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How Grief Affects Your Relationships

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Grief bereavement loss emotions

Usually when someone dies those close to him or her will feel intense emotions that can often unsettle their own personal relationships. Grief, or the emotions felt due to a loss, can be particularly hard to cope with for both the bereaved and those who are trying to be supportive. Thankfully, with mutual respect and patience, relationships can withstand and even sometimes grow stronger due to grief.

What Is Grief?

Generally speaking grief is an emotional response to the death of a loved one. Very often grief is equated to sadness, though it is not always so simple. Instead, grief often involves a progression of different emotions and reactions that include shock and/or numbness, anxiety, anger and sadness. It may take days, weeks or even years for someone who is grieving to cycle through all of these stages and some people never experience all of these emotions due to a particular loss, or experience some emotions related to one loss but different emotions due to another. This is perfectly normal. There is no set itinerary for grief, though if there is a distinct lack of emotional response, or an emotional response so overwhelming that it begins to affect a person’s employment, education or personal relationships then it may be best to consult a counsellor.

Grief and Relationships

Grief can take a toll on relationships because it is primarily an individual experience. Partners can try to understand someone else’s grief but they can never experience it or take on the burden themselves. Grief can have a number of affects on relationships. Partners may grow closer as they need each for support or realise that they would like to spend more time together. However, partners may also grow apart if the grieving individual retreats into him or herself, his or her partner loses patience with grief or a combination. Intimate relationships may also experience a slow period if the grieving individual does not feel like becoming physically close to others. Finally, some relationships may not experience any changes if grief is not intense, if it is fleeting or if partners are able to give and receive support in an open and “efficient” manner.

Supporting Others Through Grief

Perhaps the greatest mistake someone attempting to comfort or console another can make is to insist on how the other must be feeling. Instead, friends and relatives of the bereaved should be patient with whatever emotions the individual may be feeling without deciding whether these emotions are “right” or “appropriate”. Talking about how each person is feeling often helps everyone stay on the same page and understand more about what others are going through, and scheduling activities that the bereaved enjoys may help him or her to experience positive emotions. If more than one person is experience grief at the same time, it may be that allowing each to experience their own grief without feeling that they must make the other feel better helps all involved. However, throughout grief, physical affection, tokens of love and affection, and reminders that others will always be there for the bereaved will likely always be appreciated.

Grief is often a solitary, unique experience. Others will never be able to understand exactly how the bereaved is feeling, so patience with whatever may come will help all relationships stay strong. If it is believed that grief is interfering with the bereaved life then counselling may be in order.

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Hi. I have a difficult one. My partner and I have been together about 5 years. 3 years ago his brother was diagnosed terminally ill. His brother is single, no kids, a very domineering man and also very wealthy. He has used this to manipulate my partner and my partners son into basically putting their lives on hold to care for him. Now I totally understand family is important and he should be there for this dying man but it's putting incredible pressure on our relationship. We both work full time (his son cares in the week) and then every weekend he's there from early morning to late at night to relieve his son - understandably!We've cancelled so many holidays and events related to my family I can't tell you. Thing is I know he loves me and is just totally torn. We are all just waiting for this man to die which sounds and is horrible. I get angry at being left alone and then feel guilty for doing so.He feels guilty about everything. I can see this man could easily pay for nursing care which would help everyone but his approach is 'I'm leaving you my money so this is how you earn it'. Horrible.To be honest he's now in the last stages of life so not long left. I'm worried about the future though. How I take things forward post bereavement. I don't think I can apply much more patience than I already have. Advice would be welcome.
Polarbear - 24-Sep-17 @ 12:45 PM
Miche - Your Question:
What about how it effects your relationship with the other parent? My mom died 2 years ago. My father seems to be slowly pushing all of us kids away. (there are 6 of us) only 2 of us are his. He is step dad the the rest. He started seeing someone who is only 5 years older than the youngest of us and there seems to be some questionable activity surrounding her "circumstances" My father is 72 she is 47. She doesnt have custody of her kids, only has 1 2 hour visit a week with her 16yr old. She has been committed in the past and we understand her ex-husband and mother are trying to have her committed again. She has had the cops called since MOVING in with my father. Its a mess. We tried to talk to my father about all of this and he went off. And continues to. He is pushing my siblings away and starting to push me away. What do you do?

