re going through this. You have great concerns about him and his feelings and how he’s doing. That is very supportive of you, but he will get through his grief eventually. Right now the number one priority for you, is you. Your health and well being has got to be number one. If he doesn’t have the capacity to help and support you when you are so sick then you need to lean on others who can. It’s not mean, or selfish, or wrong. It’s necessary. Sometimes you just don’t have the capacity to be everything the other needs. Focus on you.

  • Paloma

    December 16th, 2017 at 1:18 PM

    Wow…So many similar stories on here. I am seeking advice from you all because it is very hard to open up to my family and friends because their opinions may be too bias and also i dont want them to dislike my boyfriend because I’m not sure where this is headed. I’ve basically been bottling all of my feelings up and from time to time I just emotionally burst to my boyfriend who recently lost his mother 2 months ago. We have been together for 5 years and his mother had heart problems her whole basically, she unfortunately lost her battle in early November. I’ve been trying to do the best that I can to help my boyfriend cope without being too clingy because I dont want him to feel like I am suffocating him. I struggle a lot with not knowing if I’m doing enough or if I’m doing too little, he has never been very good at communicating and honestly I am too sensitive at times. a week after his mother passed I found out that he was communicating with an old fling and erasing the messages, which made it just seem like shady situation. i told him that i appreciate that he has friends that are willing to help him through the rough times but that i wasn’t comfortable with him having any type of communication with this particular person because of the way she was expressing herself. He agreed and promised that he would stop communicating with her but just in the beginning of this week I found out that they were still communicating, although, he insists that this is a just a friendly relationship my gut tells me different. He yet again promised he would cut all ties with her. Ever since that conversation we have barely spoken. He is very distant, the mos distant he has been since the passing of his mother. My struggle now is how upset i should get over this. i want to be there for him and I dont want to add stress into his already stressful life right now but I dont think ti fair that he is treating me this way either. Is this normal behavior or should I be concerned? I definitely feel like I am losing him but I’m wondering if I’m not being understanding enough. Somebody please help.

  • JB

    January 3rd, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    It’s a very confusing place to be in. My fiance’s (we’ve been together for 3 years) ex mother in law recently passed away, and so far communication has been very sparse and cold. I want to be there for her even if that means giving her any space she may need to grieve without taking the almost utter lack of contact, emotional distance and shift in attitude personally. The worst thing you can do is make another person’s grief somehow about you, but when being left in the dark, it doesn’t stop you from asking yourself so many questions over an event that has nothing to do with you. Should I be worried that she didn’t turn to me at all for emotional support? If I give her space, will she interpret it as abandonment? Will making myself more available only push her further away? What does she expect from me? The mere thought of even addressing such concerns with your partner only seems selfish, but it doesn’t make them any less legitimate. So it is difficult to know or even guess what to do or not to do in such a situation with little to no input from their end. Everybody grieves differently, so it’s not as if you could just apply your own process or experience to however they are going through theirs. Some people reach out, some people shut out. All you can really do is offer your support and leave it at that. The rest is left entirely up to them whether to include you or not.

  • Veronica

    January 17th, 2018 at 10:49 AM

    My boyfriend of 4 years lost his teen son to suiciderecently. I’d never met his children because he wanted his kids to feel they were #1 in his life after his ex managed to remarry less than a year after their divorce, taking on her step-children and seemingly tossing aside a couple of her own. There were no warning signs until only minutes before it happened. The person I fell in love with is no longer that person, and rightfully so. He is cycling between anger, despair, guilt, etc. Every day begins with tears, with him asking ‘why?…..what could I have done differently?”
    Because of his choice to keep me from meeting his kids, we’d recently struggled. Just after this tragedy, he assured me that the only reason I was excluded was his need to make them feel important to him, and that it was not his intention to push me away or hurt me. And, while it had stung recently, I’ve always understood that; how he parents his children is one of the reasons I think so highly of him. Now I feel him slipping away. I listen whenever he lets me, and we do still “connect,” but I’m worried he is just going through the motions. I am grieving the loss of him, but I feel ridiculous in comparison to his loss. I feel guilt that his spending time with me in the past lost precious time for him and his son. Yet, I long to be with him now, but don’t want to interfere with time with his surviving children. I need advice on how to help him and help myself.

  • Jr

    January 29th, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    I just want to say that all of these posts have been incredibly helpful in understanding what my boyfriend is going through. We had been dating only officially for 3 months (but been an “item” so to speak, for about 8 months) when his mother unexpected passed away while we were teaching in France. It has been a little over a month since her passing, and I have been struggling a lot with understanding how to handle his grief. In the beginning, he was very depressed, which I felt I was able to handle fairly well, as I have had experience with depression in the past. As of the past week, we have been arguing a lot; he’s feeling angry all the time (he is 23 and the oldest of all of his siblings and his family has been very unsupportive as a whole, so a lot of the responsibility falls on his shoulders) which gets taken out on me. I have never experienced grief like this before, as I am incredibly fortunate to have all of my grandparents and parents, therefore I have been struggling being the person who receives this anger. I find myself walking on eggshells because I don’t want to make him angry and cause him more stress, but my friends think I’m putting up with manipulative behavior based on the things he says to me, even though I know he is stuck in the Bermuda Triangle of emotions, as one person put earlier. I feel incredibly guilty because I realize, thanks to these posts, that some of his behaviors are a part of grieving, and I definitely had a terrible approach to him. Admittedly, I’m struggling with being the recipient of harsh words. One minute, he needs space, but if I give him space, he gets angry that I didn’t message him. I’ve told him almost every time we talk that I’m here for him, but I guess I’m just afraid of the unknown future. I feel very confused, but I love him so so much, and I worry that my ignorance towards the raw behaviors of grief will push him away.

  • Astrid

    April 9th, 2018 at 3:48 AM

    I started dating someone two months ago, who had only two weeks prior to that lost his mother (met on a dating site). I think he was in denial and said he was sad but he felt ok, and subsequently seemed to really fall for me. I was cautious to start as I wondered if he was acting like this due to his recent loss, but he managed to convince me that it was real, so I then fell for him too. However, since then he has tried to break it off with me several times (understandably), as the grief has now hit him and he does not feel ready for a relationship. However, if i text him after a week, he comes “back” to me and says he really likes me, and wants to be with me etc, only for him to pull away again after a few days. I am trying to be very understanding and it hurts me each time he pushed me away and goes totally silent. Most recently he got back in touch with me, after me not texting him for a week, saying he had “dealt with his emotions” and was now totally ready to be with me, and was in love with etc etc. I was over the moon, but nervous, as he has said this before, and lo and behold, after another lovely date and lots of promises from his part, he has said he is not in a good place again the next day, and has to “stop this for a while xx”. He must be going through a terrible time, and cannot predict his feelings from one moment to the next, he cut it off that time after saying several times over text how much he was looking forward to our next date a few days later, lots of kisses and hearts etc. I sent him an understanding text in reply and am leaving him in peace. I am hanging on the lovely things he has said to me, and hope that one day he will have managed to integrate his grief into his life and be fully able to be with me. I really do like him and it feels very tough to be pulled in and pushed away again multiple times. I do hope we “get through” this although we have barely been together at all. However, he might not be the man for me, so I need to try and keep that in mind and not pin all my hopes on him. Sending loving thoughts to him and his family (sister) and to all the lovely people going through similar in this thread. Hoping for a positive outcome…

  • Maggie

    April 20th, 2018 at 8:43 PM

    I am so sad for all of the ruptures and pain all of you are going through. I do feel I want to add a message of encouragement, though. My mother died 3 months ago and I also lost the person who was like an adoptive dad to me in November, had a car accident around that time and also lost home a year ago. So it’s been a year from hell. My partner/boyfriend and I split up in October for complicated reasons- but he came back to me after my mom passed and has been an INCREDIBLE support. I have to say I feel that my mother’s passing, as terribly pained, lost and disoriented and scared as I feel, has had a blessing in our reunion. He has grown into being such a strong man supporting and loving me through this. And i give myself a lot of credit for accepting the love, keeping my heart open, staying open to him physically and emotionally even though I am at times terrified of more loss. Yet his love has been so healing and I am deeply grateful and I feel the closeness this has brought us to will enable us to be life partners, and he feels the same. I can see that the pain I am in can be very hard on him at times- just to see me suffering, but I think the fact that we keep communicating how we are feeling and also that he is being so amazing about just letting me cry, grieve, shake, feel whatever I’m feeling- always holding me, even in the middle of the night, and listening without judgment- it’s been a miracle. The fact that I still find a way to listen about his life and concerns, to be intimate with him, to be super affectionate I think has made a huge difference too in this grief of mine truly bringing us closer. THat said, I know we both long for men to feel better- we laugh here and there but we both miss the playfulness and fun we had before. We pray and meditate a lot and we both have faith my energy and love of life will return. The pain is hard for both of us to take. The fact that I have other supports too, and that he doens’t take my grief personally are saving graces. Turning away from others in grief is unfortunately something many people do and I believe it makes the process way more tormenting. I am grateful I did not do that- that I kept my heart open- as scary as it is as I am very aware now that love is a huge risk… it broke me in half. But I am mending- in part through my partner’s immense patience and love.

  • Love

    April 26th, 2018 at 9:57 PM

    I’ve been reading this post for past 3 mths & I’m so glad that everyone share their thought over here.
    I didn’t share it much earlier cause I guess what I’m going through now is similar with some of you…
    My situation goes like this…I’ve been through the worst part of my life recently…
    Both of us is in out late 30s..My husband of 7 yrs (known him for 15 yrs) mom’s passed away about 15 mths ago.
    He is very close to his mom & his life seem to has been shattered & the sign of his grief was not visible to me until the
    1st anniversary of his mom’s passing.

    I’ve no idea that grieving is a process that can’t be avoid & need to get through it.
    It started with less talking from him & he come home from work, he would glued to his cellphone or TV or his game console.

    Things that needed to be done for the home is being ignored by him & there comes my nagging.
    Then he start running & joining all marathon. Apart from that, he start to stay out late going out with his friends
    that I’m not too sure who they are & eventually he stop talking to me or avoid seeing me.

    Initially I was so angry & frusfrated & I confronted him. He became even colder & more agitated to me.
    Telling me is nothing to do with me, is him wanted to change…
    The loving husband that I’ve known for years seem to have 360 degree changed. I no longer recognize him at all.
    He start sleeping on the couch. He is emotionally & physically shut from me. During confrontation, he told me
    that he feels like being single again & life with me is boring & he said he no longer have feelings for me.
    My heart shattered that I’ve tried to beg & do all sort of things trying to cling on him but this makes him
    feel even more angry & agitated.I guess everyone will do the same trying to save the relationship all they could.

    I was searching all over the internet & trying to dignose what is going on with him…”stress”/”depression”/”grief”
    & worst, “affair”. He can text on the cellphone with smiley face!!
    I’ve decided to confront him again…Before the confrontation, i’ve read some of the info,
    that i’ve to be prepared to listen actively & forget about the needs to be heard.
    Yes, I’m calm…my intuition telling me he is telling the truth of not having any affair.

    No question ask wherever he go or who he is out with…he will get angry of me for asking.
    It feels like worst than staying with a housemate. You know there is not more emotion attach to him. You can see him but
    you no longer feel him in your circle..its like invisible human next to you…this feeling is dreadful..

    During this dark period, I’ve anxiety & start to have mild depression. My everyday life is worrying about him leaving me &
    how the days will be when we are drifting apart slowly. I start thinking negetively. My feelings is just like a wave
    that I can be very postive in this hour & feeling miserable the next hours…
    Eventually, I started to avoid him as he is giving me negetive thoughts.
    Sometimes the things he told me, is shocking & disbelief that he will leave me behind to pursue the activities he wanted to do.

    By reading more about self help, I’ve decided to break this miserable cycle. I start to re-visit the things that I wanted to do
    last time & I’ve list it out & start working on it. Myself started running too…In order to break this wave, I have choose
    exercise to find the peace inside me. I’ve kept on telling myself to let go of negetive feeling…free my thoughts.
    I’ve set myself a goal to stay fit & I start to concerntrate on myself. As though that I’m preparing to live a single life again.

