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Old 09-25-09, 08:02 AM   #1
kevmk81 
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wifes father passed away

So last weekend I tied the knot with my fiance/now wife.

Back in July, her dad passed away with cancer.

Typically she's an optimistic type of person, fun loving, and just great to be around.

After he passed away, she's been totally different, and I'm worried about her, and our relationship.

She's been finding my faults more and more lately, and complaining about things I do and don't do (after being together since 2003). She's a lot more pessimistic (like me), and just doesn't seem herself (like the Alicia I knew before this happened). At least once every 3 days, she gets hysterical, saying "it's not fair", and starts balling tears. She's been getting migraines about once a week (went to the Dr about that, they just gave her some pills and said to call if they don't help, they couldn't pin point why she's getting them). I feel horrible, and don't know what to say, but yet I want her to stop thinking about him. It's starting to affect our relationship (now marriage), and I think it's hurting her health. I wish it would have never happened, especially right before our wedding.

Has anybody been through something like this before? Will it ever change, or will it be like this for the rest of our lives?
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Old 09-25-09, 08:07 AM   #2
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I have been through it and am still going through it. Encourage her to seek help. Find a grief counselor to help her work through her issues. Depression can cause all the symptoms you describe. Realize that you can only change you, not her. She has to want to change in order to get better. She must realize that she may have unresolved issues. Denial is part of the process and you have to help her to see that she needs to end the denial and seek help.

I did not realize how serious my issues were. Once I admitted to myself that I needed help, and went out and got it, I am a much happier person. By denying that I had a problem, I also denied myself salvation from that problem.

Left alone, a problem will not get better. Address the problem.

Best of luck my friend.
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Old 09-25-09, 08:14 AM   #3
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Her father passed away in July, so that is only 2 months ago or less...

My mother passed away 11 years ago. I dealt with this in what I thought was a healthy way and moved on (but never forgotten) rather quickly. I became a stronger and better person because of it. Some things have changed, though, like when people complain about their pointless problems, I want to smack them instead of taking them seriously, and any random thing can make me cry whereas I hardly cried about anything before.

My sister to this day has yet to deal with our mother's death and it's obvious. She has become a bitter and unhealthy person because of it (I will leave out the details).

So my answer is this: your wife may never change back to the Alicia you knew, or she may become a better Alicia than you knew. It has only been two months or so, but the best time to start working through it is now. I wish you (and her) the best. You are her husband which implies you should be her biggest supporter and #1 fan.
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Old 09-25-09, 08:22 AM   #4
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two very good replies. Especially the parts about her getting bereavement counseling and you being her #1 supporter.

she needs more time. This is a big test for you; it may be hard but if you can be there for her now, I sense she will be better than the Alicia you knew.

Be kind and hang in there. When you need a break for now, go lean on your friends and family, not on her. She needs you to lean on right now. Have faith that she will recover in time and be there for you when you need her (I suspect she will, in spades.)
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Old 09-25-09, 08:40 AM   #5
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Her father passed away in July, so that is only 2 months ago or less...

My mother passed away 11 years ago. I dealt with this in what I thought was a healthy way and moved on (but never forgotten) rather quickly. I became a stronger and better person because of it. Some things have changed, though, like when people complain about their pointless problems, I want to smack them instead of taking them seriously, and any random thing can make me cry whereas I hardly cried about anything before.

My sister to this day has yet to deal with our mother's death and it's obvious. She has become a bitter and unhealthy person because of it (I will leave out the details).

So my answer is this: your wife may never change back to the Alicia you knew, or she may become a better Alicia than you knew. It has only been two months or so, but the best time to start working through it is now. I wish you (and her) the best. You are her husband which implies you should be her biggest supporter and #1 fan.
That's another difference with her. I can't complain about anything at all, or she'll get upset with me.

So is grief/bereavement counseling the same as seeing a phsyciatrist?

I try my hardest to let her lean on me, but sometimes it's so random, it's hard to know what she's upset about, something I did, or her remembering her dad.

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Old 09-25-09, 08:43 AM   #6
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People grieve in different ways, and at different speeds.