Our Response:
Gosh, we really don't know what to advise for this kind of situation except to keep being there for him and involving him in your own lives as much as possible.
FacingBereavement - 7-Sep-17 @ 12:54 PM
What about how it effects your relationship with the other parent? My mom died 2 years ago. My father seems to be slowly pushing all of us kids away. (there are 6 of us) only 2 of us are his. He is step dad the the rest. He started seeing someone who is only 5 years older than the youngest of us and there seems to be some questionable activity surrounding her "circumstances" My father is 72 she is 47. She doesnt have custody of her kids, only has 1 2 hour visit a week with her 16yr old. She has been committed in the past and we understand her ex-husband and mother are trying to have her committed again. She has had the cops called since MOVING in with my father. Its a mess. We tried to talk to my father about all of this and he went off. And continues to. He is pushing my siblings away and starting to push me away. What do you do?
Miche - 5-Sep-17 @ 9:24 PM
Hi I have just gone through the same sort of thing , my partner of 20 years just lost his dad his dad was poorly from christmas and passed july , our first grandchild was due middle of july and the week before he left saying we have drifted even though he withdrawn himself since christmas , I know he is grieving but he has been so cold towards me it really hurts also it did take the joy of my little grandchild being born which was quite upsetting I do love him but can't see any future for us it has been 10 wks now
Cath - 24-Aug-17 @ 9:48 PM
Long story which I will write details as briefly as possible. I'm 57 now. I went through a terrible depression, menopause, and I also have COPD and am on oxygen; have a few other medical issues. My husband was diagnosed with hep c which thank God is gone after treatment. He's left with cirrhosis of the liver and an autoimmune disease both from the Hep C. My terrible depression etc. left me bedridden and basically barely living any kind of life. I know this was a terrible thing to be going through as well as putting my husband and son through. My husband's mindset was that I was doing this on purpose. He ended up beginning an affair with a coworker. As I am going back and looking at phone records he placed hundreds of hours in on the phone and texting and of course going out with this woman who he claims became his "best friend". I found out and he continued speaking with her for another six months.He waffles back and forth about his decision to stay with me. I took my own health matters in hand and received some physical therapy which allows me to walk more often. I use my wheelchair because breathing wise I cannot go long distances.He Claims he loves me and did not love other woman but she loved him. Said he misses the talking and walks etc. At one time in anger said he could see him in a life with her for the rest of his life. Now his mother has died on top of it today. All I can do is picture him placing a call to this woman instead of reaching out to me. I feel that he has seen her again recently. If this is the case I can't be with this man. One day he is fine and talking with me and the next cold and unaffectionate. Now with his mom passing I can't help but feel like all hell is gonna break loose. That this is gonna pull us apart even further than we are. We have been together for over 28 years. I realize it was very difficult for those 2 years. He compounded that period of time with no affection, sex etc., sleeping downstairs and having very little to say to me. This waffling back and forth and now his mother's death feels like it's gonna be the end of it all.I also have to address my suspicions and figure out how to find out if he is back to that woman again.He did so much lying over the last two years I can't believe him as there is no trust. He won't go to counseling and I have no one or no where else to go and feel so very stuck. Today showed me that I am not being included in his mother's death. While his other brother's and sisters brought their spouses over to his mom's house to say goodbye I was not brought. He went alone. Today was the only day to see her, there will be no wake only a funeral next week and that's it. I feel that today is a prime example of the future. Don't even know if he wants me at the funeral!
Bren - 23-Aug-17 @ 9:32 PM
Zondacs I can say I've been through it and still going through it same thing I've been married 10 years almost 11 now but one month before our 10th anniversary my wife's mother passed away. She became withdrawn from me and 5 months after passing she had an affair I hope you don't go through that but that's when it really got crazy with me but like you said she startedstating many things like she wanted a divorce a few years prior but I listened and believed at first but then reminded her of things that she had done that proved she always loved me. She had picked many things apart in which I had to think but many times I could counter. She had stated the same thing though that she couldn't feel love anymore at the time. We have gone through couples counseling and she had individual counseling. Her councilor told her that she was going through thrill seeking behavior, because she didn't think she felt emotions anymore. I would suggest to watch the movie the shack with her it seemed to help my wife a bit and through love and support as much as I could things seem to be coming around. It has taken a major toll on myself though. But as katied pointed out if she is pointing out every little imperfection she is trying to justify something either she has had an affair or is having an emotional affair you need to find out what's going on and stop that first to be able to move forward.and seek counseling! Good luck to you and hope everything works out!
Colt451911 - 22-Aug-17 @ 8:22 AM
My boyfriend's ex was taken off life support last year. Her family got upset because he didn't attend the funeral and his son blames me. After her passing I noticed Everytime we talked about her he defends her, protects her and doesn't want anybody talking bad about her. He cries when he hears a song that reminds him of her. Yet he hears people talk bad about me and doesn't say anything. this woman made my life a living hell and now her son. He let him talk bad about me. Why!
Cec - 17-Aug-17 @ 6:41 AM
Just over a year ago my wife's best friend took her own life she never grieved straight away 1 year anniversary of her passing seemed to trigger a complex bereavement. We have been together for best part of 8 years and married 1 year. Up until approx 8 weeks ago she has said I was her soul mate and best friend and loved me so much. I love her so much and thought we had a what I thought was a near perfect relationship we have had a few bad moments but we worked through them, then this 8 weeks ago She started to become very distant which when I asked her why she said it was all about her friends passing. so I have done my best to support her whilst going through the pain and making it easier after a couple of weeks she started bereavement councelling which after a couple of sessions she has said she has fallen out of love for me that it's not me it's her and cannot feel that love and even said she's not loved me for a while and wanted to break up. She agreed to stay together until the councelling has helped her with the bereavement . But since shown no signs of love towards me at all like we are just friends but not close we are in Seperate rooms. It's hurting me so much and I'm still trying but she seems she doesn't want to make it work when I asked she said she is Not sure Has anyone gone through this and had a happy ending . I'm not a believer you just fall out of love.. Im hoping our love was strong enough to shine through.I'm only 8 weeks in but seems like forever I feel I'm getting depressed. There has been no signs of improvement like she hasn't told she loves me or kissed me held my hand or anything in this period at all. I know grief has no time period but is this normal for her to be this way
Zondacs - 10-Aug-17 @ 8:56 AM
When she/he is pointing out every tiny imperfection in the relationship, she/he might be looking for grounds to break up to be with someone else, It could be because she/he doesn't wantromantic messages from another to get discovered. Any sort of sneaky behavior like this is a sign, It is not so typical of me to refer professionals online but I feel like I owe a lot tomy hackdemon4 @ g mail.com who helped me track my cheating husband when he was having an affair, I got to find out that he has been lying to me for the past 5 months and seeing two other women. I was able to get direct access to his text messages, phone conversations and all social networks on his phone remotely : what was most amazing was that his recently deleted messages were retrieved by him. If you are getting less than you deserve in your relationship and want to be sure , there is no crime in that contact hackdemon4 at g mail.com. tell him katie refereed you.
katied - 13-Jul-17 @ 12:43 PM
Jack - Your Question:
My wife and I have suffered great personal loss on both sides of our families. My Mother passed away in 2014, in the past year both my Wife's Grandmothers passed away within three weeks of each other and within the last few months my Wife's Mother passed away. My Dad is also in poor health and lives on his own, a constant course of worry. My Father-in-law has a spinal disease. My wife and I have been married for 16years and I thought had a close loving marriage. She works as a funeral director and is currently signed if work with depression. Up to a couple of weeks ago a thought we were OK. Then a week ago she said she needed a break blaming my mood swings and bad temper (we hardly ever argue) and took her stuff and moved up to my father-in-law's.Yes I am not perfect and I am occasionally in a bad mood, I have occasionally looked at late night porn in the past. But that's the worse I have ever done in my marriage and not proud of it and I no more than most men in their 40's.Is this normal behaviour under the circumstances? We talking and everything is amicable, in fact I've asked out on a date night in a few days time. I am trying to keep everything as normal as I can for our two boys. I love my very much and I want her back at home with me, but I don't know what else to do? Please help.

