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Thread: My boyfriend's dad died and now he doesn't want to be with me

  1. #1
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    My boyfriend's dad died and now he doesn't want to be with me

    Hello all,

    I am new to posting on forums but I feel like I do not have an outlet or anyone to turn to for advice.

    My boyfriend of 4 years wants time alone/to break up while he grieves his father's death. His dad died of Parkinson's disease last Christmas (he had a form of the disease where he develop dementia so he was pretty far gone when he went) and he said that everything has been catching up to him now. Here is the backstory:
    The past 5 weeks I have been very busy with finals and a national board exam in which I had not seen him at all during this time (we live in different cities). We early this year we planned a fantastic trip after my big exam, but a week before I took the exam he cancelled the trip over a simple text message. I felt really hurt and also being crazy stressed I called him and asked what was wrong with him. I felt that while talking on the phone he was just so stoic, unemotional, and even cold. I expressed these feelings to him and all he could say was "I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be this way." He explained that he shuts himself off from the world and dives into work in order to keep himself busy, a trait that I find would probably be quite normal for someone going through a traumatic event. Fast forward a week later and the day of the exam after I had taken it, he calls me and says that he wants to be alone in his grieving. I had a lot of questions for him at the time and he was telling me he didn't think he knew himself anymore, and he was reevaluating his choices in life, including our relationship with each other. He confessed he did not feel the same way about me anymore and he started feeling this way February of this year.

    I felt so unbelievably hurt and I was overcome by so many emotions at the time such as anger and disbelief. I feel the need to give him his space because I chided him not to break up. He, in the end, agreed to "take a break" as long as I give him time to be alone.

    Well, my friends, since I am home this week after the exam I actually demanded to see him for a bit just to clear the air. I mean, doing all of this over the phone is kind of ridiculous wouldn't you agree? I want to see if he will talk to me and if there is any progress at all. I told him if he still wanted to be alone through all of this I would give him the time he needs as a bargain (originally he told me he really did not want a visit, so any time now is appreciated).

    Anyway to shorten it, I know it's a long post (sorry); why would anyone want to lose more people in their life after a death of a parent, especially someone who is closest to him (aka me)? I have seen so many other posts online and it seems like it is a somewhat common. It hurts me so deeply because he is my main support in life and losing him means losing a big part of myself as well.

    Thanks for reading.

    EDIT: I know that many of you will say "of course he feels this way his dad died." BUT although I persistently have always asked how he was feeling and how his family is, I always just got a response that he is fine and they are ok as well. What I am trying to do here is help him but also help myself as well. I am trying to be as honest as I can.
    Last edited by crysvice; 05-03-2017 at 10:01 PM.

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    I think he might be more hurt. His dad died.

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    Yes, I am well aware of that. I should also say that since he hasn't really talked about anything and said he was fine I assumed he was dealing with things his own way. I will edit my post.

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    Originally Posted by crysvice
    Yes, I am well aware of that. I should also say that since he hasn't really talked about anything and said he was fine I assumed he was dealing with things his own way. I will edit my post.
    I will tell you its annoying when people constantly ask "how are you"?" You KNOW how he is doing. His dad died. He's grieving. He told you he throws himself into work and that's how he deals with things. People say "fine" just as something that they are programmed to say.

    If you want to keep your boyfriend - respect his wishes and don't call and demand anything or any explanation. Wait until he calls you and be open minded. He can't handle you right now if you are demanding of him. Just listen to him. If he wants to talk, listen. If he asks to meet up = do what you feel. But he asked for space. Concentrate on your finals and get involved with your own family. he'll either come up for air eventually or he won't

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    It hurts me so deeply because he is my main support in life and losing him means losing a big part of myself as well.

    Thanks for reading.


    You are being a bit selfish. He is the one who needs support right now. Your issues are petty and trivial compared to what he is going through with dad dying of parkinson's. And you know what that also means? He is faced with his own mortality wondering if he is genetically predisposed to it as well. Its not like protecting yourself from getting the flu. it is. a. big. deal. Do you know what parkinson's is like? Not everyone has dementia when they have Parkinson's. You have tremors in your hands. And eventually its not about shaking --- it goes the opposite way and things freeze up..you get trapped in your own body. Your limbs stop working when you want them to and thing stiffen up to the point that you die because you are trapped and your vital organs freeze up as well for lack of a better explanation.

    So go find other support like your parents, siblings, cousins and make new friends right now. This is bigger than needing to vent over how tough your exam was. He can't be your support right now because he is spread thin and has nothing to spread around.

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    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your advice.

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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    It hurts me so deeply because he is my main support in life and losing him means losing a big part of myself as well.

    Thanks for reading.


    You are being a bit selfish. He is the one who needs support right now. Your issues are petty and trivial compared to what he is going through with dad dying of parkinson's. And you know what that also means? He is faced with his own mortality wondering if he is genetically predisposed to it as well. Its not like protecting yourself from getting the flu. it is. a. big. deal. Do you know what parkinson's is like? Not everyone has dementia when they have Parkinson's. You have tremors in your hands. And eventually its not about shaking --- it goes the opposite way and things freeze up..you get trapped in your own body. Your limbs stop working when you want them to and thing stiffen up to the point that you die because you are trapped and your vital organs freeze up as well for lack of a better explanation.

    So go find other support like your parents, siblings, cousins and make new friends right now. This is bigger than needing to vent over how tough your exam was. He can't be your support right now because he is spread thin and has nothing to spread around.
    Just an FYI his dad got Parkinson's disease while fighting in the Vietnam War due to Agent Orange. If you are still curious there are clinical studies you can read about it from PubMed. I honestly do not think my boyfriend is worried about getting parkinson's but he is struggling about other things. I'm not in anyway trying to attack back I am just giving you extra info about his story. I do appreciate your advice and will take it into consideration. I do realize yes, I have been selfish but I do think he dropped a bomb on me out of nowhere. The own stress in my life coupled with this is what blinded me to his own battles.

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    Take a step back and let him grieve.
    He is going to come out of this a different person...when he does .. You two will have to start from that point. It will test your relationship and you may not survive this.

    Give him space.

    From time to time send him message that says "thinking of you." "Can't imagine how hard this is...I'm here if you need me". "How r u holding up...I know this is horrible for you and your family"

    Focus on saying things that let him know you respect his pain and don't expect him to be ok.

    Let him know "I don't know what to say or do other than to let u know when ur ready, I'm here"

    Give him space and time. Wait to see what happens on the other side. Trust me. There is more to come in this story. All u can do is wait.

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    Please leave him be. His dad died, and he is upset and grieving in his own way. No doubt it's flashed thru his mind at least once that he could have inherited whatever causes Parkinson's disease. I think you are being too pushy.

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    "... and he was telling me he didn't think he knew himself anymore, and he was reevaluating his choices in life, including our relationship with each other. He confessed he did not feel the same way about me anymore and he started feeling this way February of this year."
    It seems like his feelings for you have diminished. I don't see this as being a very hopeful situation. I can see why you felt blindsided, despite the fact he has been through a very tough time. I would not expect my current BF to dump me if his mother or father died. If that happened, who would remain together in this life - because we all have parents and everyone dies. I don't think you are being selfish. He dumps you via text and/or phone after 4 years. Not cool. I would try to move on if I was you. It appears he is done. Sorry for your hurt. Good luck.

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