A tragic incident like the loss of a loved one can change one’s life forever. Most of the time, the healing process is also slow and time-consuming.

But if their trauma starts affecting people around them negatively, it might already be time for them to seek professional help.

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my wife to stop hovering over our living son because of our deceased one?”. Here’s the full story for you to decide:


18. watching movie with kids
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The Original Poster, OP (39m) has been married to his wife (39) for 13 years. They had two children together (Sean who would’ve been 19) and Marcus who is 14.

Almost 3 years ago, they allowed Sean to go on a camping trip with some friends. During this, he was injured pretty badly by jumping into water that was not meant to be messed around in. They lost him after a few days.

Post The Tragedy

Tired of everyday household mother sitting on floor with hands on face. Kid playing in messy room. Scaterred toys and disorder. Happy parenting
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OP and his wife blamed themselves, but specifically his wife.

“Since this Marcus has been in an arm’s reach of my wife 24/7. He rarely goes out with friends, and he’s rarely unsupervised, which is just not good for a 14-year-old boy.”, says OP.

Marcus Finally Argued Back

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Marcus finally argued back and said he really wanted to go out fishing with his friends and friend’s dad and OP didn’t see a reason why he couldn’t go.

OP’s wife shut it down immediately, said absolutely not, and that if he wanted to go out he’d have to wait a day until one of them was off work.

The Conversation Ahead

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After Marcus left the room, OP spoke to his wife and told her maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea for him to go since his friend’s dad would be there. She said no, he just couldn’t and not to “undermine” her.

OP told her she needed to start letting Marcus have a life, and she needed to stop hovering over him just because she lost Sean.

OP’s Wife Blew Up

Couple fighting in front of child.
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OP’s wife completely blew up on OP, crying, saying she could be as overprotective as she wanted, she was his mother, and OP had no right to say that because she is as aware as him and that the world is too dangerous.

She then told OP not to mention this idea to Marcus because it was a big solid no.

“She’s since seen to be avoiding me and just hiding away in her office. Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

Your Wife Needs Help

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“Not the jerk. Your wife needs help. She’s going to mess your kid up if this isn’t corrected. She might be his Mother but you are his Father.

Honestly, I’d tell him he could go and not to worry about any consequences from his Mother. I’d be putting my foot down on this nonsense.”

You Could’ve Handled This Better

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“Not the jerk. But I do think you could’ve handled this a bit more gently. Your wife is suffering due to the extremely traumatic loss of her child. I don’t think telling her to ‘stop hovering just because she lost Sean’ was a productive or gentle way to go about this.

But yes, your wife does need some serious help to cope with and move on from your devastating loss. Her behavior isn’t healthy and is harming your other child.”

She Needs Therapy

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“No jerks here. Sounds like your wife could benefit from therapy, she’s clearly traumatized by the death of your eldest son.”

Over To You, Now

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“Not the jerk. Your wife is grieving and is still traumatized. She needs to understand that pressuring her other son may even have worse outcomes, but I can see why she has trouble being rational and letting go.

She needs therapy, lots of it and you my friend have the impossible task of supporting both, your sons while helping your wife heal. Good luck.”

This Isn’t Healthy At All

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“It is very possible if this goes unchecked she will lose Marcus anyway. Not because of an accident but because he will move out ASAP and cut contact with her.

She needs help. Her grief and trauma are manifesting as extreme overprotection. This isn’t healthy. For anyone.”

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