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Losing A Parent & Getting Into A New Relationship

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I am sorry for those that have lost parents and have experienced huge loss. I have not had to deal with this yet, but I am an empathetic person and know any loss is hard. I am making a post to get perspective from those of you that have lost a parent or a loved one.

I met a great man 4 months after his father passed away, unexpectedly in his sleep, after getting a clean bill of health from his doctor a few weeks before.

We had a really great relationship and for the first 6-7 months, you would have no idea that he had any sadness in his life... at about 7 months, things started to change dramatically and it coincided with what was the 1 year anniversary of his fathers death. We stayed together for the next few months, however, he started to fall into depression and "felt flat".. It seemed as if he realized that he wasn't ready for handling what a relationship holds, he wasn't happy with his life and couldn't give me what I need emotionally.... ultimately letting out relationship go.

I was supportive when he was depressed, however, he was very very hesitant to speak of his father and would drop the subject. His friends say he never actually "grieved" verbally with anyone and rarely talks about his dad with them either. There was no burial, just a service, then ashes spread on the one year anniversary.

He included me in the dinner he had with his mom and sister on the 1 year anniversary, but none of them cried. Just said a prayer. I felt awkward being there, because it was so personal, but he wanted me to be there. Looking back, I definitely could have been more supportive, but I didn't know how or if he was hurting, as he had so many walls up about it.

My question is this: Grief and loss of a parent is a very difficult thing to handle, I know I can say with confidence, even without experiencing it personally. Is it inappropriate to get in a relationship with a new partner when you are dealing with this loss, so soon after? I realize that these feelings of guilt, grief & anger resurfaced after our "honeymoon" phase ended, it was a lot for him to handle, and led to a demise in our relationship (among other things, but this is the matter at hand) and as I realize this now, I want to get more understanding about getting into a relationship so soon... for those of you that lost, could you imagine getting into a relationship? or did you? How do you think it would affect you?

thanks in advance.

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Each case is different but I would say yes, it would not be recommended to get in a relationship after the passing of a loved one, even more so a parent. See, a relationship requires emotional investment, and when grieving you need your emotions to do what they need to do. No feelings should be repressed. Sometimes, getting in a relationship is a way of burying or trying to ignore the pain of grieving.

What is the point of getting into a relationship when your emotional state is a mess?? I lost my father 16 months ago, I have had a bf for 2 yrs now and I can tell you that the 6-8 months after his passing were extremely difficult on me. I almost could feel no emotion towards my bf. I was not in a place I could pour my emotions on him. He is a great listener but also he hasn't lost his parents, he can try to relate but cannot completely understand until it happens to him. However, he was very patient with me, and that is why we are still together today. If I had been single when dad passed away, I would not have gotten involved in a relationship. Too much emotional investment and energy I didn't have at the time. I barely managed to focus on work, my family and my grief, that was plenty to deal with.

Grieving is a process that could well take up our entire lives. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my father. The pain is not as intense, but it is still there. I manage to go on with my life, but still feel a bit incomplete because dad is not here.

Your bf reaction is completely understandable. There are different ways of grieving, and just because his family did not cry on the anniversary doesn't mean they don't feel a thing. Grief affects people differently.

That's my two cents.


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  • 2 weeks later...


I couldn't agree more with L. My father passed almost 6 months ago and I am still an emotional rollercoaster. The death put quite a strain on my boyfriend and my relationship because I was very depressed. I couldn't show love, i wasnt interested in sex, I didnt feel like he understood me because he never lost a parent. I began to feel guilty about my state of depression because I felt like I was bringing him down with me. I have such a hard time at work, I almost forgot my own birthday coming up...If we had not been together for years prior to my father passing, I dont think we wouldve survived. Just be his friend. Be there for him but give him space and lots of understanding.

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Dear one,

If you haven't already done so, you may want to read the posts in these two threads (in our Loss of a Love Relationship forum) which will give you some additional perspectives from two young men who find themselves in similar circumstances:

GF's Mother Has Brain Aneurysm

My Girlfriend Broke Up With Me After Her Mom Died

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I echo what has been said here...right after such a loss is not a good time to start a relationship. It strains the best of relationships. I lost my fiance when his mom was dying. Everyone handles loss differently. Some fill their time with incessant activity and people...others withdraw and become hermits. Neither is right or wrong, just different ways of dealing with it. We need to give ourselves time to experience our grief and emotions.

Today, my ex-fiance and I are friends...we don't see each other very often, but we talk on the phone several times a week. It is sad to me that we didn't make it, but I don't hope for or wish anything different, just accept what is and I continue to care about him even while recognizing that he wasn't able to be there for me in a way that I needed. I have forgiven him, finally, and try to understand what he's been through...by the same token I wouldn't want more of the same so I don't go there.

If you encounter someone else that is going through a loss of this magnitude, try to keep it on a friendship level and realize they aren't in a good place to be making such decisions.

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  • 1 month later...

Do you all think that getting into a new relationship was a good "distraction" and now that he is back alone he is feeling the pain of loss all over again? especially if his friends said he never really grieved...

trying to understand the loss. I know one day I will have to deal with the same thing, for now trying to understand from those who have been through loss.

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