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Topic: Help...advice on helping my partner get through a really tough time.

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Stormi
    Stormi  avatar
    3 posts
    5 September 2019

    Hi, first time posting. I'm after we advice on helping my partner get through a really tough time.

    Background story, my partners dad recently passed away. It's been extremely hard on him. They didn't have the best relationship his dad was tough on him. In an odd way there was love.

    Anything I do or say is wrong! I've developed a migraine, I've never suffered from migraines before. The first thing the doctor said was have you had any stress recently ?! I could have just broke down and cried there and then.

    I love him so much, it kills me that I can't take his pain away.

    He said last night his had enough. I complain to much and his hit rock bottom, and broke up with me.

    Yet didn't want me to do anywhere. We shared our bed and went to sleep next to each other.

    I am lost, I have no idea what to do. I've suggested he / we speck to someone. He refuses.

    I feel like an emotional punching bag. There's no intermincy to help cover up the tears. I'm just raw.

    Any insight is more then welcome.

    Thank you.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    1232 posts
    5 September 2019 in reply to Stormi

    Dear Stormi ~

    Welcome here, many will understand exactly waht oyu are going though, there is no guide-book or manual and the pain of seeing someone you love in such a state is horrible.

    Add to that the fact he burst out and said things he wold probably regret in other circumstances is no help at all -it makes you question yourself and fear loss.

    So what to do? Over airline seats it says

    "Put oxygen mask on self before helping others"

    which is a true here and anywhere. You need to have competent medical help for now, and hopefully the personal support of someone in your family or a friend. someone you can talk to and they will care. It makes a difference.

    I was faced with a close family member ringing me up from interstate one or more times a day for months. It was the hardest time you can imagine, the person had just lost a partner very young and I felt useless and helpless -and frightened they might suicide.

    So I tried ot talk of calm things, not hte death or associated matters, but of past time we had enjoyed, hte comfort of a pet, the occupation of working, always wiht a hint that things could improve.

    One thing I did was store up jokes, fortunately we had a similar sense of humor. I"d not suggest you do this unless you think your partner might appreciate them at the right itme. No sense in making things seem trivial by joking.

    Despite being helpless and feeling useless later on that person told me I made all the difference, by being there, and sometimes by removing grief from thought for a little while.

    If I was in your position I'd ring up Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277 for some advice. I'd also see if anyone might persuade oyur husband to see a grief councilor. If you can't maybe there is someone in his life he might listen to.

    I would like to keep talking wiht you

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Stormi
    Stormi  avatar
    3 posts
    7 September 2019 in reply to Croix
    Thank you Croix.
    No I don't think it's the right time for jokes, not at this stage. I can't even sneeze without him making me feeling guilty. Its such an odd feeling.
    I had a chat with a friend today (I feel terrible even talking to my friends about this because I'm sure they have their own issues going on) she mentioned I need to just stop pushing, trying to assist helping him. He needs to do this on his own. All I'm getting in a stone cold wall. I say hi, or I love you and nothing. I would at this stage just love a conversation about the weather.
    I suggested maybe he visit the GP for a check up. That didn't go down to well .
    It's like leaving with a house mate. He moved into the guest bedroom last night.
    I woke up cried. Wiped my tears put a 'smile' on and asked if he wanted some breakfast.... well not much of a reply.
    I think he deeply sensitive anything I do or say .. he calls it 'nagging' I can't even ask him to put the dishes in the dishwasher without an argument. Or being labeled nagging unhappy.
    He has this thinking that he doesn't make me happy. I wouldn't he here 3 years if I was happy if he wasn't my person. I I understand it's a rough patch and he hates the world right now.
    But why would he say those things if he loves me. Why would he treat me like things if he loves me... ?
    And then he says his not happy and hasn't been happy with me for a while. Before his dad past we were great... So I'm in limbo... and I hate it. I'm a black and white person no grey... Its so hard.
    2 people found this helpful
  4. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
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    Birdy77 avatar
    140 posts
    8 September 2019 in reply to Stormi
    Hello Stormi,

    What you are going through right now with your partner is really hard going. I'm glad you've reached out for some support and different perspectives and experiences to maybe help you along your way.

