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He's in college, studying for 2 huge finals, one tomorrow and one in three days. His father was admitted to the hospital last night after his regular doctor's appointment when they noticed the massive swelling in his legs, difficulty breathing, kidney problems, and heart issues. He has been living with diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis, and congestive heart failure for some time now.


At the moment, my boyfriend believes this is just another one of those appointments that follow when his dad skips some medication for a few days, and they're just getting him back on track.


However, when I came home from work today, my boyfriend's mother told me that the doctors are discussing hospice and end of life care. She told me she hadn't told my boyfriend so he can just focus on his studies.


I'm having trouble with this already. I don't want to keep this from him until after his final three days from now. I want to tell him what's going on right now. I've never been fond of keeping things from people, I believe that since it pertains to his dad he should be kept up in the loop and hear about things as they happen. It hurts my heart to watch him going about his day, not knowing anything is the matter.

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There's nothing your boyfriend can do to change the situation - not in the next three days anyhow. I also imagine his mother told you in confidence and trusted you to respect her wishes - if you ever want to have even a decent relationship with this woman - do not break her trust. I can't get why she told you in the first place - perhaps she's just overwhelmed.

Anyhow - it's not your place to tell your boyfriend, that right and decision is his mothers. It might be different if the dad was expected to pass any moment but it doesn't sound like that's the diagnosis. Nothing good will come of you blabbing what was told you in confidence- your boyfriend will possibly blow his finals and his mom will know you can't be trusted and likely hold a grudge for a long, long - long time.
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Don't tell him. That is his mother's job. If/when you are his wife, it will be your job.
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His family has known him much longer than you have, and they also understand his dad's health status much more fully than you do. I think you are imagining imminent death and your boyfriend being devastated about missing his dad's final moments, but being admitted to hospice does not mean he is dying tomorrow. It is unfortunate that this confidence has put you in the middle, but I'm sure if there a drastic decline the family will let him know, in the mean time respect their wish to spare him this news until he finishes his exams.
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Kallboe, keep yourself incredibly busy until the weekend so that you don't burst a blood vessel. And arrange with your boyfriend's mother for *her* to call him on Saturday morning and explain what's going on.

Nothing in life is certain, but I would expect your boyfriend's father to hold out 'til then at least - hospice and end of life care discussions do mean "terminal" but they don't by any means mean "imminent." And if, God forbid, the worst should happen then the college's compassionate leave exceptions will swing into action and they'll deal with it.

I agree with you on the not keeping bad news from people, but I can't help thinking that if your boyfriend really wanted to know his antennae would have twitched and he'd have asked. I'm sure he *does* want to know - just not as much right now as he wants to concentrate on his finals. Keep your counsel, and keep busy.

I must say, though, I think your boyfriend's mother didn't do you any favours sharing this with you. Is she short of people to confide in or something?
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There is no point in letting him know unless his father is on his deathbed. That does not appear to be the case. Your bf's mother wants him to be able to focus on his finals, which I think is a good idea. I am sure she will call him if there is a crisis and he needs to come home. I think it's okay to say that the father is still not doing well if it comes up. You don't have to lie. Just wait until after the tests to talk about the details. I'm sure your bf's mother knows that her husband's life is nearing the end, but her son's future lays ahead of him. The finals are important to both bf and mother.
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Kallboe,
Don't tell your boyfriend. Let him get through his finals. Someday, when you are much older you will probably understand where we are coming from.

I agree his Mom should not have told you. But it's her decision that your boyfriend not know until he gets home.
You do not want to be responsible for him blowing his finals. Let him get home safe. Let his family break the bad news.

My family just went through this situation after the first of the year with my brother in law and his 2 kids.

All my best. This is going to be very hard.
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@kallboe, let me try my answer again, now that I know more:

You have the right to give your partner this news, but I don't think under the circumstances it would be the right thing to do until after his last final. His mother has a more mature and considered approach. Dad is dying, yes, and he will still be dying 3 days from now. Announcing it now might be very detrimental to your partner, without being beneficial for any one.

You are speaking to a much older audience. I am 72, have 5 adult children and 12 grandkids (all of them older than you are). I have done caregiving for two loved ones with dementia. Both have died. My mother was on hospice for 3 months, my husband 5 weeks. I don't know how mature I am, but I am certainly experienced.

I imagine that some of the other older posters have the same reaction to "boyfriend" as I do. To my generation that conjures up a caring and possibly temporary relationship. I've seen my grandkids have one boyfriend (or girlfriend) one month, and a different boyfriend the next month. I imagine dates at the pizza parlor and romantic walks along the river. In other words, "boyfriend" is not a very serious relationship but it could lead to one. Our answers might make more sense when you understand where we are coming from about your "boyfriend."

Only later did you explain that you are living together, his family considers you part of the family, and you are partners. Ohhhh. That paints a different picture.

I think you have the same status as a wife, and you don't need parental permission to tell your partner anything you want to. BUT consider that his (older and wiser) mother thinks you should wait, and so do the people who've responded here.

BTW, My son is living with his partner. She is certainly more than a girlfriend. I asked him just last week how I should refer to her. He shrugged. "Special friend, significant other, partner, ??" I have a grandson who has bought a house with the woman he loves. I haven't heard them talking about marriage at all. She calls me Gramma. We've all taken her in as part of the family.

So I don't judge you at all for choosing not to marry. In my first answer I thought you were just a girlfriend. That's different.
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Kallboe you are correct most people on this forum are much older and definitely more experienced, mature may be another matter. We all react in times of stress that don't seem very mature thats human nature.
If your boyfriend has any kind of connection with his father he already knows deep down that the end is close BUT and this maybe part of honoring his father that he has to concentrate on this exams.
Now can you be the strong partner your BF needs and keep your feelings under cover for three more days. I would even suggest keeping out of the house maybe helping out a friend with a move just something to keep you busy. There is never a right or wrong answer to this type of question so don't make it more difficult for everyone else by expecting your own feelings to be met. Of course you are upset and hurting and crying is a good thing but so is being strong for the other people in your life. You want ot roll up in a ball and curl into your boyfriends arms but for this brief moment he has another battle to fight and that is to secure his and your future. His mom knows that even with her great loss so help her all you can.
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I read your post again. Hospice is being "discussed". No one has made a decision I am assuming. The patient may have been presented with the choice of some aggressive treatments or Hospice as an alternative to those treatments. There are a lot of blanks that need to be filled in here. As someone mentioned above unless you were in on all the discussions at the hospital all the information may not be available to you. I am so sorry you feel stuck in the middle of what sounds like an emotional time. You mentioned you were going to keep quiet for now. That sounds like a good plan. It does sound like you came in and caught boyfriends Mom in a weak moment.

Stay Strong.
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Ask yourself what dad would want for his son. You know mom wants to wait. If it were me on hospice and my kids readying for final exams, I would not want them told until after the exam.
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