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Old 09-15-2018, 07:40 AM
1,765 posts, read 866,602 times
Reputation: 3760


The husband of a relative we lost early to alcoholism has been making very inappropriate and suggestive comments to me as I somewhat resemble the deceased. Its clear that he is very lonely and the loss is fresh. I had not had a lot of contact with him in years past as I was always uncomfortable around him. But as this happened recently and we were at the service and visiting with the family prior, he has been in touch. I have said I was unhappy with the comments but it has not registered with him. He continues to make them.

I am happily in a long term relationship and have a child with my mate. I do not live near the person who is doing this. Its making the family dynamic tense as I don't want to badmouth this individual in their grief, but I also have zero wish to put myself into this very difficult interaction which precludes me from participating in some of the activities others have planned to help them. I will be bowing out of any future visits to the family and have stopped taking this person's calls (though they still find excuses to text.) I am hoping this blows over, but its really upsetting. I am grieving myself and I find the whole thing really disrespectful to my relative who passed. My mate is very insulted and annoyed as he has overheard some of these comments and said point blank that he thought they were inappropriate to the relative. The relative backtracked a bit but started again when my mate was not within earshot.

There is certainly alcohol involved as the husband of the deceased has been drinking to deal with the loss. They have two children. I would like to help the kids but I fear their father 's behavior will make this very difficult.

Any ideas on how to handle this?

Last edited by emotiioo; 09-15-2018 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:39 AM
9,255 posts, read 7,284,180 times
Reputation: 22705
Cut off contact. Block his number, have his emails automatically go to spam. Block and auto delete all you can. Move on.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:22 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27642
The loss of a spouse creates a hole, where the absence of connection and sudden lack of emotional support and interaction - no matter how unhealthy - can be overwhelming. Reaching out for any floating stick in the maelstrom of emotions and unmet needs can reach into the inappropriate. Desperation can do that.

Cutting off contact can be one way to deal with the unwanted advances, but depending upon what other support the person has, a complete cutoff can add to the trauma. A straightforward talk, three-way between the person, yourself and your husband can set down rules of contact and interaction while not completely ostracizing the person. Part of that talk would include the clear understanding that if the rules are broken, contact will be completely broken. That talk, while difficult, is kindest to all of you.

What may seem as (and be) inappropriate flirting is a coping mechanism. I know, because I have caught myself doing it in the past, although the situation was much more complex than this. In pain, we often have flaws. The reality of the impossibility of any relationship is likely already there within his mind. If his late wife was alcoholic, I would strongly suggest that this is a watershed point where he could be enticed to get therapy that would not only give him new connections that were safe, but guide him towards making better choices in any future mate. The links of alcohol and unresolved issues are well known.

I am sorry that you have had to deal with this, and if you feel you need to completely step away, there is no shame in that. Some people are challenging to be around under the best of circumstances.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:33 AM
Location: Glasgow Scotland
14,489 posts, read 11,474,558 times
Reputation: 20949
I remember reading about the firemen from 9/11 the ones comforting the wives of the deceased then falling in love and leaving their own spouses and families... I dont understand this kind of behaviour but it does happen... I would have thought grieving meant you wouldnt be at all interested in the opposite sex for quite some time...clearly not in some cases..I also know another woman who invited a man she had a crush on to her hubbys funeral... surely there has to be some kind of decorum..
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:18 AM
Location: El paso,tx
1,486 posts, read 572,187 times
Reputation: 2307
How old are the kids he has? Old enough for your husband to call, and put you on the phone when they are on (so if the Moderator cut: no judgmental pejoratives aimed at those in grief allowed here husband answers, you don't have to talk to him...husband could say, "Hi. Just wanted to see how you were doing. And my wife/other half would like to say hello to the kids, if you could put little sususie on the phone".
Or write kids a letter. Offer for you and your partner to take kuds out for pizza.
Don't be around that guy without your spouse/partner. Make sure he doesn't leave your side, when that guy is around.

Last edited by harry chickpea; 09-16-2018 at 09:15 AM..
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