My boyfriend is grieving the death of his ex 4 years later

My boyfriend's ex died a few years before we met (We've been together for 13 months). His ex was killed by a drunk diver when they were still dating and I think he's still grieving for her 4 years later.

He talks about her a lot. He'll show me cute pictures of him her on his phone a lot. When he cooks he talks about how much she liked what ever we're eating. Once during s*x he said "[her name] loved it when I did this"." Even though I loved it too, he was talking about her during s*x with me.

He got really mad at me when I kept telling him that he should take a framed picture of the two of them in Iceland off from his wall because he needs to move on.

I feel horrible for him. He clearly loves her more than me. He didn't deserve to loose her. He told me that he lost his virginity to her and only had s*x once between her dying and becoming sexually active with me. I have a key to his apartment and once I walked in and he was sitting in a chair just stairing at a picture of them next to a Christmas tree.

He clearly loves her more than me but I don't take it personally.

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  • The future is gone when you're stuck in the past

  • Healing like this just takes time and everyone is different. It's been my experience that the more sudden and traumatic the passing the more difficult it is to deal with it.

  • Update: I talked to my boyfriend and he agreed to get help. He called his doctor to recommend a grief councilor he can see.

  • That is really terrific news! I'm so, so, so pleased you did that, and that he responded positively! You did the right thing for you AND for him. Thank you for letting us know, and please keep us posted on progress!! And thank for knowing how to be a good friend and doing it.

  • Good on you, dear. What you did was hard but necessary. Yeats once wrote that "too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart." Both you and he were facing that possible fate, and you tenderly and selflessly avoided it. May God bless you both. . . . . . . and your relationship.

  • Get out of there. He hasn’t moved on from his ex and you can’t help him with that.

  • She was killed by a drunk driver. It's not like they broke up or divorced.

  • I love him though. I plan on talking to him tomorrow about how he needs help

  • You need to tell him that it's time to get some therapy, or at least start going for grief counseling (most churches or hospice centers offer free classes). Give him six months and say upfront that if he's not at least BEGUN either process by then, you'll leave. No matter how good a person or friend you are, this is an unhealthy relationship for you, where he trolls you for sympathies and you are openly expected to sublimate YOUR BEING to HIS memory of a dead woman. God bless you for what you"v e done, but thirteen months of that is waaaaaaaay more than enough, so I think it warrants putting him on the clock. Helping others does strengthen us to a point. But beyond that, it is damaging to our psyche. I believe you are being damaged by this. Slowly, to be sure, but your "self" is being chipped away every time she comes up in conversation. But especially in bed. When he mentions her there, he's cheating on you with her. You have to put a stop to that. I know you can do it kindly, because it's obvious that is your nature, but I think you MUST do it.

  • Wait until he has s** with her ghost, like Dan Akroyd in Ghostbusters.

  • Its ok and only narural. You need to set limits on s** talk, though, and anything on bedroom walls. Otherwise, I think it's normal to feel that he loves her more than you and he may very well. But that's more of a time thing, as you spend more years together it will transition over to you and you'll be the most important thing in his world especially since you're there for him during this difficult few years of change. But do set your limits and don't be ashamed of any limits. I think pictures of them up throughout the house is okay it's a reminder of who he was before and you are now kind of part of that world

  • He agreed to get help today and talk about her less. His condition was that I don't make him take the pictures of them off of his walls.

  • I don't think you are going anywhere in this relationship. Maybe it was the surprise of the event but he is really not getting over it without counseling, I would suggest you recommend it or tell him you will have to move on. My wife Lori got sick about 4 years ago, diabetes, then was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer she has passed now and yes I miss her and I love her. I was never unfaithful to her and I've been looking for a new GF the last year. I guess maybe I saw and knew what was coming and was better prepared for it.

  • My condolences, cancer is a terrible thing. My wife luckily survived hers but not without Battle Scars inside and out for us all

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