T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 34666
posted 07-15-2007 01:09 AM
They were inseparable since they were born up until age 15... Five years ago. He told me about it, and I thought it was adorable; a cute story. I figured, however, that it was over. Coming to this assumption based on the facts that he had since moved on with other girls...and hadn't contacted her since they moved apart at 15.
Well she died, and he flew out for her funeral and memorial and everything... and I understand that he needs time to grieve. So I had given him, and was trying to give him space, while still..being there...to comfort him and whatnot. (And I'm still aware that he needs to grieve in his own way) Tonight he decides to open up to me, and started telling me that he still loves her. That she knew him better then anyone ever will. That there was so much he wish he still had time to do with her. If they had stayed together they would have gotten married by now... All of this to me...his girlfriend...of two years. It made me very uncomfortable. I know it's a hard time for him, to lose someone that close to you..but..still. I don't know how to approach this situation without being insensitive. Rather...without appearing insensitive. Because I don't want to hurt him. But I'm also a factor here, even though he's having a rough time, I don't want to let myself get hurt and beat up over this. I'm not exactly jealous of HER, as it may appear I have implied. But I'm more jealous of the feelings that he's directing towards his memories of her. Selfish as it may seem... that's how I'm feeling. And what a wretched feeling it is. Should I just remain quiet, and let him keep sharing all of this with me? Or let him know exactly how uncomfortable I'm feeling? The problem with the second option though, is....she's dead, and he's upset, and I'm terrible with grieving, as you can probably assume. I've already upset him a tiny bit earlier, by saying "maybe she died for a reason", to try to tell him if it was meant to be she wouldn't have died. I know I have to do something, but this situation is too sensitive for me to delve into unguided, given my track record of grievance assistance, and jealousy. Put the two together.... -shudders- Thank you for any help I can get. [ 07-15-2007, 05:08 AM: Message edited by: capn36k ]
Member # 33223
posted 07-15-2007 10:35 AM
hey, i dont know if I am supposed to comment here, but reading this i felt that you should get an answer...
He is probably in shock still. someone who you have known for a long time, and loved just died. He is venting and when people tell you these tings, it means that they think you are someone who they can lean on and will listen with care. Butyou have been with him for two years, and he clearly moved on by being with other girls.He is spilling every feeling to you cause he knows that you will understand and he trusts you. It definitley sounds unconfortable, Ive been with my boyfriend for a year and hearing about him being with anyone makes me cringe! dont worry if you feel jealous that he is talking about her in this way, but girl, he wouldnt love you if he was with you for this long. He needs you in his time of need. Say that you're there forhim and that you can tell him anything. Just dont tell him how you feel cause he is in lots of shock and in grief. At a later time if you still feel bummed about this, you could bring it up. Thats what I think.
Member # 3
posted 07-15-2007 02:19 PM
Oy, capn, that's really harsh. It's beyond understandable that you're feeling uncomfortable, and please don't beat yourself up about it.
When someone we're close to dies (not sure if you've experienced that yet), it can really mess us up. It's also really common to sort of romanticize that person or our connection with them more: they're gone, and we can't have them back, which both makes us miss them all the more and also creates a situation where we can do a whole lot of "if only's" because given that person is gone, there won't be any tangible consequences of those if-onlys. Unless, of course, we make a mess of other things with them. You know, I'd simply suggest that you tell your boyfriend that while you want to be there for him with this, and in some ways you can, that for obvious reasons you're not the best person for him to talk to about wishing he was still with her and not with you. That you can understand him feeling that way, but that it's an awful lot to ask of you, specifically, and that those parts of his grief are probably better for him to share with friends, not his partner. That's in no way insensitive: we still get to have limits when someone around us is grieving, and asking for them is totally okay to do.
Member # 34666
posted 07-15-2007 05:02 PM
The only person I've known who had died was my grandfather, and that was expected, so closure came quick. All I can do for him si be understanding of the circumstances. Maybe not the "I know how you feel" understanding, but..."I don't know how you feel but that's okay, and we'll get through it" understanding, if that makes sense?
I told him I was uncomfortable discussing his relationship with her earlier today, but that I was still there if he needed a shoulder to cry on, but he got a little bit upset. Which I was expecting. He said something along the lines of.."If I can't talk to you about that then I can't talk to you about anything." And he left. I know it will pass, he's just upset, but thinking back my choice of words wasn't that spectacular. That could be the reason he's being distant now. I know I have to talk to him, or else our relationship could be at stake, but I don't know what to say anymore..
Member # 1207
posted 07-16-2007 05:41 AM
Maybe not the "I know how you feel" understanding, but..."I don't know how you feel but that's okay, and we'll get through it" understanding, if that makes sense? I think this is KEY. You can't ever really know how someone is feeling ... You're not them, and even if you've experienced the exact same situation, people don't handle loss/grieving the same. It's 100% okay to say you don't know how he feels b/c you CAN'T. He can explain it to you, and you can listen and offer support, but that is all anyone can ask of you. Perhaps he can share his feelings w/ some of her other friends? Or is there a support group in your area that he may want to go to? I would apologize for upsetting him, and acknowledge that sometimes you don't know what to say (or how to say it). We're all human; we never have ALL of the answers.
