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My boyfriend's estranged mom died & he's SHUT me OUT all a sudden!

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Hi Everyone!

I am new to this forum.  The one thing I see is common of most threads when their SO cuts communication with them:  The SO continues life during grieving but cuts all ties with the partner?!?  WHY is THAT??

Well, I'm one of you.  And here is my very RECENT story (as of Jan. 20, 2019).  Please help me understand:


We known each other all our lives.  Come from same small town. Our families grew up together.  His parents Vietnam vets, hes the only child.  Very dry, strict, disciplined background for him growing up.  Very seldom any love or affection or attention.   His parents fought, argued, verbal abused, and divorced when my BF was in his 20s.  His bitter mom told my BF  "you look like your GD dad!" and she left his life.  She abandon him without a trace and moved away.  He searched for her for approx. 8 years with no luck.  He met a girl from back home in this time frame, dated her, became engaged and she got her doctors degree from college.  The new fiancée looked at my BF and said "You're beneath me now, you don't do anything with your life but your blue collar job, I need to date someone in my league" and she dumps him.   Now he's got two abandonment issues in his life regarding women.  Mind you, his dad has in and outs with a drug history post-war with side jobs here and there. 

I enter his life out after his 6 years post breakup with his ex.   OUR FIRST PHONE CALL was EIGHT HOURS LONG!  We were instantly wild about each other and all we had in common.  This was June 2018.  We spent morning, noon and night with phone calls and texts.  EVERY day, not one missed.  We integrated ourselves into each other's lives.  Excited, loving, flourishing.... we laughed and loved over the phone and in person.  We waited till our second date to kiss.  So enamored, falling in love.  He shared with me he was scared of commitment as he shared his previous breakup story and the fact he never really dated in high school or after.  HOWEVER, he said that he wanted to PURSUE THIS (with me) and "see where it goes". 

He proved that and then some.  My BF faithfully, devotedly would text and call me every. single. day. Morning, noon and night.  I began his day, and ended his day.  I never felt so much a priority, so much attention and love.  I was wild about him. Inside out.  He was my ideal man come to life.  I pictured in my mind marriage and babies.  I naturally wanted to take care of him, seen a life wanting to grow old with him. 

I knew that no one ever EVER brought a smile on his face the way I did.  No one had ever introduced him to so many things and places and activities.  We went many places and created many memories.  From his first pedicure, to an adventure up the mountain.  What a beautiful, carefree time.  We bonded.  Everything felt and seemed right.  Especially how our family histories sat, this certainly felt like true destiny. 

Please note:  He's introverted, former Marine (back in the 90s/ 4 years), reserved, no social life, only works and comes home to take care of grandma and his dad who are both dependant on him.   My BF really doesn't have a life and he's my age, we are young!  We're 42 years old.  He's virginal in many ways, also shy and not social.  No friends, no social anything off work. He's really a loner and keeps to himself.   I'm his best friend.  I've brought love and laugher and happiness into his world, as he did mine.



His birthday came in November. He told me it was just another day, his "family"  (dry dad +grandma) never really celebrated it.  I made sure we went to San Diego, did some fun stuff, had an adventure.  Got him gifts.  He had a great time. So did I. 

Two days later, he messaged me earrrrly in the morning and said his mom's uncle out of no where messaged him on Facebook that his mom was in a San Diego hospital and had only hours to live.  Long story short, my BF rushed to her side. She couldn't speak, but he spoke his feelings to her and had shared her final moments and was by her side when she died.

Few days passed, he went to pick up her ashes.  Now late November, he struggled with having the ashes in his room and then the task of goin to her place to pick up her things.  With that, he found tons of old letters and journals the mom addressed to my BF during her hiatus from his life!!! She NEVER sent them.  Only wrote them.  He was overwhelmed and kept them to read them "later down the road when he is stronger".

Around pre-Thanksgiving, he went silent on me for FIVE DAYS.  Then out of no where, he text me and said SORRY for his disappearance but he was dealing with a lot and was emotionally and physically drained.  And then he wrote "I understand if you don't want to talk to me anymore.."    Of course, right away, I wrote him to comfort him (happy I finally HEARD from him/ on his own)  and that I was here for him.

We resumed our talks and texts EVERY DAY EVERY DAY EVERY DAY and then a couple of overnight visits to my place, even spent Christmas with each other.  He bought me some lovely gifts as I did with him.  It was special.  This went into Dec and January as I got him smiling and laughing again on the phone and in person...…. It was wonderful to see.

Here and there he would open up and tell me about having good days and bad days and share the progress of his mother's funeral arrangements.  He mentioned how he felt is wasn't doing her justice because the delay of burial (due to paperwork, etc) and he even once opened the lid of the ash box and saw her bone and ash and nametag.  My BF also shared often how he felt numb on days and how he needed to get out for a drive.



I've seen him a few times in January.  He spoke little about his feelings and whats going on but for the most part, we just had intimacy, cuddled, I gave him a massage in a jacuzzi tub, we watched tv under the covers and spooned.  He fell asleep in my arms. Holding him like a baby.  He snored right away. My poor honey.

Saturday January 19 would have been his mom's 65th birthday.  He was suppose to bury her that day but the funeral has been postponed for February. This upset him.  He was sensitive this weekend but still made conversation, our usual routine.

