Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps

Has anyone been through this?

My boyfriend is about to leave on a trip to help run his parents' estate sale and get their house ready to put on the market. I've tried to be as supportive of him as I can, but it's really hard for me to get a true understanding of the depth of his grief because I haven't had a good relationship with my parents. He says he feels lost, like he's losing his home, too. He says he doesn't want to go back to where his parents live, but there's always been that safety net, sort of, where he knew if his life blew up in his face, he at least had a home to return to. He's in his fifties, and his parents are in their eighties. He's well established, able to take care of himself, hardly close to needing to return to his mom and dad in a pinch. He's someone I care about and the father of my child; I'd be there for him in any way I could if he needed something. Maybe it's just that going back to my parents is the last thing on earth I would resort to doing--I might do it if I had to keep my child warm and safe and that was the only way, but if I was by myself I'd probably sleep under a picnic table in a park first--but the concept seems alien to me. Have any of you felt this way when dealing with older parents? Mine are still healthy and self-sufficient, I shudder to think what they'll need in another ten years. I'd be willing to help them financially if I needed to, but I can hardly imagine interacting with them the way my boyfriend is with his mom and dad; they've always been close.


Asked by Ballad at 5:02 PM on Jun. 3, 2013 in Relationships

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • your mom was a bitch! and seriously, your brother aint much better.
    youre right this isn't about you but- as long as you arent telling him, "let's talk about me during your moment of crisis" there is nothing wrong with acknowledging and exploring your own feeling of loss at this time.

    you are allowed to miss what you were (as all children are entitled to) deprived of- safety, security, compassion etc.
    and really, if you never experienced it then you would probably be a sociopath ( or is it psycohpath?) of some sort because it would mean you had no feelings at all

    Answer by feralxat at 5:45 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • My dad and I lived with his parents when I was 2-10. Hid dad died when I was in middle school, and his mom died when I was 16. She was the first mom figure I remember having. Her surviving children sold her house (MY house) because none of them wanted it. It is an unsettling feeling to have that much taken away from you all at once.

    Imagine your best friend (or someone you're really close to) suddenly telling you you're a white trash whore who will NEVER do anything right in your life, punching you HARD in the gut, then walking out of your life forever. That's kind of how he's feeling right now.

    His parents' home is his mental safety net. That safety net is now being cut away (sold).

    Answer by Rosehawk at 5:21 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • My parents aren't quite there yet but I know I'll feel the same way when they are. On top of that I'm an only child, I'll have no siblings to share the ordeal with. It's not something I look forward to, but it's a part of life. I don't think there's much you can do to make your boyfriend feel better because it's something that will simply take adjusting, but just remind him (by showing him) that he has a home and a safe place with you.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 5:11 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • I was pretty much raised by my grandparents.. my grand father has passed and now its only my grandmother.. im an only child and even though ive been out of the house fir years, it still hurts to think of my old house to be with another family. to not have a "home" to go back to. just be there for him if he needs to vent and just allow him to grieve. im dreading the day my gram passes but I know its part of life

    Answer by nnh_mama at 5:20 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • It's just nostalgia. He grew up there & all his childhood memories are there. It represents safety & security for him. Them selling it has to hurt. It's like a death almost. Never to be the same again. I know when my Mom sells her home I will feel the same way. I grew up there. She & my Dad bought it in the 50's. It's like a piece of me. So just be supportive if he wants to vent to you. He's losing his childhood & is facing the reality of time & age.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 5:26 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • You just need to understand that is how he feels about his parents. Everybudy has their own family thing going on. It is just like everything else. Peoples way of living, their beliefs. You just have to understand that is the way he feels. And leave it at that.

    Answer by louise2 at 5:13 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • how would you feel if Ballad passed?
    that wrenching pain loss of the security, companionship
    how she and other guide dogs have fostered your independence because you knew no matter what you could rely on them to keep you safe...
    now imagine if they were able to speak to you and offered you a haven as a child discovering the world and that safe haven was all of a sudden gone...

    that is similar to the loss he is feeling. he is also probably in the beginning stages of grief
    having to acknowledge that they are no longer able to take care of a house (and themselves) and the roles are now reversed
    he is becoming the parent

    Answer by feralxat at 5:31 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • Oh, my heart just breaks for him right now. We just went thru this 4 yrs ago. I was very close to my grandparents & going into their home & going thru their things just seemed wrong to me. It was a huge part of my life that was no longer going to exist. I totally get that sense of tremendous loss. It feels like you're losing a part of yourself along with it all. The best you can do is just be there for him. Be his shoulder & his confidant.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:20 PM on Jun. 3, 2013

  • The safety net is very foreign to me too Ballad.
    I was kicked out at 18 with no place to live, so for 3 months I lived out of my car. My parents believed you're an adult at 18, so get out! I've resented them all my life and had no respect. Plus, my parents were mentally and physically abusive. But growing up in their home, it was the norm. Notice how I said "their"
    I guess all I can say is your feelings are valid and to express them is okay! Just support him, as I know you will and try not to let your anger and hurt at your mom supersede your love and support for your SO.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 12:48 AM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • I get that, but damn. It must be nice to have had a safety net like that. My mom used to brag to everybody that as soon as her kids turned eighteen, they'd be out the door. Especially me. She'd tell me she couldn't wait for the day. I went back for a couple of month-long breaks between college semesters, only because there was no place else to go, but the summer after my first year of college, I got a job and never looked back. Both of my other siblings stayed with my parents for a few months at a time while the homes they bought were being built, but when I got divorced an had to find another place to live, my mom said she'd help me financially but there was no way I was moving into her house. Which was fine, I wouldn't have moved in there on a bet. I know this is about my boyfriend and not me, but I guess I sort of miss the safety net I never had. It's stirring up all sorts of hurt and anger I had no idea was in me.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 5:33 PM on Jun. 3, 2013