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"My Boyfriend's Cousin Died. Should I go to the Wake?"

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice "My Boyfriend's Cousin Died. Should I go to the Wake?"

Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 38 total)
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  • #848666 Reply
    avatarele4phant
    Guest

    I mean, but when she was like, okay got the sitter tell me more about game plan, he was like, oh no, you don’t need to come. All this assuming that she came off as put upon so he decided it was a burden for him to bring her is just that, assuming. He just as easily could’ve never expected or wanted her to come, or he thought about it and decided he didn’t want/need her there, unrelated to how stretched thin she’s been.

    Bottomline – she started out assuming she was going, she made herself free so she could go, then he said, no you don’t need to.

    Personally, once you’re told that, I don’t think you push your partner on being there. Grief is a weird thing, people react to it differently. If your partner is going through that, personally I don’t think you push them into what you think they need; you react to what they’re telling you. He told her she didn’t need to go, if that’s where he’s at that’s where he’s at.

    Certainly, after that she mismanaged things after that. I think a soft reassurance of “I’m happy to do whatever it is you need, if you want me there I’ll be there, but if it’s space you want that’s fine too.”

    The back and forth on whether or not she was going and confronting him about her hurt feelings, THAT’S bad. But initially, she assumed she was going, she made the effort to make sure she could go. If he knew that and still says no, I don’t think you override your partner or assume you know better it is about what they really need. You respect their process.

    #848668 Reply
    SkyblossomSkyblossom
    Participant

    The thing I really note about this LW is she threw in all of this stuff about her busy schedule, which isn’t overly relevant to whether she should or shouldn’t go to the wake.

    Between the two of them the communication is awful. When he began telling her about the wake she assumed she would go because she would want him to go if the roles were reversed. She didn’t ask him what he wanted. He didn’t consult her about making plans to go. At two years into the relationship I would expect it to be second nature to just ask and consult and plan together. He didn’t ask if she wanted to go and didn’t express an opinion. She didn’t ask whether he wanted her to go and she didn’t express an opinion.

    If you want this relationship to work you both need to learn to talk. Learn to ask. If you don’t ask in the moment then ask as soon as you realize you should have. Even a simple text will work.

    I assumed you would want me to go to the wake but I never asked. Would you like me to go with you to the wake? I’m happy to do whatever supports you the best.

    Otherwise you are both second guessing each other and ascribing motives to each other that likely don’t exist. Words are your friend. They keep relationships running strong.

    At this point in time you should tell him that you assumed that he would want you there. Now that you think about it you aren’t sure if that’s what he wanted. Say you are sorry for not realizing you needed to ask him what he would like you to do and for trying to guess what he wanted then say that you will be happy to support him however he wants.

    #848669 Reply
    avatarcdobbs
    Guest

    i interpret it as he told her when the wake was because they are in a relationship and he is letting her know that he is going and that is where he will be at that time….it never specifically states this is when the wake is and can you go with me….maybe he just assumed that because she didn’t know the cousin she didn’t need to be there….if they were married maybe then it is just assumed that they would go together?

    #848671 Reply
    avatarele4phant
    Guest

    Yeah – I agree with skyblossom. When it comes to grief, things get weird. Even if you’re a long term couple that knows each other really well, you can’t ever really predict how someone will react to loss. Sometimes people want a lot of attention and support. Sometimes people want space.

    You really need to be clear and communicative, and if you are the supporting partner, exceedingly gracious and kind. There is no default right way to go about supporting your grieving partner. You just have to listen and hold back on your own feelings and opinions while they work through it.

    This isn’t to say you put the onus on them to know how they feel and tell you what they want, it means you need to be really clear about clarifying about what it is you are assuming and what you intend to do, and give them the space to answer you if that works for them or not.

    #848678 Reply
    avatardinoceros
    Member

    I wonder about a few things. How did the details of the wake come up? Did he actually tell you to come or was he just letting you know when he’d be attending? (I don’t agree that telling someone a date is an automatic invite.) Did you make a big deal out of having to get a sitter?

