Grieving partner ceasing communication

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. He is in his late 60s and I am 17 years younger. His 88 year old mother lived with him and he took care of her. He also had 2 caregivers during the day while he worked to care for her. I traveled over an hour each weekend over the past year because he was unable to leave her alone. I helped take care of her on the weekends while he worked in his office and also when he went on a couple business trips. One day I traveled from his home to see my daughter 2.5 hours away and once I arrived, I received a call from by bf who said both caregivers called out for the day. Of course, I asked if there was anything I could do to help and he asked if I could go back to his home so I made the 2.5 hour journey back to his home. Over the past month, she sustained many falls and has been in the hospital for 3 weeks. She is now on comfort care. Last weekend I was with my bf, his 2 sisters and his daughter. For 3 days, I supported my bf and his family. Sitting with them at the hospital, driving to get food, taking care of household chores, etc. This past weekend, he said he thought he wanted me to come down but the next morning I was awakened by a text message not a call telling me that he feels this is a going to be a very personal family moment and he needs to be there for them. Then thanked me for offering to help and everything I did to help his mom and that she liked me a lot. I understand he is in pain and grieving for his mom. I understand the relationship between a mother and son as I have 2 sons as well. But I am feeling used. Like I was just a caregiver to him and now that she is in the hospital I am no longer needed. One weekend I am spending all weekend with his family at the hospital and the next I am told I am not needed. His communication is almost non-existent. I told him I understood, but now I feel I said it to keep peace. I don’t understand why someone would push their partner away when they are 100% supportive. I text only once per day to let him know I am thinking of him and only call when he asks if I can chat. I have also told him that I am here for him. I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do.


In the context of what you’ve said, it seems your place in his life and family has been made quite clear

While he may be under a lot of stress with his mother’s deteriorating health, you’re either a part of his life or not. It’s not a pick and choose.
Relationships are a two way street - if there’s a disparity in expectations and commitment, it won’t work

It’s difficult because if you address it now with current situation, you’ll come out as the villain and selfish.

I’d put it on the back burner for time being until his mother’s situation has resolved, and use the time to decide if you’re prepared to continue, given you’ve been sidelined
Then, when time is right, have the discussion of the status of relationship and air your grievances and decide from there

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It is such an incredibly intense time - none of us know exactly how we will react when affected by grief. I can understand why you may feel youre being pushed away after all the support you have offered, but equally i can also understand that if your relationship is relatively new and he is facing the prospect of his mum passing imminently, he may have felt this needed to be a private family moment. It may also be that he doesnt want to show his vulnerability in front of you? When i lost my mum 3 months ago, i found the people i pushed away were those closest to me - the pain was so incredibly raw i just couldnt bear being around my close friends. It was only after a couple of months i suddenly felt able to be around others. Your bf did make a point of thanking you for your support - it sounds like he was conscious of how you might feel by him cancelling last minute. Please be patient with him - if he has been her carer the loss is going to be immense. Sue Ryder have some short Grief Kind videos on their website that offer advice for those supporting someone who is grieving - they are worth watching.

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As an edit, I haven’t lost either of my parents so guess don’t really have perspective on this
If they’re a very close knit family, I suppose I can sort of see it from his point of view and there could also be pressure from other members of family to make it family only and he’s keeping the peace

It’s tough - you’ll have to talk it out at some point, but not yet as there’s way too many emotions flying around