My father in law has recently passed away and my husband has shut down. How do I be there for him and reach him without pushing him away?
Please except my condolences for your family’s loss.
Grief is a very, very private emotion. I recently had a very dear and close friend lose her sister. The loss was sudden and very unexpected. Well, my friend completely shut down. She didn’t want anyone to hug her, console her, express their sorrow for her or anything. She completely withdrew and frankly it was scary. I honestly thought she was headed for a breakdown.
Carol, what I learned from that experience was that be there even if they don’t act like you are. Place your hand on his arm, give him a warm hug, a smile or whatever comfort you can so he knows you are there, while giving him his space. I don’t know your husband so it is hard know if he is normally a private person but if the answer is yes, give him his privacy. I am sure he needs time to process his feelings and by supporting him with your loving touch and silent strength he will feel comforted even if he acts withdrawn. My hope is that sooner than later he will process his feelings, accept your loving support and come to you to speak about his feelings then the healing will begin.
Good Luck & Huge Muther Hugs,
One Tough Muther