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Thread: Is it normal to push one's closest loved one away while grieving?

  1. #11
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    2 situations to relate to:

    - when my mum died i leaned on my boyfriend even though it had become a LDR, he was a good support, but i wasn't sure about 'us' and after my mum had been dead a month i cheated on him and broke up with him - i was messed up, it was still wrong and there's no excuse.

    - more similar is when my boyfriend died - i didn't want to be close to anyone else, i talked to him in my dreams, i just wanted to sleep all the time, i didn't want anyone else!

  2. #12
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    Hi Miri, this is the first thread I have found which is similar to my own situation. I can relate to your pain and what you are going through.

    What happened when you saw him?

    My ex-bf was orphaned over a year ago when his mum died and his dad had died 15 years before. At the time he did not deal with his grief and tried to stay strong for his siblings. It hit him 6 months later and he broke down. I got him to see the doctor and he was put on antidepressants whcih helped a lot but did not cure the underlying grief or issues. During this time we were strong, buying a house and focussing on the future. Then he decided to come off them cold turkey wthout seeing the doctor and since then his personality has changed - completely. He quit a very good job, ended our relationship out the blue and moved back to his hometown (4 hours from where we lived) and wants to be very close with his siblings - almost to an OCD extent - hard to explain. His siblings are not children, they are in their late 20's and have their own lives and are moving forward but he is moving backwards. To others he seems happy on the outside but I know it won't last forever and the grief from his mother's death and other issues will catch up with him again. He turned on me, the person closest to him. He left 3 weeks ago and now he is starting to contact me again but he told me when he left that it was over and showed no emotion ending it - 3 months before we were putting an offer on a house together and he told me he was sure about us and our furture.

    Miri, it leaves us in a difficult situation. We want them back like you wouldn't believe. In addition it is difficult to carry out "no contact" as advised on other threads on this site as I know that he needs me and I don't believe what he says or think he is thinking rationally. Very difficult to move on - I feel your pain.

  3. #13
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    I think it is unfortunate that we don't live in a society where families including grandparents live in the same home and that young children don't get exposed to the cycle of life including death. In North America we have this notion that we are going to live forever, and that death is something that needs to be hidden and not delt with. I think it is normal that we don't deal with grief in a healthy way because we have such an unhealthy attitude towards death. What should happen is that death and grief should bring families and close friends closer together.

  4. #14
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    I agree with Stardust!

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  6. #15
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    So, how did it go when you saw him for the first time in 6 months? I know this is almost a year ago now, but I'm looking back on old posts and now wondering what has happened?

  7. #16
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    Sorry for the slow response. When I saw him after six months, I just tried to be friendly and civil but he was really tense and agitated. It was really awful to see him act so oddly toward me, like I was a stranger. His apartment had been my home for the last 8 months. I asked him very gently if there was anything he wanted to say and he kind of said no. But then he just said he was sorry for the way things ended. I asked why he was behaving like this - why we weren't friends or seemingly even on speaking terms - even though there had been nothing wrong between us. He couldn't really explain it except to say that he couldn't deal with any emotional obligations. I think he was pretty unfair about some things he said, even paranoid. Like he claimed he was disturbed because he'd heard a rumor that I was going to move into his neighborhood when I had never planned any such thing. It was very strange. I think he was on meds (he had been before we started dating, as well) so that may have had a factor.

    That was eight months ago and I still have not really heard from him since. He hasn't ever contacted me or asked how I've been. I still feel like it is really messed up. I can understand putting some things on hold when grieving, but not just completely cutting someone out of your life who was close to you and who clearly cared about you. I see signs of him resuming a normal life, having a good time, seeing his friends, as if everything is totally normal again. But maybe that is just on the surface. I don't know.

    I still don't feel all right. I don't know if I ever will stop feeling pain over this. I find it hard to accept that someone who supposedly loved me could just so completely cut me out of his life so suddenly and not feel remorse. We were very happy and I know we shared some really great times together. Could those memories just mean nothing to him at all? I feel like he has gotten over, or perhaps blocked out his grief but I'm the one who is still grieving for losing him. And that is incredibly unfair. If he could at least reach out and show some sign that he cared - even if he could only be a distant friend - it would help, but he just acts like I never existed. I deserved better.
    Last edited by Miri; 06-04-2012 at 04:13 AM.

  8. #17
    I found this thread because I was trying to relate to others who might have had similar experiences to what I am currently going through. A very close friend of mine, who I've known for many, many years, recently lost her husband (2 months ago). We've always had feelings for one another, and this is the first time the two of us were single at the same time. I realize that she needs time to grieve, even though the two of them did not get along very well. Before he died, we were in daily contact. Mostly I was trying to give her hope where one door closes another opens. We even saw each other a couple of times shortly after the services, and then suddenly the calls stopped. She said she needed time to grieve and I understood that. But I also told her that I was her friend first and friends help each other out during times of need. I offered her an ear to bend to help her to release the grief she felt. But she became more withdrawn, feeling anxiety and depression. Surprisingly I was feeling anxiety and depression, not being able to sleep or function daily tasks very well. She told me she just needs time and I assured her to take the time she needs and I will still be here for her. Seeing these posts drives my fear that she will completely withdraw from me.

    I hope there are others out there who have experienced something similar with better outcomes.

  9. #18
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    If she says she just needs time, then give her all the time and space she needs. She knows that you care and will be there when she needs you. Just do not have expectations. These things do not happen according to any schedule, and if she senses any pressure (even if not intended), that can drive her away. From what she has said it sounds like she is going through a normal grieving process and is not planning on pushing you away forever. Just be patient and focus on yourself for a while. I know that is easier said than done.

  10. #19
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    Miri I was following your thread and it urged me to register and reply. I really feel your pain having been through a marital separation in the past 5 years and more recently a relationship breakdown which sounds similar to your story. I was seeing a guy for almost 18 months and he was crazy about me, he spoke of love and moving in together and a long term relationship. That was until his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given weeks/months to live. In a matter of 24 hours he pretty much did a complete turnaround, and just today 6 weeks after his mothers diagnosis, told me he now feels nothing for me. He completely cut himself off pretty much telling me to never text him or call him again. It is very hard to take when your still feeling love for this person who has now made it clear you are nothing in their life. I realised from your story and others who have posted that probably nothing we said or did or didn't say could have made a difference here. But knowing that doesn't make it any easier, it just sucks and it hurts. It was interesting to see how your ex reacted to you six months later, I can only think that somehow you are connected to the pain he felt back when he lost his mother and subconsciously that connection makes him withdraw from you. That knowledge gives me foresight not to wait for my ex to want to come back to me, I think he is completely lost to me know. A good lesson that we should look after ourselves and move on as soon as we can.

  11. #20
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    Moggs I am deeply sorry to hear that you are going through this as well. It is horrible and painful how this person can just completely shut you out without explanation. It is very irrational. I wonder if it's as simple as a matter of brain chemistry - if the stress and trauma of what they are going through just makes them cut off all other emotional attachments? I don't know. I do know that my ex seems like an entirely different person, even physically, now a year later. I can barely recognize him in recent photos. I understand that grief can change everything and the process must run its course, but to go to such extremes seems emotionally unhealthy to me.

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