    I think there are a few things that could have happened. He wanted you to come and then you acted really burdened, so he said “Fine, don’t come.” He wasn’t inviting you and you misunderstood. He told you with the intention that you go, but didn’t care that much whether you came or not. (Not everyone feels like their partner MUST be at a cousin’s wake.) Or any of the above happened and he invited you later to make you stop pouting.

    All of the scenarios boil down to you making this whole thing about you. I think it’s also a bad sign that you hear him say “you don’t have to go” and you not only assume he just doesn’t want you there, but you get mad and then stew. I don’t get why you didn’t hear that and then immediately say, “Oh, I thought you wanted me to come. I really don’t mind. Or would you prefer me not to?” That would have been the response you’d give if you were trying to support your boyfriend and not making this about you.

    So many people try to use deaths as a gauge of how much someone loves them, and TBH, it’s pretty icky. If you have relationship problems, address them later. Don’t take over your boyfriend’s cousin’s death as some sort of test.

    #848692 Reply
    bagge72bagge72
    Participant

    It really seems like he was giving her an out, by saying, “oh you don’t have to go”. I’m sure he wanted her there, but with the fuss she made about it, he was probably being nice and thinking of her feelings, when it should have been the other way around.

    #848697 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Maybe I’m a cold bitch but if any of my cousins died I wouldn’t be grieving. Sad sure but I’m not really close to any of my cousins. I wouldn’t need my husband’s support. Looks to me like your husband is going to the wake and doesn’t care if you go or not because it isn’t that big of deal to him. He saw how put out & overscheduled you were feeling and said you didn’t have to go. When you got upset he said fine come. Sit it out. But again, I’m a cold bitch

    #848715 Reply
    bagge72bagge72
    Participant

    OMG you’re so cold

    #848719 Reply
    avatarFyodor
    Guest

    That is cold, but I can imagine that there’s some middle ground where he was grieving but wasn’t that close with his cousin and didn’t feel the need to have his partner there if it was going to be a lot of trouble for her.

    #848721 Reply
    SkyblossomSkyblossom
    Participant

    I could also see it where the entire family is very close and having the girlfriend there is more an interruption to their grieving than a help if they don’t know her very well.

    I’m very close with the cousins in my mom’s family and an outsider that we didn’t know would feel intrusive.

    #848722 Reply
    avatarele4phant
    Guest

    I mean, is it cold to not be heart broken over the death of someone you don’t know that well, even if you had to share some DNA with them? I have cousins on my mom’s side I’m very close to, and I would be utterly distraught if one of them passed. But on my Dad’s side? Those cousins are older than me, and honestly, and it’s been YEARS since I’ve seen any of them. It would be sad if they died, particularly because they’re young and it’s sad when people die before their time, but, it like wouldn’t feel that personal to me. Just because they’re related to me, I don’t really have a connection to them.

    I could imagine going to the funeral to support my dad, but it definitely wouldn’t be a thing I’d feel I’d need my husband to attend with me or that I’d feel I’d need extra emotional support for. I could definitely see giving him a pass on going to one of their memorial services if he had anything else going on.

    Who knows where the OP’s boyfriend falls on this particular death…I think the key thing is everyone (including her) is assuming what he feels based on our own experiences and what we think we would want, but no one really knows.

    He may not care that much. He may be really broken up and wants space. Maybe he wanted her their and is VERY disappointed she acted put upon in being asked to come. I don’t know, OP doesn’t know.

    #848723 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    I said I would be sad, and I recognize that people close to any of my cousins (that I haven’t seen in 10 years) would be devastated. But I wouldn’t grieve as if I lost a parent or partner. I totally wouldn’t want my spouse to go with me to this hypothetical funeral if it was a burden to them. And if they got upset about being excluded I would tell them to come. I don’t know how close this guy is to his cousin. It could be his best friend.

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