Advice for supporting my partner who is feeling very low

Hi lovely people,

I’ve been on this forum a little bit over the last few weeks, but this is my first time posting.

A quick run through of my story. My partner’s wonderful mother passed away over Christmas and we’ve both been struggling to come to terms with it since. We were both there when she passed, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Although she wasn’t my mum, I loved her so much and she was a massive part of my life for the six years my boyfriend and I have been together.

Over the last week, my partner has deteriorated dramatically, and it’s safe to say the shock has worn off. He’s very down, drinking constantly, self harming and saying he is feeling suicidal. He also just wants to be alone, is off work and has told me that he doesn’t want to see me or me staying in our house.

I’m really struggling to know what to say or do and don’t feel I have anyone to turn to as he won’t want me telling any of our friends/family about how low he is. It’s really difficult to get the right balance and I want to give him the space he needs and respect his wishes (no matter how hard it is to hear you bf doesn’t want to see you) but also I’m genuinely worried for his safety and I’m not sure I should leave him on his own.

Do any of you have any advice? Did any of your love ones do anything that really helped you when you were finding it hard to cope with bereavement? Have you been through or experienced similar? I’m feeling very scared, young and out of my depth at the moment.

Thanks so much

Hi Soysauce,

I’m so sorry to hear about your partner’s mother passing away, and that he is self-harming and having thoughts of suicide. This must be incredibly worrying and upsetting for you, on top of your own grief for someone who was a big part of your life.

It sounds as though you have very valid concerns about him, and if you really fear for his safety, this is more important than respecting his wishes to be left alone. If at any point, you have immediate fears for his safety, you can call 999 and ask for the police to do a welfare check on him.

It’s important that he gets some support with these issues - can you encourage him to speak to his GP about how he is feeling, or to call the Samaritans on 116 123? You could try offering to make the appointment for him, or go along with him if this is difficult for him.

HOPELineUK is a service that you can contact if you have any concerns about a person under 35 being at risk of suicide - you mention that you are young, so this may apply to you. You can contact them by phone, text or email.

You may also find the advice on these webpages useful:

Thank you so much for your reply. It’s really good to hear you say that I need to think of his safety over his wishes at this time because that has been really playing on my mind. He knows that he needs to get help, and I do believe he will get help, but so far he hasn’t felt ready to speak to anyone. To be honest, I think he wants to feel terrible right now and doesn’t want help just yet.

Those links are really really helpful. I tried to google advise about someone’s partner being suicidal and couldn’t find anything so they really help. I will encourage him to call samaritans if he feels he needs to.

Thank you so much again

I’m glad I was able to help. I wish you both all the best, and I hope that he’s able to start opening up and getting some support soon.

Don’t forget to look after yourself, too - is there a supportive friend or family member you can talk to when you need to? You can always check in here and post whenever you need to get things off your chest, as well.

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