How to Support My Boyfriend when He Receives Terrible News

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Liz Lemon 11 months ago.

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  • #769645 Reply


    My boyfriend and I have just celebrated two years together. We live apart during the week due to work, but always spend the weekends together.

    My boyfriend at times is an interesting character. When we are together he’s very loving. We’ll snuggle together on the couch, kiss often etc. We cook for each other, care about each other etc. When we are apart we message each other regularly, sharing things we found for each other, planning our weekend, and talking about our days.

    However, he can at times be a very closed shop when it comes to things stressing him. He’s in a highly stressful job and I’ve learnt not to quiz him too much about work, but I know when something is on his mind as his demeanor changes – there’s much less of the loving gestures. I guess I just want him to talk, but I know to let him sort it out in his mind first.

    However, he does have a medical condition that has the potential to be life threatening. He refuses to talk about it much, saying he doesn’t want to worry me, but I said I’d be more worried if something happens and I didn’t know about it. Thankfully he did tell me, which I’m glad as he had an attack whilst we were on holiday and I was able to assist with informing the paramedics.

    However, he got news today that his medical condition has dramatically deteriated. He didn’t want to tell me at first as he didn’t want to worry me, but given how he handles stress I’m worried about him. I did offer to spend tonight with him, but he wants to be alone. I left it as that. It didn’t stop him from wanting to chat, but we tried to keep the conversation light and jovial.

    So, my question is, given he’s going to need more tests, and maybe need surgery, how do I offer to support him. I know not to force myself onto him, but I am worried about him.

    #769649 Reply

    Better off single

    If you want to be there for your boyfriend do not aid in his problems and be another problem, take his mind off of them. Do not constantly bring it up. unless he wants to talk about it, Forget it has ever happened.

    Do fun things. Make him laugh. Be in love. Just be with him.

    Have you ever seen that movie “me before you”?

    He fell in love with her because she took his mind off of the pain he was in.

    #769724 Reply


    Ask him how he wants to be supported. We can guess all day and he will actually tell you

    #769727 Reply


    He is in a position where he has very little control over the outcomes and neither can you. I remember your first post about this and am sorry it got worse.
    I think you should ask him, like tallspicy said, if for example he would like you to go to docters with him. Many guys dont like to commisserate, they prefer not to think about it.
    Doing things to take his mind off, works way better.
    This can get seriously bad fast, like can he still work, can he die. This can have serious impacts on both of you so i do think you are entitled to know the details not omly because you are worried. But try to talk in a more factual way. Dont ask about god feelings etc

    #769787 Reply


    Don’t press I’m – boy will talk, when boy wants to talk.

    Be his light, in his darkness. Do fun things together, buy him a gift, surprise him with a trip away, or cook him a 3 course meal, visit a spa or something. Be his reason for smiling. Just being there is all you need to do.

    #769795 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I’m sorry this is happening to your boyfriend. I agree with the advice above. Ask him how you can support him– if he wants you to go to appointments with him, or cook him meals, or just hang out and watch movies, etc. Generally men are doers and not talkers so if you ask him what you can do (rather than how he feels, etc) I think he will be able to relate to that and will hopefully give you concrete things you can do to make him feel better. Don’t be emotional or start talking about feelings. If he wants to keep the conversation light, let him. He is almost certainly in a lot of emotional turmoil but he may not even know how to verbalize it so pressuring him to talk about it will backfire.

    In my personal experience with my boyfriend, he is emotionally reserved and has a hard time talking about painful topics– but if I step back a bit and just be there with him, and not pry or ask a lot of questions, he will suddenly open up and start talking. And if I listen in a neutral, calm way, he keeps talking (not reacting in an emotional way). I don’t know if your boyfriend is the same way, but if you sit back and give him the space to talk, without pushing, he may very well open up.

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