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He distanced himself from me after my father passed away

Tagged as: Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 October 2010) 7 Answers - (Newest, 3 November 2010)
A female United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I had been dating this guy for about three weeks when my father died suddenly.

When this happened he told me that he wasn't the one who should be there for me and that I needed to be with my family and friends. This was about a week ago and since then he has only texted me once. I know that he is right and of course I do need my family and friends but I also wanted him to want to be there to support me. Is he doing the right thing by giving me space or am I right to expect more from him?? I don't know why I'm even worrying at a time like this - perhaps it is just an easy distraction but I can't help but feel he has added to my pain by keeping his distance!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 November 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for getting back to me.

I have heard from him. He said that now is a time for me and my family and that I should not be worrying about anything else. He is quite a spiritual person and is sending me all his healing thoughts and thinking of me. This is thoughtful of him but I would have preferred a cup of tea and some practical support!

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A male reader, mrvhappy United Kingdom +, writes (1 November 2010):

Hi,

I understand that you need him now, but it sounds like (and we are only getting 1 side of the relationship here) that he's probably not sure/able to deal with yr loss.

I wouldnt worry too much about the no contact...like I said my best mate didnt call me when my dad died many yrs ago. His father died recently and I was v v supportive. He recently appologised for not support me back then..he told me that he didnt know what to say/do. Unfortunately, I suspect that your man probably falls into this catergory.

I know its a v tough time for you.... I wouldnt give up on him, that is if you like him and want to develop this relationship.

Good luck & dont forget to get some bereavement counselling organised, sometimes it helps to talk to an professional "outsider" who can guide you through the bereavement process. Perhaps yr man could come with you?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your answers.

Mrvhappy - you asked what the relationship had been like. Well, it was very early days. We were just dating and getting to know each other (we hadn't slept together). He had been wining and dining me and it was so much fun. I understand your comment about my situation changing the dynamics and making it all seem "heavy" instead of light and fun. My guy told me that when his brother died he had become a recluse for months and I don't think he understands that for me it is important to carry on as usual and continue to do normal things. I bumped into him when I was out four days ago. He spent the evening with me and my friend and kissed me goodbye (on the cheek) and said he would be in touch soon...but nothing! I don't understand how he could just not even text me to see how I am over these past few days. I find this very hurtful on top of everything else that I am dealing with.

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A male reader, mrvhappy United Kingdom +, writes (31 October 2010):

Hi,

First of all sorry for your loss...I can understand what you are going through as I have been there.

I'm not saying that I speak for all guys here as different guys react/behave diffrently.

As for yr man, I'm not saying that I agree with his actions, I can see where he's coming from.

When I lost my father, even my best friend kept his distance...I guess thats what we do here in the UK as we are not sure how to handle such a sudden bereavement or how to support friends when they go through this.(esp guys)

You mention that he lost his brother....that can also be a major factor in his actions..it may have bought back some painfull memories....ones which he cant handle.

Another factor to conside it the fact that when most people enter a new relationship, its normally a time of joy & laughter/happiness and time to get to know each other/explore one another. Not a time to get "Heavy". This is probably how he sees it. With your situation, this wont be a time to do that...at the moment.

I understand 100% the support that you need from him RIGHT NOW...but he probably feels helpless that, as he cant sort himself out, he possibly feels frustrated that he cant help you.

You dont say what the relationship was like before this happened?

Hope this helps

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A female reader, fi_the_tree United Kingdom +, writes (31 October 2010):

fi_the_tree agony auntTell him that you can understand why he's doing what he is doing, but that you could also really use his support as well as the support of your family and friends. Together you can both try to come to terms with the loss of both your close relatives.

Tell him that you would really like it if he could be there for you, and that you can also offer him support as i'm sure this may have brought up some old feelings about losing his brother.

Even though you have only been together for a few weeks, dosen't mean that you don't deserve your mans shoulder to cry on, and the same for him with your shoulder.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 October 2010):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I probably should mention that he lost his brother a few years ago and he is still coming to terms with his loss and that he suffers from depression.

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (31 October 2010):

DrPsych agony auntI think many people avoid the recently bereaved as they don't know what to say or what to do. I hope that family and friends are available to support you at this tragic time. I think your boyfriend has only been on the scene for a couple of weeks so maybe he doesn't feel that the relationship is that serious. He may feel that keeping away is for the best given that you are just casually dating. However, if you are upset about his conduct then tell him and give him the opportunity to make amends. He may think he is doing the right thing. However, if he continues to ignore you afterwards then it is time to evaluate the potential for a serious relationship with this man. Long term relationships are founded on partners who are there to offer a cup of tea at times of need. Be careful!

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