    I’ve been going out with few of my close friends, mainly my support group
    (someone to lean on & know what is going on with my current situation).
    They helps me a lot to get through this situation…I’m not ashame to let them know what is going on & how my husband treated me…

    I’m not giving up on saving the relationship, what I read is, I can influence my spouse if I’m positive…I’m not giving hope without putting
    an effort to…
    In fact, I’m trying hard on how to save this relationship without being clingy on him. I told myself & belief no matter how a person changed,
    deep inside they still loves you.They must be something inside them that stop them from being their real self.
    They can still see what you are doing…the positve that you bring…
    At the meantime, I started to learn how to cook his favourite food of his mom’s recipe from his sister.

    Few mths past, my husband is now gradually started to open up his emotions but it comes with anger too…he easily get frusfrated
    with certain things..I guess emotion comes in a package.
    It has been few weeks since he start to open up his emotions & he gradually become better & more of himself again.
    He started to show interest on my new found interest…I’m still very careful with my action & words when dealing with him cause
    I know he still can be like a wave of emotions.

    I have been very patience & presevere of all his negetivity…I know its not easy, in fact at certain period,I’ve my emotion shut
    as well to avoid conflict.

    I’ve told myself, even if I’m not able to save this relationship, but I’ve set goals in my life to move on.

  • Jo

    May 4th, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    I enjoyed reading these posts. Thank you, reading these make me feel better and some understanding but I am so confused and dont know if I should leave to give my husband space or stay. This is my story: I have been with my husband for 13 years, married 3. My husband has been home in the past 2.5 years about 4 times due to work. My husband was due to finally be home for good mid January. His dad past away early January. Everything was good until two weeks after his fathers passing. He has completely shut me out. He said his mom needed him and would spend his time away from work at his moms. Meanwhile, my heart was breaking, I was falling apart, I felt unloved and unimportant. I told him I needed my husband too, that he had been gone for far too long and I needed him too. I told him I was here for him but he had to give me an opportunity. He stopped going to his moms and started coming home after work but while at home he just complaints about the kids not doing their chores right, etc.. He is now working 12 hr shifts and is on call every weekend. He tells me its not me its him and he loves me but he is hurting and doesn’t know whats wrong with him. We go to church every Sunday and it has helped me a lot. I try to help him, talk to him but he says nothing helps him and he can’t stop feeling sad. He says nothing makes him happy and questions why his brothers are ok and he is not. He doesnt wear his marriage ring and at night he is distant. I love my husband and I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel but how much longer should I wait. I waited two years and now this. I loved his dad truly and it hurts me too but it hurts me more to see my husband in pain and nothing I say or do make him better. I see his brothers with their family going on vacation, concerts and dates and it breaks me because my husband is not himself. I’ve been wondering if he will be better off without me and the kids, so he can have all the time he needs. I don’t feel like going to work, I don’t feel like cooking or doing anything but I push myself to do it. I’ve waited for him to come home for so long and now this. I will continue to pray for him and our marriage. Lost and hurt.

  • B Markerth

    May 28th, 2018 at 5:22 PM

    My father in law passed away this past Jan, incredible man and made me feel always a part of the family along with my mother in law and my 3 sister in laws. one big happy family really! A few days prior to the funeral my husband said to me he is staying at his moms, I was not included and was made to make my own arrangement’s to the funeral. I was incredibly hurt by this but thought there had to be a very good reason, when I did ask my husband he did not respond really, so I left it alone simply because this was not about me. It May 25th would have been my father in laws birthday and I knew there was a plan to all be together for that day and his sisters were coming in to spend the weekend, about 1 week before May 25th my husband said to me he will be going to say with his Mom, I was not included. I recall the last weekend before that his sister saying to my husband remember to bring an appetizer for when they were getting together. Now I am the one in our family that does all the cooking! I was not included in any way. The weekend has passed, I had an extremely emotionally charged evening and into the next day by my self. when my husband came home I could not even look at him nor engage in conversation! I have not Idea how to communicate how I am feeling, I feel so selfish. if there is anyone that could guild my through this,

  • AD

    June 13th, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    I don’t think you are being selfish, you are just human and as human are allowed to have feelings too. I am not in your situation but my boyfriend of 6 years he lost his brother tragically last march. It has been a roller coaster, and i have endured a lot of anger, not towards me, but he is angry at anybody that does not agree with him. I sometimes wish to end this. One thing he has made clear is that he wants me on his side. It has been 3 months since his brother died and everytime he a his siblings get together they talk about the accident and their childhood and a lot of things of the past. Maybe it is better if you don’t have to listen to it, just a though. Communicate your feelings with a friend outside your marriage, just to get it out of your chest. Give your husband and marriage time to heal.

  • NK

    June 22nd, 2018 at 12:10 PM

    What if I see this situation coming? What can I do to prepare? My husband is losing his mom to cancer. She’s his world. I think whatever is coming will be bad, and I am not sure how to respond. If he starts treating me like garbage, should I give him a break, because he’s just lost his dearest person? Should I stick around for his own sake? What if he starts to take it out on the kids, do I make that my line in the sand to walk away? He doesn’t believe in therapy (this randomly comes up in conversation now and then) so that option will be zero help to him. I hate that I’m even thinking about this – I’m thinking about how to support him and his mom, too, but I suspect all the support I can give won’t be enough. Frankly I don’t want to leave him whatever he says to me, I’ve seen enough lonely old men and I don’t want that to be him – but the kids are a different story and I’m a little lost trying to figure this out.

  • NK

    June 28th, 2018 at 12:29 PM

    Ah, it’s too bad no one seems to be reading this any more… It’s only been six days, but sure enough, most of what I was afraid of is already happening. Still no idea how to respond. Part of me wants to just walk away, head held high, part of me wants to shut down emotionally but keep coming home because leaving now is just not nice, and neither part can really get its way because you can’t leave or shut down when you have kids. So frustrating. I guess the answer, for now, is to keep putting one foot in front of the other…

  • Love

    August 2nd, 2018 at 1:48 AM

    I’ve experience it…i was lost too..I was helpless & I can’t find a way to solve it &
    thinking of him leaving me is making me crazy.

    Counselling might not be an only option as he might think there is
    nothing wrong with him instead at that point of time, I need a counselling for myself.

    Sad to say, that he might be thinking he need change in his life.
    He might also think that his family/current situation is an obstacle to his life…
    You have no idea what they are thinking in situation like this.
    You will be in a disbelief state that how can they treat you like a garbage :(
    While writing this, I can still feel the hurt..

    They are probably very lost in their mind (out of their mind).
    You have be prepared to accept all sort of emotional hurt triggered from him…he is no
    longer the sweet person you once knew well…
    My daily life in the same home with him is on daily basis mood…’present’.
    I can’t tell what will happen the next day.
    Reading through the internet & finding ways to cope with this, I’ve trained myself to think positive.

    Its like pretending I can still move on with my brand new life without him.
    Its not easy cause deep down inside, I wants to be there for him whenever he needs me.

    I’ve have tried to ignore all the emotional breakdown from him &
    move on with my new found hobby (outdoor)..
    I’ve close friend/support group that help me to get through this.
    Like how we once knew that there are more things to experience in life…
    Learnt that happiness is self found & not from others…& with that, we share the happiness…

    Take care of your own thought…feed with positive & somehow it can influence him that life goes on
    & there are more in life to experience..

  • T

    June 28th, 2018 at 3:58 PM

    Many of us are still following this thread. Your situation is difficult and none of us have the right answer. It seems like my situation might’ve been similar, my marriage had issues before my mother-in-law passed. Although we were in counseling at the time of her passing, my husband used her passing as an excuse to in the marriage. Stating things like life’s too short, I’m not going to live where I’m not happy,etc. he was completely unwilling and a non-participant in the counseling that we did attend. We also share children, and 18 months post separation it seems he wants to spend more time together. We are divorced, as he moved on to a girl more than half his age in the meantime. Since he figured out that you have to put in work for any relationship, he’s not lonely. People are going to talk about you know matter what choice you make, I waited three months after my mother-in-law‘s passing to make a decision because I didn’t want to be the wife that kicked her grieving husband out. Someone say three months is not enough, but it was enough for me to know his consequences had to come. I suggest that you move on what your intentions are now and not wait for your mother-in-law to pass. It will not get better in my experience, he will not have any love to give you an Ed you’ve already Ric someone say three months is not enough, but it was enough for me to know his consequences had to come. I suggest that you move on what your intentions are now and not wait for your mother-in-law to pass. It will not get better in my experience, he will not have any love to give you and you’ve already mentioned that he’s been willing to participate in counseling. People that don’t appreciate counseling often think that everyone else is the problem and blame others for their issues. I suggest some internal reflection and some counseling yourself determine what your needs and wants are. Stay strong for your children, and honest with them because as they grow they will appreciate this. My children have witnessed their father spiral down over the past 18 months, And watched him return to immature ways. Because of his and effective and childish ways of grieving I made it a priority to make sure that my children could grieve properly and express their emotions. That’s the only suggestion I have for you , And watched him return to immature ways. Because of his ineffective and childish ways of grieving I made it a priority to make sure that my children could grieve properly and express their emotions. That’s the only suggestion I have for you. good luck and best wishes.

  • NK

    July 2nd, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    T – I’m sorry you dealt with that. You’re right, counseling is a good place to start. I don’t have anyone to talk to in real life, because I don’t want to bring anyone else into the situation… my mother-in-law is the only person I’ve ever confided this sort of thing to, and she really doesn’t need an extra thing to worry about now. Not sure that in our case it will “never get better” but anyone’s guess how bad it will get first, and if I’m going to stick around I need better coping skills. Or maybe sticking around is dumb, and hopefully someone impartial will be able to tell me if that’s so.

  • just angry

    June 29th, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    I’ll just say it as brutal as it might sound.
    Losing ones you love does not automatically qualify you to treat your other loved ones who are alive and trying to support you. It is an abuse of sympathy people are showing. Just learn healthy behaviors of living experiencing your grief without hurting other people who cares for you. They don’t have to put up with your nonsense behaviors because you are in grief. My ex lost his mother a year ago and he acts like he is the only person in this life whose parent passed away, angry to everyone and comparing other’s people’s struggles to losing his mother all the time, belittles other peoples problems because they did not lose a mother. He wants to receive all the sympathy in the world.

  • CG

    August 8th, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    Everything about this post & the comments just resonates with me. I had to go on the internet and try to find ways to help with my situation as I feel at a loss in my marriage. My husband recently lost his father due to cancer. We’ve never discussed what would happen when the time came or how to mentally prepare for it as it never seemed like it was a topic he wanted to bring up. I just decided to stay positive and hope for the best. When his father fell weak and was sent to the hospital, I had no idea how bad the cancer spread at that point as he started to shut me out – about 2 weeks later he passed. We have never been apart or distant like this before. We have always talked everyday since we met up until this point. I am trying to stay positive and strong for him and for our marriage but it is also hard when you want to fall apart yourself. We have always believed that we held a strong relationship and was built on a foundation of friendship and love, not once have we ever thought about the possibility of being apart… but I’m struggling to see the light now. Sometimes it feels like he doesn’t realize that we’re married and can say hurtful things through text as he refuses to talk any other way. I just want my husband back. I don’t know how to make him see how much I love him through this time of grief.

