Struggling to do the right thing(27 Posts)
I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place. Looking for some perspective or maybe a good shake. My husband died 5 months ago today. Our son was born a week after he died and I've been struggling to maintain relationships with my husbands friends, who are obviously also grieving and want to see our son. After our son was born I was a bit of a mess, sleeping a lot and generally just not at all together. My H had bought us a new house a couple of weeks before he died and our old house he left to his best friend (bf1) who had been living with us for a while ( which I know sounds very weird but was a normal thing for him to have done when viewed as part of a bigger picture) I stayed at our old house for a month after our son was born and my H's two best friends basically looked after our son during that time. They did a great job and one of them is a trustee for our son (bf2) for the money my husband left for him. They have always been my husbands friends first and mine by extension, at times we have all butted heads when it came to looking after my husband who was at very ill for periods of time before he died. Since I have moved, about two hours drive from the original house, I've really struggled to maintain the relationship with h's BF's. I know they loved my H and I know they love our son and want to be near him but having them around reminds me of the man who should be around and who isn't and I feel like without my H there there's no buffer or filter between his friends and I. My husband was the common element and without him there I don't really know how to interact with his friends. BF1 tried a lot at the start to visit and see the baby but I wasn't really all that receptive, I had also met an ex who goes to the same church for a coffee and a chat which upset a lot of people. I had been avoiding chatting with any of his friends for a good few weeks and BF1 arrived unannounced yesterday to see the little one which I hated. I can't really explain my reluctance to have people around and don't know if this is a normal sort of response. I know my H would want them involved in his sons upbringing i just can't seem to let them be involved and feel like they will be judging everything I do. Do I just need to get a grip?
No one should be turning up at your door unannounced wanting to see either you or your baby. You are also allowed to meet whoever you want to meet whenever you want to. They are the ones who need to get a grip not you.
Thanks for your reply. I have just been feeling guilty because it's like I'm keeping them away from my son when they looked after him when he was born, and against what my H would want.
You're not keeping him away from them, they will end up having an uncle type of relationship I suppose with your Ds but not now whilst he's still a baby. In a few years they'll be able to take him out and spoil him ect but only after making the arrangements of when they can have him with you first.
Set boundaries now or it will be even more of a nightmare. If they want to visit it will be on your terms ect and until your Ds is old enough to be left with them I'd meet them for lunch every now and again since they're trustees but be firm in that they can not just turn up round your house uninvited and they can not demand to see your Ds either. They will have to play by your rules if they want to be a part of your Ds life.
I'm sorry for your loss Orca.
It's still really early days for you. You're dealing with the loss of your husband and the struggle of raising a baby on your own.
You have to put yourself and your child first. At the end of the day, your son is your responsibility alone. Your husband's friends will just have to fit in with what you feel you can cope with right now.
It won't be like this forever.
5 months is a very short time, in terms of loss and grief. I imagine you are still feeling very raw and vulnerable.
Don't worry too much about others and focus on your own feelings and your son. Do what feels right for you, rather than trying to do 'the right thing'.
I'm sorry for your loss
I'm so sorry your husband died.
Are his friends the kind of men you'd normally mix with? Are you comfortable with them? When your husband was alive, did you enjoy their company?
They aren't necessarily the kind of people I would be friends with given the choice, they were in our lives because they were my husbands family pretty much. They don't make me uncomfortable as such. last year we all tried to get along for my husbands benefit which wasn't always easy, but they were reliable when he was sick and after the baby was born they stepped up. Without my H the differences in us all are more obvious I suppose.
I think you're being unreasonable to keep your husbands family from your son, you need to think about him more than yourself right now
Look what held you together was your husband you need to redefine your relationship with them but you need to grieve first
Would it be unreasonable just to text them all and say I just want some time and space with my baby?
Why can't they see your child too? I don't feel like you're telling the whole story
i think you're right they will be judging everything you do they were his friends you could leave it twenty years and it would still be too fast if you move on
set up some boundaries tell them they remind you that the circle is not complete and this is making you sad ask for a bit of time and space and to let you know when they want to visit so you can prepare but this goes both ways you must let them see your child if they give you notice you cant really say no because they have stuck to your rules
BF 1 texts all the time asking about my son, wanting to come see him. I just think he needs stability. These men will eventually move on with their lives and my son will be left with the void when they aren't interested anymore
Do you have any romantic history with bf1, he sounds a bit obsessed. Just tell them you don't want them around and forget about it if it's that big of a deal for you to be alone now
No romantic relationships no. I will just play it by ear I think thanks
I'm so sorry for your loss.
It's not about them now. You have to do what is right for you and the baby, make a life for the two of you. What they want is of no consequence, even if they were close to your Dh they are not your family.
They need to let you grieve the loss in your own way and in your own time. You haven't really had time, you had the baby so soon after losing Dh.