Our Response:
Can you see if she's willing to try bereavement counselling? Which you might also benefit from yourself? It sounds like you've both been through a lot and need an independent person to listen to you. Marriage counselling might also be beneficial. Good luck and keep us posted.
FacingBereavement - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:39 PM
My wife and I have suffered great personal loss on both sides of our families. My Mother passed away in 2014, in the past year both my Wife's Grandmothers passed away within three weeks of each other and within the last few months my Wife's Mother passed away. My Dad is also in poor health and lives on his own, a constant course of worry. My Father-in-law has a spinal disease. My wife and I have been married for 16years and I thought had a close loving marriage. She works as a funeral director and is currently signed if work with depression. Up to a couple of weeks ago a thought we were OK. Then a week ago she said she needed a break blaming my mood swings and bad temper (we hardly ever argue) and took her stuff and moved up to my father-in-law's.Yes I am not perfect and I am occasionally in a bad mood, I have occasionally looked at late night porn in the past. But that's the worse I have ever done in my marriage and not proud of it and I no more than most men in their 40's .Is this normal behaviour under the circumstances?We talking and everything is amicable, in fact I've asked out on a date night in a few days time.I am trying to keep everything as normal as I can for our two boys. I love my very much and I want her back at home with me, but I don't know what else to do? Please help.
Jack - 1-Jul-17 @ 9:58 PM
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Dave - 21-Jun-17 @ 11:08 AM
Stllthesameoldme - Your Question:
Hi, reading all the comments I can relate to this. My (ex) husband's father passed away in Jan 2013. I feel my husband still to this day hasn't gone through the grieving process. His behaviour has changed immensely. He has a lot of anger issues. He finally left me back in March. We had 25 years of an exceptional marriage, then 3 years of hell. I'm now going through my own grieving process of loosing the love of my life. Please if anyone is reading this and has had a relationship which was fantastic before a death happens I ask you seek the counselling you need. Because my husband hasn't got help, advice or even spoke to close friends and family about loosing his father now our marriage is over, leaving me in a sadden state. I've lost my husband and best friend.

