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Thread: Partner lost both parents within 6 weeks, and now wants to be alone

  1. #11
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    Boltnrun, Thankyou for your message. It is nice to hear this situation does have some happy endings. Rose, Thankyou for your response but I do think you are not really getting what I am saying. Having been in a wonderful loving relationship with someone, of course I am upset and want to understand what’s happened and want verbal confirmation, I feel that is normal, as I am really hurting. I am hearing what he is wanting, and I also understand it from his actions. What I am really struggling with, perhaps again as I have never dealt with this myself, is how not having me around will help the situation. I am not holding out hope that we will reconnect once he is more himself, I am not wanting him to stick around when he needs to be alone, I want him to do right by him, and to be happy, I understand we may not be compatible and I understand perhaps if he truly loved me, he would want me around while he works through this, but it does not make this hurt any less.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blonde1993
    I understand perhaps if he truly loved me, he would want me around while he works through this,
    But one has nothing to do with the other.

    His including you in this process is not tied to how he does or doesn't feel about you.
    He is very likely totally engulfed. That translates into him not having anything in reserve for someone else at this time. I can safely guess he can feel your disappointment. At the same time he has nothing in his reserve to make that better for you.

    I was about a year and half into my relationship when I lost my mom. My boyfriend was very generous (outside of the `talking to someone' comment) I asked for space and he graciously gave it to me. He trusted me enough to understand and he was there when I needed him and left me to myself when I needed to be alone.

    Had I sensed that he was insecure about it, the outcome would have likely been different.

    You need to learn to compartmentalize this and not take it personally.
    Have a little faith.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blonde1993
    Boltnrun, Thankyou for your message. It is nice to hear this situation does have some happy endings. Rose, Thankyou for your response but I do think you are not really getting what I am saying. Having been in a wonderful loving relationship with someone, of course I am upset and want to understand what’s happened and want verbal confirmation, I feel that is normal, as I am really hurting. I am hearing what he is wanting, and I also understand it from his actions. What I am really struggling with, perhaps again as I have never dealt with this myself, is how not having me around will help the situation. I am not holding out hope that we will reconnect once he is more himself, I am not wanting him to stick around when he needs to be alone, I want him to do right by him, and to be happy, I understand we may not be compatible and I understand perhaps if he truly loved me, he would want me around while he works through this, but it does not make this hurt any less.
    I'm very sorry that this is hurting you so badly. I don't feel like you're compatible with each other. I do understand you want to be heard and you want to hear your partner tell you and affirm his love for you. Your expectations are so high that it's difficult for him to fill that void or make you hurt less.

    He has mentioned calling this off or at least that's what it sounds like. I think it's better to move on and find someone who is more on your level in terms of communication and expectations. To me, this is a lot of failed expectations and incompatibilities. He's not wanting to continue this relationship with you and it's healthier to accept that and move forwards.

  4. #14
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    He doesn't know how to feel about you because his emotions are broken. Having you around may put pressure on him - whether you are intending that pressure or not - to feel something toward you that he is physically unable to feel right now.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Blonde1993
    Boltnrun, Thankyou for your message. It is nice to hear this situation does have some happy endings. Rose, Thankyou for your response but I do think you are not really getting what I am saying. Having been in a wonderful loving relationship with someone, of course I am upset and want to understand what’s happened and want verbal confirmation, I feel that is normal, as I am really hurting. I am hearing what he is wanting, and I also understand it from his actions. What I am really struggling with, perhaps again as I have never dealt with this myself, is how not having me around will help the situation. I am not holding out hope that we will reconnect once he is more himself, I am not wanting him to stick around when he needs to be alone, I want him to do right by him, and to be happy, I understand we may not be compatible and I understand perhaps if he truly loved me, he would want me around while he works through this, but it does not make this hurt any less.
    You are making this about you OP. Given that you have never experienced that level of grief I can kind of understand why... how can you empathize with something you have never experienced for yourself? And I hope you never have to experience it.

    Thing is, everyone processes grief in a different way, and his is next level... he literally just became an orphan 30 days ago, and he is in a dark place where he doesn't even know how to begin processing his feelings. You are expecting him to process grief the way you think he should... by including you, by talking to you, by validating his need for you. He isn't capable of doing that right now, just as you aren't capable of seeing past your own feelings around this to put yourself in his shoes.

    Take the break in the relationship and give him the space he needs to process how he is feeling. And practice sitting with others in their grief without expectations. It's not easy, but it will be the thing that cements your relationships forever if you can learn how to do this.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    You know what, even as someone who pretty much exclusively internalizes his grieving and who is an unabashed introvert, I'm gonna go a bit further than others and say this isn't just about being grief stricken or emotionally coping. He hasn't locked himself away and neglected his social life. You are being cut out. For whatever reasons, faults of yours, or lack thereof, he does not see you as a source of relief, but rather as an effort he lacks the spare capacity to take on. Given you were dating what, a month before this happened, it could be that you simply never had the chance to establish a familiarity with him to have any idea how to be that source of relief for him. It could also be that on a much more general level, you need to work on prioritizing empathy over ego, not broaching sensitive or dramatic topics or offering advice on how he should deal with a loss on such a scale you've got no way to relate to. I haven't been there to monitor your interactions, so it's in your own best interests to do some honest reflection.