  • Sarah

    August 8th, 2018 at 9:59 PM

    My dad died 3 days ago. He had cancer & my mom & I took care of him at home until he died. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer 11 month ago & at the end he hadn’t eaten anything in 13 days so I had to watch him basically starve to death. I cannot explain the pure hell and torture it was to see my dear ole dad dying. I am having the worst time, crying all the time, remembering all the times we had together, I feel like it wasn’t his time to go yet, he had so much to do still. He hadn’t walked me down the isle yet. My dad was my hero, my protector, one of my best friends in the whole world, I went to him for everything & no matter what he was always there for me. I was his baby girl, even at 40 years old! I was very lucky to have him as my father. I will honor him & take care of my mom now. They were married for 54 years so I cannot imagine the pain my mom is going through. Bless her heart! The night my dad died my long time boyfriend & I got into a fight because I told him that I really needed him to hold me, that I felt scared & he still walked out on me. Some choice words were exchanged between the both of us & now he hasn’t even called me to see how I’m doing. I’m so hurt by him & I want to call him so bad but I haven’t. I feel he needs to call me. I have no problem saying I’m sorry for the things I said to him, but I just feel in this situation he should call me to see how my mom & I are doing. I feel lost, hurt and alone. I cant understand how he can just go on with his life knowing the pain I’m in. I love him a lot & I know he loves me too. I’m just really sad & confused…

  • suji

    March 18th, 2019 at 5:46 PM

    Hi Sarah and the bereaved and partners of community. Reading through these comments has definitely helped me realize I’m not alone in what I’m going through and these symptoms of grief are very common no matter how painful they can be. I also lost my Dad almost 3 years ago. It was cancer and it was quick. My sister and I took care of him the best we could but we found out that it is a battle that is almost impossible to win, especially when it’s so advanced. At the time of My Dad’s diagnosis, My Husband, then long term boyfriend’s Mum was also battling Stage IV Cancer and had been for the better part of a year. When I found out about my Dad, I had no capacity for anything or anybody but him. Not myself, not anyone else. Our relationship suffered and he was there for me as much as he could be but for him it always came back to his Mum and everything about my Dad’s situation reminded him about what was to come for him and his family. We had 9 precious months with my Dad from his diagnosis to his passing and when he was gone, so was I. It destroyed me and I truly didn’t believe I could ever be the same. We got married shortly after. It was important for him, and for both of us the his Mum and that everyone left in our families could be there for it. I was still a shell of myself but I “pulled it together”, in retrospect for the sake of everyone else. The next two years were difficult. I was grieving and he could only be there for me so much because it was too painful. I became a constant reminder of what was to come. I knew how important it was for him to spend that time with his Mum so I encouraged him to but I did feel lonely and more alone than I could ever imagine. The one man in my life who had always been there for me was gone and the other wasn’t able to be. I went to therapy. I got several new jobs, I went back to school, went away and did everything I could to put myself back together on my own. When his Mum passed away 4 months ago, I think he thought he’d be prepared for it because he had been ‘preparing’ for it mentally and emotionally for so long but the truth is nothing can prepare you for that. You can never anticipate the way you’re going to feel. It’s as if all of your vital organs are all of a sudden on the outside of your body and you’re more vulnerable than you’ve ever been. You can barely recognize yourself. The scary thing is that other people think that they can recognize you because they don’t see what you do but you’re forever changed and the only way for them to understand that is for you to explain that to them, or act differently towards them because maybe not at first but eventually they’ll treat you as if you’re the same, but you know you’re not and it’s harder than you’ll ever know or be prepared for. The hard thing for me right now is that I know how it feels but I’m still affected by it. He isn’t like me. He isn’t self-aware or reflective or even close to a place where he wants to rebuild. He is angry and destructive and takes it out on me. Everyone said, over the course of the last three years, at least you have each other and you know what each other has been through. That’s not the case. He doesn’t want to benefit from my experience because where he is right now is completely out of reach. I know there is no prescriptive time-frame of how long it takes. The grieving process is very much a process and not something you’ll ever necessarily be over. The key is to adjust to a new life that you’re faced with and have no choice in, and really make space for this aspect of your life that wasn’t there before. For some people it seems that the only way to make that space is to got other people close to them out of the way. I do know from my experience and from watching him that there is a definitive period, from after the funeral to 6 months (I hope) and maybe a year or even more when you are in a haze, a fog. You’re not interested in the outside world. All that you want is to hold on to that which you can never have back and that can make you sad and angry and completely out of reach to anyone in your life if you let it. He has let it and we are now living separately. I have had the hardest time watching him go through this and as much I’ve tried to stay by his side throughout it, all he does is push me away and at a certain point I decided that I had to be there for myself and protect myself because no one else is guaranteed in this lifetime expect for yourself, so if someone isn’t treating you right then by allowing them to continue you’re only doing the same thing. I don’t know what will happen with my marriage. I’m at the point now that I can’t try anymore because it’s only hurting me more. I hope this isn’t the end for us and that everything we’ve been through hasn’t been in vain but at this point only time will tell. That is my only advice for all of you out there and for myself too. Give it time, and try, hard as it may be not to be too reactionary to any situation, even if seems like the only solution. Take a deep breath and sleep on it. Tomorrow is a new day!

  • Rae

    September 12th, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Tears have been streaming down my face reading this article and the comments.
    My fiance (together for 10 years) lost his father in a pretty horrible, tragic way after a prolonged illness after an accident, and then lost his best friend a couple months after. His father died about 8 months ago and sometimes he seems OK, he gets on with his day, but he still cries randomly, and is very distant. Last night he talked about how he wishes he could trade his life for a better death for his father, how he doesn’t want to be around anyone, including me, how everything is pointless, there’s no reason to go on living, that it’s impossible to get over the death of your parents. We were in bed and I just listened and didn’t try to cheer him up or contradict all of the horribly depressed or nihilistic things he was saying, which he said he was thankful for, but I feel so alone and lost. What attracted me to him most was his positive outlook on life and how he was always so funny and loving, and it’s like a flip switched. It’s been eight months of this and he’s been so irritable and every little thing annoys him, and he’s been distant, every time we go out he picks a fight, and any time I get a little emotional or have my own hard time (my own grandmother, who I was close to, just died a month ago and I’ve been very stressed with work) he just says he can’t deal with it and to not dump any of those emotions on him. I love him and I know he’s going through a hard time but I feel so lonely and unwanted and I just don’t know how I’m going to get through it. I’ve thought about leaving, and last night he told me point blank he’s never going to be the same person again, this has broken him and I may as well leave because he’ll never be able to be happy and he just wants to go live under a bridge and wait until he dies and can join his dad, how he regrets how he and his dad ended things (before the accident they didn’t have the best relationship). He did end it with saying he’s trying to get through it, and I told him I have faith he can find a path through the darkness, but I just don’t know what to do. I feel like there is no end in sight and I’ll never have the person I love back. He refuses therapy (his mom is a therapist, and he’s close to her), and I’m scared that when she eventually dies, he’ll just be shattered. I want to get through this and be there for him, I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to. We live together and see each other all the time (both work from home) but we’re like ships passing in the night. He hasn’t turned off completely like some of the people here, he still tells me he loves me, but in his darker moments the things he says are so scary to me and he lashes out at me all the time, I try to not take it personally but I’m feeling my heart and soul and self esteem get slowly whittled away. Will I ever get him back? I know it hasn’t been a year, and the deaths of his dad and his best friend so close together makes everything so much worse, but I just…I need hope. I can’t live the rest of my life in this black hole of no sunshine, no happiness.

  • RG

    August 30th, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    I posted on here about 18 months ago at my lowest time when supporting my husband through dealing with losing his dad, and also a big old dose of Mid Life Crisis. It was the worst time of my life. Fast forward 18 months and we are stronger than ever. He is no longer distant, cold or unloving. Our marriage is solid, and we enjoy each other’s company. He’s not drinking horribly and I am not paranoid, nagging or shut out. Sometimes I wake up in the night and think of that time in horror, almost like PTSD – and we barely talk about it. That’s something for me to work on in the future. Reiki, yoga and becoming independent in terms of my emotions (i.e. giving him space) was key – and focusing on my job, my friends and my kids. And compassion. Compassion for him at all times, that he lost his parent and that’s totally rubbish.

    There is hope, I promise. Be strong and focus on what you want. We humans can take a lot of heartbreak if we are willing to forgive, be compassionate, and not dwell on the past. I have astounded myself at how resilient I am, and I have tried not to throw that time in his face. As honestly, he wasn’t on this planet.

    Much love to you all. x

  • SB

    September 1st, 2018 at 8:05 AM

    Hi RG. I would like to hear and advice you have for me. Im 27 and married for a little over a year to my best friend and partner in crime. Things have been bad since losing his dog. My husband was very attached to his dog who was 6 years old. When we got married and moved out of his parents house,and they gave him away without letting him know. Every weekend since he found out he has been drinking heavily (i belive hes using drugs too). He goes to work Monday through Friday but as soon as he gets off work friday its straight to the liquor store. Its been just over a month and it been tough. We had our first year anniversary and even that didnt feel right, and he was still drinking the entire time just not at heavily. At times he blames me for “making him move and leave his dog.” I dont know how to act in this situation and im so afraid its going to tear us apart.

  • RG

    September 4th, 2018 at 7:42 AM

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are suffering in this way, and that your husband is grieving so much. I am not sure I have advice apart from for you to consider what you want in the future and to be patient and look after yourself and to be kind to yourself. I found (and this is just me and my partner) that when I respected myself, he respected me more. i started going to regular yoga, worked hard, focused on my kids and on the house, and tried to give him space whilst trying to make clear that I deserved respect. To be honest, he barely remembers that time, I have brought it up a few times, and he has very little recollection of the painful hurtful things he said and did.
    I honestly can’t advise anyone, as everyone is individual. I know that at some points I felt helpless, like I wanted to be dead / give up, hateful, frustrated, angry, sad, vengeful, jealous and every human emotion in between. And yet now we are in a different place , I am not sure how and if I know why to be able to advise anyone – I am just so so glad that I am able to say that we recovered, he recovered, and I was strong enough. You can be strong enough too. Please be kind to yourselves, this is so difficult and the most difficult time, and I am sure I will face this again. It sure gives me perspective and makes me calm about work / other situations, as i think ‘nothing can be as bad as that’ and I know I survived it
    Much love to you all xxx

  • MCD

    September 3rd, 2018 at 7:11 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this update, RG. It’s very comforting to know. If you don’t mind, may you share with us how you acted towards him during those 18 months and how long it took for your husband to “come around”? I can only hope that my story would turn out as happy as yours in time.

  • MCD

    September 3rd, 2018 at 7:53 PM

    Hi, first of all I’d like to thank everyone who has poured out their thoughts and feelings in this page. I’ve read every single one of them from way back and it has allowed me to have a deeper understanding and a new perspective on what I am currently going through. I know I have no hold on what the future brings for me and my partner but seeing how a lot of you have been able to power through the struggles has given me much-needed optimism when I feel the most down.

    Just to share my story, me and my partner started dating just a few months ago. And though we’ve only been together for a relatively short time, we’ve already managed to develop a deep understanding and connection with each other having come from troubled relationships in the past (infidelity of both our exes). We are both extreme introverts who enjoy spending a lot of quiet time together by the sea, and this makes us appreciate each other’s presence even more.

    Unfortunately around a month ago his brother suddenly passed due to a heart condition. I was constantly in contact with him when he learned about the news up until the funeral. He was very appreciative of me being there for him (even if it was just through messaging) and was still “in touch” with his feelings for me since he was always vocal in telling me how much he misses me. About a week after, the reality of the loss suddenly hit him hard. He has always been the type of person who would withdraw from the world and shut everything off whenever he experiences something devastating (like with what happened with his previous relationship) but I always tell him that I’ll be there for him through his grief. He told me he missed me but was sorry if he couldn’t be there for me at the moment since he is going through with so much. He was honest with me about not having the enthusiasm to talk and wanted to deal with things on his own. Of course I understood and told him to take all the time he needed. I just made it a point to text him at least once a day just to make him feel that I was there for him, but eventually I realized that the everyday texts might still be too overwhelming for him still. I eventually just checked in on him once a week but without pressuring him to respond. I felt so helpless and uncertain for the past weeks (which felt like months), but small acts from him such as a message sharing with me a song he and his other sibling composed for their brother gave me a reassurance that everything will be alright in time. I guess he could also be associating feelings of the loss with me since I was “with him” when it happened, and I understand.

    Just a week ago, he went to the beach with some friends/acquaintances and this girl (who I also got to hang out with recently) rode with him in his car. This girl has no idea that we are dating, and I honestly have a feeling that she is actually starting to like him after seeing her post updates involving him and their long car ride as well as photos using his surfboard during the whole trip. To add to that, I saw their exchange of extra friendly comments on how much they enjoyed trip together, and that in an upcoming trip next month they might be with the same group again. I know that with what he’s going through right now he cannot have the capacity to process emotions other that those that involve grieving for his brother, but I can’t help but think of the possibility of him eventually developing feelings for her since she can provide comfort and at the same time not be associated with feelings of loss (since he met her already after what happened to his brother) vs. me. However, I am also banking on him setting boundaries and not letting that happen since we both came from troubled pasts with cheating partners so we very much know how devastating it feels to be left for someone else. I just hope that grief would not cloud his judgment and make him do things which are against his principles if he was in his “normal state”. I just feel so down and unlucky to have experienced all of this, and the other person in the picture honestly complicates things much more. I am trying so hard to hope for the best but of course I also cannot blame myself for feeling broken most of the time.

