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Feel Like I'm Losing My Husband. Reassurance Please.

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Background - My husband lost his father at 19 from cancer. He didn't deal with it very well, went off the rails. 2 months ago after a long battle we lost his mum to cancer. He is now 36. We were all there around her. He is an only child. He was very close to his mum.

He hasn't spoken about her death at all. He says he still thinks she is there and can't even 'go there'. I know he has had suicidal thoughts. He has regular nightmares. I've told him I'm here for him when he is ready to talk about things. I have called up a grief counsellor and he sees her once a fortnight. He is very withdrawn, sad, pushes me away, argumentative, on edge.

To me it feels like I'm losing him. We argue, which we never have before. I feel like he doesn't want to be here anymore. I'm there for him and understand why these things are happening. Of course his mums died. But my heart is breaking with worry for us and for him. And of course the children. The last thing I want is for us to break down to. I'm trying to stand by him, but feel he is pushing me away.

Does anyone have any reassuring words. Or have experience or advice. Thanks in advance. :-)

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Dear Blondy,

You are clearly dealing with a tough situation right now. I am very glad your husband is seeing a grief counselor. I know you are frightened and I wonder if it wouldn't be smart of you to see that grief counselor or one of his or her associates also so that you can grow in understanding of what your husband is dealing with and mostly to get some support for yourself. Two months is a very short time for your husband to have dealt with the loss of his mother. It seems he was her main support since his father died 17 years ago and the relationship was very close, as you said. I barely remember what life was like or what I was like two months after my husband died. I know you are worried and I am not suggesting there is no cause to worry but I am suggesting that you also get some support for yourself during this time so that you can learn some ways to approach him and so you have your own support person. Give that some thought.

And you might explore Marty's website www.griefhealingblog.com for some articles that may provide some helpful information in situations like this. This page contains a list of books and articles regarding helping someone who is grieving. Click on any of these to see if the information there might help you some. http://www.griefhealing.com/helping-the-grieving.htm

Here is one I think could be helpful. There are many more on this page.


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His reaction is not uncommon. It is a very tough situation for you to be in as well. I am so sorry for what you are all going through! The loss of the second parent feels like the end of the connection to your heritage and everything you've known, all the more so if you're an only child. It would be ideal if he would see a grief counselor. If not for himself, for you and the kids who need him to live and continue in your lives. He surely understands he can't continue as is. Mary wisely suggested you get some help so you can best know how to deal with this. Often we can't change the other person but only learn how best to respond. I do hope you will read the links she's given you, she's an invaluable source of information!

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