    Still, at the end of the day, it sounds as if he's checked out. You might be able to take a big step back and let him be the one to navigate your relations and his emotional needs right now, should you so insist on trying to keep things going. But I'd chalk it up to a sequence of events and a foundation which unfortunately rarely lends itself to a sustainable positive outcome.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    You know what, even as someone who pretty much exclusively internalizes his grieving and who is an unabashed introvert, I'm gonna go a bit further than others and say this isn't just about being grief stricken or emotionally coping. He hasn't locked himself away and neglected his social life. You are being cut out. For whatever reasons, faults of yours, or lack thereof, he does not see you as a source of relief, but rather as an effort he lacks the spare capacity to take on. Given you were dating what, a month before this happened, it could be that you simply never had the chance to establish a familiarity with him to have any idea how to be that source of relief for him. It could also be that on a much more general level, you need to work on prioritizing empathy over ego, not broaching sensitive or dramatic topics or offering advice on how he should deal with a loss on such a scale you've got no way to relate to. I haven't been there to monitor your interactions, so it's in your own best interests to do some honest reflection.

    Still, at the end of the day, it sounds as if he's checked out. You might be able to take a big step back and let him be the one to navigate your relations and his emotional needs right now, should you so insist on trying to keep things going. But I'd chalk it up to a sequence of events and a foundation which unfortunately rarely lends itself to a sustainable positive outcome.
    I misread the story as they were together 6 months before this. If it was only 1 month, then yes, this wouldn't be enough time for most people to develop roots in the relationship that can survive a trauma. Especially if he is introverted, he may never have gotten completely comfortable and open being around you. And now that his emotions are on pause, there isn't any room for that too happen. The timing is really bad.

  9. #18
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    Originally Posted by Blonde1993

    He has been distant with me, spending much more time with his friends, weekends away, which I understand he needs to do what he needs to do to heal, however it has taken its toll on me how much the relationship has changed and how pushed out I feel. When i have broached this with him he has said he feels like he can’t talk to me about things,
    First off, I am so very sorry to hear this. Losing one's parents is devastating, let alone so close in time.

    Many on this forum know my story; I also lost both my parents within months, back in 2014. So I can very much relate to how your boyfriend is feeling.

    I was living with my boyfriend at the time, and like your bf, I withdrew, required lots of distance. I shut people out, including him at times.

    However, unlike you, my boyfriend did not take it personally nor did he view my withdrawal as a reflection on him or believing it meant I didn't love him as you posted in an earlier post.

    I don't say this to be disrespectful, please know that, but your comment in bold/underlined above describing how what he is experiencing has taken a toll on you, and your feelings (feeling pushed out) is telling.

    Please understand this isn't about you. Even if you try to hide, your bf can sense it, can sense your resentment, which explains why he said he feels he can't talk to you.

    I do understand how difficult it can be and the strain it can put on a relationship, but it's important during this time that you step away from yourself and your own feelings, and attempt to empathize with him and not make this about you, in any way shape or form.

    Yes many relationships do change after such a loss, when parents lose a child for example, it's very difficult for them to emotionally support one another because they are both grieving the loss. And sadly, the relationship or marriage will break down because of it.

    But that is not what's happening here, he is the one grieving, you are not.

    So if I have any advice, it's try to step away from yourself and your own needs for just a moment, and again try to empathize. He's grieving, he is shut down.

    It has nothing at all to do with you, or how he feels about you. Not directly. He is literally incapable of feeling much of anything right now, so try to understand that. Be there for him to talk to, open up to, whenever he's ready. Have no expectations he will choose to do this, and your mindset should be, that's okay too. Give him the respect and allow him to work through it.

    Don't attempt to manage his emotions, by suggesting therapy or anything else, trust that, in time, he will work through it on his own. He will resent you for it, and feel you are trying to control him.

    For now, just be there for him, a good listener, someone he can turn to and have faith and trust will understand by not taking it so personally.
    Last edited by katrina1980; 06-07-2019 at 05:58 PM.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself

    About 2 months after my mother passed away my boyfriend suggested I possibly needed to speak to someone or maybe they could prescribe me something. That frustrated me because what I was experiencing was normal and I didn't need to take a pill for it. What I needed was for someone to understand.
    Yes this is exactly what I was trying to say too.

    And I am sorry reinvent about your loss, I knew about it, but I don't think I ever said I sorry I was.

    So saying it now, hope you're okay.

    ((hugs))

  11. #20
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    Thankyou for sharing, and I am very sorry to hear you lost both your parents too. This thread has been an eye opener for me, the responses I got were not what I expected. I genuinely felt I was trying to do right by him by suggesting he speak to a professional, and I also have really tried to not make this about me. I do find it difficult to mask my feelings and accept things I have no control over.

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