How do you help someone who’s hurting when you’re hurting yourself? My husband and I are going through some really hard times. We’ve been married 10 years. I’m 39 years old I lost my first Grandpa about 6 months ago. He was a man who took care of me after my parents had separated when I was very young and my mom was struggling to be a single mom. He and my grandmother stepped in and treated me like a fourth daughter. Fast forward to today, after losing my grandfather about 6 months ago my husband is losing his uncle, who held a very similar role in his life. He’s struggling and I’m hurting with him. I have spent 18 years with his family and so his uncle is very reminiscent of my grandfather. I’m trying not to put myself first in my heart and in the very real feelings this brings up. But I’m also very hurt that he’s struggling to confide in me. We’ve been fighting a lot and I know in my heart it’s because we’re both very broken over our losses/potential losses. On top of this I spent a lot of time with his family this summer because I couldn’t be with my grandpa in his passing. Covid rules didn’t allow many family members in hospice, so I tried to help his family instead. I spent every Wednesday this entire summer, taking my kids to spend time with them and help around the house, to clean where things are needed and to organize. Through this, Some of his family members have been negative towards me and that’s incredibly hurtful as well. They say I haven’t helped in ways that they wanted me to. But I’ve done the best I could with what I’ve had. He never once stood up for me and that’s been incredibly hurtful. I don’t know how to bury what I’m feeling and I don’t know how to help him with his feelings. I suggested therapy, he’s not really willing. I’m just at a loss. My heart hurt is hurting for his loss and for my own, and I just don’t want this terribly tough time to be the downfall of our marriage. Any suggestions are welcome.
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do you help someone through grief?
Grief counseling for everyone. You are all drained at the same time and are empty cups that can’t pour more. Professionals may be able to offer guidance to get you through these dark days.
Plan something pleasant that will comfort and take care of you, like a massage, a hike in a beautiful place, tour a garden, take a trip someplace peaceful together or alone. Spend time with friends and tell them what you need. Now is the time to have others—whether friends, volunteers or professionals—do for you.
Are you affiliated with any religious or spiritual practices tradition/s? Now may be the time to get back into services or other spiritual practices and to let the ministers and congregation minister to you.
Think about something tangible you could do to honor these memories, like plant trees or flowers, get a plaque with their name to place someplace important to each of them (bench, pew, garden, corners of your home, a place where they enjoyed living, shopping or working.
I think once you have some support from outside the family, you may each have the grace and fortitude to comfort each other.
Grief therapy/counseling. If you CAN take off wk for few days too. Do something peaceful, for yourselves.
Therapy for you. Maybe you can learn ways to help him through his hard times. His family is crappy so just remember every time they talk crap they’re just continuing to be crappy people. Start seeing them less. At this point I’d just keep suggesting marriage counseling bc you guys are both struggling. It’s ok to struggle with big things that are happening. You guys can learn better communication tools. You may need to at some point make counseling a requirement.
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Talk to a professional…both of you
You have to give back what you have received. After losing our son in a car accident I have had to allow my family to come first . It’s what my son would want
Grief is hard on relationships because everyone greves differently and men and women greve different from each other. A lot of women want to be close to the ones they love and comforted because the realization that life isn’t forever hurts while a lot of men want to be alone in the sorrow wood working, working on cars or whatever they like doing alone, usually fixing something because men are fixers and they can’t fix death so they want to fix something they have control of.
The best thing to do is NOT take it personally, don’t pressure him to talk, he will when/if he’s ready, be available and create a safe unjudgemental place for ALL of the emotions. There will be a lot of different emotions up and down sometimes even in the same day and it can last for a long time and that’s perfectly fine.
Also take care of yourself find comfort in other friends or someone not going through the same thing at the moment but maybe someone who has been through similar, if possible. But don’t forget about each other. This is a time to bring out the gentle side not the boxing gloves, you’re both already hurting we don’t need more blows.
I’m sorry for both of you and wish you both all the healing and love you need.