Breaks           August 15, 2005

Whether breaking down, breaking up or taking a break, every relationship faces periods of challenge or stress. Whether the relationship survives depends on fate, choice and happenstance. Our advisors break it down.

Loss, lost and losing.
Give him space.

Need space?
Roaming time.

Terms of endearment?
Termination time.

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Loss, lost and losing

Dear Conversely,

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My fiancé recently lost his mom. I understand that, but I am feeling so messed up inside and I don't know why. I feel that he is very distant and is not acting like himself. We used to talk a lot about everything, but now we hardly talk unless it is about bills and the children. I have two children and he is a good father and fiancé. He usually shows emotion and doesn't leave everything bottled up inside like I do. But every time I try to talk to him, he tells me he has no compassion anymore and basically he doesn't care about how I, my children or anyone in his family feels. I don't know if it's me, but I don't know what to do? I know he lost someone precious to him, but he doesn't know the effect this is having on my feelings.

Her view:

Dear Lost,

He is reacting to the situation. It's a tough reaction to take, but that's all it is. Be supportive and loving. Give him some space if he needs it. Maybe space would be a good thing for him to go through his upset and have some alone time to sort through his sorrow.

People react in very different ways. You may have handled such a situation very differently and leaned on him for help and support. However, he is pushing you back, so let him for awhile. Give him what he needs to come out on the other side. It's not all about you and your relationship.

People in relationships are also individuals. His loss is something you do not fully understand—and you won't. Help in whatever way he's asking. He's asking for a tough thing, which is to be left alone for a while on an emotional level. Give him that.

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His view:

Dear Lost,

This may only be a temporary imbalance. At this time, the best option is to give him the space and time he needs to process, grieve and recover. Don't continuously seek his reassurance and support when you can clearly see that he is not in the best spot to provide it. By doing so you are being selfish and also making things worse for yourself. If you love him and trust him as much as you should—given that you plan on marrying him—this is a sacrifice you must make.

However, it can't take him forever to grieve. The loss of a mother, no matter how tragic, should not reduce or take away the love he feels for his fiancée. It may distract him and it may lessen his ability to demonstrate passion and affection, but it should not change how he feels about you. The question is: how much time is enough time? Only he can answer that—and you have to decide whether you have the emotional endurance to wait him out.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 20% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 80% with HIS VIEW.

33% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 67% with HIS VIEW.

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