    I am giving him the time and space that he needs, but as my friend told me I also have to think about myself. While I try to keep myself busy, eventually I must also set a timeline on when I have to decide if I’ll continue being with him or not. I’m thinking of giving it until mid-November – if he hasn’t made any effort to integrate me back in his life even just a little (which is acceptable for me already) then sadly I think I’d have to let him go… To anyone who’s still reading this, I’d appreciate if you can give your thoughts on my situation as well. Thank you so much.

  • MCD

    September 5th, 2018 at 2:04 AM

    Well I already have an update after 2 days and unfortunately it’s not so good… I just saw from his social media account that he posted solo photos of the girl (tone of the post was kind of flirty) confirming my intuition all along. I plan to end things with him in a couple of days so that both my head and heart are a lot clearer. It’s just so sad how grief can change a person overnight and unleash the darker side of him/her, but I also find comfort in the fact that I got to saw this side of him sooner than later. For others that are going through something similar, don’t lose hope still and just follow the helpful advice of everyone here. Praying for the best for you all.


    September 5th, 2018 at 1:44 AM

    Im having the same issue too.. and that hurt me a lot..
    my boyfriend just lost his sister a month ago .. at first he always say that he will promise to make time for me .. saying that he miss me .. slowly he change and we rarely contact after the lost of his sister.. i feel hurt and alone which i feel almost want to give up but i always tell to myself that to be strong for him :( i feel not important.. and he always act cold towards me and even mention about to break up with me.. im scare if im losing him one day.. i get depression to having this kind of situation.. i just want to be there for him and help him to lessen the sad feeling he had right now. but he seem dont need me and he only talk to his friends…

  • j

    January 26th, 2019 at 11:01 AM

    I’m not sure why I’m not seeing this situation described: but a friend is dealing with his grieving spouse who is always very communicative and high-need normally, and not in the best health. Her loss from 6 months ago is suffocating both of them, since there is no end to increased need for “why-me?” discussions, moaning, vocalization of despair, enshrining every smallest wisp of a hand-me-down item related to the deceased sister, and frequent talking to the lost-loved one as if present. The distress exascerbates health issues in both of them. The already-difficult relationship has become like a pressure-cooker. I wonder why is no one mentioning situations like this and what can be done?

  • kmw

    April 13th, 2019 at 7:09 AM

    My husband and I have been married 12 great years. Sure we’ve had hard times but we pulled thru together and came out stronger. About 5 months ago, my husband lost his father. Since then our relationship has declined to were he has pushed me away says he no longer loves me and no longer wants to be in a relationship. I know he is depressed and he shows no emotion. He is overworked and struggles with the stress so I have tried to be patient and understanding to all his needs. Intimacy is completely off the table and he has said he has no interest and just wants to be alone. (there is no one else) He wants to live separately until he can figure our what he wants and he is not sure what that means. The night of the funeral he cried and told me how very much he loved me and needed me and couldn’t imagine loving anyone more. I know deep down he still loves me but I am scared if he continues to isolate himself he will believe the voices in his head. We are currently buying a new home and have plans for renovations and he wants to continue with the sale so I am completely confused.
    I need help, prayers and guidance for us both. I love my husband and this has completely blindsided me.

  • Love

    April 15th, 2019 at 12:59 AM

    Sorry to hear this is happening on you…I believe most of us here this thread is going through or have been through this cycle. If you did read my earlier thread (which about a year ago), I’ve been through a similar situation.
    “Love – April 26th, 2018 at 9:57 PM”
    I hope the thread I’ve posted earlier, will help you to go through this. My husband is now getting back to his normal self or I can say our love for each other grew stronger. I can say, he finally got out from his grief…
    Of course it is hurting & you felt lost, miserable & yet you felt angry at the same time. Is like a pile of negative emotions drop onto you without warning & you have no idea how to face it or deal with it.
    Sorry to say that, whatever you are planning with him, you might have to put on hold. My husband has cast me away & at a period of time, he didn’t even want to face me nor talk to me which is even worst than a housemate!
    I’ve read that grieving takes time to heal. While he is taking his time, take time to Love yourself. Do things you always wanted to do…live your life…there is many other things to explore/experience in life…
    I believe even things do work as expected, but you have did something great to yourself!

  • kmw

    April 15th, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    Thank you Love
    The hardest part is that we do not live together full time. Our daugher trains out of state as she is a minor and an elite athlete. He encouraged her on this path and has been the biggest supporter of us and my retiring to do this for her. We are going on 4 years of doing this (olympic hopeful) and up unitl the death of his dad our marrage was so strong and fun and grew stronger in every way becasue we put in the effort to make is work wiht the distance. We submitteda all our paperwork today on the new house and he congratulated me (?) I was home this past weekend and as i was leaving he said (3xs before i responded) I love you, drive safe. He was calling me before I could arrive / park and get unpacked back into our condo. Who does that if you do not care and do not love me? As I am responding to this he asked about our taxes. We talked about this last Thrusday when I had them filed with our accountant. I belive he is so stressed from work and he mentioned he thinks he’s having a mid life crisis ontop of the grief he has no emotional room for me. It is to hard to care for someone right now as he can barley keep it togehter for himself. I did ask that he fight for us and in one converstaion it registered and in others it did not. The fear of everyting is overwhelming and I want to give him space but I do not want the voices inside his head conviencing him to end this. The crazy thing is he said he doesn’t want to be in a realtionship, but he said he loves me, we jsut bought a home and we wantes me here with our daughter to focus on her talents and he will continue to support us and he mentoend about seeing what we can do to buy me a new car this summer? I am so confused, hurting and feelign helpless. Thank you for your support and I am so very glad to here things are better for you and your husband. I am so glad to hear he came out of it stronger. I pray wiht all my heart this is the future for me. I called and had a prayer card made up at church so that it would not only be my prayers but thoes of many others praying my husband can make it thru this and return back to me. I hope that is no selfish. He also wants me to take the two trips we had planned to support our daughter internationaly this summer – I just dont understand if he is so checked out why he still supports us. He travels for work and will reach out to let me know he’s leavign and arriving safely. That sounds like a relationship to me. Sorry I am running at the mouth, I am starting therapy Friday to get myself in a better place for me and to be there for him. On the flip side I am down 12+lbs just in time for summer.

  • Rini

    June 25th, 2019 at 5:08 AM

    Y’all are helping me so much!! These last few months have been so difficult!! My husband and I have been together for 17 years and married for almost 15. His mom died 2 months into our relationship and he hasn’t gotten over that ever!! She was his everything! This past April, his father died of cancer. They didn’t have the greatest relationship, but it was there!! It his him way harder than he thought it would! The minute we came home from the funeral(it was out fo state), he switched and was a different person. The first week home, he maybe said 50 words to me and the kids. He just grunted. Each week he seemed to get a little better, but no affection or love at all. We are always together and do things together all the time. We make plans all the time to do stuff, and we do them. He has broken down to me a few times, actual major crying one time. I struggle and want to be selfish cause he won’t touch me, wont say I love you on his own and when he says I love you back, it’s miserable sounding!! He still calls me on his way home from work and he still calls me throughout the day if he’s having a bad day or has something. Got ell me!! There is just no love and affection from him at all! He even went home for a weekend to go and visit both his mom and dad’s graves. He called me and talked to me a ton while he was away!! He didn’t shut me off at all!! I just really miss him and his love! I know it’s only been 2.5 months since he died and something else happened with the Will that hurt him immensely. He’ll tell me he’s hurting and struggling. He’ll tell you how angry he is that his dad died and that he died after his mother!! He’s so hurt all over and won’t go get help!! I guess I’m lucky that he is still here and we still do so much together and the communication is there. I hate when I get selfish and want him to show me love or tell me what he’s thinking! We definitely argue now, not too bad, but we do! I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes and want to cry and yell at him!! Thank you for listening! I hope he comes out of this and we can get to somewhat normal in love and affection!!

  • Carmen

    July 1st, 2019 at 8:30 PM

    Hi everyone. Thanks for sharing your stories. It’s really helped me to not feel so alone.
    My boyfriend of 12 years was the primary caregiver of his elderly mother for the last 11 years. She died 5 months ago from dementia/pneumonia after living into her 90’s. I have been by his side all these years and have been supportive of his dedication to her care. As the years went by, caring for her became more and more demanding and our time together was greatly affected. He wasn’t willing to plan our own future together because he didn’t know how long he’d need to care for his mom so I waited on the sidelines and gave him my support. I always knew I’d never know what I had with him until she was gone, because caring for her was so demanding. And I guess I suspected (incorrectly) that due to her age and the length of her illness that he would have pre-grieved somewhat. I was with him and his relatives in the hospital room when she passed and I was at his side at her funeral. At first, even though he was devastated, I thought he and we were going to be okay. He was open with me about his sadness at how hard it was to deal with her absence. But he also opened up that he was blaming himself, that if he had just had her admitted to the hospital a week before she passed (when the ER doc prescribed her pneumonia meds), he thought she would still be alive today so he’s decided it was his fault she had died. I told him that she had been failing for a long time – we had both seen it – and that her passing was not his fault, but he clung to that guilt. Then he started visiting her and his dad’s gravesite and on those days, he would avoid talking to me, sometimes for days. He kept physically active but he felt like he didn’t have a purpose in life anymore and was despondent. And that comment about his being responsible for her death – that one kept coming up out of nowhere every so often over the past 5 months and it got me mad every time! He sacrificed so much for her! That self blame seemed so irrational. Mind you I’ve been waiting 12 years for my chance to be his focus, and now I’m coming in second place to his grief. I’ve tried to get him to take a baby step – spending the night at my house – to give him a break from the physical reminders at his house of his loss and give me a glimmer of hope that we can actually have our time someday, but he kept coming up with excuses as to why he needed to be home at night. He apparently didn’t want to make any changes. I guess I should have been more patient but 12 years!! I’ve been patient for a long time!! About a week ago, we were coming back from a movie and I asked him if he wanted to stay over at my house and he gave me the usual excuses – laundry, needing to read the paper – all those lovely excuses that makes you want to bang your head on the wall – yet I was patient. I asked him a few questions about how we could take small steps toward our future. He didn’t have much to say. Then out of the blue we’re talking about his mom’s passing again and he’s blaming himself for her not being alive. That self blame drives me nuts so I got mad and told him he’s not God, that he doesn’t have the power to keep someone alive forever. He got mad, told me to get out of his car. Then out of the depths of my heart, it came out – I told him that his mom was gone but (and I yelled this part) I’m here!!!! I think being patient and understanding for so long got to me. I didn’t want to come in second place to someone who was no longer here. He now (no surprise) wants his space and I’m lonely. That’s why I dug around online and found this page. He’s hurting and I really do care, but I miss the emotional connection and I saw what he went through all those years – the physical and emotional toll it took on him. I was afraid he would pass away before his mom just due to the stress of caregiving and now I worry that he will not find his purpose in life or find joy again. And I’m afraid that after investing all those years in this relationship and waiting for my turn, I won’t get it. I know you all can’t solve my problem but it’s nice to vent anyway.

  • Carmen

    July 4th, 2019 at 5:17 AM

    I apologized to him for discussing future stuff with him when he is still so broken. I told him I’d be here if he wants to talk and that I love him. He texted back and said he doesn’t want to talk or get together in the near future but wished me a good week. I hope he can figure out how to get through this.

  • kitchens

    July 4th, 2019 at 6:23 AM

    This article is very good. It guides many other people and help them in their life. We need to study these types of things also.

  • Richard

    July 30th, 2019 at 5:55 PM

    My girlfriend lost his father earlier this year. At the start, I was supporting her as much as I could and we said we would go through it together and we loved each other very much. One day she woke up, and she told me that it felt like all her emotions were shut down and that she wasn’t capable of loving anyone anymore. She told me that she doesn’t love me anymore and that it’s her brain doing but she couldn’t help it, she looked at me like I was just a random guy and broke up with me. It was devastating for me because I love her so much with all my heart and soul. I told her that I’m happy to be just friends and hopefully one day her feelings will come back. I will not give up on us and I will support her as much as I can. But I really don’t know what to do and how to feel about this, I feel heartbroken.