Don't try to please everyone, concentrate of you and Ds.
I would strongly disagree with outragedkoala.
You were widowed a week before your DS was born. You need to put yourself and your DS at the centre of what you do not your DH's friends. It was great they looked after your DS when he was born and it will be lovely for your DS to have them in his life. But at the moment you sound like you need space to grieve and to build your new life without your DH here.
Please don't beat yourself up about doing what is right for you and your DS. If your DH's friends really care about your 2 they will understand that you need some space.
Why do you assume they will move on and forget about your DS? It sounds like they had incredibly deep friendships with your DH and they have provided support in ways that go above and beyond what most people would or could do. Indeed, they do sound more like family than friends. And when you look at it that way, I do think you owe it to your DS and DH to let them be in your DS's life, albeit on your terms and with boundaries. They don't need to know who you are seeing or what you're doing when they are not around. But there's no such thing as too many people to love a baby and no such thing as too many people willing to provide free babysitting.
I'm getting the feeling, however, that there's much more to this story.
this must be so hard. Are you seeing a doctor? Do you think the anxiety about them leaving and withdrawing from everyone is linked to depression, or do you feel as okay as you think you can in the circumstances?
Is anyone visiting you? Wanting to be left alone is okay for the short term but you'll need company and support sooner or later. Are your family visiting?
I'm widowed too. One of the most surprising things I've found is how many people have an opinion on how a widow should behave. It's hard. And dealing with their expectations as well as one's grief (and for you, a baby) is almost impossible. So although it isn't easy, it will be best for you and your child if you set some boundaries. I did a lot of 'smile and nod and discount the advice/lecture you're giving me while letting you think I'm considering it' because it's easier than confrontation of telling them to fuck off for telling you who you can or cannot have coffee with.
Just because your husband died doesn't mean his friends are in loco parentis. Trustee does not trump mother. You're in charge of your life and your baby's and that is really important after the lack of control you had with your DH's illness and death.
I find it hard to understand the money stuff - so one of his friends inherited a house from him and will leave that money in turn to his own children presumably? It has bypassed you and your son? Whatever the details of it all, it sounds like you and your DH had rather an unusual financial set up for this day and age, and this may feed into his friends thinking that you are not capable of living your life/raising your son without their involvement.
If I were you I would give yourself some space by getting someone else to say to them that you're struggling with being social at the moment and please not to turn up unannounced. You could also use your son's sleep routine as an excuse.
If you want to you could set up times for them to see your son - at a soft play centre or other neutral venue (not your home) every month or so.
When you feel ready you should see a decent grief counsellor.
Also, please, if you're in the U.K., join Way If you're in another country then see if there is something similar for young widow/ers.
Love, they died, we didn't. The pain is agonising and I can't promise it gets better because it hasn't for me (almost 2 years on). But it does compress, somehow, so there is more space for other emotions alongside the grief, and it is possible to be happy and sad all the the same time. I am now. Many days the happiness even eclipses the sadness.
Look after yourself and your child first.
My dad and brother have been visiting me but my mum and I had a bit of a falling out and we haven't managed to make up. I generally just want to be left alone. My son is a very good baby, sleeps through and only cries if he gets cold. He's starting to look a lot like his daddy and sometimes that's hard. He wanted a family so much and now he's missing it all, and mostly that breaks my heart but sometimes I just feel so angry at him for leaving us. I don't think his friends have that anger thing though, and I worry they would judge me if I tried to speak about it. We all went through my husbands illness together, and sometimes I wish it had just been me and him to share the last few months, but I know practically I couldn't have done it without them. I don't know how I feel about it all. It's difficult to explain, I just don't feel capable of engaging with the outside world, I can't believe that life can go on, friends complaining about bf's, political debates, the weather. I can't stand to make chit chat, but I also don't want to talk about him with people, not in the past tense anyway.
The financial thing is less complicated than it appears. My husband was a look after everyone possible kind of person, infuriatingly kind and patient. He spread what he had around to best help everyone and our son has been really well taken care of, so the house thing isn't an issue except i hate the new house and probably wish I had stayed in our old house.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice. Maybe arranging a monthly meet up would work. Boundaries and they get to see him without losing control of the situation
I'm not sure why Koala seems so over invested and aggressive.
But you need time and space. You don't owe anyone anything in terms of contact/time spent with these men. However, I would encourage you to not make rash decisions. I'd be tempted to be honest with them. Something like 'I'm out of sorts. Obviously. I need space and time at the moment. It's going to take me some time to process what's happened and where my life is at, so I'll be in touch when I can face it. Thanks for being supportive, and I'll be sure to send you some photos of ds in the meantime.'
Or something like that. You need to let them know you're not up for living in each other's pockets and having unannounced visits.
Do you have RL support?
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