Our Response:
So sorry to hear about this. So many men (and women too) bottle up their feelings and refuse to consider counselling. We too would urge anyone to consider it, even if you don't feel you need it.
FacingBereavement - 20-Jun-17 @ 10:25 AM
Hi, reading all the comments I can relate to this.My (ex) husband's father passed away in Jan 2013. I feel my husband still to this day hasn't gone through the grieving process.His behaviour has changed immensely. He has a lot of anger issues.He finally left me back in March.We had 25 years of an exceptional marriage, then 3 years of hell.I'm now going through my own grieving process of loosing the love of my life.Please if anyone is reading this and has had a relationship which was fantastic before a death happens I ask you seek the counselling you need.Because my husband hasn't got help, advice or even spoke to close friends and family about loosing his father now our marriage is over, leaving me in a sadden state. I've lost my husband and best friend.
Stllthesameoldme - 18-Jun-17 @ 7:58 AM
Crazy - Your Question:
My partner of 18 months grandmother passed away recently , started to withdraw a couple of months before this happened. Due to feeling overwhelmed with home life and work. Started with withdrawing and I actually thought she had started an affair by all her behaviour. Said this is how she copes. I began to get aniexty and went to the doctors as realised I needed to get help. My partner and I have recently separated and she has moved out. No clue to how it all happened.

