Your Call: Is He Still Mourning…Or Just Not That Into Me?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section.

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Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years and I live with him. His sister died a couple of months ago and his mother died five years ago and I have seen a change in him, and it’s starting to affect our relationship. He has conversations with other girls and I feel he doesn’t accept me as his girlfriend as I want him to. I love him but I don’t feel the love as often as I used to and I am confused. Is he still dealing with his sister’s death? Or is it that he can’t deal with me anymore?

— Out in the Cold

Leave your advice for Out in the Cold in the comments section below.



  1. When my sister died (highly traumatic event) I seriously reevaluated everything in my life and made really drastic changes accordingly. I also really withdrew with my grieving. I didn’t feel comfortable putting it on others because I was scared they would get tired of it and resent me.

    It seems to me that either of those expressions of grief (or both) could explain his behavior. I would go with what the other commenters are saying and have an open, caring talk with him. However, I would explore just how far these conversations with other girls are going. Don’t give him a free pass to cheat on you just because he is dealing with a horrible loss. Grief isn’t an excuse to mistreat others.

  2. This may not be an either/or situation. He may be over the relationship, but hasn’t moved on because the grief he’s going through is all he can handle right now. The only way to know for sure is to talk to him about how you’re feeling, without being insensitive to what he’s going through. I had a boyfriend who picked a fight with me about my being distant a few days after my mother’s death. Needless to say, he’s not my boyfriend anymore. Yours has had longer to mourn his sister, but the feelings of loss are still probably pretty raw.

    I’m not saying don’t tell him how you’re feeling – you need to. Just make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t make what’s going on all about you. It’s about the both of you. Good luck.

  3. I’d sit down (or go for a walk) and let him know how you feel – you feel confused and unaccepted, and that you have seen changes in his behavior (and you’d like his perspective on that). If you are kind, honest, and straightforward about it, hopefully he will open up and let you know what is going on.

    If he isn’t willing to open up and let you know what is going on, then you need to decide how much longer you are willing to deal with this before (potentially) moving on.

    If he is depressed (or grieving, which is different), that can certainly change your relationship. Either of these need to be addressed in some fashion.

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