Boyfriend's mother passed away, now hes pushing me away

My boyfriend of three years mother passed away recently. We were doing really well before this, he bought a ring and he wanted to propose. I was supposed to move to be him this summer. Were currently long distance.

I did my very best to support him from the second he called me about her being put on hospice. This was her second round of cancer and he had been telling me for a while he thought she would pass soon. He went to go see her and he did not want me to go which i respected. His ex-wife and their daughter were there however and it really hurt that he didn’t want me there. I just let it go however as it didn’t feel like the time to start a problem. He has just been increasingly horrible to me however, I’ve tried really hard to just swallow up everything that I’m feeling and just be supportive, but it seems like he’s destroying our relationship and lashing out because its easier to be mad at me then to deal with the fact that his mom has died. Hes no longer sure if he wants me to move and hes saying he doesn’t like sharing space with me. I went to visit him after she had passed and he was short with me and snapped at me several times.

I’m not familiar with grieving death, I’ve been very lucky not to lose anyone im close to, but I’m unsure of where to draw the line with him. It hardly feels fair that I’m being treated so poorly when I’ve done nothing. Any advice is appreciated, thank you for reading

Hello @Cherrytree,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Bereavement Community. I’m glad that you’ve been able to share how you are feeling here as you try to support your boyfriend after his mother passed away. It sounds like it is a difficult time for both of you but in different ways.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I also wanted to share with you our Sue Ryder Grief Kind resources which are designed specifically to help people who are trying to help someone they care about who is grieving. I hope you find them useful.

Take care - keep reaching out,


There is nothing you can say or do which is going to console him. Tell him to grieve, cry, mourn. Put the plans you had on hold until a later time, yes he will be spiteful especially if you mention anything that deals with “ future plans”he is in REAL HEARTBREAK. There is no better way of putting it, he is heart broken. Give him time, ask him what you should do, and he will tell you, continue checking up on him from time to time.


It’s good that you want to support your boyfriend at such a time of grief, but he also needs understanding that losing a parent is a big adjustment, give him time to grieve, & if he needs it space.
My mom passed away 2 years ago, & my boyfriend is amazingly supportive with me, but he does have one drawback, both his parents are still alive, & though he has had other bereavements in the family, (aunty’s & uncles,) he doesn’t know how it feels to lose a parent. Maybe try to put yourself in his shoes, if you think about the person who brought you up, looked after you, if you were close to them, maybe you would of went to them for support or advice, maybe even as a source of comfort in times of stress, but now they’re gone, it’s not just the empty spaces & the memories, it’s what that person means to you. I can say from a personal level, because I met my boyfriend 3 months after my mom passed, there’s a lot of sadness for the memories we won’t have, she never got to meet my boyfriend, & if we ever get engaged/married in the future, mom won’t be there, if we ever move in together, or even if I move into my own place, mom won’t be there, she’ll never see that, (well, maybe in spirit,) she won’t ever be there to go wedding dress shopping with me, or tell me how beautiful I look on my wedding day, that empty space will also show in any photos of the wedding day, so I see why this kind of subject might upset him. All I can suggest is Breathe, give things time to calm down, & take it at his pace.