    Croix has brought up maybe the most important point: Take Care Of Yourself. You must. Before you can take care of anyone else.

    My partner is going through what sounds like a very similar situation to your partner: her mother passed recently & she has been in deep grief, after a very tumultuous and difficult relationship with her mum. We have been talking about it, and wondering if the grief she is feeling now is a lot of old wounds from over the decades that have been pushed down until now. It may be something that your partner may be experiencing as well.

    From how things have been in our household for the last little while, i would suggest trying to mentally extract yourself from the turmoil &, if you can, from thinking it's your job to take his pain away: it's not. If you can just be there for him, be that constant, steady source of ok-ness in his world, that is what he needs. I know he is pushing you away, & that's awful (i know), but these could be (dysfunctional) coping mechanisms he is using.

    In saying that, it's not ok for you to be used as an emotional punching-bag, so do take care of yourself and remove yourself from the situation when you need to.

    My partner has said some things recently she hasn't meant, simply because she's confused & in emotional pain.

    If you can make some allowances, it may help in the long run, little household tasks etc that normally i would expect my partner to help out with, I've taken them over for now. Not to make a lifelong habit , but simply to survive this period.

    When i had some grief counselling several years ago, one of the best pieces of advice i received was to *not make any big life decisions whilst in the depths of your grieving process*. I know your partner has said he wants to separate and now you are in different bedrooms - do you think there's a way you could bring this up to him saying that you are there for him, you understand he needs space right now, but maybe any final decisions can be left for a while?

    Intense emotions can really cloud our judgement & if there's scope for giving this decision some space & time, it could save a devastating separation process with many regrets later. Do you think you could gently suggest something like this to him?

    This is really difficult & painful time, but his grieving period won't last forever. You being there for him (within reason), is one of the biggest gifts & acts of love.

    But please do take good care of yourself, because right now, you are taking over some of the relationship reins for both of you.

    🌻birdy
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Stormi
    Stormi  avatar
    3 posts
    8 September 2019 in reply to Birdy77
    Hi Birdy,
    I'm so scare to say anything at the moment.
    I'm just trying my best to have our normal retouine without 'nagging' so he has a reason to push away from me further.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Birdy77
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Birdy77 avatar
    140 posts
    11 September 2019 in reply to Stormi
    Hello Stormi,

    How have things been the last couple of days?

    I can understand you wanting to keep your routine and try to keep things "normal" so he doesn't push away further. That is so exhausting though isn't it? Walking on eggshells.

    Have you thought about trying Croix's idea of contacting Relationships Australia to maybe get some advice?

    I wondered also about maybe writing your partner a letter? Telling him you know he needs some time and space and let him know you are there for him when he's ready and how much you love and care for him? As he's very difficult to talk to right now, maybe this would work, at least you could say some things that you want to say? Just an idea.

    🌻birdy
  7. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Croix avatar
    1232 posts
    11 September 2019 in reply to Stormi

    Dear Stormi~

    Walking on eggshells is something an awful lot of people do and while it can help for a while my own experience is the more you do that, the more sensitive the person becomes. I had that with a very close relative for years and found there was less and less I could say that did not provoke a reaction.

    It looks like your partner had two very significant people the he depended upon to let him enjoy life, now that one of those has gone he has not been able simply to become closer to you but is struggling. As a result you have tried your hardest, but have got nowhere.

    I'm glad you were able to talk with a friend, even if it was hard to do so, I think the advise was good. While you love your partner trying so hard and facing constant rejection is only harming you, plus it may be giving him someone to blame - which may sound silly, but does happen.

    We both know that visiting a GP, getting counseling and maybe treatment is the best thing for him, however if you cannot persuade him to want to do this himself then it becomes more of a question of keeping yourself safe and not overwhelmed by this all the time.

    I think Birdy is right and he is not in the best space to make decisions at the moment.

    May I repeat my suggestion that you seek more expert advice yourself - for you, not him? It is not going to help either of you if you become too over-stressed yourself, after all you are in a grief situation too; your loving partner is not there, at least at the moment.

    Croix

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