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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Question for those who have dealt with the death of a parent...
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queston posted:
...or other close loved one:

My wife has been appallingly non-supportive since my Dad died in early April. The memorial service (in another state) is next weekend. Last night I suggested that if she can't be supportive at the memorial service, it might be better for her to just stay home. This, of course, led to a huge fight.

She says that I'm not including her enough in the memorial service plans and that she feels like an outsider. First of all, that's bull. Second, she's expressed no interest in any of it, and has done nothing but bitch about having to go at all, so why would I even think she wants to be involved in the planning in any way? And third, even if her beef were legit, what would a loving and supportive spouse do under the circumstance? Shut up and and play the role that their spouse wants/needs them to play, right?

So here, finally, is the question--are these kinds of feelings of resentment toward the spouse for not being very supportive common? Is it a common for people mourning the loss of a loved one to experience this type of anger?



I'm trying to figure our how I will ever be able to get past this.
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tmlmtlrl responded:
I don't really have much time right now but just saw this and feel compelled to reply.

Question, my heart just breaks for you. I wish for you that your wife wouldn't be the way that she is. You are goin through understandably deep emotions right now, therefore your anger is naturally going to be amplified.

My suggestion for you would be to walk right up to her and say "I'm sorry you're feeling left out of what's going on, but what's happening right now is happening TO ME and I NEED YOU to be supportive. I NEED YOU to be there for me. I need you to stand beside me and love me and hold me up when I'm ready to fall because I lost MY FATHER"

Your wife always skates around the idea that you're not forward enough with your words. So put it out there. As straight as possible. Then let her know if that is too much to ask she can stay home. Not maybe. Let her know that right now you need to mourn your father's passing.

Your wife is not empathetic at all. She will probably get angry at first, but I would let her know cut n dry this is how it is and then walk away. Let her have time to take it in. Let her know this time it is not about her except for in your need to have her be your wife.

I am very sorry for your loss. I really hope your wife will step up and help you through this. I pray for your family and you to have strength through this time. Take care.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
 
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3point14 responded:
My parents almost broke up after the death of my Mothers dad. Basically, they handle grief differently and both felt like they weren't being supportive. My Dad's the type to talk stuff out and my Mom would shut him up by saying "He was my Dad". My Mom's the type to want to get life back to "normal" as possible, and seemed callous to my Dad.

Was your dad close to your wife? Maybe she could feel like you're making her feel like an outsider by not acknowledging her grief as well? That could be why she's seemingly selfish about it?

I agree with TML, though. I think you just need to say to your wife "This is exactly what I need right now" and just tell her. What could she do to help ease your grief? Only you can determine if what you're feeling is because of her behavior or if it's your grief, but if nothing else, no a caring partner wouldn't be exacerbating your hurt.

Are you two still seeing a therapist? Maybe bring this up? Maybe see someone alone, get some real "you" time to deal with your grief (pardon if this is too forward) without having to worry if it'll turn into a fight with your wife? You need someone now to talk to, not to be fought with. You need time to process all this, and hopefully be treated more lovingly. Maybe let your wife know how hurt and resentful you are because of all this, if it would make a difference? Just be straightforward "I lost my Dad and having you be unempathetic is making it worse and making me question if I can ever get past this in our relationship".

((huge hugs)) I'm so sorry about your Dad, question. Obviously the board is here for you if you need a place to vent. I'm sorry you're not getting what you want from your wife. I can't imagine how frustrating and hurtful that is.
 
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darlyn05 responded:
My response to your questions in the 3rd paragraph is Yes, those feelings are common, they could be temporary or long living. Yes again. I think the level of emotions depends on the level of the relationship(both between spouses and that with the deceased).

Is your wife 'close' to anyone? I remember that she felt estranged from her family(including the marital connection in areas). That could understandably indicate something, what?, I don't know her.

I agree with tmlmtlrl and PI's ideas.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss and hope the service is honoring and respectful.
 
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queston responded:
Well, we had a long and sometimes heated discussion about this last night.

I'm not sure if things are going to change, but she definitely is aware of my feelings and acknowledges that she hasn't been a very good wife (her words) lately and hasn't been very supportive since my Dad's death.
 
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3point14 replied to queston's response:
I'm sure it was gratifying at least to get that from her. I hope sincerely that things do change. You're at least on the right path.
 
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queston replied to 3point14's response:
We just had lunch. The therapist that my son saw at one time came up, and I suggested that my wife should see a therapist. (Her workplace offers an employee assistance program that would pay for a certain number of visits.) She seemed absolutely incredulous that I would even suggest this.

Perhaps it is a seed planted, who knows. She seems pretty emotionally/mentally fragile. She was already going through something before being rejected by/estranged from her family (which is a pretty big deal). I think she could benefit a lot from therapy. (Couldn't we all?)
 
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queston replied to queston's response:
Oops--that should have read "She was already going through some things before being rejected by/estranged from her family..."
 
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3point14 responded:
Question, just letting you know you're on my mind today. How you holding up?
 
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queston replied to 3point14's response:
Thanks. His memorial service was Saturday--it was a lovely service and we got through it. The trip started out a little rocky for my wife (she was grumbling and griping about stuff), but she kindof came around. I suspect maybe my oldest son may have had a talk with her at some point.
 
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fcl replied to queston's response:
Queston, I'm really glad that the service was nice and that you "survived" it.

I didn't post in this thread mainly because I was so shocked and horrified by your wife's behaviour that I really didn't know what to say. My father died in July and I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone can trample on their loved one's grief and make it all about them. My heart bled for you.

(((((HUGS)))))
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.


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