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Thread: Dealing with death on my own - Unsupportive partner

  1. #1

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    Dealing with death on my own - Unsupportive partner

    My father passed away unexpectedly 2.5 weeks ago, to say the last 2.5 weeks has been a nightmare is an understatement. From the police at my front door, to identifying his body with the police at the morgue to cleaning out his unit and settling all his affairs.

    I don't even know where I am at emotionally, as my head has so much going on and to make things worse my partner of 5yrs has been completely uncompassionate and non supportive. I have just lost my world and the only person who I thought would be holding me up, is not there. He is physically around, but clearly his colours have shown through for how selfish he is. He is just wrapped up in his world and how he feels.

    Where does a relationship go from here when you can't even rely on your partner to be there for you in your time of need? I'm angry because I should be mourning my father, but instead I am stressing about my relationship.

    We live together and have a house, so it's not a matter of I or him can just pack our bags and walk out.
    Last edited by Lily000; 02-20-2020 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    I am so sorry he has not been supportive during this intense and tragic time!! Has he been there for you in other crises?

    Please don't think of this as analogous because it's not about death - much more minor example and issue!- but when my husband had a Man Cold without fever a couple of weeks ago he was upset because I didn't prepare food for him. I usually don't when he is well (I make a couple of staple items in large portions that he takes from). But I'd bought him orange juice, special oranges/orange varieties, medicine, cans of soup in the varieties he really likes -things I usually don't buy and I went out specially to buy them. I didn't heat up the soup for him (I was preparing food for our son's dinner at the time). He thought it was uncaring of me not to offer to heat up soup and discounted that I'd gone shopping for special items for him that he likes and are good for him to get better. I told him had he been in bed I would have but he didn't have a fever and was walking around just fine. A miscommunication. Can you talk to your partner maybe and use I statements -how you feel - and see what his side of things are? Was he close with your father?

    I am so sorry for your loss!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for your tremendous loss, Lily000. My father passed away when I was merely 18 years old.

    Will you and your partner be willing to attend professional couples counseling or therapy appointmetns? He lacks empathy and he's very selfish. I'm sorry you're not receiving moral support for him during your bereft state.

    What does he say when you attempt to knock some sense into his brain about feeling for you and being there for you emotionally at a time like this? It's time for professional intervention.

  4. #4
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    Why do you think he doesn't care?

    Was there conflict between he and your father?

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I'm also curious as to what ways he's being consciously unsupportive and self-interested. There's a big difference between him groaning when you ask for a hug and him perhaps not knowing how you'd prefer he support you. Unfortunately, you can be madly in love and almost completely familiar with your partner, but you suffering major catastrophes (hopefully) isn't a pattern they've experienced enough to adapt to. For me personally, having suffered a very major death, I require a lot of space and time to healthily internalize, and I greatly appreciate being allowed to be the one to reach out for support within that time. You may not be the same, and that's perfectly fine. But again assuming he's not being an outward ass about it, I'd reach out and communicate your needs and provide positive feedback.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Since you don't want to leave the best thing to do is rely on friends, neighbors, family, support groups, etc. Was the relationship with your father troubled? Was the death sudden?

    Were there problems with this partner all along? You mention wanting to leave because of this. Death and grief are difficult but you seem to be directing your anger as if it's his fault or responsibility.
    Originally Posted by Lily000
    My father passed away unexpectedly 2.5 weeks agoFrom the police at my front door, to identifying his body with the police at the morgue to cleaning out his unit and settling all his affairs.

    I don't even know where I am at emotionally, as my head has so much going on and to make things worse my partner of 5yrs has been completely uncompassionate and non supportive.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Very sorry for your loss, and my heart goes out to you.

    Some people are very clumsy around grief. What has your partner said or done--or not done--that you've found offensive?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I've learned that my partner of 43 years is not the person to rely on when I'm grieving. He's just not very good at it and in fact, when his parents passed away, he just wanted to process his grief privately, without my help or (what he considers) intrudance.

    You should talk to him about what you need from him and if what he can't give you is so very important to you, more important than your relationship and the union, well then you've just found out you are with the wrong person. Can you learn to handle your own grief with the help of your friends and family or is this the stone that broke the camel's back relationship wise?

    That being said, I'm sorry for you loss and the emotional turmoil of taking care of the estate. I have been there, done that and know how stressful a toll it can evoke.

    I hope you can work things out with your partner because breaking up with him now won't help your grief and stress at all... I will just add to it.

  10. #9
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    Lily, I am so sorry for your loss.
    I understand you more than you can imagine. In December I was going through exactly the same situation.
    My world did fall apart. My boyfriend even broke up with me cause I was hard to deal with and provoked argument which ended badly.
    As others advised, it's best to tell him what sort of support you would expect. After 5 years you can voice it without hesitation.
    He may have a different idea of what you may need now. My boyfriend wanted to be left alone when he was grieving. I am the opposite. He given you what he would appreciate himself.
    This is extremely delicate and tragic and not everyone is equipped to deal with it as we would wish them to.
    My boyfriend apologised many times and we do talk now. I can't lie I feel some resentment.
    Please don't judge him based on this one , although most important event, think about it as a whole ....
    I know you feel like your life stopped....but it does get little bit lighter.
    I am here - if you need me....
    Please don't make any decisions yet....

  11. #10
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by irka000
    Lily, I am so sorry for your loss.
    I understand you more than you can imagine. In December I was going through exactly the same situation.
    My world did fall apart. My boyfriend even broke up with me cause I was hard to deal with and provoked argument which ended badly.
    As others advised, it's best to tell him what sort of support you would expect. After 5 years you can voice it without hesitation.
    He may have a different idea of what you may need now. My boyfriend wanted to be left alone when he was grieving. I am the opposite. He given you what he would appreciate himself.
    This is extremely delicate and tragic and not everyone is equipped to deal with it as we would wish them to.
    My boyfriend apologised many times and we do talk now. I can't lie I feel some resentment.
    Please don't judge him based on this one , although most important event, think about it as a whole ....
    I know you feel like your life stopped....but it does get little bit lighter.
    I am here - if you need me....
    Please don't make any decisions yet....
    I echo Irka's response. I lost my mother about a year ago and because the grief was so intense, it was best to not make any big decisions at that time.

    My boyfriend tried to comfort me the best way he knew how. He thought redirecting me and changing the subject was a good idea and to me it seemed so insensitive at the time . I struggled to understand that he was doing what he believed best, but what I wanted instead was some one to just listen.

    Weeks, months went by and at I realized I just needed to keep things to myself. I learned people have time limit on long they feel comfortable supporting you. But it falls very short of how long the grief still has a hold on you. Grief, especially intense grief makes people very uncomfortable.

    I got a variety of reactions, non reactions included. I learned a lot and I'll admit that I was probably also guilty in the past of really not knowing how to support someone who was experiencing the loss of loved one.

    Just give it some time. Emotions are high at the moment. You might see things differently given some time.

    I very am sorry about the loss of your father.


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