  • Rae

    September 12th, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    Tears have been streaming down my face reading this article and the comments.
    My fiance (together for 10 years) lost his father in a pretty horrible, tragic way after a prolonged illness after an accident, and then lost his best friend a couple months after. His father died about 8 months ago and sometimes he seems OK, he gets on with his day, but he still cries randomly, and is very distant. Last night he talked about how he wishes he could trade his life for a better death for his father, how he doesn’t want to be around anyone, including me, how everything is pointless, there’s no reason to go on living, that it’s impossible to get over the death of your parents. We were in bed and I just listened and didn’t try to cheer him up or contradict all of the horribly depressed or nihilistic things he was saying, which he said he was thankful for, but I feel so alone and lost. What attracted me to him most was his positive outlook on life and how he was always so funny and loving, and it’s like a flip switched. It’s been eight months of this and he’s been so irritable and every little thing annoys him, and he’s been distant, every time we go out he picks a fight, and any time I get a little emotional or have my own hard time (my own grandmother, who I was close to, just died a month ago and I’ve been very stressed with work) he just says he can’t deal with it and to not dump any of those emotions on him. I love him and I know he’s going through a hard time but I feel so lonely and unwanted and I just don’t know how I’m going to get through it. I’ve thought about leaving, and last night he told me point blank he’s never going to be the same person again, this has broken him and I may as well leave because he’ll never be able to be happy and he just wants to go live under a bridge and wait until he dies and can join his dad, how he regrets how he and his dad ended things (before the accident they didn’t have the best relationship). He did end it with saying he’s trying to get through it, and I told him I have faith he can find a path through the darkness, but I just don’t know what to do. I feel like there is no end in sight and I’ll never have the person I love back. He refuses therapy (his mom is a therapist, and he’s close to her), and I’m scared that when she eventually dies, he’ll just be shattered. I want to get through this and be there for him, I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to. We live together and see each other all the time (both work from home) but we’re like ships passing in the night. He hasn’t turned off completely like some of the people here, he still tells me he loves me, but in his darker moments the things he says are so scary to me and he lashes out at me all the time, I try to not take it personally but I’m feeling my heart and soul and self esteem get slowly whittled away. Will I ever get him back? I know it hasn’t been a year, and the deaths of his dad and his best friend so close together makes everything so much worse, but I just…I need hope. I can’t live the rest of my life in this black hole of no sunshine, no happiness.

  • Carmen

    September 12th, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    Hi Rae and Richard,
    I can relate to your stories and my heart breaks for you both. I just wanted to give you a little hope. I’m just starting to see some life coming back into my boyfriend after his emotions just died a while back. He needed space to figure his new version of life and apparently needed to do so without me. He’s just starting to figure out his purpose in life and he’s starting to come around again. I don’t know, honestly, what our relationship status is at this point. But he wants to talk now (about anything other than his loss) and he says he loves me and even is finding little bits of joy in life. It’s going to take him more time but I can see now that maybe our loved ones just need time and space to get their bearings. Rae, I don’t live with him and I can imagine that’s a lot harder. I wish you the best. Take extra good care of yourself.

  • Lost

    March 29th, 2020 at 2:31 PM

    During the time that he asked for space, did you reach out to him at all? Tell him you loved him or anything? I don’t know if I should even text him anymore…

  • John M

    September 12th, 2019 at 4:51 PM

    I have read through all the stories tonight with tears,I thought I was so alone.
    I just lost my son 7weeks ago he was only 18years to a road wife has shout me out of her life in her grief and only last week my mother in law told he that my son hated me .i feel like a punching bag to every one and my grief has turned into anger.i feel so alone and lost as I can’t talk to my wife who for 11years is my best friend and I love her so much.tonight her family were called to the hospital as her father has only hours . She was told by her mother that I was not to the hospital .im haven’t griefs the lost of my son fully as its only 8weeks and the same for my wife,and now she will have to start to grief for her father.i don’t know how much more I can take.

  • jade

    December 15th, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Beginning of June (2019), I started dating my now boyfriend. He lost his father the previous December 11 (2018), making this December the first anniversary of his death. For context, I’m 23, he is 26. Our relationship has been amazing. I could write an essay describing him, but he is wonderful. Warm, loving, kind to others, funny, makes me feel special, etc. And he’s been through a lot. We’ve both had very similar upbringings, enjoy the same things in life, and we both just feel safe and secure with one another. It’s something I’ve never felt before. The last month though has been hell. He’s been withdrawing, sleeping a lot, overworking himself. No sex drive, no desire to open up. He even neglected me on my birthday, only sending me a text in the morning. No call, no coming over, nothing. Mind you my parents were in town so maybe that had something to do with it. He was always excited to meet my family so I’m guessing my parents both being alive and in town around the time of his dad’s death anniversary made it hard for him. After my birthday, we basically haven’t spoken. I naturally was upset that he didn’t call me, and he did apologize for hurting my feelings. But after that we haven’t spoken much. I see him at our gym, and he still hugs me, looks at me the same, and he’s said that he will touch base. But other than that he doesn’t talk. He won’t have a conversation with me about it, and he doesn’t reach out to see me outside of the gym. I’ve been giving him space, trying to keep the same energy and bring happiness, and I do bring him food a few times a week. It’s hard because he’s opened up to me about his dad a lot, even cried to me a few times. And I felt like he felt safe around me with this touchy painful topic. But he doesn’t wanna talk to me about it now. It’s only been a few days since the day of the death anniversary, and this coming Thursday is the anniversary of the funeral. I’m hoping he will come back once the dust of the first anniversary has settled. Especially if I give him time and space to grieve. It’s hard to talk about it with friends, and especially family who haven’t dealt with grief in the relationship. I’m happy that he met me afterwards, because I think the pain would have been greater if I was around when his Dad passed. It’s just hard. Hard to watch him keep it together with others, and laugh with others, and then with me kind of shut me out. For the time being I’m going to keep reading forums and some books I’ve bought to understand grief more. Either it will make us stronger and deepen our bond, or it will give me knowledge and strength for the future. Any advice, or ideas on whether he’ll come back would be appreciated.

  • PJ

    January 15th, 2020 at 12:26 PM

    We lost our son just over a year ago, stillborn at 38 weeks. A year prior to that we had a miscarriage. On the eve of our son’s birthday the wife and I had a long talk, really about everything in our relationship. As I feel we have been on cruise control the last 7-8 years and our emotional and physical intimacy has really taken a back seat with raising our other 2 children. We do have a tough time communicating on any real issues and it can turn into a defensive battle; instead of a constructive conversation sometimes. Anyway, come to find out in the midst of that conversation my wife point blankly said that she didn’t need me for any emotional support or in her grief. I was taken aback and honestly hurt by that comment. My wife is a strong women, and when her father passed away about 6 years ago she really didn’t grieve much; at least in front of me. I understand that grieving is a private process and I respect that we all grieve differently, but in a marriage we should at least be able to come back to each other once in a while to lean on each other; especially in this situation since no one else really knows what we are going through. I personally don’t have anyone else to count on in terms of support. I have my mother and one other close friend, but they both offer limited help; as much as I appreciate it. I am currently in counseling and that has helped somewhat. I am curious, though if anyone has had any experience with their significant other being so emotionally withdrawn from them given the situation. I understand that bringing things up can be upsetting, but my wife pushes to be happy and has been trying to get life back to “normal” I understand the desire to get things back to “normal” but my thought is that things have changed and that our “normal” is now different. I assume she may be in denial. She has agreed to go to counseling, but only in support of me; not for herself or for us as a couple. As she feels she does not need it. Please any advice to help hurdle this wall. I feel so distant, more than ever, from my wife and I feel like if we can’t weather this storm together, that it may cause a permanent rift in our relationship. The last thing I want is divorce or separation, mainly for our kids, but I feel like I am at my wits end here. Thanks for any and all who read this.

  • David

    February 9th, 2020 at 9:37 AM

    I am in a relationship for 2.5 years now. We went to elementary school together and my family and I moved away. 34 years later, me and Chris start talking on fb, both of us getting ready to go thru divorce. She know got her husband out of the house by the police escorting him out for being abusive alcoholic . I still lived 10 hours away, living on my own. She got a pro bono attorney and had no problem getting full custody of the 14 and 11 year olds and got the house. My divorce took longer cause where I lived, they said I didn’t have good enough cause to divorce, so I had to wait for my ex to file. I finally moved closer to Chris, still 2 hours away, but we were able to see each other more. Everything was going great. We kept everything quiet with her kids for the first 6-10 months, till her divorce was final. I was able to start going over and the kids and I get along great. Then my divorce got done, and things were moving forward. Her ex gave us trouble a few times, busted out my windows on my car, told the oldest secrets about me from my past cause my ex found him and told him stories of our closed bedroom doors. The kids started not going to see him on their weekends, cause he only wanted to go to the bar before he got them, and they are old enough to see it. We kept pushing forward, not going to let him keep us about. So here we are happy. Then last month her ex dies. He found out he had cancer and it went fast. I feel awful for the kids and her. Even though he was a drunken a$$hole, he was still the father of her kids, and they did have a few goods years before he turned to booze instead of the family man. She asked me to stay away from the house so the kids can grieve, and I understand that. I did go to the wake, for support for the kids and her. She did say after watching the video of pictures, they must of been happy at one time but she blocked it out from the abuse. She got very distant from me and told me she has to concentrate on her and the kids with no distractions. We communicated a few times, mainly thru text messages. The kids finally went back to school and she went back to work, but again told me she loves me but can’t have any distractions. So I try and do what she wants and wait for her. She contacted me and we talk finally, and now she said we both need to time to ourselves since we never had that after our divorces, but would like to see me this weekend. So really I don’t know what I should do. I’m lost without her, I miss her kids, and she can call me, but won’t answer my calls. I asked if we should split for sometime and she says no, she loves me and we are great, but I’m hurting here. I need help! I’m not going to give up on us, I just don’t know.

  • Carmen

    March 30th, 2020 at 7:34 AM

    An update to give others hope –
    Things have improved in my life. My boyfriend had lost his mother after being a caregiver for over 10 years and another family member died 5 months after that. Our relationship tanked for awhile and he seemed very distant for about a year. He’s beginning to come around though. Things are not where they were yet but there’s hope, and I finally feel loved by him again.

  • Hellen

    May 14th, 2020 at 7:17 PM

    I have found a lot of solace within these comments. Ive spent most of my nights this past week unable to sleep reading them.
    this will probably be a bit all over the place because i am really struggling to process my emotions or even think straight right now, im at a loss with what to do and how to function anymore.

    My mother passed away 12 months ago in a few days. It was a gruelling and really traumatic time, we didnt have the best relationship but all i wanted in the end was for her to accept me, and for her to know that i was there for her. I really just wanted her to know she was loved and to know she loved me too.
    In the end I watched my mum starve to death. i cant describe the pain of watching someone in so much agony every day until their body gives up.

    i feel like everything is just getting progressively worse for me. since my mum passed i pushed people away, i needed space, i felt empty.
    I spoke to my partner about this, i was really honest with him about how i felt and was trying to find a way for me to heal. I suggested multiple times how much i would appreciate if we could have our own space and if he could speak to his brother about moving out of our home, It fell on deaf ears.
    I had even suggested this while my mother was in the dying process. We had to move house a few months before my mother passed and I had organised a new house for us, set up everything, all while working and trying to see my mum as much as possible.
    The one job his brother had was to organise a final clean of the property so we could hand it over.
    Well that never got done, he hired some night club cleaners who apparently just had a party in our house and i assumed smoked our $500 away. He berated the land agend that I had built a good relationship with..
    So i had to take time to fix it. Time that i intended to spend with my mother to clean the house because his brother needed to be with a friend whos parent had passed. I understand he needed to be there for his friend but why did i always have to come out second best? Did he really need to go to the pub at 3pm after work and not just see him later? what about his responsibility too, like i had to take care of?
    I asked him about it and he literally abused me on the street.. almost like he was under the influence, It was insane.
    My mother was the only family I had. my parter and his brother knew that.

    a month had passed from moving houses and my routine was wake up, cook, go to work, go home get food for my mum, visit my mum, find time to eat, sleep. every. single. day for about 2.5 months.
    it was exhausting. To top it off I was working in a telecom role in the bereavement sector. i could not catch a break from death and the fear of it.
    Then to come home, our space was constantly filled with my partners brothers friends, people I didnt know. I felt I constantly had to make face when all i wanted to do was to be allowed to feel shit. to cry on the couch. to have time…

    My partner tried, but i was too down to give anything back. Im not sure if he could see that. i felt he really pushed me to kind of just get over it and be happy.
    fast forward six months, my boyfriend and I were fighting a lot, I was still sad, if not sadder.. It was making me deeply depressed.. i lost my friends because i was “too much”.

