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Rejecting Husband After Mom's Passing

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Hi everyone,

My mom passed away on December 7, three hours after my 33rd birthday ended. She was diagnosed with lung cancer (non-smoker) in April and was doing really, really well. In October she had a great deal of trouble breathing and was put on oxygen 24/7. We found out shortly after that the cancer had spread everywhere. So, I watched my mom, so recently the picture of health, pass away at the age of 57. She left behind my dad, me and my two younger sisters.

Like so many of you on these forums, my mom was my best friend. We were both teachers and loved spending time together on school holidays and during the summer when people with "real" jobs were at work. When I was diagnosed with MS nine years ago, she was my rock. I don't think I could have battled this disease, especially in the early stages, on my own.

I think as far as the grieving process goes, I'm at a fairly "normal" state. I'm getting through the days at work (25 teenagers in one room has a tendency to take one's mind off of things) but at home I'm either mindlessly staring at the TV or internet. I would prefer not to discuss things with my husband at this point. I'm still processing everything in my mind, to an extent.

Since my mom's passing, my husband has tried to kiss me several times but I shy away. If he persists, I inevitably start crying. It's as though I can't handle any type of intimacy whatsoever. This behavior seems to offend him and he says it doesn't make any sense to him that I can be occupied with other things (TV, computer, etc.) but when he tries to "distract" me, I'm not interested. Has this ever happened to any of you? I have to say dealing with the loss of my mom is giving me zero patience with my husband in regards to this issue. His mother is still alive and he seems to think I should be acting differently at this stage. How could he possibly know? I just want to know that I'm not the only one to react this way or if I am being unreasonable?

Thank you in advance for any responses. I've found the forums here quite helpful. I feel like I am in very unfamiliar territory. I suppose grief is not really something you seek to learn more about until it invades your life completely.



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Marissa, my dear, I'm so sorry to learn of the death of your mom only one month ago. I hope it helps to know that your reactions are quite common, most especially at this early point in your grief journey. Here are two articles that I hope you will find helpful:

Grief and Sexual Intimacy

How We Mourn: Understanding Our Differences

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Marissa, I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom.. my mom passed away June of last year (63)..

In the weeks that followed, I went about doing my 'regular' activities and appeared to 'look ok' on the outside.. I too had noticed myself feeling short and irritated with my partner.. it's almost as tho I was mad at him for not being able to fully understand what I was going thru.. he has not yet experienced the loss of someone so close.. I do recall having these same feelings and I did end up talking with him about it.. it's been 6 months and I still do find myself experiencing these issues with him but they are less intense and I am more reserved with expressing it.. I am aware of it.. and while I know he has empathy for my mom's passing, I feel he doesn't fully 'get it' .. I know I didn't prior to my mom passing.. not sure if this is what you are experiencing with your husband.

Hopefully explaining to him where you are coming from and that it's not personal will help him and you a bit... good luck and I hope you find peace in your heart.

Hugs :) Maria

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I am sorry for the loss of your mom, my mom passed away August 21. I still find myself wanting to call her, although I hadn't been able to do that the last couple of years (she had dementia). I still find it hard to go to the valley (a couple of hours away) and not go see her in the dementia care facility, as I was used to.

Perhaps you might try a grief counselor. I would hate to see a rift come in between you and your husband due to this, maybe he could accompany you part of the time? Perhaps hearing an expert tell him that this is a common grief response will help him not personalize. Of course he can't possibly understand what he hasn't been through himself. Make sure you show him how much you appreciate him in other ways.

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Thanks to each of you for your kind responses. My husband hasn't really tried anything since my earlier crying when he tried to kiss me. I think he is doing his best to give me space. We have been talking cordially about things, but haven't really broached the topic of intimacy or my grief. I can't seem to discuss it yet without getting too emotional. Mostly, I find myself wanting to text, call or e-mail my mom about things during the day and then realizing that she is no longer there. It's almost like a kick in the stomach every time it happens. Thank you for the extra support, I truly appreciate it.

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