Be as patient and supportive as you can for as long as you can. You married her, so you must think she is worthwhile. Death of a loved one does change us; but it does not change what you love about her. She needs you and you can help her considerably.

Beginning a marriage that way is especially tough. But stick it out, for her. And for you.

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Old 09-25-09, 08:45 AM   #7
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Patience. These are two very stressful events. I would give it a couple weeks to see if it might start to improve. Meanwhile, look into some counseling options that you could direct her towards in case you're not seeing a return to normalcy.

One other thing. Talk to her and try to find out if something you're doing might be contributing. If you're not certain of this, attempting to get her to go to counseling without you going too could make things worse.
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Old 09-25-09, 08:48 AM   #8
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Patience. These are two very stressful events. I would give it a couple weeks to see if it might start to improve. Meanwhile, look into some counseling options that you could direct her towards in case you're not seeing a return to normalcy.

One other thing. Talk to her and try to find out if something you're doing might be contributing. If you're not certain of this, attempting to get her to go to counseling without you going too could make things worse.
I'd definitely go with her.
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Old 09-25-09, 08:56 AM   #9
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2 months before your marriage she was on a roller coaster type high, then it was like somebody pulled the track out from the roller coaster. Sounds like it happened at one of the worst possible times....just bad luck. It's very likely that it did physically mess with her hormones and chemicals....and probably is depressed right now (possibly enough to need medication).

I don't think it is permanent.....but a rough way to start a marriage. For me, the 1st year was the roughest after my mom died. Every memory, every holiday were just reminders of what was lost. Give her time.

It's hard to be the punching bag....I know, I've been there before. Tell her that you love her and are there for her and mention to her you feel like a punching bag sometimes....maybe she'll realize it and cool off on that a bit.

Good luck.
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Old 09-25-09, 09:05 AM   #10
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I agree with pretty much everything they said above me.

My wife and I got married in May 2002. In October of that year, her younger brother committed suicide. Two weeks later, her uncle went into a diabetic coma & died. A week after that, we had to put her cat down due to failing kidneys & pneumonia. She tried to get some sort of moral/grief support from her church, but they pretty much blew her off (she's since converted to a different faith). She ended up finding a grief support group of people affected by the suicide of a loved one. It helped her immensely. I did not attend, nor did she ask me to.

Then in July 2004, her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was dead by early November 2004. Her grief over the loss of her father was less obvious than over the loss of her brother, mainly because she had the tools to deal with it from when she attended the support group meetings.
She still thinks about both of them, and will get sad about both now and then. Yes, our relationship changed, but it's still good. She worries more about me than she did before, because she doesn't want me to have the same health issues as her father. Hell, I still think about her father, and it makes me sad. He was a very cool guy, who accepted me into his family, even though I didn't share his religious faith.

Your wife will never stop thinking about her father. As was said by those before in this thread, suggest she go to grief counseling, and go with her. If you've been together since 2003, you are probably grieving over his death, too, just differently.

That first year was extremely rough for us, as I also wrecked my car, and later lost my job due to the bankruptcy of my employer. We figured that if we could make it through that first year with all the s**t we had to go through, there would be very little that would break us apart. You have the chance to do the same thing: grow closer with each other through these trying times. I know it sounds like a cliche.
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Old 09-25-09, 10:35 AM   #11
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Sorry for her loss, it's a sensitive time for her, everybody handles these things differently.
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Old 09-25-09, 11:00 AM   #12
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I would give it a couple weeks to see if it might start to improve.
Good advice from USAZ. But I might encourange anyone to not go into this with firm expectations about time. That seems like it might set you up for more trouble.

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Old 09-25-09, 11:55 AM   #13
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i have been through it and am still going through it. Encourage her to seek help. Find a grief counselor to help her work through her issues. Depression can cause all the symptoms you describe. Realize that you can only change you, not her. She has to want to change in order to get better. She must realize that she may have unresolved issues. Denial is part of the process and you have to help her to see that she needs to end the denial and seek help.

I did not realize how serious my issues were. Once i admitted to myself that i needed help, and went out and got it, i am a much happier person. By denying that i had a problem, i also denied myself salvation from that problem.

Left alone, a problem will not get better. Address the problem.

Best of luck my friend.
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