This past Sunday afternoon, on his day off, he was cooking.  We had our usual conversation earlier that morning, even the night before, that was full of laughter, light banter and our silly teasing.  We were looking forward to the NEXT week.  We had plans to see each other in a hotel for two days.  I was eager and happy about it.  As he was washing dishes, I lightly bantered with him, saying it didn't seem he was excited to see me in a few days.  He did something he never did before.  He snapped.


I texted him immediately and said "wow you hung up fast.  I'm sorry I felt like I bothered you.  Please have a better afternoon, enjoy your dinner, if you are up to it call me at 6pm during my break".

He never called.



I thought I'd hear from him Monday since he was off on holiday.  Nope.  Tuesday went by.  So did Wednesday. I mailed him a thinking of you card that I simply signed "HUGS" and with my name. I included a Starbucks gift card for $10 (his fav coffee place). On Thursday I wrote him a text that I sent at 11:30pm. 


I told him:

Not sure how this text will find you but Id like to express myself in a few words tonight.  I'm thinking about you and needed to reach out. If I overstepped my boundaries, that wasn't my intention. I love you and I hate to see you in so much pain.

If you prefer for me to silently support you thru this difficult time, I will do that.. just for you.

"Never above you, Never below you, Always beside you".

Good night and safe travels tomorrow.


It was the first time either one of us used the "L" word but I felt I had to.   He has no one telling him I LOVE YOU at this time of grief and I absolutely do love him.  I have, for 8 months.  Besides at this point, I have nothing to lose.   I feel what I wrote was soft and supportive and showed him that I continue to be committed to him on good terms. NOT ABANDONING him.

I didn't hear from him.  Friday he was preoccupied all day with his dad (he had a pre-op at the VA hospital) so I can understand not responding on Friday.  But today is Saturday, and nothing.  I have not made any more contact.  I'm sure he got my sympathy card in the mail by today but other than that, everyone is telling me cease contact till I hear from him.  I plan to do this but it hurts.  What do I do?


I wish I heard from him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's killing me.  After our outstanding 8 months together, I feel deeply hurt to think he'd throw us all away.  Why all a sudden can't he include me and he shut himself out?  Sunday's lunch conversation wasn't THAT bad.  It prob triggered a mood, but shouldn't been this extreme.  My BF has been logged on to his social media this week, liking peoples posts and photos and even posting work videos of his jobsites.  But has ignored me!  He has not reached out with his "good morning " or afternoon or night texts and calls.  I have no idea why all a sudden at drop of hat this happened.  I feel like I'm in a bad movie!  I MISS HIM AND WANT HIM TO RESPOND even if he said "I need a little time until we bury my mom"  ……  Then I'll be okay with that.   I PRAY that when and if I hear from him soon, that it be a positive message (like the Thanksgiving text he sent after the silent few days) and that it won't be negative.  

I WANT MY BF BACK.   Maybe once she's buried, he can learn to breathe and live again.  I worry about his mental health.  I hate to see him suffer.  I'm sure he has guilt over the years she took away from him when she left him and the confusion how she came back and died the same day she reentered his life.  God wanted them to reunited before her passing, I'm sure.   But why treat me like this all a sudden????? Sunday's episode seemed like a breakdown in retrospect.  And I can't believe he's let a week go by without missing "us" ???  And we are so intertwined into each other's life, how could he not want to reach out???  HOW COULD HE STOP COMMUNICATION??

HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST?  Can anyone help me cope?? I know I know I know I'm suppose to give him space and as of  that last text message, I have not attempted anything.  I am NOT going to contact him till he contacts me.   I really hope he fights to save what we have and I'm praying after the burial next month, he will reach out and come back.  We are too invested with each other, too compatible, loving and wonderful fit together.  You don't find what we share everyday and with just anyone.  We are in our 40s.  It's hard to start all over again.  I want us to win this, to conquer the tough time together.  I know the grieving will never leave but that he will learn to cope with it with me by his side. 


Thank you everyone.


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By now you've probably read several of these threads and you know the answer/ending is not what you want to hear.  Maybe one or two out of hundreds.  Everyone hopes they will be the exception but it doesn't seem to go that way...there's a pattern here of a certain segment of people who respond this way when grieving...they can't handle doing a relationship at the same time.  A relationship puts on them some kind of stress, they feel they "should" be a certain way but they can't.  They cut the relationship.

I want you to know this isn't about you, you had nothing to do with this breakup except it's affecting you.  This is about him.  Maybe the things he wasn't taught about coping in life.  He doesn't know how to handle this.  Too much emotion.  I'm the type of person that wants to go through thick and thin WITH my person...but my ex, Jim, and your now-ex, they break up rather than go through thick and thin with their person.

No contact is best for you, although it'll be tempting to reach out.  You still care, of course you do, but I hope you can turn some of that caring into caring for YOU.  Spend time with your family/friends, keep busy, keep your mind occupied.  You will cry buckets of tears, be perplexed, and analyze everything to death and in the end you'll still be in the same place, no further for it, BUT hopefully little by little it'll begin to sink in...you are broke up, you didn't do anything to cause this, he lost a helluva person when he said goodbye.  I'm sorry.

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