Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Especially for those who have lost a friend to suicide, who is not included in the other Connecting forums.

Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby LoverofSurvivor » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:15 pm

I was wondering if it is a common behavioral trait among some survivors to become overly engrossed in family and put family and old friends (who knew the survivor prior to suicide) on the top of the survivor's priority. I am having trouble dealing with my loved one. It seems like since we were dating I was put below family and I now feel like my partner treats me differently and always has to "mother" her family. I never put two and two together until a friend recently suggested that she has always put family at the top of the pedestal because she might be worried about losing another one. Could someone please help me try to understand this?

Thanks so much.

LoverofSurvivor
LoverofSurvivor
Visitor
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Re: Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby Nik's mum » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am

Dear loverofsurvivor. I lost my son in February. Prior to his death I was laid back - not in the least did I worry about things. I loved going out with friends and had a blessed life. Since Niks death I worry constantly that something bad can happen to other members of my family and I only can go out with my husband. It has changed me. If I talk to me eldest son I can worry sick that something he's said is a warning that hesnot okay. If my husband is a few minutes late in my mind he's had an accident. I don't like who I am now and hope I can get closer to the person I once was but imnot sure that will ever happen. I can't offer you any advice really only to say that give your partner love and support when she needs it. It's an awful road we are travelling and none of us really know where it will take us. Bless you keep strong
It's easy to remember him I do it every day
But there's a pain within my heart that will never go away

http://nik-wilson.gonetoosoon.org/

love and miss you more each passing day
User avatar
Nik's mum
Active
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:39 pm
Location: Uk

Re: Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby LoverofSurvivor » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:02 am

Dear Nik's Mum,

Thanks so much for sharing your story and insight with me. The only issue is that we are now broken up. She finally broke up with me because she couldn't "disappoint me any more." Let me just say that during our entire relationship I was the lowest priority unless we where physically together. Every time I met a new family member, I was treated poorly by her or her family. Then, when I finally met her parents, I was treated miserably by them, she barely stood up for me and then afterward, she wanted ME to step up. She never understood that every time I kept coming back I had stepped up...but this time, I deserved more. I have made my mistakes, too, but on a daily basis I tried to show her that she was the most important person in my life. Because she made it seem like the suicide didn't bother her much (never talked about him or what happened), I never thought that could be the reason for always worrying and siding with her family. After the breakup (we are still in the "try to work on ourselves" mode), my good friend mentioned that she might be overly protective and engrossed in her family because of the suicide. Ding, ding, ding...light bulbs and bells were going off. I was positive that was it. She had always been the older "motherly" sibling (probably more motherly than her mother), and I am sure that she is trying to protect her feelings and keep from losing another. If it means losing the "man of her dreams" (which she said I am), then that is okay as long as she doesn't have to endure the pain of losing another family member to suicide. That is how I feel.

The issue I'm having is that I want to talk with her about this. How would I do it? She keeps saying she is a "failure" and "will never have a healthy and sustainable relationship." I don't want to make it seem like I think she is a bad person because I don't. I want to encourage her to get help because if she doesn't deal with this issue, she will NEVER find a guy who will be okay with always being last place in her life. It's hard because we have a ton in common and always have fun when we are together...and great chemistry. I am at a loss because I want to her to get help, and I want to make this work with her, but I think she'd take it negatively if I mention this and explain why I think she might be acting the way she is. What can I do? How can I approach this?

Thanks for all the help. Anyone...please offer your advice!

LoverofSurvivor
LoverofSurvivor
Visitor
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Re: Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby NancyClaire » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:39 pm

I appreciate you trying to be supportive of your gf as she struggles through her grief. If you all want to try to salvage your relationship maybe you could suggest that you go to a counselor together. She also may want to see someone on her own..and you too. I know that seeing a counselor helped me so much..i wish that Rick (who died by suicide and was my partner) and I had gone to counseling together..he needed someone to talk to but was never able to reach out in that way...
NancyClaire
Regular
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby LoverofSurvivor » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:23 pm

NancyClaire,

I appreciate your response. Unfortunately, at this point, my gf can't grasp the fact that she is doing anything wrong. First, she gets more irritated at my frustration and complaining about her lack of attention and the seemingly very low placement on her priority list. Not only do I have a feeling that she wouldn't treat anyone in her family the way she has treated me, but I have witnessed it first hand. So, this last time she broke up with me because she is tired of disappointing me.

However, I've reminded her that we both never worked on our respective issues (although we said we would 6 months ago) and we both discuss/argue horribly...unhealthily. I mentioned that we both should go to a counselor together, and I'd also support her in going to a counselor separately because she "says" she needs to work on herself before she can have a sustainable/healthy relationship. The only downside to us being apart is that we can't work on how we interact together, and I'm not so sure that she'll work on any of her faults if there isn't someone there to encourage her to open up and admit she has some issues. In her opinion, accepting the fact that she has issues means that she is a failure. I have issues, too, but they aren't the same type that she has, and I really think that her treatment of her family and the dismissal of her boyfriend (putting him last) will always be a problem if she never accepts it and tries to fix it.

I'm really hurt because I know that if worked on this one large issue, all the things in our relationship would fall into place.

Thanks again,
LoverofSurvivor
LoverofSurvivor
Visitor
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Re: Dealing with a partner who is a survivor.

Postby ScottsMom » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:58 pm

Loverofsurvivor

I may be way off but more info is always better than less in my mind.

I don't know the particulars of her relationship with her brother but gimme a second to set up here and I'll give you my thoughts.

No matter the relationship there is an underlying connection that may be much different. In my case, my son was my most significant other-in heart terms though I am married to his father and the man of my dreams. Its not a sick thing or in any way a diminishing of my marriage --it just simply is fact.

When Scott died I was crushed. Within months I was so far from protective of my family it was just bizarre. I was creating relationship distance - because should I lose again it wouldn't hurt so much. I was protecting me.

Maybe your gf loves you so much and she is guarding herself from losing you. You say you broke up - that even fits. At least its on terms she is ok with- she culdn't control the loss off her brother but she can with you. Make sense? I know its irrational to think that way - but this grief is not conducive to rational thinking much of the time. I suffer PTSD , yoyr gf may or may have another attachment issue tied to the loss. Whether you stay together it is worth a little therapy or some survivors group sessions.

I dunno if that makes a bit of sense ... Does she have other "symptoms"? Mood, acting out of character, undue fear, nonemotional, anything else that doesn't seem quite right?
User avatar
ScottsMom
Mentor
 
Posts: 1047
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:00 am
Location: Ohio


Return to Friends and Others

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
This web site built and maintained by Rick Hellewell / CellarWeb.com -- Portions Copyright © by Rick Hellewell / CellarWeb.com, All Rights Reserved.