Unfortunately this inability of a spouse to help a grieving partner is something that I’m all too well acquainted with.
Less than a week after my mother died, I was told : " don’t you think it’s about time you stopped crying?"
Two days after my father died, he said the same lousy, insensitive thing. I will say though, at that point he had not lost his own parents - and could not empathise - but heck - he didn’t even sympathise. In fact when they did die - I conducted their funerals because he was too shaky and upset - how ironic!
Now the boot is very much on the other foot and my husband is in end-of-life care with only weeks to live. However, he has an awful illness and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Even though I no longer love him, throughout his illness I have done all I can to help make him more comfortable. Although at this point I can predict that people will be expecting me to weep and wail (I will of course feel sad for our children’s sake) I will mainly feel relief to be finally free.
I was too much of a coward to divorce him when he was bullying and abusing me - but now, nature is allowing me to dispense with the legal niceties by putting a dirty great FULL STOP to all the years of heartache.
If you are married to someone who is incapable of supporting you through the most heart breaking time of your life - then I would urge you to examine your relationship and consider whether it might be better to ditch him rather than put up with such a selfish, unfeeling person and waste years of precious life in a state of constant upset and resentment.
The question I would ask you is this - If you became ill - would he actually have the guts to stick around and help you through it?
My husband made such a scene in hospital when I was very ill, not because he cared about me - but because he was annoyed that I wasn’t back at home cooking his meals and being a doormat. The nurses were so worried about my welfare, that they kindly recommended a much longer stay to give me some respite from him and his callous attitude.
The death of a dearly loved one gives you a massive opportunity to re-examine your entire life and make the most of every day. Please don’t end up like me, with fingers crossed - hoping that my husband’s passing will come very, very soon and finally end almost 50 years of misery.
I wish you all the luck in the world - and for now I’d say at the very least, invest in a punchbag so you can punch out your grief, anger and distress.