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Advice on how to support. Please Help!


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Hi all,

I'm at a loss of how to find help or advice with regards as to how to help my boyfriend, so I thought give this a go.

Basically my boyfriend's dear dad died unexpectedly in February. He was in hospital the night before and was sent home that morning, later dying at home as the hospital failed to pick up on the aneurysm that killed him. My boyfriend is not good with feelings and words at the best of time so it didnt surprise me when he became very insular, pulled completely away from me and completely shut down  and stopped communicating with me. He came slightly out of that funk (self-admittedly) around 7-8weeks after his dad's passing. However he still finds it very hard to talk to me and tell me how he is truly feeling. About 5/6weeks ago his mother found out that his Dad was having an affair at some point - when and for how long I don't know. About 2-3weeks after that, he found his Mum at home (after suspecting   something was up), in her bed where she'd taken an overdose. She'd left a suicide note that he says was "just horrific". Since then he's taken a few weeks off work to be there for his mother who thankfully is physically okay, alongside his brother who he is extremely close to. He went back to work today and he was signed off on leave of absence.

Throughout this awful time for him, I have been unconditionally there for him. Supportive, doing whatever he wanted, travelling up and down the country week after week (we're long distance), asking him if he needs space etc. I have been spoken to horribly time after time and have just put up with it, and any type of affection from him has-been negligible, however I get that this is so low down on his list of priorities at this time. I was at his house at the weekend and all was, what I thought, okay. For the first time since his father passed however he is truly on his own. His mother has gone away to stay with her sister for 3weeks abroad and his brother, who is like his best friend, is away on holiday for 2weeks. Since leaving yesterday he is distant once again, I knew something was up on Sunday, but the 2days before were okay.. Then today he's just said he needs space at this time. I am more than willing to give him this as he tries to figure out how to work through all that is going on, but it truly breaks my heart. I have told him I will try not to contact him, but for him to keep in contact however he can, just so I can honour the space he needs.

I guess I'm just so completely heartbroken that he is going  through this; that I can't help; that he won't let me help. And that in between this we've had stages of normalcy - we even went on holiday for 5days abroad (booked before everything happened) and he was so unbelievably attentive, loving, affectionate - it was such a surprise but so wonderful.

I'd really love some advice from anyone who has been through this or who is on the other side and is feeling this way towards their loved one after a death and can explain these feelings towards me for me.

Thank you


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I am no expert or counselor, but from my observations and many years on this forum, I can tell you that his reaction of "needing space" seems normal. Many people suddenly find themselves on your end of the support when trying to help their significant other deal with the passing of someone profound in their lives. 

Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would honor his wishes but just let him know you are there. His life is in turmoil, and he must be reeling from the sudden loss of his father, the knowledge of the affair and then the suicide attempt by his mother. His world has been rocked--shattered in reality. 

We will be here with you,


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