Our Response:
That is really sad to hear. The issue is that one person often has to be the "strong one" and if that person is also experiencing problems, there are two people left floundering. We hope you can move on from this.
FacingBereavement - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:53 AM
My partner of 18 months grandmother passed away recently , started to withdraw a couple of months before this happened. Due to feeling overwhelmed with home life and work. Started with withdrawing and I actually thought she had started an affair by all her behaviour. Said this is how she copes. I began to get aniexty and went to the doctors as realised I needed to get help. My partner and I have recently separated and she has moved out. No clue to how it all happened.
Crazy - 13-Jun-17 @ 4:23 PM
Last year (2016) my boyfriend really went through it! It began in January, he got sick with pneumonia and due to the severity of it, he was placed on medical leave until everything was back to normal. (mind you, he’s a truck driver, so for him not to be on the road, took a toll on him) Let’s fast forward 2 months (March 2016), his favorite cousin is killed in a hit and run accident. He is tasked with putting up the bulk of the money for funeral arrangements and also taking over the property left behind. It takes another month to bury his cousin (family wars). After all issues and finally, the burial of this cousin is finished, he learns yet another family member has passed. (April 2016) Thankfully he wasn’t asked to put up money for this one. After all of this has taken place, I find that he’d become very distant (rightfully so) so I tried not to bother him too much. One week though, something was gnawing at me to contact him, I couldn’t sleep the night before, I needed to know what was going on. I called him that morning and come to find out, his mom had passed from a stroke. (May 2016) In the midst of helping cousins and aunts, he was also dealing with his mom’s health issues. (This I didn’t know) Of course with a life-altering event like this, one is going to retreat. Let’s fast forward to this new year (2017) babe is still withdrawn. I’ve talked to him a few times but he says he’s going through a lot and just not really in the mood to talk, he says he’d rather pray about everything (Which I wholeheartedly encourage) and when he’s ready to talk he will….from this point forward he’s gone into complete Shut Down Mode! No call, text, email, etc. I'm not sure what to do...? Signed, A concerned girlfriend :
design_gyrl - 9-Jun-17 @ 10:39 PM
So my girlfriend's brother died about two weeks ago and she's having nation of of emotions how do I deal with this when she lashes out at me I'm trying to be here for her and be patient she keeps referring to we need to break up or she's done what do I do
Cowboy - 1-Jun-17 @ 9:38 AM
Seanda - Your Question:
My mom died in a very tragic car accident March 20th my husband really dont understand how I feel instead of trying to find ways to support me he tell me that im seeking attention and just want ppl to feel sorry for me smh. I am 26 and my was only 49 I have 3,4,&7 year olds that my mom spent most of her time with and a 24 yr old brother that she spoiled rotten so im trying to support the 4 of them and on top of that I bottle up my grief so I dont really think to much about sex I just wish my mom could come back and my husband tell me thats just an excuse and accuse me of cheating which I have never cheated on him but he just dont understand and I get emotional and angry and I flip out really bad and I truly need help I need counciling bad but if he cant support me we need to part ways because loosing my mama made me feel like my heart was ripped out and I feel really empty and alone

Our Response:
You're right you need alternative support - your GP or an organisation like CRUSE can help. As for your husband, he clearly doesn't understand how the death of your mother has affected you. Again, a support organisation may be able to involve your husband in some of the counselling sessions, or by helping you to articulate your feelings in a way that gets through to him.
FacingBereavement - 22-May-17 @ 10:23 AM
My mom died in a very tragic car accident March 20th my husband really dont understand how i feel instead of trying to find ways to support me he tell me that im seeking attention and just want ppl to feel sorry for me smh... I am 26 and my was only 49 i have 3,4,&7 year olds that my mom spent most of her time with and a 24 yr old brother that she spoiled rotten so im trying to support the 4 of them and on top of that i bottle up my grief so i dont really think to much about sex i just wish my mom could come back and my husband tell me thats just an excuse and accuse me of cheating which i have never cheated on him but he just dont understand and i get emotional and angry and i flip out really bad and i truly need help i need counciling bad but if he cant support me we need to part ways because loosing my mama made me feel like my heart was ripped out and i feel really empty and alone
Seanda - 21-May-17 @ 5:25 PM
Jewels - Your Question:
HI I lost my mom March 1st I'm only 16 years old and iv pretty much just forgot who I am myself. I feel lost 24/7 knowing she won't be there for anything now. Not when I graduate highschool or college. I don't really know how to live my life anymore and it hurts me so much every day. I feel like I'm in a black hole every second of the day. Iv grown apart from everyone and no one really understands what I'm going threw. Iv lost so many close people in my family but the loss of my mom has really meseed me up. I'm doing better in school etc. But my head it's self is a blur. Every day is a blur. I miss her like crazy. Life is tough for me right now I need help I guess or I just wanted to share my feelings I don't really know. Maybe this can help someone so they know they arnt alone. I don't really know

