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Online Grief Support, Help for Coping with Loss | Beyond Indigo Forums
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brendobones

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About brendobones

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    Newbie

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Loss Type
    Mother-in-Law

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  1. Hi everyone, sorry for the long first post but I would appreciate advice from anyone who's gone through something similar, especially husbands who are supporting their grieving wives... My mother-in-law died 6 months ago after a brief but very difficult bout with liver and pancreatic cancer. Last October, my wife and I got married, and it was truly the best day of my life. Though my mother-in-law was at the wedding and had a great day, health-wise, her cancer returned soon after our honeymoon. I vowed to myself that I would be my wife's rock, that I would be there for her, grieve with her openly (she and I were present for the end, it was my first encounter with witnessing death), be patient and not impose any timeline for recovery, and love her unconditionally during what will be a long and difficult time. My father-in-law has recently been interested in dating again, and talks about it a lot to my wife— much to her discomfort and feeling that it's too soon. He is a compassionate and kind man, but has been laser focused both on his wife's illness over the past two years and now on his own needs. He rarely, if ever, checks in on my wife and cares for her. My wife has, on many occasions, said she feels that she hasn't had a father since her mom was diagnosed. I feel that, as more time goes on, I've fulfilled roles as not just a husband, but a surrogate father, a therapist, a personal assistant (haha), and, as much as I hate to say, a whipping post for the frustrations and hardships that seem to only be getting worse. Our sex life feels more therapeutic than loving or fun, and I find that I want to withdraw and be alone more and more. We had an argument this week in which she told me that I was "going through the motions" of supporting her when she is having a difficult day and no longer being sympathetic. I'm worried about her, I love her, and I am scared to death of not knowing how to do this. But, when I get way down to it, I do have trouble feeling empathetic for the extreme bouts of grief that happen several times a week. I rarely spend time with my friends. I feel guilty not spending all of my free time with my wife. I end up staying up very late at night after she's gone to bed in order to have some time to myself, and then feel guilty (and overtired) for feeling like I need this time for myself. I'm having trouble maintaining my own identity as a person, a friend, an employee, and a member of my own family, in relation to my (at times, seemingly all-consuming) role as a caregiver for a woman that I deeply love and who needs me. I hope that I'm not coming across as a jerk or an inconsiderate spouse. I've said mean things when I couldn't handle several hard days in a row, I've withdrawn myself at a time that she needed me, because I couldn't handle it; I used to be REALLY GOOD at handling this, but I'm having a harder and harder time. Any advice would be appreciated.
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