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Trigger After Death of Mother in Law

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crashednburned posted 8/7/2014 06:14 AM

FWS mother just passed away yesterday. I love her and treated her like she was my own mother. She has been living with us and I have been taking care of her for the past 16 years. She was 91 years old.

When FWS is upset he needs to talk about it. He will go over and over it with pretty much anyone. Last year after his father died he kissed and had inappropriate contact with a coworker. He said it started when he was telling her how upset he was about his father and started to cry. She hugged him and it turned into kissing/fondling. This was not a one time thing either with her. It was the beginning of EA and probably would have turned to a full blown PA when he got caught.

Now his sweet mother has died. I am trying to comfort him while I am triggering and grieving myself. I have clearly stated my boundaries. I know how he deals with grief and just don't trust that this will not happen again with OW or someone else.

So how do I comfort him and reinforce boundaries? I want to verbally beat him up and state over and over again how he better handle this but I cringe and hold it in because its like beating a dog when he is down.

authenticnow posted 8/7/2014 06:21 AM

I'm sorry about your MIL. I was extremely close to my MIL and when we lost her 10 years ago I was devastated. My condolences .

How about saying to your H something like, "This is tough. Your mom was very special to both of us. Let's remember to turn to each other for support in this."

crashednburned posted 8/7/2014 06:35 AM

Thank you Authenticnow. I have been saying that the past two weeks as she has been declining. I have been telling him to keep his boundaries up and turn to me. After all, I share his grief. It just feels like it is not enough though.

It is just that if it happens again this will be the end and I will lose both of them. So sad....

BtraydWife posted 8/7/2014 08:01 AM

I'm sorry to hear about her death. It'll be painful for the both of you.

I'm wondering how R is going? Is he willingly doing everything you have required?

I'm concerned about the way you see discussing this with him. Why would reminding him of what he did last time and communicating your fears and triggers regarding the loss of his mother be like kicking a dog?

Does he make you feel like that when you bring things up or is this what you assume he will feel?

This is a part of life. This kind of situation will always come along. Something that tests their ability to prove things are different. Sometimes this is how BSs find out that nothing has changed.

Just because he is in pain, it doesn't dismiss his responsibility to continue making you feel safe. He doesn't get a pass because this is difficult for him. Now neither of his parents will pass again but there will be other stressors. He has to continue with the work of R while facing his own feelings. This should be a time where the two of you come together and work through this as a team.

It's not rude, selfish, or cruel to need additional reassurances from him during this time. This is the situation he created by choice. He should be falling over himself to prove to you, this time things will be different. This is a chance for him to earn back some trust.

crashednburned posted 8/7/2014 09:23 AM

R is going oKay right now Btrayedwife. He is trying but I suppose he could do more.

When I bring it up now, while he is in pain, he almost rolls his eyes and I get the feeling that he thinks I am torturing him and doesn't really want to hear it. He has not said it but I know that is how he is feeling. He has been like this since her decline. Prior to this he has been good and tries to reassure me but does minimizes it a bit..

He is still in IC working on his issues but has not discovered why it happened. Thank you for telling me he should not get a pass. I think I am too easy on him at times and we all know that is the opposite of what we BS need to do.

TheIrishGirl posted 8/7/2014 12:10 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. And the further complication of it being a trigger. I think being in IC should help this time- not only because he is working on him, but also because it is an appropriate person to go over & over the loss with.

I agree that you could/should say something to him. Not in an accusatory way, which can be hard to craft, but in an, "I know losing your mom is so hard on you, and I'm devastated too. But I'm here to talk and listen. I want to talk and listen." May even reference the past behavior and say you realize that not only complicates your grief, but expect it may complicate his. And neither of you should bury that. And, now that he's lost both his parents the grief may be harder as well.

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