Our Response:
Does your school have a welfare/pastoral advisor who can refer you to a support group or counselling? It will really help you to talk to other people who are, or have been in the same position as you. You're at the stage right now where many people expect you to be "grown up" and independent, but we know it's an age where you really need (and want) your mum around. It must hurt so much when you achieve something and the first person you want to tell is your mum. Please ask at school for help, most teachers are trained to know what to do and how to refer you to different organisations or counselling etc. You've done the right thing to start out with by looking into this and writing about it here - we're sure your mum would be really proud of you. Sending a virtual hug for you, take care.
FacingBereavement - 10-May-17 @ 10:21 AM
HI I lost my mom March 1st I'm only 16 years old and iv pretty much just forgot who I am myself. I feel lost 24/7 knowing she won't be there for anything now. Not when I graduate highschool or college. I don't really know how to live my life anymore and it hurts me so much every day. I feel like I'm in a black hole every second of the day. Iv grown apart from everyone and no one really understands what I'm going threw. Iv lost so many close people in my family but the loss of my mom has really meseed me up. I'm doing better in school etc. But my head it's self is a blur. Every day is a blur. I miss her like crazy. Life is tough for me right now I need help I guess or i just wanted to share my feelings I don't really know. Maybe this can help someone so they know they arnt alone. I don't really know
Jewels - 9-May-17 @ 7:00 AM
My partners mum died a month ago and she is still affected by her loss.Im there for her and helping her through the greif.I have found she is regecting my affection for her.we had a lovely affectionate relationship before hand but now i thinks she hates me sometimes and wont touch me.I hope this is normal and she changes after she gets over her greif im hanging in there.
Dave - 7-May-17 @ 8:14 AM
My husbands mum got murdered now his in his hometown country . But his pass is due here in Sing and I don't know how to comfort him except say what's urgent . But I wanted to go over he kept saying no. Now his trying to sell the house . He looked happy on the video as he see a new place. But at night he just goes drinking. And I'm anxious about the pass. Because if he doesn't take it ,it will take a year or maybe no reentry for him. I don't know if he loves us or this will change him. He just keep saying wait.
You - 6-May-17 @ 6:11 PM
hi..I lost my dad 2 years ago & the first year was a blur..since the second things have got worse. my marriage I feel is falling apart iv seen my husband watching porn to women what are not like me..and it's causing arguments even 8 months down the line..and regiments are getting out of control. I don't know how to deal with my emotions, my child don't like seeing me cry about there grandad...so I keep it in..iv started to enjoy a drink now & then & that's when the rows get explosive! I feel such anger deep down. I feel I'm falling out of love with my husband but I know we love each other & are soul mates...feel confused..alone...
hanna - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:44 PM
I lost my mum not long ago and have gone into my own world since, I have seen things that my partner does that really irritates me! He constantly looks at the same type of woman while we are out.. I find this really disrespectful as these woman are the total opposite of me and are more like his ex partners! I have pulled him on this and he says I'm being stupid but I can't help how I feel when I see him sneaking a peek at this certain type of girl! This has really upset and deflated me to which I don't like going out anywhere with him and make excuses why I can't go, I have come to the point I don't want to be treated this way playing second best to his fantasy of girls he likes, we also had a row about him watching a film with a dark hair girl while having sex I caught him watching tv while getting down to it! This made me lose my temper and sex ban come in force! I have looked at his phone as my guts are really good with instinct and he's been watching porn(same type of girl he likes) why has he done this? Instead of trying to make me happy he's turned to porn to help himself! I feel really let down and ready to call this relationship a day?
Blakey - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:09 AM
April - Your Question:
Hi, I lost my mum 6 months ago and everyone says I have dealt with it well but I worry I am very anxious and defensive at times and hurt my partners feelings. I think it is just that I am always waiting for the next bad thing to happen so read things into his jokes and comments that he doesn't intend. I have also dealt with being hit by a car and having a serious illness myself, along with starting a new job and relocating. So lots of major life stuff. I just want to share that I love him and feel terrible when I get defensive or snappy. It just happens sometimes then I feel bad. I am working on trying to stay quiet until the feeling passes. I hope it might help someone experiencing this from a bereaved spouse to know it is not intentional and I have only recently noticed the pattern and realised, it's me not him!

