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Loving a Grieving Person
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Loving a Grieving Person

I am dating a man who has been divorced for almost 3 years.  His ex-wife died unexpectedly 10 months ago.  Since they were divorced she had their 2 kids, ages 5 & 7 with her as his job was military.  Her death has brought the children into his life now on a daily basis.  He seems polarized to make any decisions and when he does he cries and/or makes horrible choices.  Their marriage was in severe trouble prior to the divorce and it was messy, she left him and took the kids while he was traveling to their other home and moved a boyfriend in, who at the time of her death was her fiancee.  Now that she has died he seems to have backtracked and is now in a grieving widow type of state, and I don't understand this.  Their marriage ended badly, there was time in between, and he has dated several people. But I catch him slipping saying "my wife" meaning her - glossing over all the horrible things she did and putting her on a pedestal as a perfect mother.  When I point out the flaws in his statements he tells me to let it go. This bothers me greatly as he (and her parents) are not living in reality.  Can you please tell me if this is grief?  Is this survivors guilt?  Is he just overwhelmed?  How do I cope with this abrupt change and how do I help him get through this?  I have encouraged him to get counseling and he has done so a few times, but I dont know if he continues to go.
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686059_tn?1293837427
Regardless whether they were divorced or had a messy divorced. There was a time when this man loved this woman and although they both moved on with their lives, the shared history, children and once a marriage. He might have no longer loved her, but never in his wildest dreams could he imagine that she would have died. She is the mother of his children and he grieves for her passing and concern about his children.

I can understand how uncomforable this must be for you, but all you can do at this point is support him through difficult time for him, her family and the children and please, do not cause further stress by pointing out his flaws. She's dead and just let him grieve her passing as he knows best. Communication is key to all relationship, so "discuss" your conserns without pointing fingers with issues. He loved her once and I know you don't want to hear that, but he did and he is grieving the woman who was once his wife and is no more. Reassure him that you understand that it's a very difficult time for him and the children and you are there to support him through this difficult time. He will open up to you when he is read. Right now, reassure him your support, step back and let him grief if that is what he needs to do, support him with the decision he will have to make with his children. This is a life changing event and will change the dynamics of your relationship. It's important for him to talk about his feelings, so simply listen to him. It will take  some time and if it is necessary for him to either pay a visit to a counselor or even a priest, rabbi or whatever religious denomination he is, it will help him within time mover forward with his life and make the right decision. Best wishes...Judy

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Also, I mean no disrespect to you. I understand this is a very uncomfortable situation for you too, but death has a way of desrupting lives.  Judy
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There are two sides to every story,as they say! He obviously loved her for a reason! He may feel guilty,for reasons he will never share.He may also feel guilty for his part in their break-up.In my experience men are rarely honest as far as what really happened as far as a break-up.And to have her pass,guilt,and lots of it!!! I would suggest a grief counseler,he needs it.Lots of luck.And I know in my grief,I have been hard to handle.Understanding & compassion is so needed from you right now! God bless your family & through prayer and hope this can be fixed! The best to you,I know this is hard for you as well.Hugs,Jen
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Avatar_f_tn
I really agree with Judy246 & also think that we may say alot of things when
we are angry. In reality though none of us are not perfect people.
Sometimes we look at all the bad in a person & death makes us realize we
should of also looked at the good things more times than not there is so much
good in us all.Maybe he does have guilt about that.Just try to be there for him
after all he in my opinion would not be a very decent man if he wasnt feeling these
emotions.

Lots of luck
Lisa
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Avatar_n_tn
as a guy, it's time to stand up and be a father and responsible life partner to the one he loves now. He should see that this invoves more than just him, and should be happy to have you to lean on, and thankful, or he may end up alone. He needs to grow up and start thinking for himself now. Good luck
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