My boyfriend (25M) is going through a terrible loss and needs a break from me (24F).

I have some weird advice.

Grief fucks with your head. I'd mentally give him a time line that you can live with (and screw what he needs for the moment, because you also have needs in this mix). Can you handle three months? Six months? However much time you can give him to do his loner routine, give it to him. Don't even tell him. Just decide, personally, how long you can wait.

Then....just do what he says. Go to the service, be polite, and then go home. And just....wait. Just wait. Wait for the blank space after the funeral because that's where things get really hairy. Wait until the pomp and circumstance as passed. Give him the time he asked for, and see what he does with it. But keep in mind that there's an endpoint for you if he really can't deal and that, at that end point, you're going to bail for your own sanity.

When he comes back (and I think he will, once the whole process of the funeral is over and done with) be there for him the way you want to be now. But keep in mind that the shitty way he treated you through this DOES need to be talked about and addressed. But, like everything, in its place and time. So hold off. Wait to open that can of worms.

Essentially his time line should look like this: Tragedy -> Emotional Upheaval -> frantic attempt to cope (re: pushing you away) -> The reality of the funeral -> blank, sad days that don't make sense -> Need to talk without someone to talk to -> realization that he needs you.

So when he comes back then, realize he's only days out from an impossible hurt. So you put your own hurt in a time capsule and you'll talk about it later. But make SURE you find a later that works for both of you to talk about it. Because he can't go through life pushing you away when shit gets real.

/r/relationships Thread