Grieving Husband

My husband who is 24, lost his dad suddenly last year to a heart attack. His dad was only 46. We’ve had a hectic year, trying to cope with his death, we got married not long after he died and have been doing our house up over the last year. Weve always talked about his dad, pics around the house etc. I know my husband has been in denial when asked how he’s doing by others, he always responds “I’m ok” and that’s about it so I’ve always encouraged him to talk. Recently it came to a head. The anger overflowed and he took it out on me, I’m a big girl and I can take it but it’s totally out of character for him to be like that. In anger, he wanted a divorce and was tearing my character apart. I sat there and took it partly shocked this was happening but also felt he needed to release the pain. After things calmed, we spoke and he put it down to his anger about his dad’s death and couldn’t be more sorry for how he was. Thankfully he’s agreed to counselling so that’s given me comfort that he can get the help he needs. He feels a responsibility because of how his mum is handling it and his siblings that he’s got to be the strong one and that means hes not grieved for his dad.

It was tough to take that anger and hear those words but I understand why it happened and we’re in a good place. My point of this post is to see other spouses experiences with this and how they’ve handled it. Plus any advice on helping my husband through this is most welcomed. I just don’t want things to explode like that again as it is so out of character for him and us.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi.CT. Anger so often follows bereavement. The need to ‘lash out’ can be overwhelming. He has been bottling up emotions which is never a good thing to do. Intense emotions will out in some way and it’s better he lets them go.
Please try and understand his feelings. You sound a very sensible lady and you do seem to understand. He was in denial too long and it would have been better if he had grieved when his dad died.
So often we have little or no control over emotions so it’s best to let them come. If you are now in a better place then that can only be good. He knows his anger was because of his feelings and pent up emotions.
You are both sensible people and it will pass. Delayed shock can appear at any time after a death.
Counselling is about the best thing that could happen. Also a visit to your GP may help. There are a range of services available for bereavement sufferers.
Love him! It’s the best medicine. I would say try and understand him, but you so obviously are already doing that.
You are strong enough to cope with this phase of your life. Give it time, it will pass.
Best wishes. Take care of yourself too.

Hi CT 2083

Sorry to hear of your husband and families loss and difficult situation you have had to cope with, my partner of 30yrs died with no prior illness suddenly on the 25th may 2019 and in the presence of myself and eldest son aged 25, my son has severe LD, the doctor has suggested counselling for post traumatic stress disorder, we both duffer flashbacks, nightmares etc. aswell as coping with the grief and loss. My other son is coping in his own way and appears wuite strong , distracted with work. I am struggling working full time and coping alone with daily tasks, my eldest don recites the death of his dad daily, he finds it hard expressing his feelings, he was extremely close to his dad , spenfing almost every waking hour together, learning him all sorts of things . My son tells me he feels hes lost everything since his dad’s gone, and his feelings build up and the anger comes , he can be verbally aggressive if i ask for help around the house, its like walking on eggshells . I know it part of the grief process, as he is the most kindest person normally, he wont speak to anyone but me about his dad which makes it hard as I’m in the same position as him . Im so glad for you the uour husband has agreed to counselling, and if you can get your husband to talk about his dad even just on odd occasions it will stop things building up. Sending love

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Thanks for your comment. I will 100% be there for him and I’m just so glad he’s managed to get to the point where he’s willing to go to counselling. I guess this has been a long time coming so I’m glad we’re here now.

Thanks for the advice re counselling, we’ve booked a trip to the doctors for him so hopefully we can get him there as soon as possible!

I know what he said to me was out of pain and sadness so I won’t take it to heart, we’ve talked about it and we are strong. He just needs help which he’s going to be getting!

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s outburst. Grief affects people in many different ways, and anger can be a common response, but that doesn’t excuse his verbally attacking you. As others have mentioned, bottling up emotions is one thing that can make grief worse, or make it come out in more unhealthy ways, so it is really good news that your husband is seeking counselling. It can’t take away his loss but it can help him learn more healthy ways to deal with and express his emotions.

Do remember that your needs matter too, and you deserve to be treated with respect. You mention that this was out of character, so I hope that this means your relationship is generally healthy and the counselling will make a real difference. However, just in case, here is a useful list here of warning signs of an unhealthy relationship.

It’s so awful isn’t and I’m so sorry you’re going through this too. My husband and I talk a lot about his dad and funny tales but I struggle to het him to talk about how he feels and how he’s grieving. I’m hoping this counselling will help, I’m sure it will. I hope your son comes to terms with it to and seeks help. You’ve lost your partner quite recently we lost his dad a similar time last year so maybe in time he will see the light and agree to it. Peace and love x

Thanks for your response. It was so out of character and he was devastated afterwards that he’d been so brutal. He still is now. But I understand it wasn’t usual, it’s almost as if he had a breakdown there and then.

We are very happy and have great love and respect for one another hence why it was such a shock and such a wake up call for him too.

Good news is we’re in at the docs so he can start to heal in a healthy way.


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