    We spoke about the dynamic of the house and his brother said to him he felt like he wasnt comfortable at home, like he was walking on eggshells. we tried to work it out, but still none of my needs were even being considered so my boyfriend, asked me to leave. with absolutely no compromise, i was out. i needed to accept that “HE needed space”.
    my world collapsed from that point, i put on a brave face. I found a house, one that was too expensive for me in hope to find a housemate, i couldn’t find one.
    My partner went away for work a lot and generally stayed weekends there, with people i mostly didn’t know.
    I asked one night why he never invited me and he blew up at me thinking I was creating an argument, when I just wanted to feel included in his life, i wanted a break too you know?
    So the next trip he planned, i planned to go too..however work f*cked me around and i got sucked into work commitments and well that was it. that weekend I had a complete meltdown and tried to kill myself.
    Work was too much. being alone at a unfamiliar house was too much. Trying to understand why I had to compromise when all I needed was support and not to be pushed away was just too f***ing much. He pushed me away.
    I ended up in the hospital for a few days, he got back and told me i had ruined his trip. that i was emotionally abusive and a whole other slur of things. I tried to understand, but i just wanted him to understand that I love him and didnt want it to be like this at all….I have been in therapy since then, on medications, changing medications. Its a lot to deal with when your in a new house alone with no support network and a boyfriend that really didnt seem to care anymore. He only cared if i was happy.
    it was my birthday a few weeks after this, we hungout and at the end of the day he said he was going to have dinner with a friend. A friend who i had invited to have a dinner with me for my birthday that said he was busy and had other plans (i tried to organise a birthday dinner and nobody was interested). I was CRUSHED that my partner did this and couldnt even see, i absolutely lost it. I broke down and started crying to him. Asking why he would do this? I didnt understand.

    Now.. come April. corona virus , living in a house and supporting myself through out ALL of this shit. i couldnt pay another 450 a week bills included by myself.. i could not do it.

    I decided to move back to my late mothers house. Her partner lives here, I am not that close with him and he is honestly quite painful to be around. he also made grieving my mother a LOT harder, he didnt invite me to spread her ashes, he has taken my inheritance. the list goes on.

    My boyfriend came over last week and said to me “i need to be single, i am scared to lose you but i feel like i am missing out on things being with you and i cant commit” …………………….. he said to me on my birthday he wasnt in love with me anymore but kept trying and would continue to say i love you, now this? I love him so much but i honestly cant comprehend what is going on with him and why he has just left me in the dust. i dont like to blame or feel like i am guilting a person but he has left me worse than I would have been if i had just gone through this process as a single person. I feel like i was. He continues to say things to me like “i know its hard, you will come out stronger” and even messaged me on mothers day “i said a prayer for you”

    im angry, devostated and really have just lost all hope.Im still in therapy and still on meds but its not really helping me.. I have lost everything in 12 months. My home, My partner, My friends, My sanity and My Mother….

  • Tony B

    May 17th, 2020 at 1:58 AM

    Reading all this just makes me even more depressed. 6 years ago my wife lost her mother and instantly stopped being the person she was before. She blames herself for not doing enough to help her mom, even though her mom was in the care of doctors and there was nothing they could do, she thinks in her mind she could of done something. We had only been married for 6 months, and things were fantastic and perfect, and then it was like train wreck. Everything stopped and she became so depressed and her anxioty skyrocketed and she went from being a fun-living, truly happy person, to a shell of herself. I do see glimpses of the person I fell in love with, and we’re still friends, and I love and care for her so very much, but its been 6 years now, and its still just like yesterday. Our sex life pretty much went from 1000 to 0 over night and has really not changed much since then. We’ve both gained so much weight, as we never do anything anymore. If it wasnt for our daughter, I’m sorry to say that even though I love her, I would of left as this feeling of being alone in a marriage so depressing. How do you deal with this?…

  • Jess

    June 20th, 2020 at 6:25 PM

    My ex and I have been on and off for years, when we started he had “demons” and could be very nasty. It got physical. That was a long time ago. He hasn’t gotten physical since. His relationship with his mom was complicated because he loved her dearly but they would fight and say hurtful things, but that’s just how they were. She had health issues and something would happen and she’d go to the hospital and then be fine. Every time he would be so mean. Eventually we broke up a second time because I found out he had a profile on a dating site, among other things a man in a relationship shouldn’t have. I stayed away a few years, in that time his mom’s health got progressively worse. She was always very sharp mentally however. We tried to make it work in September last year. Two things made me want to try again: he said he changed, and that he was mentally healthier in a better place. And he wanted a future with me. There’s nothing much going out there, so here is a man who loves me who wants a future, I would not get back with him if he didn’t. I was with him way too many years, that would be dumb. Well 3 months later something happened and his mom was in the hospital. Everyone thought that it looked bad. She stayed alive but wasn’t really there anymore, she went to a nursing home. I went through something of my own at the time so I couldn’t see him. She died recently. I loved her too, many memories came to me and I loved her more than I knew. He made peace with his issues with her before she went in the hospital, and he’s mourning her now, he loves her so much and remembers her as the best. He’s heartbroken. When I was in a relationship with him before, an issue I had with him was he can be verbally abusive. Sometimes in bed. There are plenty of times in bed he would get mad at me or short with me, or lose patience. When I did what I could to satisfy. This time around that we have been trying to make it work, he was like that but to a lesser degree, except when she passed. Something happened, and he raised his voice at me and said “you’re not sexual you don’t even get wet.” And angry because I want to use a condom and he didn’t. There were other things but that was the most hurtful. This is how he used to be when he was worse. So is this the real him or is this because he’s stressed over his mother? Not even sure if it matters because his words put me in a bad place before, I did a lot to come out of that. I can’t allow that to happen again. And his mother dying.. that grief will be a very long time, not to put a limit on it ofcourse, i’m not heartless. It’s just if it causes his anger to grow in such a way where he is mentally abusive, I don’t think I could handle this. I specifically talked to him about being mean to me and yelling at me in bed when undressed.. and here he was doing it again, worse. But this is his reasoning. Need advice

  • Michelle

    June 24th, 2020 at 5:33 PM

    Thank you to all who shared. My situation is different but I feel I can apply all that you have taught me. I read every single post. My girlfriend of 14 months has left me twice; for 2 months January-March and over a month ago in June. She feels I’m not wholly committed but I was, and I am. I felt like she was just trying to start fights and my I didn’t control temper both times before she left. I was trying to figure out WHY she felt like I was abandoning her. We live 3.5 hours apart and have since the beginning, We spent every weekend together and during Covid, every day together. I felt like her fear of abandonment was irrational and she pushed my boundaries and punished me for having a “self”. Aside from that I know she is my soulmate. It occurred to me that perhaps she never really processed her own grief. She lost her mother to cancer almost 18 years ago, then while grieving that lost her father to a heart condition 4 months later (she says he died of a broken heart), found happiness 10 years ago, married that woman when it became legal and that woman passed from cancer one week shy of 4 years ago. I’m almost wondering if she leaves me due to the profound pain she is in, and that would explain how she can just up and leave me. We should be communicating and resolving our issues but maybe after reading this thread I can gain the strength to wait for her to come back. Thank you to everyone who posted and shared their empathy as well as their reality. Like I said, this woman is my soulmate and worth waiting for.

  • natasha

    November 27th, 2020 at 8:54 PM

    Reading throughout this comment section opened my eyes in ALOT of ways. My husband tragically lost his teenage son last year. He was driving back home with his son and got hit by a drunk driver. His 15 yr old son died and he has suffered in every possible way physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and spiritually. And because of that has happened and how his entire world has changed. He has completely given up on life. We both thought getting married less than a year would help. Give some type of purpose or joy to our lives. Being that we had been on and off again for like 5-6 yrs. But nope! Now I after being with him and living together I realize that this was not a wise decision. Because of what he is now dealing with I see how he has no room to give to anyone but himself. So I am planning to leave and allow him the space and time to grieve and live how he wants without the extra weight of having a wife and 3 step children. Will always have love for him and I know he does for me and my children. Just think its best…

  • Rachel

    February 23rd, 2021 at 4:55 PM

    I feel in good (albeit sad) company here. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend of over 10 years, and we were happy and felt in a good, strong place. We’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve gotten through a lot. He recently found out his dad was ill and after shutting me out completely for weeks, he ended up breakup up with me. While I knew things weren’t great it still felt totally out of the blue and has ripped everything from beneath me. The life I thought I had and was going to have is gone and I fear it’s never coming back. I’ve kept my distance from him as that’s all I can do but have come to accept he’ll never be himself again. The worst part is, his mother had already passed away and while devastating and much too soon, he dealt with it as well as you could do. It’s like this news has brought everything up again. I gave everything I had to him and tried anything I thought would be helpful, steering clear enough but being open to him sharing how he felt too. Sometimes no matter how long or good the relationship is, grief can come in and rip it away.

  • Carmen

    February 25th, 2021 at 7:40 AM

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through, Rachel. I just want to encourage you though. My boyfriend’s mom died after we had been dating 11 years and he eventually broke up with me again. (She had dementia and he actually had broken up with me a number of times through the years as he dealt with the grief.) Each time he broke up, it seemed like the end. In my case, and I hope in yours someday soon, he eventually came back around. It was grueling being on the receiving end of the rejection. But it seems like guys withdraw when they go through grief and most of the women I know want to be around loved ones when they do. I don’t know if you are a person of faith but knowing that “God is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” is one of the verses that I relied on during the times of deep heartache. By the way, my guy and I are now on year 14 and I’ve got a diamond on my hand. Sometimes they just need space to grieve and then they come around. Wishing you the best.

  • D

    February 25th, 2021 at 11:31 AM

    I’ve followed this thread for 5 years an read every new post since my wife was grieving in a similar, distancing way. All those reading this thread for comfort, I hope you all can remember as often as possible that you aren’t alone in what you’re experiencing. Finding this thread and realizing that made those tough times a little easier. I hope it does the same for you.

  • Rachel

    February 28th, 2021 at 10:35 AM

    Can’t thank you enough for this post, Carmen. You’ve given me a lot of strength and I’m hoping we can both become better people with this distance, whether we’re brought together again or not. So glad to hear how well it worked out for you :)
    Thanks again and all the best,

  • Stephanie

    March 31st, 2021 at 12:02 AM

    I am hoping others will have some clarity for me. My now ex-partner had met overseas for work and were happily living together for a year. He hasn’t had the best childhood where his father had commit suicide and his mother was no longer in their life. Neither of us had been home for a long time due to COVID, and then his younger brother suddenly passed. I knew it would be difficult but never having experienced this before, I didn’t understand the gravity nor did I have the understanding. He flew home straight away and there were days he was still him but mostly I experienced the brunt of his anger, he ignored me, went out with his friends, focused heavily on work and was extremely controlling over what I did. I didn’t have a lot of friends due to meeting him shortly after I had moved there or any family and I found myself isolated and disconnected from everything. I got upset at him (both warranted and unwarranted) however he eventually acknowledged what he was doing and apologised, said I was everything to him and was planning on coming back. After his ticket was booked, he found out another close member’s cancer had returned and decided he couldn’t leave his family. After this things took a turn for the worse, he didn’t want me to leave my job and move back (despite both being from the same country) and he didn’t know if he could return due to his family and the fact his job hadn’t extended his contract in the country we were living in. He said he didn’t want me to move back as he was not emotionally available, we had a brief conversation over the phone but he never called me back to finish it. After this he decided we had no options and we needed to go our separate ways even though he didn’t want to break up and that he needed to focus on himself, he refused to have this conversation over the phone. 2 weeks later, I had flights booked to go back home and told him I would come see him just to make sure he was ok (at this point we had been apart for 4 months). In quarantine, I found a video of him on social media with another girl and I was shattered. I confronted him and he didn’t respond. I then ended up sending an amicable message saying I couldn’t look past this and at the end of the day we both needed to choose to be in this. I can’t help but feel so broken that someone who loved me so much would do this. Have I done the right thing?

