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Think I might be going through this…


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Partner of 5 years mom died 5 weeks ago. 

The first two weeks, I supported him and he said I was an amazing support. He began sleeping on the couch so he wouldn’t disturb me as he wasn’t sleeping. 


We had an argument a week later because I made some stupid comment about when is he coming back to bed. Then he ignored me for a week. Eventually I asked what was going on. He was really angry. Told me I was the worst support, doesn’t know if he wants to be with someone who can’t support him. The couch gives him comfort and I’m bullying him to go back to bed. I explained I didn’t realise as I’ve never experienced grief and I was sorry.  I asked what this meant for us and he told me to leave him alone. 


Didn’t speak for several days. Eventually I asked again for clarity of what was happening. Couldn’t answer me. 

I come home from work one day and he’s moved all my things out of his office. Removed all of his things from our bedroom, and purchased a bed for his office. 

We briefly spoke one day and he asked if I was seeing someone else and it would be okay if I was?!


I walk into a room. He walks out and closes himself into his office. Some days I don’t see him at all. 

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do? 

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I'm sorry you are experiencing this.  Despite the irrationality that often comes with grief, it's not okay for hm to treat you like this.

You did nothing wrong by asking to communicate, to clarify, to seek feedback.  How else can a person be expected to change, grow or learn when they aren't allowed to do these things?

As to his question if you were seeing someone else and "it would be okay," well... that sometimes indicates there is some dishonesty going on, on the side, and he's making a pre-emptive attempt to excuse himself.  I hope it's not that way.  Alternately, it may be that he is giving you an indirect statement that he's ready to be done with the relationship.  The passive-aggressive actions of moving your things apart from his, getting himself his own bed, distancing himself by sleeping on the couch-- all those things are screaming "I want space.  I don't want this relationship with you.  I need to get away."

I really am sorry, that is how it "reads" to me.  As I said, grieving people are often not thinking clearly.  But it doesn't lessen the pain you're experiencing.

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It does indeed sound like he's doing what the rest of them here have done, getting out of the relationship.  Living together that has to be awkward and uncomfortable.  I would find his way of going about this unacceptable as it's unkind and disrespectful.  You didn't commit a cardinal sin and no way in the world you could have expected his overreaction!  He has internal things going on he's been unable to voice or possibly even understand himself.  To say all this is unfair to you is an understatement, but such is grief, it affects our heart and our brain!  It makes it hard to think, focus, understand.  If it's any consolation, it's no one's fault, it's grief.  I've been there only my ex broke up with me by Fed Ex!  That after a year's engagement, no warning, to my office no less so I didn't get the luxury of finding out in private.  I was stunned to the core, then was told to leave the office (I cried, naturally).  I took a three hour lunch at a winery and then composed myself to go back to work.  This was in August over 11 years ago.  I haven't dated since.

Nothing about this if fair or right...to anyone.

Trust me when I say it's not you.  I know it doesn't make you feel any better.  You're in a no-win situation.  Do you have a place you can go, is this his place or yours?  A clean break would be easier than this is, I'm so sorry, I know you're both hurting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sometimes a life event is the thing that "fills the rain barrel," and we feel a need to change or simplify. Some years ago, my partner was diagnosed with cancer. My first thought was "now what do we do?" My second was "sever business with person X."  I happen to like person X personally. But I had enough going on at that point with my regular job, and a full time relationship, and worrying about the cancer, that I wanted to reduce the inventory of things I was responsible for.  Person X's business (and it was strictly business) got the ax. I know when my Mom died I didn't have much to give---in addition to the sadness, I'd let the housekeeping go to the point one of my cats got un-housetrained. But I was single at that point - kind of - Current Guy and I were communicating, but weren't spending a lot of time together.  I had to slog to work, and come home and that took almost everything I had.

It may be that bf doesn't have it to give - That's not an excuse to treat you badly. But it sounds like, one way or another, he's through. At five years together, it's not you, it's him. But that doesn't take away the grief of a relationship that may be ending.

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