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Bereavement

Male relatives getting me down

(16 Posts)
TillyWhiz Sun 03-Nov-19 10:42:38

Since my DH died in February I have found the male relatives hard work and wonder if others have found the same. I have one who is irritated with me because I haven't asked him to help - but when I did he said he couldn't so I assume he's being selective. Another is planning my move and is annoyed I'm not! My female friends have been told by one that I'm too independent and too stubborn. It really gets me down which upsets me because everyone else have been so supportive and lovely and as they're related I feel they should too.

Elegran Sun 03-Nov-19 11:01:16

Some men do seem to think that the "little woman" can't plan or do anything herself.

Tell the men who want you to be helpless and dependent that you are finding that although of course you miss your DH, you are getting better and better at making decisions and carrying them out on your own. Promise to ask for their help with those things you can't do alone, and thank them when they do help.

If they start pushing you again in a direction you don't want to go, remind them that it is recommended that after a bereavement people don't make any big changes in their lives for at least a year, until they know how they are getting on being alone, and whether they want to move or to alter anything else.

You can expect to live to about 85 or 90 (you can get an estimate here - www.ssa.gov/OACT/population/longevity.html ), so you will have many years of living with the decisions you make now, so there is no rush to "settle it" before you get decrepit and keel over.

Nortsat46 Sun 03-Nov-19 11:28:17

So sorry to learn of the loss of your DH so recently.
I can appreciate your exasperation and upset with your male relatives. My experience of mine, is that they are often most comfortable when finding ‘solutions’. They seem much less able to just sit and ‘be’, unlike my women friends and family members.

Consequently mens solutions will often be theirs and not yours. I believe these inappropriate solutions are invariably well meant.
I suggest you let them know you need space and that you will ask for help, when you feel ready to accept it.
Better still get another relative to tell them for you, so that you don’t have to keep explaining yourself.

You sound very coherent and you clearly know what you want and don’t want. Well done.
Now, try not to pay too much attention to these unhelpful views and opinions. All good wishes. 💐

SueDonim Sun 03-Nov-19 12:52:32

I'm sorry for your loss. flowers

I think your male relatives are responding to your situation in a typically male way - they want to provide solutions to what they perceive as a problem. Ime men often feel they must be proactive and do something to 'help' whereas women are better at being in the moment and mulling over issues from all sides.

I think you could try to take the sting out of these unhelpful suggestions by thanking them for their advice and saying that you'll certainly think it over. You needn't say that you'll think it over and then reject it!

notanan2 Sun 03-Nov-19 12:54:40

When I was bereaved I had a male friend get angry at me because I hadnt cried (to him) and wasnt letting him support me hmm and according to him, I needed to. hmm

We aren't friends any more.

TillyWhiz Sun 03-Nov-19 23:33:02

Thank you for your answers which have helped me understand more. I was caring for DH for a long time and felt that that was the time I could have done with some help rather than now. I suppose they thought that as I had a man about the house, however incapacitated, then I was being looked after!

MissAdventure Sun 03-Nov-19 23:36:11

It's very hard to put those feelings to one side, I think.
Its something I struggle with, still.

SynchroSwimmer Sun 03-Nov-19 23:46:47

Yes, I am with you on that too.

I found some chaps were overloading me with their ideas about what I should do, and vociferously highlighting some (non) issues, things they felt I should address, which gave me additional stress that wasn’t needed.

Now I just openly say “I don’t want to talk about that now as It is making me unnecessarily stressed’. I just write everything in a big book - jobs that I need to do in slow time, appliances that I need to understand, and go to tick them off my list at some future date, on one of the “good”days.

I can recommend the online support group Tilly, called Way Up, if that’s helpful

Fiachna50 Mon 04-Nov-19 01:43:59

It is a very bad idea to make major life changes after a bereavement, moreso a close one. The advice I was given was to do absolutely nothing and make no major decisions for one year. Including moving house.

jeanie99 Tue 05-Nov-19 12:30:12

Tilly give yourself breathing space you have lost your husband and should take time to work out what you want to do not be pushed into something you might regret.

Just say " I don't think it is the time right now to make major decisions like moving and I do not want to discuss this."

Some people may think they are helping but they are just causing additional worry and stress at a time when you really don't need.
Do some of the things that make you happy or try something different move forward slowly.

luluaugust Tue 05-Nov-19 14:28:27

I am sorry for the loss of your DH and do sympathise with you. I am the only female in my generation of the family and have a DH, brother and male cousins. Now they are all over 70 they seem to thing its a good idea to phone up and moan to me about anything and everything (not DH he's on my side thank goodness) it can get very stressful. As others have said take your time and be firm, certainly don't even think of moving until you want to. Good luck with them all flowers

Septimia Tue 05-Nov-19 14:56:57

Do you not think that, maybe, it's the men who have the problem and feel they need to be needed? It seems to me that a lot of retired men are seeking a purpose in life and your relatives have decided that you're it!

I agree with the others - do things your way and in your own time.

felice Tue 05-Nov-19 15:14:18

When my Father died, 1974, my Mother told his Brothers to take whatever tools they wanted.
They cleared the lot even the lawnmower, as we had more than half an acre of grass what did they thing she was going to do.
When I pulled them up on it I became public enemy number one, and my Mother had to go and buy all new garden tools.
all my fault of course

TillyWhiz Tue 05-Nov-19 23:41:21

felice I sympathise with that totally because I had a feeling that's what the one wishing to 'help' was being selective about!
Septimia I can agree with that because one is now busy having to care for his partner and is so much easier to speak with.
I am doing simple clearing tasks as and when I feel like it. I feel surrounded by many years of memories in my home, I am not prepared to leave them, they are my comfort. It's just the stress of arguing about it that I don't want so thank you for giving pointers of what to say.

Norman1939 Mon 09-Dec-19 12:16:06

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Granarchist Mon 09-Dec-19 13:03:23

When my mother died and I was executor of her will, my very controlling step father was furious that I did not employ (at huge expense) his solicitor son to do probate. The idea that a female was capable of doing it unaided was an anathema to him. He also tried to prevent my daughter giving the eulogy at the funeral. Such a controlling man. Needless to say probate went through swiftly and without problems and the eulogy was wonderful. Ha!