My wife’s father passed away a couple months ago. She was beyond extremely close to him – they spoke every day, if they didn’t see each other that is. His death took a very heavy toll on her – she’s been depressed, has barely spoken and has not been herself since. She’s stopped going to work, cries all the time and can go days without eating. I’ve tried to talk to her, I’ve begged her to tell me any way that I can help her. And, I’ve recently even started broaching the subject of her getting professional help – seeing a doctor, maybe medication, etc. She clearly needs something to help her through this and I want her to get it so that she can keep going on with the life I know her father would have wanted her to lead. But, she refuses everything. She just mumbles that she’s fine, not to worry, to leave it alone, or something like that. But nothing changes. I want to help. But she won’t let me. She needs help. But she won’t get it. What do I do?
First of all depending on how much time has passed since his death, you might have to be more patient. For example, if it’s only been a couple of months, she may need more time. It is true that time heals all wounds; some people just need more time than others. If you feel as if too much time has gone by with little progress, I would sit down and have a conversation with her. Tell her that you want to go see a professional together for the sake of your relationship and your future. Tell her that although you know that she isn’t doing this on purpose, you feel alienated from her and you need a third party to bring you together. If she continues to tell you that you don’t understand, research a support group for her, Maybe getting her feelings out with people that can relate to her will make her feel better. Bottom line is that she needs to understand that she can’t allow the grief to ruin other parts of her life. Tell her that she’s not alone and that you want to get through this together so that your relationship is strengthened not weakened. Also, suggest actually talking about her father in a positive light. Put focus on his life and he lived it instead of keeping focus on his death. Make her understand that the best way to respect the memory of her father is to live a happy and fulfilling life in memory of him. She’ll eventually see that this is all he wanted for her, and that is exactly what you are trying to get back for her.
By Elina Khusid
Insight Relationship Expert