My Mum died - DP says I need to "get over it"

(37 Posts)
Flowersinthedirt Wed 24-Jul-13 17:38:39

Hi all,

My mum died in April, and since then the relationship with my DP has gone down the toilet. There are various reasons for this but one of the main ones is his complete lack of understanding or sympathy for my grief. In the days and weeks afterwards I was devastated but I got no support from him. Until I gradually learned to do my crying in private. Any whiff of my feeling sad gets a semi-tutting, eye-rolling treatment from him. Whole avenues of conversation are now verboten - such talking about clearing out my mum's old house with my dad and brothers - because his reaction is one of such dismissal.

He has said various things like I need to "get over it", "move on with life", "think positively", "look on the bright side". He thinks my reaction to my mum's death is "extreme". Because my mum could be "annoying" and we didn't always have the best relationship, he doesn't understand why I am so sad. He has zero empathy or imagination to put himself in my shoes. He is taking his cue from his parents who by all accounts were largely non-plussed by the death of their parents (his grandparents). They all lived to ripe old ages, and died in their sleep. My mum died of cancer before her time, on a ward, in the most unimaginably awful way.

So I'm left feeling abandoned and questioning myself. What is "normal"? How should I be reacting? I truly think that if anything I am suppressing the depths of agony I feel in order to put on a sunny disposition for him. I am feeling so angry at him for basically abandoning me at the worst time of my life.

Is this what usually happens with those who haven't been through this? Does anyone have any experiences that are similar with their partners, friends, or family just not understanding grief? Please share with me. He makes me feel like I am mad sad

clam Wed 24-Jul-13 17:42:40

You're not mad, of course not. He is, however, sounding like a bit of a cunt!

Oh poor you. You don't need to justify why your sad! Not to us or to anyone. You're mum only very recently passed away and unless things were terrible between you it's an extremely sad time in anyone's life.

I'm shock at the way he has treated you since. I find it hard to believe he's that stupid to be honest hmm

You need to grieve however you feel best and it's bound to only improve slowly, not quickly for your 'd'P's convenience.

Sorry for your loss thanks

My partner's nan died a few weeks ago and it she was in her 80s, so it was fairly expected. I let him do whatever he needed though, whether that was cry, keep quiet, do nothing, do lots etc. I wouldn't dream of saying 'well she was old' , 'look at the bright side' or 'just get over it now' . A death is a death.

I'm so angry on your part that you're having to deal with this and a bereavement.

Messandmayhem Wed 24-Jul-13 17:45:56

I'd punch him in the dick be furious with him. Has he always been dismissive of your feelings and you have just noticed more or is this new? Are his parents alive? Could he be in denial that one day he will lose them? My grandad died 7 years ago and my dad still cries about it. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there is a right and wrong way to be a decent supportive partner. He is doing it wrong.

officelady Wed 24-Jul-13 17:48:21

You are not mad - far from it! My mum died just under a year ago and if someone told me I should have "got over it" by now I would happily tell them to fuck right off!! It does get a little bit less awful day by day but I can't imagine a time when I won't feel unbearably sad that my mum isn't here anymore. It's true that some people don't know how to react to other people's grief but your partner should be supporting you, not behaving like a total wanker.

Fucking hell, what a nasty piece of shit he is. It takes time, a hell of a lot of time. As far as I'm concerned your partner should be the one you can talk to about stuff like clearing out your mum's house etc. What the hell is wrong with him??

Btw, my stbxh has never been through it. And despite us having problems in our marriage from before mum died he never ever treated me like that.

Flowersinthedirt Wed 24-Jul-13 17:53:31

Both his parents are still alive, very spritely in their 60s. I have suggested to him that his reaction is perhaps covering up his own fear of death, but he says not. He says it's part of life and you've got to get on with it.

He has always been very dismissive about death whereas I have always been sensitive - I cry at all the cancer ads, the start of "Up", 24 hours in A&E and stuff like that - while he laughs at me. He is not immature in any other way. He's just crazily matter of fact about death. Perhaps this is because he hasn't experienced true bereavement yet - i.e. his parents dying. But what sort of person can't even imagine how awful it would be?

'I am suppressing the depths of agony I feel in order to put on a sunny disposition for him' - how dare he do that to you. You are in the very early stages of grief where you feel shock, loss and anger. His lack of compassion for you is gobsmacking. It would be cruel if it was 2 years on but a couple of months?

What is the rest of the relationship like? Is he naturally unsupportive and unloving? If so i'd be packing his bags.
He has no real experience of grief except with people who were old and died peacefully.
My DH lost both his parents in a short space of time. He still struggles now at times. That was a few years ago.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Flowersinthedirt Wed 24-Jul-13 17:59:05

I've imagined (if we get through this and don't break up) him sitting next to me on my deathbed in 40 years time, saying stuff like "You've got to be positive! It's all over now. No point crying about it. Off you pop!".

