There is no correct way to handle grief.
Many try to cope with their grief by ignoring it all together, and try to snap back into their usual routine.
For other’s, working past their grief is difficult, if not impossible.
The husband of Redditor Thin-Increase-4140 suffered a sudden and devastating loss, which subsequently took a large toll on his personal life.
But seeing that her husband was only continuing to spiral downward, the original poster (OP) felt things needed to change, eventually leading to her snapping at her husband.
Feeling guilty about her behavior, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my husband to get over his dead mother?”
The OP openly shared how her husband’s devastating loss eventually took a toll not only on his physical and mental health, but also on their marriage.
“I know that the title sounds horrible, but please listen to my side.”
“I’m F[emale] 32, married for 4 years to “Andy” (M[ale], 37).
“Last June around 11 months ago, Andy’s mother passed away in a car accident.”
“It was totally unexpected.”
“He was super close to her, and it hit him hard.”
“He developed really bad depression.”
“I tried my best to stay strong for him and offer comfort whenever he needed it, but it has been so hard being his emotional crutch.”
“Andy stayed at home all day, quit his job and barely paid attention to me.”
“I had to pay all the bills.”
“Soon, I realized that our relationship was dying.”
“Intimacy was long gone and Andy rarely talked to me.”
“I begged him to go to a therapist, and tried all ways to help him.”
“He refused all of them.”
“It broke my heart to see the man I love fall to pieces.”
Things finally became too much for the OP, leading to a tense exchange.
“Yesterday, Andy and I had an argument.”
“I came home from a really bad day at work and found him surrounded by rubbish on the couch.”
“I tiredly asked him to please clean it up, but he refused.”
“Something just snapped in me, and I yelled ‘I think it’s time you get over your mom!'”
“Andy looked at me like I was crazy, and said ‘How could you say such a thing?'”
“My mother is not like some sh*t ex, it’s my mother!”
“And she’s dead.'”
“I apologized, but told him to look at himself.”
“No job, depressed, throwing away his life and relationship with his wife.”
“He said ‘It’s already so hard, don’t make it harder’.”
“‘I don’t need you scolding me at the hardest point of my life!'”
“I tried to get my point across but he abruptly got mad, calling me a ‘fucking bitch’ then left.”
“I’ll admit, what I said was horrible.”
“It was unfair to him.”
“But I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“I feel burnt out and I desperately need someone too, just like him.”
“I feel so alone every minute of the day.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole in what was an extremely difficult situation.
While many agreed that the OP might not have handled everything as well as she could have, they also agreed that she was right that her husband’s behavior needed to change, for both their sakes.
“I lost my father, also suddenly, heart attack out of nowhere, whom I was very close to and it was hard and having my husband support me through that was invaluable.”
“But ELEVEN MONTHS?!?!”
“‘Get over your dead mother'” was definitely not the right words because you never really “‘get over it'”.
“It’s been almost 7 years for me, but your husband definitely needs to get over himself and his misery.”
“Honestly, does he think this is what his mother would’ve wanted?”
“She would be heartbroken over the way he’s acting.”
“If she was a mother worth mourning, that is only a complete narcissist would be happy their kid was ruining their life and their marriage like this.”
“You know what the hardest part about losing my father was?”
“Realizing life was going to go on when I felt like the whole world should have just stopped.”
“Realizing my father would never get to meet my children, but that I would still have them.”
“Realizing he wouldn’t be there for big moments, important moments.”
“But they would still happen.”
“That I had to pick myself up and carry on when that was the absolute opposite of how I felt.”
“Things that still hurt when I think about them now after all this time.”
“Your husband has avoided this moment because as much as he thinks he’s hurting this realization is the worst part and he’s being a coward and avoiding it.”- OpinionatedTradWife.
“A leave from work to grieve is understandable.”
“But quitting a job and not getting another one almost a year later, not making any effort to TRY to overcome her death, consistently not engaging in intimacy, is not fair to you.”
“You’re essentially carrying the burden of housekeeper, bread winner, and emotional care taker.”
