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.

Gruntfuttocks Wed 24-Jul-13 18:26:57

"abandoning me at the worst time of my life"
"makes me feel like I am mad"

What a horrible horrible man. He is showing you his true colours. Take note and gather your strength to get rid of him.

LalyRawr Wed 24-Jul-13 18:27:48

My parents died nearly 12 years ago. I'm still not 'over it'. I still get upset and angry and my OH would never dream of telling me to look on the bright side or any other crap your partner has said-& I met my OH 8 years after they died!

You grieve however you want and for however long you want.

The only thing you should be getting over is him- after you've kicked him out the door.

WyrdMother Wed 24-Jul-13 18:28:23

My dad died 32 years ago and if I smell oily cloth or hear the Dam Busters march, then I struggle not to cry, because these are things I associated with him and I still miss him, even though I might not think about him every day, or perhaps even every week.

Thankfully my husband gets this, because his farther died 30 years ago and there are some things that still upset him.

Of my three, middle aged friends who have lost parents in the last couple of years they are all still grieving to a greater or lesser degree, but perhaps only show it to their close friends and family.

There is no right or wrong way to feel, especially so soon, perhaps your partner needs to have a think about what "partner" means. OED defines it as "a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or firm with shared risks and profits:", if you put that in personal terms isn't "shared risks and profits" just "for better or for worse?"

LucyBabs Wed 24-Jul-13 20:33:27

Wow just wow You poor thing flowers

There is no time frame for grieving and your life has changed beyond recognition.

I lost my mum 8 months ago, the pain of losing her really hasn't changed that much, some days are easier than others.

You need someone just to lean on, someone to help you do the things you can't face doing alone.

My own dp can be so insensitive, he can't possibly understand the pain of losing a parent but he takes over with the dc house work etc when he sees I'm about to hit a wall. All I ask is that he supports me.

I really feel for you x

Chubfuddler Wed 24-Jul-13 20:36:18

Is this a bolt from the blue op? Had he never shown any sign of being such an unfeeling cunt previously?

He is the opposite of what you need right now op

thanks

lurkerspeaks Wed 24-Jul-13 21:55:51

My Mother died in January and I'm still a mess on certain days.

I'm so cross on your behalf. How dare he belittle your grief.
One day he will realise how truly shit it is.

Only you can decide what you want to do about it but I've certainly pulled back from friends and family who have been hopeless. I've been lucky lots of friends/ family have been great but some have been truly and utterly shit.

I loved one of my friends "Oh, I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything" comments which prefaced a long e.mail 4 months after the death about how marvellous her children were and someone within the family who emailed me about what a lovely wedding anniversary meal out she had just had on my Mum's birthday with ne'er a mention of the date. She couldn't have forgotten the significance of the date as it is her wedding anniversary and it was her private thing with my Mum.

This is the same person who told me not to be so negative when I said my sibs and I were taking my Dad out for a "fuck mother's day" hill walk. Given that it snowed we ended up doing something else... but I personally thought it wasn't a bad sentiment on what was a hideous day.

I'm not sure I want her back in my life.

Rainbowshine Fri 26-Jul-13 09:20:39

I am so sorry for your loss. My response comes from a slightly different perspective as my lovely FIL died seven months ago. DH is devastated, and sometimes it is hard to be watching a person you love deal with the grief. I sometimes want to say something to him but don't, as I am not sure it would help. He's sometimes interpreted my silence as not caring, so I had to explain that I just didn't know how to or when to broach the subject. He clearly needs to talk about it but isn't ready yet, and maybe I'm not the right person to listen. However, I would never dream of saying "get over it" - although I have to admit sometimes I feel such anger that my normally happy go lucky DH has changed and is so sad and I have to remind myself that I am angry at the situation, not at him and saying "I wish you weren't so down all the time" will not make him turn back into his previous self. I also would agree with the endorsement for Cruse even if it is just to have a read of their website. I hope my perspective may help you, although I have to say he sounds very insensitive - is he jealous that your focus isn't wholly on him?

oldham70 Fri 09-Aug-13 21:58:24

That is rubbish op. I had similar. (D) h asked me on the day of my mums funeral what had I watched to make me sad.
Tbh that was 2 years ago and I still can't get over it. Obv we have other issues too but that hurt so much.
Hope things improve for you.

ChippingInHopHopHop Fri 09-Aug-13 22:04:07

Oh love, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. April isn't very long ago at all. My Dad died a few years ago and I'm still often in bits over something and it was a long, long time before I stopped really crying every day, even now it's still 'more days than not'. 4 months is nothing... and yeah, my Dad could be bloody annoying too grin

I couldn't be with someone who acted like your DP - it would show him to be a person I didn't like.

When someone shows you who they are - pay attention.

I'm sorry to hear about your mum.

If your partner is offering no support, are you getting help from elsewhere? Friends? A counsellor?

Freesia2013 Fri 09-Aug-13 22:18:46

Sorry for your loss. My lovely mum passed away 6 months ago tomorrow. All I can say is that people don't know how to act, what to say, even some of my closest friends. (and sometimes when they want to talk about 'how I am' I just want to catch up on all the latest gossip and not open up to everyone who is trying to help) Take things at your own pace and if you need to talk but he's not quite there yet then do get in touch with someone here or otherwise who will happy to listen x x

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