Makes me feel ill.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 24-Jul-13 17:59:44

I've never felt the urge to say it before but leave him. He's a heartless, mean-minded person, you are not mad and he is not nice. It's been a few short weeks since your mum died and he has shown you no support at all, he doesn't deserve you. I haven't lost a parent yet and I cannot begin to know how I will feel once that happens but it doesn't mean I can't show compassion to those who have lost their mum or dad.

I don't think there's a future here honestly. Do you want to do this all over with every bereavement you ever go through? You don't deserve that.

You need to be able to grieve, trying to hide your grief for his sake will only hurt you more.

wilkos Wed 24-Jul-13 18:02:57

The majority of people who haven't had a serious bereavement can still treat those that have with compassion and respect.

So although you may be partly right about his ability to empathise, I think on balance he is just being a insensitive c**

I'm sorry about your mum thanks

wilkos Wed 24-Jul-13 18:05:06

Sorry... "INABILITY to empathise based in his own past experience"

The natural reaction (for anyone who can see further than themselves that is) is to comfort you.

Show him this thread. She passed away in April ffs.
I know people can be 'practically minded' and everyone acts differently at times of loss but this is just nasty. Rolling his eyes? angry

He doesn't have to understand your feelings - but not understanding them does not exempt him from behaving kindly and caringly towards you, his wife whom he loves.

When my dad died, very suddenly and without warning, I didn't grieve properly for years, until suddenly something pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, set me off and I cried on and off for a fortnight. Did my dh tell me it was years ago, and I should be over it? No, he didn't. He was a bit bemused by the suddenness and intensity of my grief, but he held me, cared for me, and gave me the space I needed. This is what your dh should be doing.

Show him this thread.

And, if it will help, please have a warm hug from a stranger, and my deepest condolences on your loss.

gleegeek Wed 24-Jul-13 18:12:55

I'm sorry about your Mum. My dMum passed away nearly 18 months ago and I still cry at the drop of a hat. It gets easier on a day to day basis but the sheer foreverness of it is hideous. My dh is a bit bewildered by my grief, particularly when it appears to come out of nowhere, but he never ever belittles it and will make me a cuppa and let me get on with it.

Your DP is being insensitive and unkind. You need to do what you need to do to keep going.

Thinking of you xxx

Good gawd - I'm just back from my 90 yr old aunt's funeral and this really strikes a chord with me - how DARE he tell you how you should feel, or how soon you should get over it - 27 yrs after my own Mum's death and today brought it all back to me. I was a mess for at least a year after my Mum died, had panic attacks every time I left the house etc. etc. - not necessarily normal, but indicative of how much 'my' world had changed. You poor thing - he should be supporting you, not dismissing you. You need his support - he is being a total plank in not giving it - but then again, until you go through a bereavement, it's hard to understand the impact it can have. His time will (sadly) come - but it shouldn't be about how HE feels, it should be about how YOU feel, and his support for that - whether he understands or not is not the issue - if you feel bad, he should be more understanding and caring. I don't think you should LTB, I think you should show him this thread. Sending a bit of a non PC hug.

spanky2 Wed 24-Jul-13 18:15:36

As you get no support from him you could try a grief counsellor . He sounds very self centred. Any person should be able to empathise with how you feel . Does he have some sort of autism or personality disorder ? So sorry for the loss of your mum.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Wed 24-Jul-13 18:16:21

When my Dad died, unexpectedly, at 59, 3 months after my ds2 was born, I was devastated.

My Xh did all the support and helping stuff, then after a month, told me I should be over it. He used how he dealt with his grandads death, as an example of how easy it is.

I was still at the stage of crying everytime a cancer ad came on tv and to this day I no longer watch casualty because the death scenes upset me so much.

My reply was, you will understand exactly what its like when your dad dies.

Sometimes people just don't know how to deal with grief, not even those closest to us, who are supposed to know us.

Maybe you should try bereavement counselling. I tried it, but ended up bitching about my mum and sister.

chipmonkey Wed 24-Jul-13 18:18:25

How dare he! There is no "normal" per se but the vast majority of people would still be very, very upset three months after the death of a parent and especially a parent you were close to and who died an early death. He should be bending over backwards to support you at the moment.

tallulah Wed 24-Jul-13 18:20:04

What a horrible reaction OP. He should be supporting you, not being so nasty. FWIW it took me 7 years to actively "get over" my dad's death, and even after 17 years I still get days that take me by surprise and end up hysterical. It's so recent for you, of course you are going to be upset.

My DH has both parents still living and no he didn't react like yours. Your DP's behaviour is abnormal; yours isn't. Grief hits people in different ways so however you are feeling is normal.

What do you say to him when he starts his eye rolling and stupid comments?

On a more helpful note, I couldn't recommend Cruse highly enough. They are a truly wonderful charity, and helped me a great deal when I saw them after mum died.

Pollydon Wed 24-Jul-13 18:22:03

He sounds abnormally cold and heartless, grief is a process, not something you "get over". Never posted this before, LTB.

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