Jump to content

Coping with my boyfriends behavior after his fathers death


Amesy

Recommended Posts

My boyfriend and I became long distance about 6 weeks ago. About a week and a half ago his father died unexpectedly and he returned home to bury his father. Since then he has distanced himself from his mom, friends and myself. He let me know at the beginning of our relationship he shut everybody out when his best friend died. I told him that would be hard for me. He has been here for a week and a half and the first day he was here he did not communicate with me at all. I decided to pick up food and bring it to his grandparents home where he would be staying. He was appreciative but a little distant, understandably so. The next day he communicated a bit with me and the follow day he communicated a bit more. He invited me over the next day and I spent the day there. 2 days later he had the funeral which we discussed and agreed was not the best time for me to meet his daughter (14 living where he moved) so I did not go. I did not hear from him till late that day and I understand he was busy. He has reached out every day briefly via text and last night told me he was sorry for distancing himself from me. I feel sick to my stomach to be pushed away as we had the best communication prior to this, but know not to take it personally. I don’t know how long I should expect (and allow) this atypical distance he has placed between us. I do know now is not the time to mention this, but at what point is this behavior something I should consider unfair to me. He told me last night when he said he was sorry that he was going to go back to his new home early and will now be missing the plans we have had for 2 months for Labor Day. I’m so disappointed, but am trying to be considerate and understanding of his needs so I’m not expressing my emotions. With this I need help managing my feelings in this and understanding what to expect as he keeps me at this distance. I feel like I’m grieving the loss of our relationship which felt like that started when he moved, and now 10x more so because of his loss and the way he manages that. And missing the weekend with him that I needed after our time apart is making me so sad. I need help understanding and managing all of this. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any pressure, shoulds, etc. you place on him will drive him further away and possibly send him over the edge.  I feel you just don't get it.  Have you read the other threads here?  The word that concerned me is 

18 hours ago, Amesy said:

I don’t know how long I should expect (and allow)

It is not your place to control him.  You can set boundaries but understand there will be consequences/reactions to those boundaries.  To tell someone else how they grieve seems far reaching to me, most of us would not respond well to that.  Grief is a whole new ball game.  I encourage you to educate yourself on the subject.  Not everyone grieves the same.  Many grievers do isolate, many shut off their romantic relationship as they feel stress/pressure to do/be something just when they have nothing within themselves to give!  Many who responded perfectly to their SO in their grief find themselves cut off anyway.  Oftentimes if there is any weak spot in the relationship it will show up magnified during this time.  

If you do not feel you can handle it sticking it out during this time, for it's sure to take him quite some time to adjust, then go ahead and move on.  Understand that what he's doing is not personal, nor can he help it.  He may very likely not understand it himself.

Been there.  My fiance of a year broke up with me by Fed Ex (at my office no less!) when his mom was dying.  I found that this is more common than I'd realized.

18 hours ago, Amesy said:

I feel like I’m grieving the loss of our relationship

You are indeed grieving the loss of your relationship as you knew it.  That is very hard!  Here is my story...I want you to know that your emotions are understandable.  I can't tell you how to manage your feelings except do try not to personalize any of this if you possibly can..

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello ladies,

    Last week Gail Sheehy, author of "Passages", died. I remember seeing the book on my parent's bookshelf in the 70's, but did not read it then. "Passages" is about the "predictable crises in adult lives". I read it last week, and although there are some dated elements, I found it remarkably forward thinking, almost timeless.  Gail has this to say about the male personality type she calls  a "transient" (in today's parlance, a commitmentphobe) (Bold italics mine). There seem to be elements of this in many posts I have seen about the grieving boyfriend who cuts loose.

"When he marries it it mainly to comply with what he believes he should do. Superficially, it may look as if this man has made adult commitments, but it's likely that very little of his gut-level self may be involved in any one of them. Some life accident could snap him out of his drift: a recession....the death of a parent...People who do not invest much of themselves in their early choices may not get much in return that will allow them to change or grow. Taken to the extreme, the unwillingness to commit leaves no quarter for expression of the merger self....Some men remain in moratorium, still groping for a personal identity and strong felt values straight through to middle life."

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While that may be true, it is not only males doing this but females also.  I've read each and every one of the threads in this section and it's both.

In my instance, he did not have a commitment phobia, he'd previously been married for 30 years, that's a pretty big effort/commitment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Some men remain in moratorium, still groping for a personal identity and strong felt values straight through to middle life."   I haven't read the book but since so much time has passed, I do wonder if Sheehy observed but didn't write about how, during this middle life stage, this is when the desire for authenticity really comes to the forefront.  It's when certain things can no longer be denied, be it a change in sexual orientation, gender identity, not wanting to stay married, and generalized FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  Thanks for the book mention, @Razorclam.  I'll have to hunt for that one now that the libraries are open.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...