Cumulative grief

Hi. I’m writing as I’m very very lost. My husband los his father (2012) through alcoholism, brother (2014) , drugs/motorbike accident and sister (2020) liver failure( alcohol). I tried over the years to support him but we are left with huge emotional scars. He had a breakdown over a period of about a year, took drugs to escape the pain. He’s now betterin that he runs, is healthier etc but on a day to day basis there are huge scars in our relationship. He hid a lot from me so trust in terms of his characters is gone. He can be really volatile, reacts wildly to things and the relationship with his mother is toxic. It was our daughters 9th birthday and his mother openly discussed her Will, funeral wishes, father’s ashes etc. A row ensued Infront of our girls. This sort of thing happens frequently and even though I tried to explain I was upset as it wasn’t the time or place for this discussion,my husband just can’t see it. He thinks it’s normal ,ok and resolutely dismisses my feelings. This is one of many examples. We’ve tried couples counseling ( he walked out) he had CBT( said it was rubbish). We seem to lurch from one argument to another. I feel I’ve tried to help him as much as possible of the years but I feel the relationship will never recover. Any advice would be much appreciated as I feel alone in this situation.

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Dear @DeniseC

Thank you for reaching out and sharing a personal post. This is not always easy.

Grief affects everyone in a different way and brings out many unexpected emotions and feelings that can go on for a very long time. Have you both considered Bereavement and Grief Counselling as your husband has been through a lot since 2012?

You can talk to your doctor and let them know how you are feeling and see how they can support you and discuss Bereavement and Grief Counselling.

Sue Ryder has Online Bereavement Counselling which you may wish to consider.

I do hope the information is of help to you and you get the support that you need.

Take care.


Hi there - first of all my heart goes out to you. When I lost my daughter my family fell apart… From what you say, at the moment your partner doesn’t want outside help at the moment. You can’t do anything about that but you could think about getting some help for you. You are going through a very tough time yourself and talking to someone outside of it all may help you see a way forward. Coming on here is a good start, so you’ve done a positive thing for yourself. I’m not saying rush out today and get counselling or CBT or whatever but just keep it in mind as a possibility and also the thought that your feelings count too. I found out for myself that grief and family issues can be toxic and wear you down. You don’t have to be superwoman, no one is. You don’t have to tell anyone you are getting help unless you feel they will support you. Meanwhile you can just quietly consider whether you think it might help you. Don’t put yourself under pressure just give yourself permission to think about it. Meanwhile you have already taken the first step on the journey by sharing on here. I hope you keep posting and you will get support on here. Sending you a huge hug xxxxx

I’m so so sorry you are facing this, it sounds like addiction is part of the story too with his family, that is so much to deal with and a child also, my husband is a sober alcoholic so I understand the secrets and moods and trying to raise children too but to have the pain of grief on top of that is huge for you and your husband, the fact he’s rejecting the counselling means he’s not at the place for it to help yet, it sounds like he’s hurting bad he won’t be able to see you’re hurting too, you need a good support system to keep you going and help give you strength, there are support groups for you or your family or friends to support you, I pray and hope he can soon see his pain so he can get the help he needs for your family to be healed x