“I would ask anyone saying YTA, would you feel differently if he was acting this way and they had kids?”- justacuriousposter.
“My husband suffered from a major depressive episode a few years ago and ended up in the hospital.”
“I was so angry at him.”
“I’d dealt with post partum with both of our girls and he blew it off.”
“But when he was depressed the world had to stop to accommodate him.”
“I felt like the worst person in the world for being so angry at him and I wanted to say some really mean things.”
“I came to realize that our anger is just as normal as their sadness.”
“He needs help badly and he’s not getting help.”
“My husband was at least willing to see a therapist and get on medication.”
“It’s not fair for him to refuse to get help and expect you to keep it all together.”
“What you said wasn’t very kind but I get it.”
“It was from a place of frustration and exhaustion.”
“You two need to have a real conversation.”
“Tell him you understand that he’s hurting but that he can’t live like this forever or it’s going to be the end of your marriage.”
“He needs help but you can’t let your mental health deteriorate for someone who refuses to try and feel better.”-Save_the_Manatees_44.
“What you said was inappropriate based on how it was worded and that you were feeling exhausted and overly emotional.”
“That said, this man has refused to engage in any activities to help him heal from his loss making every aspect of your relationship with him fall to you.”
“Of course you’re tired, of course you’re burnt out.”
“You are his wife not his maid, chef, bread-winner, bill payer, therapist, or any of the other responsibilities you’ve taken on.”
“You’re also not the only person who is required to keep your relationship going in the right direction.”
“If it were me, I’d make tentative financial plans to end the marriage and be prepared to leave.”
“In the interim, have your final chat with him about going into therapy with possible medication to ease the depression.”
“And give him a reasonable time frame to set it up, 30 days or so.”
“At the end of the 30 days, be prepared to leave.”
“He has a right to forgo treatment.”
“You have a right to happiness.”- Darwina1226.
“I’m gonna say NTA.”
“I was on the fence because the words you chose were certainly harsh, but how long are you supposed to put up with this?”
“With no light at the end of the tunnel?”
“He refused to get any sort of help to deal with this.”
“Yes, grief has no time limit, but that does not mean he gets to destroy the lives of his loved ones and completely abandon his marriage.”
“You’ve been soft, kind, loving, and it’s gotten you nowhere.”
“Sometimes people need something like this to wake them up to the damage they’re doing.”-WIBTA5000.
“NTA only because Andy is doing nothing to help himself.”
“If he was actively going to therapy, or trying in any way, my opinion would change.”
“He cannot just let his life fall to pieces for years, expecting you to pick up all the slack, without trying to get better.”
“You have empathy burnout, please be kind to yourself, it happens to us all.”
“If he isn’t willing to go to therapy or try, I’d definitely be leaving this relationship.”-Aardeehar.
“You’ve been supporting him for a year, and he is just spiraling into a deeper and deeper depression.”
“He desperately needs professional grief therapy, because he has demonstrated that he simply cannot find his way out on his own.”
“His anger at you is a function of his anger at his mother’s death, so while it’s hard not to take it personally, it really isn’t you.”
“People grieve differently, but this is not a healthy grief.”
“It’s approaching hysterical grief, which is hard to get a handle on once someone is swamped by it.”
“Having said that, he needs to man up and take some self-care steps.”
“You’re right he DOES need to take some steps to deal with his grief over his mom.”
“His mother would be horrified at what has happened to her son, if she could see him now.”
“I think it would be helpful if you went to a therapist who specializes in grief counseling and get some support from them and ideas on how to support your husband, what triggers to avoid and most importantly, how to encourage him to take the steps necessary to pull himself together and heal.”
“The fact that you lashed out at him is a symptom of how his grief has affected you, too, as well as your marriage, so don’t beat yourself up.”
“You are entitled to feel worried, abandoned and stressed at the responsibility of keeping everything going.”
“You aren’t a saint.”
“And maybe this is a wake-up call that change is needed.”-Alarming_Paper_8357.
A very sad situation, for all involved.
Here’s hoping the OP’s husband can find all the help he needs with his grief, and that they both can find the help to get their marriage back to the happy place it once was.