  • Jen

    July 8th, 2021 at 7:54 PM

    I lost my dad 2 months ago and my significant other lost his dad about a year and a half ago both due to cancer. I feel very alone with my grief because even though I cry and get very emotional, all he could tell me is “I know what you’re going through” but I feel like he doesn’t truly understand. I want him to be there for me but he always leaves as if he’s trying to avoid me. We’ve been together for 15 years and just got engaged a few months ago. I would’ve thought that going through something like this brings couples together, instead I feel so alone and depressed. It’s like I feel crazy for feeling the way I feel but I can’t help but to feel the way that I do. I don’t know what to do or how to handle it. If our relationship will survive this. I’m looking into going to therapy now but I just feel helpless.

  • BubbleMan

    July 18th, 2021 at 8:25 PM

    I thank God for leading me to this page and letting me identify with all of your experiences. I have been with my college sweetheart for nearly 6 years now, building amazing memories with an amazing person. Ever since her father passed away unexpectedly back in April, it has been difficult to adjust to her emotional state of being. Sometimes I still see glimpses of that sweet girl that I have known all of these years, but I understand that she is currently consumed by her grief. She literally can’t give love because all of her emotional resources are all tied up, and I understand that so I lower my expectations. She needs time to figure it all out, and I will be there while she does it and when she’s done. In the meantime, I can take care of myself and love myself for the both of us.

  • ggg

    August 16th, 2021 at 11:13 AM

    Finding this thread has been helpful in processing my own experience with this. My boyfriend of 2 years lost his mom suddenly this June. I traveled with him to his home country for the funeral and was there with him for a very intense week. Due to COVID complications I had to return to our country of residence while he stayed at home for another week. We both understood that I needed to leave and there was no resentment. But when we were apart, I met up with my friends twice. My boyfriend got upset when I told him, and he said that I was not empathizing with his situation, was acting immature, and that I should be grieving with him. I explained to him that I care about him so deeply, but I didn’t realize he expected me stay at home when he wasn’t even in the same country. Fast forward 3 weeks or so and my boyfriend is back in town. I had a holiday weekend trip with my friends that was planned months earlier. I brought the trip up to my boyfriend and explained I didn’t expect him to come. He seemed okay with me going and I assumed he was actually looking forward to having a weekend alone to sit with his grief since he has always needed personal space even before the passing of his mom. I went on the trip. When I got back, he broke up with me that day saying that he couldn’t believe I went on the trip when he was in so much pain. He said I was immature and was only thinking about myself. He said my actions were unforgivable and he could never forget that I abandoned him during such a critical time in his grieving process. Now he says he can’t be with me, even though we were talking about a serious future before. I regret going on the trip and wish I could go back in time. I really thought he was okay with me going, but I guess I should have read between the lines. I told him that I wished he would have communicated his need for me to stay with him. He said he shouldn’t have had to – I should have known. All his friends agree I was selfish. I feel so horrible. But I also feel a little tricked because he seemed okay with me going when we discussed it. Now he refuses to get back together and says he can’t be with someone so selfish. It’s a lot to swallow. I tried to be there for him the best that I could by going for the funeral, giving him space, making him meals, comforting him when he was crying/wanted to talk about his mom, etc. Do you think my actions of seeing my friends and going on the weekend trip are unforgivable or is his reaction exaggerated by his grief?

  • tasteofhoney7863

    August 23rd, 2021 at 3:59 PM

    I lost my mother to COVID three months ago and my emotions, etc. are all over the place. My spouse was very supportive before and after she first passed. He is always there if I need to cry but he doesn’t call and check on me or ask how I’m feeling, etc. I said to him I need that right now. Holidays are especially hard because this is new to me. I have a brother, aunt and niece who check on me and vice versa but I want my husband to be be more understanding. There is no time limit on grief and I don’t know how long I will be like this .I’ve explained to him I can barely take care of my self let again doing what I would normally do for him such as, fix his dinner plate, laugh and joke, and giving him some attention. I said to him I feel guilty that I’m doing what I would normally do for him because I’m so consumed right with losing my only parent. I go to work and at times I break down and have go to the bathroom to regroup so nobody see me breakdown although they are aware my mom passed away. I know I’m moody and may snap on him but I always come back an apologize. I want to get back to my old happy self more than anything else. My husband recently said to its not all about me, he wants some attention and he has been more than patient and supportive to me. It makes me feel like I’m suppose to force myself to put my grief on the back burner to give him the attention that he is use to. I can’t express to him the emotions I’m going through. He is normally very supportive but I think he is getting tired. If I talk to him, he always thinks I have an attitude, etc. I think its because I don’t have my normal happy voice, I’m just direct now and no laughter. This is very hard. Each day, each week, are different. I have extremely bad days or somewhat good days. I told him all I can do is take one day at a time. I don’t know what to do because its taking a strain on our relationship

  • SoulSister

    September 3rd, 2021 at 8:55 PM

    You say it’s taking a strain on your relationship; if that is so, you must do something to avoid losing or permanently damaging your relationship. I have lost so many people in my life who transitioned out of this world, beginning with my dad when I was nine years-old. Here’s the thing about life, here’s the thing about death: Life is a time capture for us all while we are here, and in that regard, we cherish and learn/grow from our journeys that overlap with those of others around us. With death, we grieve our losses, but for every moment we live in grief, we surrender/sacrifice a moment of joy that we will not get back. Every second of life brings us one second closer to leaving this world. I cherish all I’ve had with everyone I loved who has left this world, and know the time we were meant to spend together was awarded us; nothing has been taken from me, nothing has been lost. In that measure, I can move forward and embrace those around me. Life perpetually changes and evolves around us each day. We cannot get swallowed-up in the currents that draw us toward the past or we will lose abundant opportunities for love, joy, peace, and happiness that are here for the taking. I cannot spend the currency of my life today immersed in thoughts of yesterday, or what I long for will always be beyond my reach. I hope you are able to find peace to recapture your inner beauty and joy that is your truest self and to savor the memories of your mother as steadfast stepping stones to live an even better life than you’ve ever known – you deserve it.

  • Goodthings

    October 2nd, 2021 at 12:28 AM

    I feel everyone’s pain on this thread. My girlfriend lost her mom in march. I stood by her between all her different stages of rage and abuse that angry comes with grieving sometimes. I tried to be understanding the whole way through her processing. Today she told me she doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Do I feel lost and hurt yes but I’m thinking she is totally even more lost by her pain. It’s a sad story I lost my other girlfriend by bipolar disease now I lost this woman by grief. Hurt people hurt people ,rings in my ears louder than ever. I kept thinking about that today and telling myself it’s not about you don’t take it personal it’s hard not to when they all the sudden want you to disappear after being with them everyday and night holding their hand and wiping away their tears. I love her, I hope she returns in the meantime I will keep praying for her. Everyone here keep your chin up good things come and go.

  • Rita

    October 3rd, 2021 at 7:09 AM

    Thank you for sharing your comment; it really resonates with me. I’m experiencing some similar things with a partner who is going through alcohol recovery. It’s as if she’s walking through a storm while trying to find her way out of a wilderness that consumed her for several years. The emotional withdrawal and absence of a person delving deep inside themselves to unravel their own mystery can take a toll on even the most intimate relationship.

  • XX

    April 17th, 2022 at 1:00 AM

    Hi. This has been a super old thread I came across while looking for some ‘answers’/ comfort in my state. And I can say that this thread has brought me so much comfort and strength in what I’m going through and I’ll always look back to this and read about it when I feel defeated. I am so sorry to everyone who’s going through the same thing. It was unexpected but this is real and almost everyone who lost someone seem to be in a similar state. Also for the one that’s accompanying the grieving person. I am one. My situation is not any more complex.

    We are on our fourth dating year together. Thereabouts. We had talked about marriage since 2 years in, got a house together and even few months back talking about marriage.

    I had voiced out three weeks ago to my boyfriend that he was being a ‘stranger’ to me, keeping replies short, not really answering me and it hurts my feelings. His replies were: he just wants to be alone and that he is not interested in anything at this point. And with that state of mind he feels that he’s not doing well with his family, his work and rls (with me). I Quora my confusion and also found similar answers that guys do that. I know he does that time to time to his friends when he suddenly stop hanging out for a period of time. So I just thought, oh so this time it’s me.

    As all these were happening, at the same time, his father was taken ill and all whilst waiting for the diagnosis. I know he’s a mess as he had to take up responsibilities that he took for granted like fetching his nephew (his father was doing so) and going to the hospital daily etc. (while feeling uninterested in life) I know he’s not in a good place and therefore decided to give him the space he needs though I was confused as hell still. And kept asking myself why can’t he be a bf still while taking in these family responsibilities?

    The worst fear came another week later when his father was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. I bawled my eyes out when I received the news on text. He was not with me, I was alone but I just cry and cry for a long time. My father had passed away with late stage lung cancer when I was 15. I’m 33 now but the feeling is so raw still. I do not understand why this has to happen to the man I love and his family whom I’ve grown close to over the years and my possible would be in laws. And now he has to go through what I went through. My heart broke for him and his family. This brokenness is very hard to comprehend unless you’ve went through.

    There and then I knew that I may have ‘lost him’ or would be, for awhile. He’s a man whose family comes first and he would do anything literally for them and I adore him for this. We have talked about this casually on the passing of parents and how hard it would be some years and random conversation back. I knew this will be very hard for him.

    But here I am. Clueless again.

    I feel that he has started grieving when the diagnosis was made. He doesn’t want to meet me outside of his house nor does he want to be in much contact with me. I know he’s finding specialist to determine the best course of treatment for his dad.

    I am sad, definitely. Felt that nobody will understand what I am going through and that what will happen to us when this blow over? I want to be there for him but he does not want me to be physically so the most I could do is the send him words of encouragement. Without him saying anything, I seem to know what he’s doing base on what I know of him.

    He wants to be there for his family and spend as much time as he could for his family and especially his dad. Meanwhile he cannot be there for me in any ways, he does not have the capacity to think of anyone else besides his family and I have no other choice but feel that I can only support him in the way he feels best suited.

    This thread has helped me a lot in giving me faith, strength and motivation to stay supportive silently and be there for him regardless the outcome of our relationship at the end of the tunnel. Now I know he’s not really ‘not care about me’ but he just does not have the capacity to do so.

    I still send him mornings/nights messages, he does respond to that. And I told him I’ll leave him alone and will still send him messages if anything interesting happens in my life. He also welcomes me to his family house to spend some time with his dad if I want to. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ll bring some food, we will watch a movie and hang out. I feel that that’s the most I can do now.

    I’m giving my utmost faith and sending this message to the universe that we will be okay after this settles. And regardless what happens, I hope I did well trying to do my best with him.

    When I feel lonely, I can find friends and talk to them about it, and embracing my alone time and independence meanwhile. Thanks for everyone’s in this thread that has contributed over the course of 5-6 years ago till now.

