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Posts posted by MStanton

  1. I’m a first time contributor. Hopefully this post is in the right section of the forum.

    Just over a year ago, my partner’s father died in an accident. I was with her family at the hospital when the doctor announced the life support had to be turned off and it remains the most heart-wrenching and numbing experience I’ve encountered to date.

    My partner, an only child, idolised her father. He was her best friend, mentor and protector. I knew from the moment he died our relationship would never be the same again. I also knew that as she was and still is the love of my life, I would do everything I could to support her through what was going to be an incredibly difficult time.

    For the first six months after his death, my partner was signed off work. During this period, she lost weight - made even more alarming by the fact she was underweight before all this happened – and found it difficult to leave her house, stating it was the only place where she felt ‘Dad was still with her’.

    Our relationship inevitably, and understandably, suffered. We cancelled all planned holidays and stopped going out socially. Our physical relationship all but came to a halt but we still held hands and hugged while watching TV which offered mutual comfort.

    She tried bereavement counselling on two occasions, but didn’t last more than two sessions with either therapist. I also visited a counsellor so I could try and better understand what she was going through and be a more supportive partner.

    My partner returned to work a few months ago, which was a positive step. However, our relationship has deteriorated rapidly since March. When I asked if she still loved me, she stared at me blankly and didn't reply either way, later stating she is unable to express such sentiments because grief has robbed her of any emotion. In her own words, she is barely functioning, worn down by emotional distress and constant lack of sleep. Even saying or texting simple things like “I’m looking forward to seeing you” or “I miss you” are beyond her capability. She acknowledges that we don’t really have a proper relationship any more - at least not in the conventional sense – and constantly expresses surprise I am still with her. I have said on many occasions that I will walk away if that’s what she wants, have always put her needs and feelings first and have tried to do everything in my power to help. Her response has always been to turn the question around and says I should do what is best for me.

    Over the last 4-6 weeks – the period around the 1st anniversary of her Dad’s death - things have become even more difficult. Far from time healing, things seem to be getting worse. She still cries every day and is functioning on autopilot most of the time. Additionally, she now appears uncomfortable with any form of physical contact, be it holding hands, hugging etc. Her mood has also changed. She is regularly angry, short tempered and confrontational over the smallest things. As someone who loves her, it is incredibly difficult to deal with.

    I recently asked her if she wanted this relationship to survive in the long run. She said yes and that she still considers herself my partner, albeit one who cannot give anything emotionally. If I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel it might make things easier, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I feel selfish, guilty and uncaring writing these words, given the trauma my partner is experiencing, but it is reaching a point where my own well-being is starting to suffer. In short, I don’t know what to do for the best.

    In these circumstances, it is hard to ask for advice because every couple’s situation is different and must be addressed on its own merits. However, I would really like to hear from anyone who has gone, or is going, through a similar situation. If nothing else, it might help me better understand what she is going through and help make decisions that are ultimately best for both of us.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.






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