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Fiance's mother


alex31

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Hello, everyone. I'm hoping that someone out there can help me...

I've been with my fiancee for five years, engaged/living together for two (wedding date not set yet). We're both 31. Her mother died just over a year ago and our relationship has been in shambles ever since. For the first eight months or so, she was so angry at everything, which we all know is one of the states of grief. However, this went beyond what most would consider normal, and she became very belligerent and directed all of her anger on me. It got to the point where I would get anxious when I knew she was coming home because she would fly off the handle about everything. I tried to be supportive but it seemed to make her even angrier at me. No one else would have described her as an angry person and I was the only one to see this side of her. It scared me; she threw things, screamed... nothing I had witnessed from her before.

She has since left the "anger phase" and is now completely indifferent to me. We don't do the things we used to enjoy together anymore. She is depressed and refuses to get help, (getting angry if I so much as say I'm concerned about her and think she should at least try talking to someone once) saying that she'll "deal with it on her own time" and that I'm trying to "pawn her problems off on someone else so I don't have to deal with it." Not true, of course, but I'm not a therapist, nor have I gone through this grief cycle with my own family, and I think talking to someone who knows about this would be so helpful to her. She is abusing substances (she has always been a recreational user, but I get the feeling it's more now), which may have accounted for a lot of her attitude toward me in the last year, and if I say anything about it she snaps and tells me that has nothing to do with the way she's acting and to mind my business.

I am trying very hard to be sensitive, and I don't think she should "just be over it" in a year because they were very close (she has little contact with her dad, who divorced her mom years ago, and is an only child). I don't know how to deal with these relationship problems that have come with her grief. The more this goes on, the more depressed I get as well, because it's been me constantly trying to please or appease her and her mostly just getting angry or being indifferent.

I realize I cannot make her get help but I know it would make a difference in both of our lives. I don't know what to do, and there is almost nothing on supporting a grieving (in my case, future) spouse who cannot make his/her way through the grief and it spilling over into the marriage(relationship) as a result. I also don't know how to separate the issues that we are having as a couple from her grief issues, and how fair it is for me to wonder about our relationship issues at this point her grief.

Thank you for listening.

-Alex

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Hello, everyone. I'm hoping that someone out there can help me...

I've been with my fiancee for five years, engaged/living together for two (wedding date not set yet). We're both 31. Her mother died just over a year ago and our relationship has been in shambles ever since. For the first eight months or so, she was so angry at everything, which we all know is one of the states of grief. However, this went beyond what most would consider normal, and she became very belligerent and directed all of her anger on me. It got to the point where I would get anxious when I knew she was coming home because she would fly off the handle about everything. I tried to be supportive but it seemed to make her even angrier at me. No one else would have described her as an angry person and I was the only one to see this side of her. It scared me; she threw things, screamed... nothing I had witnessed from her before.

She has since left the "anger phase" and is now completely indifferent to me. We don't do the things we used to enjoy together anymore. She is depressed and refuses to get help, (getting angry if I so much as say I'm concerned about her and think she should at least try talking to someone once) saying that she'll "deal with it on her own time" and that I'm trying to "pawn her problems off on someone else so I don't have to deal with it." Not true, of course, but I'm not a therapist, nor have I gone through this grief cycle with my own family, and I think talking to someone who knows about this would be so helpful to her. She is abusing substances (she has always been a recreational user, but I get the feeling it's more now), which may have accounted for a lot of her attitude toward me in the last year, and if I say anything about it she snaps and tells me that has nothing to do with the way she's acting and to mind my business.

I am trying very hard to be sensitive, and I don't think she should "just be over it" in a year because they were very close (she has little contact with her dad, who divorced her mom years ago, and is an only child). I don't know how to deal with these relationship problems that have come with her grief. The more this goes on, the more depressed I get as well, because it's been me constantly trying to please or appease her and her mostly just getting angry or being indifferent.

I realize I cannot make her get help but I know it would make a difference in both of our lives. I don't know what to do, and there is almost nothing on supporting a grieving (in my case, future) spouse who cannot make his/her way through the grief and it spilling over into the marriage(relationship) as a result. I also don't know how to separate the issues that we are having as a couple from her grief issues, and how fair it is for me to wonder about our relationship issues at this point her grief.

Thank you for listening.

-Alex

Alex,

You sound like a caring person, and she does need someone right now. However, have you tried to talk to her about the effects of this on you? You may have to get firm and insist she start talking to someone (like a therapist/counselor) attend self-help meetings, journal, or do something to deal with her grief. You are right in that the substance use is compounding the problems. She may be trying to numb herself to the pain. Just keep reassuring her that you are not trying to "pawn her problems off on someone else" but instead are trying to help her deal with the issue.

Losing a parent is difficult, at best. However, not dealing with it does cause problems for everyone around, and ultimately, it doesn't make the pain go away.

Try not to use words like "get over it" or "move on with your life" when you talk to her because you are right, people don't just simply "get over it" when their loved ones die.

What are her friends saying about her behavior? No one has noticed but you? Can you talk to her closest friend about this issue? Can you get her to join this forum, where we can offer her encouragement and support?

We will be thinking of you both,

ModKonnie

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