  • Teresa

    April 18th, 2022 at 7:12 AM

    Hey XX,
    I stumbled across this page a couple months ago as the same thing is happening to my partner of 7 years (on and off) & often come back when I feel upset too about the distance & the feeling of him being a “stranger”. Some days are better than others & I 100% related to your comment about embracing the alone time & independence. While it sounds good & the thought of it feels right, it doesn’t make it any easier when we both have been in these relationships for years now. The routine of life has shifted tremendously & all the love I have almost feels like it has bought down 10 notches in fear of being “annoying” or “overwhelming” as he can only handle so much with his state of mind. I think you hit the nail on the head completely though when you said it’s not that he doesn’t care for you it’s just that he doesn’t have the capacity. I truly hope that you get through this hard & unsure time & know you’re not alone! I find myself back on this page a lot because my family don’t want a bar of him & my friends don’t understand so it’s hard to find people to confide in. It’s amazing that you have an open door to go spend time with his father, I haven’t been allowed that yet unfortunately but I continue to pray & like you say “silently support” from a distance. I hope you cherish every moment you have & hope that you know you have support in me on this thread as it really must be such a hard time for you having gone through the passing of your own father in the same way. You’re awesome, brave & beyond strong for still continuing to be supportive & present with him & his family, as I can only imagine how triggering it must be to your own experiences. Keep on keeping on & just rest easy at night knowing that your efforts show you ARE DOING the best! I’ve been seeing my partner once every week or two & it gets the best of me at times. Like you say – clueless. It’s hard when you feel it’s becoming one-sided, but for me it’s worse to not see my partner through this tough time & try to work through things in hopes it will get back on track. I know I definitely don’t have the answers or comfort we both are looking for but I hope we both find joy in the smaller things each day & focus on taking things day by day, moment by moment. I’m here for you on this thread & I check this page nearly everyday so I hope I can be some comfort to you if you want updates or want to vent. I’m keeping you & your partner’s father & family in my prayers. Take care xx

  • XX

    April 18th, 2022 at 12:54 PM

    Hi Teresa! Thank you so much for your kind reply and words of encouragement that I didn’t expect much replies may come from this thread given that it seems to be stagnant for awhile. This shows that this thread has really done some goodness in people’s life. (Like you and me!) to go through mentally challenging times.

    I brought food and had lunch with him over the weekends. And then we watched a movie or two with his dad. I also try not to ask him questions regarding the treatments and refrain from the ‘how are you feeling?’ qns to him. As you said, am I being ‘annoying’ or are these questions too ‘overwhelming’? Feeling like walking on eggshells sometimes. And I know how these qns are truly annoying if being asked too many times. He’s not very wordy (still not like his playful self) but at least we can have a meal together and spend some time.

    After we parted, it went radio silence again and I cannot help to feel sad again at times when like you say, a one sided love. That’s when I know I have to brace myself and remind myself it’s okay.

    Teresa you’re not alone here! Yes I agree with you it’s so hard to find someone to really confide in and really understands. They will not exactly understand what’s really going on and end up judging my bf as a douche for behaving this way. It is not something explainable to someone who’s not going through the same thing and just makes me frustrated that I’ve to defend him if anything.

    I hope the same for you! That you’re going to get through this tough times with courage and patience. Regardless what happens, I believe we will be proud of ourselves to attest the ‘sticking through thick and thin’ with our other half. I hope our guys will come around soon and realise their partners are really very very awesome people.

    All the best for you!! XXXX

  • Jean

    July 10th, 2022 at 11:03 AM

    I have been in a relationship with a widower for about a year. We went to school together from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and although we didn’t know each other well, we have a good sense of our personalities and our past. He has suffered through the loss of his mother when he was 13, his ex wife, and about 2-1/2 years ago, the loss of a wife who was the love of his life and whom he was with for 25 years (married for 12). After talking and seeing each other for 8 months, we decided to move in together, and I left my home to move in with him. About the anniversary of his wife’s death, he announced that this wasn’t working for him. It’s in big part that he’s still grieving, and, I feel, in a large part that he’s looking for her “clone.” He knew I was very different, but we both thought it was something we could get past. I understand, but am devastated. I only hope he takes time to work through his sadness before getting into another relationship, and I hope to be able to move forward without feeling hurt.

  • Maria

    September 11th, 2022 at 5:04 PM

    I wanted to share my story as well. Maybe it’s helpful for someone in a similar situation because I have found this page so helpful for myself many times.
    I met my partner 2 years ago. We fell in love and we had an amazing 3,5 months when suddenly his little brother died in a motorcycle accident during Christmas. 
My partner sank into this deep dark hole with his grief and he said he needed a break from our relationship because he could not feel love anymore, it was hurting him too much. He said he wanted to be with me but he didn’t know how to manage a relationship in his state. I was of course very sad about this but I somehow felt like it wasn’t over yet. I told him that I just want to be there for him and I really don’t expect anything back.

    It was definitely not easy to go on other person’s conditions all the time. Sometimes we exchanged many nice messages and met once or twice a week. Sometimes he hardly talked and he didn’t want to see me at all. So many times I had to say to myself out loud, this has nothing to do with you.
    This lasted about 5 months and slowly he started to let me close again. We started to spend more and more time together and eventually decided to live together.

    Now after living together for one year, he realized that perhaps things moved a bit too fast (for him.) 
    I was just so happy he was feeling better, I didn’t even stop to think if he was overwhelmed with everything that was happening. Now when I think of it, I  think he missed being himself so much, that it felt good to momentarily let go of all the heaviness. 
    He told me a couple of months ago that he feels that he hasn’t processed his loss properly and that he needs to be alone. He loves me and wants to be with me but he needs space because the relationship is taking so much of his focus and energy that he can’t think of himself. This time giving him alone time is not the easiest thing to do as we live together.. but I’m giving him space whenever I possibly can.
    Mentally I started to shift my focus more on myself by doing sports, taking care of my friendships and my mental health, and doing things that bring me joy. I realized that I need to build a strong foundation within myself and so whatever the future brings, I can be there for myself too. Before I often felt so useless and fragile, just waiting for him to tell me if maybe doesn’t want this after all.

    On those days when I’m struggling to find all that patience and understanding, I often remind myself of this beautiful quote: “Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there is great love.”
    and when I think of it like this, I don’t want to be the person who denies my partner the last act of love towards his little brother. If he needs to go to that dark place again, then that’s how it is. I know eventually, he will come out again. 
    I can recommend a video of Tanya Villanueva talking about grief. This was really helpful for me. 
I am also happy to connect with anyone who wants to share thoughts about coping with grief, whichever side you are on.

  • sw

    October 27th, 2022 at 2:13 PM

    I know this post was a long time ago. I read all and feel some comfort.
    I have been dating my partner for almost 10 months. She moved in a month ago from her apartment into my home with my 3yo son and I. She brought her dog and indoor/outdoor cat. One week after moving in her cat escaped and has not come back. She has lost hope. She is angry and sad. Close then far. Mean then sweet. I am doing my very best to hold space for her to feel everything she must. I take the mean in hopes it will eventually subside. I do not judge the ugliness I am seeing. I just do not know how much longer I can do it. This month has felt like so much longer. I helped with flyers and posts to help find him. I go to the shelter every few days. Check sites daily. She no longer does. I still walk at night and I dont even tell her anymore when neighbors contact about possible sightings. I know she can barely get up and work. I endure her harsh words of wishing she never moved in with me. Thinks I do not care because I have to still function for my son. I feel like I cannot be too happy around her or too sad around my son. It literally feels like she hates me half the time. She doesnt know that she will stay here anymore either. Thinks she needs a change. The house reminds her of her cat missing. Does not like having to come home anymore. Says she loves me but doesnt want to keep feeling guilty for the way she treats me lately.
    I am struggling with either squeezing tight or giving space. I am a complete loss on what I am supposed to do. I am not a grief counselor and I never feel like I say or do the right things anymore.

  • S

    December 21st, 2023 at 2:41 AM

    Like many of you, this post has been such a source of comfort and relatability – thank you all for your vulnerability. It’s weirdly comforting to realise how many other people around the world have been impact by grief and loss. It makes me feel less alone.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a mere 4 months and in the last couple months his mother has fast detereorated from cancer and he thinks she’s only got a few weeks left. His parents live in a different city so it’s been challenging trying to keep in touch via texts, and being unable to connect in-person.

    Handling this grief has been an immense amount of pressure on our relationship. I inititally felt it was tough as only been together for a few months – but reading this thread has made me realise that grief is painful and life-impacting, regardless how long of a relationship you had prior to the loss.

    Whilst I’ve been experiencing feeings of rejection and hurt from his emotional unavailability, it’s been helping to remind myself that he’s going through arguably one of the deepest pains of his life. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a parent, especially because he’s such a family orientated person. I miss his energetic, loving self. I miss the way we’d laugh, play and cuddle. Although we’ve only been together for a few months, he is one of the most beautiful human beings I’ve ever met.

    Seeing him in the thick of grief is hard because there’s nothing I can do. It’s even harder when he’s withdrawn because I need to give him space. But this is what he needs right now, and I need to deal with my own feelings separately as to not put more pressure on him, during what’s already an immensely awful time. I’m choosing to have faith in our connection, and to stand-by him even though he’s not feeling like himself now, and probably not for a while to come.

    To everyone out there who’s going through this now, or in future – I’m sending you all a big virtual hug.
    To the partners supporting grieving loved ones – it’s not an easy role and I have so much respect for the people going through this.

    God’s looking out for all of us, and whatever will be, will be.

  • Lysi

    April 30th, 2024 at 8:16 AM

    Hi everyone,
    As everyone said before, I know this post is old but reading it and reading everyone gave me a huger new perspective on the grief that my boyfriend is going through.
    For some context, in January he lost his father after a 1.5 year of battle against cancer. The whole process has been not easy, cracks has appear in our relationship but after the death of his father, even more. He is just no available and till now, after reading, i felt that he was just checking out of the relationship (also because of other issues in the past about trust), now I feel that he is just grieving and does not have the capacity in this moment to give energy to our relationship, but it feels so unwanted and alone. I’m also experience a hard year myself and I cannot count on him, so that makes me resent him and our relationship. I also don’t have a support system (I moved countries for him), so it’s hard to just do my thing. I’m trying to focus on myself but comes from a place of pain and resentment, I do it because if not I will drown in sadness but I resent him for it. I know it’s about patience and giving them space, but giving that to him hurst me at same time. I’m even considering just go back to my homeland for a period of time to heal but I think our relationship will not hold it. I wish i could give him all this love, patience and understanding because I know his living the most difficult year of his life and he deserves to be understood and care for, but I don’t know why I just simply can’t, I feel so guilty and bad about it.
    I wonder if there is any group of people like all of us, where we can talk about it and receive advice about it. I would love to be part of it and at least feel less alone.
    I saw that Maria is available to talk, but dont know how to reach out all of you.
    thanks everyone

  • Kynaring

    May 9th, 2024 at 10:44 PM

    Thank you everyone for all you have shared. I would like to share my own situation.
    My GF (29F) of 2.5 years broke up with me (33M) a week ago. At the beginning of our relationship, our connection was amazing. We were both happy, communicating well and going on dates at least twice a week. We had many similar interests. Our connection only seemed to grow as time went on during our first few months and I met her friend group and introduced her to mine. Tragically, about 6 months into our relationship her father suddenly became ill and she quickly dropped everything and flew to her home state to take care of matters. (It’s important to note her parents were divorced and my gf was forced into be the intermediary between families while her father’s health declined, which created an incredible amount of stress for her, as she would explain to me when we talked over the phone). Sadly, her father passed about a month later.
    When she came home, I was as supportive as I could be. Listened the best I could, and was there for her the best I could. Unfortunately, she began to fall into a deep depression and things were never the same as they were in the beginning. We continued to communicate, and frequently go on dates, but her energy was not what it once was. Since then she has had trouble sleeping, is on medication, frequently slept til noon on weekends, often complains about hating her job, and is generally sad/tired and says all she wants to do is sleep. During this time, intimacy suffered, and the little signs of affection began to slowly fade away. I continued to be supportive, and love and comfort her the best way I knew how.
    Unfortunately, the 2nd year of our relationship while my gf is still grieving, I lost my mother to cancer. During this battle, I tried my best to keep my composure, and not directly involve my gf in the matter because I didn’t want to deepen her pain from so recently losing her father. I tried my best to continue to be a caring and supportive bf during my time of loss.
    The past few months, I felt her pulling away. Last week, when I asked her about taking the next step in our relationship to live together and continue our healing process together, because I felt strongly about a future with her long term, she said she felt the opposite and we ended the relationship that same day. I asked her why she didn’t tell me about these doubts earlier, and she said she didn’t want to believe it was true. She said she feels like she doesn’t have enough “oomph” to carry on a relationship. She said she feels like she should want to do more with me for the future, but doesn’t feel like it. I’m at a complete loss for what to do because I was in love with her. What if’s and should have’s run through my mind and I’m trying to make sense of what went wrong and what I could have done better. At the moment, I feel it’s best to remain no contact because I was still deeply romantically involved when she ended it, even though I still want to be there for her, I cannot. If anyone can offer any advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for reading.

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