My boyfriend is struggling this holiday season. His dad just passed away and I am not sure what to do or say to make him feel better. He is really down and not looking forward to the holidays. Is there anything I can do to cheer him up? They were so close and I know this is really hard on him, as it was an unexpected death.
Dear Sad Christmas,
I find it very admirable that you want to be there for your boyfriend and support him in this difficult time. Unfortunately, people deal with their grief in different ways, and right now he may be too raw to really want to open up and talk about his feelings.
Don’t take this personally.
Instead, just be there for him. Let him know that you love and care for him. Give him space to process how he is feeling. If he does open up to you, don’t feel as though you need to “fix” the problem or suggest that you know how he feels. Just listen. Sometimes, we all need to express how we feel without any expectations or desires to tackle the problem. He may be feeling all sorts of things from anger to fear, and the healing process is going to take a long time. Having your support may make all the difference.
If you do want to express how you are feeling to him, try writing him a letter. This way, you can explain how you care for him and want to be there for him, but you don’t have to put him on the spot about his feelings. Letting him know that you are there for him will mean more to him than you can imagine, and giving him space and time to heal shows that you have patience and consideration for his feelings.
In the meantime, having a low-key Christmas may be the best option for him this year, but if you enjoy holiday activities, allow yourself some fun. Go ice skating with a friend, holiday shopping with a family member, and enjoy cookie baking with someone who makes you laugh.
It is important to not only be there for him, but to honor your own desires this season as well. Be good to yourself so that you can be good to him.
Good luck and happy holidays!
Tweet your questions to @nataliestweets.