Counseling/How can I help my fiance??
Alright, well, my name is Alison, and I am 24. I just recently got engaged to my fiancť, Christoph, who is 33. He is the sweetest man I have ever met, and he treats me so well. He is so charming, and he is such a gentleman. Well, he was very close to his father when he was younger, but he passed away when Christoph was only 15 years old. His father was a policeman, and I think that influenced Christoph a lot, because he is a bail enforcement agent now (basically a bounty hunter) and he takes great pride in what he does. Anyways, after his father passed, he became very close to his mother. He is an only child, so it was just him and his mom for a long time. Well, Sunday night, we went over her place to visit her, and found that she had killed herself. Christoph was completely distraught (understandably) and inconsolable. She never showed any sign of depression, and now Christoph says he feels like heís responsible for her death because he never did anything to help her. He insists that this is his fault and that he was a bad son. Every Sunday morning, he would buy both his mother and I flowers and we would bring them over to her when she came back from church, and he spent loads of time with her so she wouldnít get lonely. I have never seen such a good son.
Anyway, he was given some time off of work, since performing a job like his in such a state could be dangerous for him. He has spent a lot of time just laying on the couch staring off into space. I donít know what to do for him. I suggested to him that we go for a walk or do something and he just told me he didnít feel up to it. Again, understandable. I made him his favorite foods and spent a lot of time just sitting with him. Last night he refused to come to bed, and he fell asleep on the couch at around 3 am and he was up by 6 am. Iím just worried about him, and I want to help, but I donít want to pester him. What can I do? Itís killing me seeing him like thisÖ How can I help him through this?
Trying to comfort a grieving friend is one of the most difficult task to undertake, as it can be very complicated. Below are some suggestions i would give to help out:
Remember that emotional and physical withdrawal is normal for some men. To help your fiance cope with the death of his mum, try to implement the following:
1.Let him know youíre available to talk about the death anytime heís ready. Send him a sympathy card, telling him how much you care about him. Write in the card that youíre there for him in whatever way he needs: to talk about his friend, to go to a movie, to take a trip out of town, or to go skydiving! Donít pressure him to cope with the death of his loved one in any particular way. Instead, let him you youíd like to help him mourn and grieve any way heíd like.
2.Let him come back to you when heís ready. Donít be afraid to let him go. Itís frightening when your fiance doesnít seem interested in spending time with you, but you have to remember that his coping with the death of a loved one isnít about you. Itís about him, not about your relationship or your love for each other.
3.Give him time and space to breathe, to mourn, to reflect on his life and his friendship. Think about sending him an email, text message, or note every couple of days Ė stay in touch without pressuring him to talk or be with you.
4.When your fiance is mourning the death of someone he loves, you want to be there for him. You donít want to feel helpless or left outÖbut sometimes you need to accept that there really is nothing you can do to help him grieve, other than be there for him. The fact that he feels guilty about his mums death is enough pressure on him.
I hope this helps, and wish you all the best as you stand beside your fiance.