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Mlc88

How to deal with a grieving boyfriend.

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Hi everyone, this may get a little lengthy but I would just like some advice or to at least connect with someone that has been or is going through the same situation. It will be 2 years In February since my boyfriends dad passed very suddenly of cancer that grew quickly and I’m now at a crossroad and I don’t know whether or not I can stay in this relationship. A little preface about our relationship, We are in our early thirties and have been in a relationship for 7 years and have known each other for almost 16 years. Before all of this happened I was sure that I wanted to marry him. I basically live with him and his mom in their house for the time being while we are still going to school. Prior to his fathers passing he was a sweet guy with a big heart and I felt that he would do anything for me, I felt comfortable in our relationship, this is not to say that we didn’t have our ups and downs, he was always slightly “possessive” for lack of a better term and a tiny bit impatient but nothing I couldn’t live with. Ever since his dad passed, those two qualities have been more apparent than ever and it is getting really hard to deal with. Any tiny little thing is setting him off to the point where he gets so angry over nothing it’s frustrating because it gets taken out on me and his mother. He is like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, one moment he’s being his sweet self and something Minute happens that turns him into this angry psychopath for the next 20 minutes or so which leads to constant fighting for us (and of course, it’s always my fault). From the things he’s said, I gather that we’re almost a burden to him. He acts like anytime either one of us needs help that he has to “deal” with it, like we’re creating problems for him and he tries to avoid these situations so not to have to deal with anything. He has stated many times that whatever is happening has become “his problem now”, and this could be set off by something as ridiculous as his mom ordering a new couch to the house. My only thought is that this is all related to his grief because it just escalated after his dad passed away. He has maybe talked about his dad passing two times in the last (almost 2 years) and that was when he was under the influence of alcohol, the only time he cried about it was the day of his dads passing. I’m now at the point where I basically haven’t been happy in my relationship for the better part of 2 years now and I don’t know what to do. I still love him and would like to continue our relationship but if I’m not happy and I’m almost constantly crying over these outbreaks that he has that cause fights, what is the point? I’m so sick (and sure his mother is too) of walking around on eggshells around him just trying not to upset him. It is no way to live or be in a relationship and quite frankly, he’s very hard to deal with, none the less live with. I can feel myself slowly (almost unconsciously) pulling away from him, not wanting to be intimate with him, or even be around him sometimes and it’s such a heartbreaking feeling. If anyone can give me some advice or at the least, relate to what I’m going through, I would love to hear your thoughts! I don’t know if I can do this anymore, everything irritates him which is what this entire post boils down to. I deal with anxiety and slight depression myself and it’s just getting to be too much to handle. 

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I am so sorry you are going through this...two years is quite a while to carry anger that is detrimental to his life.  I would suggest he get some professional help if he wants to continue this relationship, that YOU can no longer live with it "as is."  And he may decide to cut you loose.  Which is fine because who can live indefinitely like this?!  His poor mom!  She is suffering the loss of her life AND having to put up with this too?!  Very hard.  Has he lost his friends?  Are any of them pulling away or does he treat them better than you and his mom?
There comes a time to face that he is no longer the person you knew and fell in love with...and that change may or may not be permanent.  Perhaps consider taking a break for a while to see how you feel away from him.  At any rate, I'd find somewhere else to live if at all possible, you deserve some peace for your own well being.

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5 hours ago, Mlc88 said:

It is no way to live or be in a relationship and quite frankly, he’s very hard to deal with, none the less live with.

Perhaps you've already answered your own questions . . . :(

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I think Marty is right and that is in fact what I was thinking when I read the above.  For guys, anger is a lot easier to tap into than more vulnerable emotions like sadness, grief and so forth which is why he was only ever able to show grief after the use of alcohol lowered his inhibition or reluctance to show his emotions.  That said, he's taking his grief and turning it into anger because it feels "safer" to work with, and then because it's too hot to handle, or too toxic to him, he's using that toxicity against you and his mom. 

For your own health and wellbeing, both psychological and physical, you and the mom have to step out of the relationship somehow.  It will only get worse and the toll it's taking on you is evident even through the medium of the computer screen.

8 hours ago, Mlc88 said:

I can feel myself slowly (almost unconsciously) pulling away from him, not wanting to be intimate with him, or even be around him sometimes and it’s such a heartbreaking feeling.

Your heart and/or your gut feelings are what are leading you to pull away and withdraw because they know what the intellectual mind can't accept as easily.  Always listen to your heart.  It will never lie to you.

I wish you good luck in separating from him and this toxic environment you describe.

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16 hours ago, Kieron said:

For guys, anger is a lot easier to tap into than more vulnerable emotions like sadness, grief and so forth which is why he was only ever able to show grief after the use of alcohol lowered his inhibition or reluctance to show his emotions.  That said, he's taking his grief and turning it into anger because it feels "safer" to work with

This really struck me as key.

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