Our Response:
Thanks for describing your feelings here and we're sure this will help some of our other readers. One thing that might worth trying would be to write this down for your partner to see as well...in the form or a note or even a text message, or perhaps show him the comment you've written here.
FacingBereavement - 18-Apr-17 @ 11:43 AM
Hi, I lost my mum 6 months ago and everyone says I have dealt with it well but I worry I am very anxious and defensive at times and hurt my partners feelings. I think it is just that I am always waiting for the next bad thing to happen so read things into his jokes and comments that he doesn't intend. I have also dealt with being hit by a car and having a serious illness myself, along with starting a new job and relocating. So lots of major life stuff. I just want to share that I love him and feel terrible when I get defensive or snappy. It just happens sometimes then I feel bad. I am working on trying to stay quiet until the feeling passes. I hope it might help someone experiencing this from a bereaved spouse to know it is not intentional and I have only recently noticed the pattern and realised, it's me not him!
April - 15-Apr-17 @ 6:30 PM
My new long-distance boyfriend of 5 months just shut me out of his life.I did not know why, no reason, no explanation.So obviously I was worried sick, called him and texted him so many times, even texted his friend who knew something but would not say.It wasn't until 5 days later I found out my boyfriend's brother had died.He sent me very short 2 line text but still has not spoken to me since. He just shut me out of his life, no explanation nothing.I am very upset about this because it's like de ja vu for me.My last boyfriend did the same 3.5 years ago but he was sick and dying so that is why I was worried and panicking this time, it brought back all the bad memories and hurt so much.Now I don't know what is happening, does he want me in his life or not.Surely if he did he would've told me what happened straight away at least then I would have understood and not gone psycho stalker girlfriend sending texts and voicemails all the time.What do I do now?.Do I wait and see if he gets in touch or what.I don't know?
Emjay - 5-Apr-17 @ 8:33 PM
HCB - Your Question:
My father-in-law died about six weeks ago. My husband and I currently live in Canada for his job; when we found out his dad was dying, he went back to the UK straight away - I had to go a day later, as there was no other space on the flight. Unfortunately, his dad passed before my husband could get there. When I arrived, he told me that the funeral wouldn't be for a couple of weeks and that he would have to go back to work. I had to stay in the UK, as we couldn't afford the extra plane fare. He came back a couple of days before the funeral, which was a hard day, and then we came back to Canada the day after. The next day, he went back to work. That was about two weeks ago and things have gone horribly wrong. In the first week, he was pretty withdrawn, which is of course understandable; we made a deal that I would stop asking him how he was feeling and he would talk to me when he felt he could. Since last weekend, I've barely seen him. He's had a couple of late nights out in pubs, stayed over a couple of nights at work and, on the other days, come home as late as possible. We talked a bit but not much - I didn't want to push it - but he seemed to agree that talking to a counsellor might be helpful. Yesterday I came home from work to a letter, saying he's very unhappy, needs space, doesn't know if he loves me anymore and has moved out to a motel. I'm trying to respect his need for space but I am sick with worry about him and devastated about 12 years of my life going down the pan in the space of two weeks. I feel so alone as I have no friends here; our life here has totally revolved around him/his job and us spending time together. This has pretty much happened out of the blue and I just don't know what to do. I think he's spent the last week stressing and I've spent the last week crying, neither of which is helpful, but what can I do when he doesn't want to talk to me and now he's gone? I don't even know where he is.

Our Response:
Poor you, what a terrible thing to be dealing with. We're not in Canada so don't know of any support organisations, but please try and find something like this in your area. If you can talk to others who've been in a similar position it might easier to handle. Give you husband time to come round and to grieve, but make sure he knows he cannot continue to treat you like this or to have you hanging around waiting for him to come back either.
FacingBereavement - 5-Apr-17 @ 1:35 PM
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