Member # 29525
posted 07-16-2007 09:31 PM
One of the most valuable things I've learned in life about relationships is that its extremely possible to love many people even though you're only allowed to be with one of them officially. I have an ex-boyfriend from nearly seven years ago whom I'd be absolutely devasated to lose. I love him very much, but I am very committed to my boyfriend and I love him very much as well. I have to add on to what hurleygirl is trying to say: quote: But you have been with him for two years, and he clearly moved on by being with other girls.He is spilling every feeling to you cause he knows that you will understand and he trusts you. I think it says a lot about your boyfriend and also about how he feels about YOU if his feelings for his childhood sweetheart were that strong, yet he stayed with YOU. I've always told my boyfriend that I don't mind if he still checks out other girls or hugs them, calls them etc. I don't mean outright flirting or anything disrespectful, but I think if a boy can love and respect other girls and think they're hot, cute or whatever and still stay with ME then that says a lot about your relationship with that guy and you should be proud.
That being said, I think it goes without even saying that he likely feels gutted and confused right now. Be with him, try hard not to feel jealous or unconfortable (I'm not accusing you!!! You sound like you want this resolved fast.) because he's going to need love and trust from someone who cares. You've stated that you don't know how to comfort him...I'd say keep doing what you're doing and if need be you can say you're a little unconfortable with all of this - but that you can respect his need to grieve and share his private memories of her.
Member # 3
posted 07-16-2007 09:59 PM
I just want to make sure here that a message isn't sent to the OP that if she can't or isn't willing to listen to every recount of this relationship, or how this guy would rather be with his ex now that she's dead, that she's not being supportive or is somehow being disrespectful.
It's one thing to accept (and even like!) that someone can have many loves: it's another to sit there while they tell you they wish they were with that one now instead of you, or had stayed with that one. Even someone so rockin' it with jealously that they're in a happy relationship with a partner with a secondary full-partner often is going to put a limit on that, and that's a healthy thing to do. Bear in mind that a partner should not be exepcted to be everything to their partner: he has other friends (and if he doesn't, he should). I'll be honest, I learned this lesson the hard way from this guy's perspective. Having a partner who died on me while we were still together in high school, I had a good many partners after that express that they felt like they were dating a widow, and a lot of that was simply because of the way I talked about my ex to them: we hold the dead up, often, and sometimes forget that that's awfully tough on the living. It's nearly impossible to hold a candle to someone who is dead (especially since all their best parts get glorified, and all their worst parts often conveniently forgotten), and it's really painful for a lot -- I'd say most - people to be put in that spot. The person grieving also has a bonus in that they have a tangible reason to be upset, and what is seen as a superior reason: the person shouldering all of that person's grief -- especially if they're saying things like that -- is without that. Once I realized I'd put some people in that spot I felt pretty damn terrible, because it really is a lousy thing to do, even given that yes, when we're grieving, we're often unreasonable. But if anyone had ever just TOLD me, at the time, I was making them feel that way, I'd absolutely have done my level best to stop and simply just saved some of what I was expressing that hurt them for others it did not hurt. It's no one person's responsibility to help us process our grief, and really isn't healthy to ask that of but one person. [ 07-16-2007, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 34666
posted 07-17-2007 05:44 PM
I like how you put that, Heather. =) Put VERY nicely.
He's still been mopey, but I'm okay with that. He hasn't been talking about her as much as he was, thankfully. I think he's been opening up to his other friends, which is great. There was just one more little thing that we've conflicted over regarding her. He mentioned her name again, and I tried to explain to him that people change a lot in five years---he was in love with the fifteen year old her. And she could have become a completely different person over the timespan that they were separated. And I feel like this is important for him to understand if he's ever going to move on. Of course he got upset and he's being a hermit again, but I really don't think I should let this go. Fifteen to twenty is a pretty big difference. I know that I've changed tremendously. I know he's changed tremendously. And there's a chance that they wouldn't have loved each other any more. Do you think I should just drop it? Or is explaining it to him a good thing?
Member # 1679
posted 07-17-2007 07:19 PM
Giving him a bit more time is probably the best idea in that respect, at this point.
While logically what you're saying is perfectly valid here (people certainly do change over time), he may not be ready to deal with that just yet. People's grieving processes can vary a lot in terms of time. It may take him weeks or even months or years before he's ready to process that sort of thing. For that reason, it's probably best not to push if you can avoid it. While yes, he does have to accept those sorts of things if he's ever going to move on, he just may need some more time before he's ready to move on. Remember that this has GOT to be on his timeline, not anyone else's.