Your feelings come from who you are, what kind of relationship you have together and how you’ve been taught to grieve. Understanding these differences may help you as you grieve and heal together. Recognizing your baby as a real person is important. Take time to create memories and acknowledge your baby’s existence in the world. Grief is a process, and it takes time.
One of the major causes of stress in bereaved couples may develop because partners experience grief at different times, express it in different ways, and cope differently. It can be very challenging and can test the strength of the relationship. After a loss, the relationship may need more love, strength, and patience than ever. Your relationship will need to be at the top of your priority list.
The table below describes how some people may grieve differently:
|Some People||Other People|
|Feel sad or depressed |
Little things may make them angry or irritable
Feel left out when others show concern for their partner
|Cry and show their sadness|
Want to talk about their grief with their partner
|Show grief through anger|
Hold feelings in, and may cry alone
Take care of others instead of dealing with grief
|Think about baby a lot; this could last for years.|
Talk about baby a lot; this helps them process and remember their story.
Either want to be alone more often, or do not want to be alone at all.
|Try to cheer up their partner to get through grief quickly.|
Do not talk about baby much; may be afraid to cry and look weak, or upset their partner.
Work more, stay busy.
Physical problems (overeating, no appetite, upset stomach).
|Want to feel comfort by hugging and holding|
Do not think about sex very much
|Feel awkward hugging and holding|
Think sex will help emotional closeness with their partner
Tips to Help Your Relationship While You Deal With Grief
Grief and loss can be hard on a relationship. The grieving process may take longer than you expect, and it can challenge your relationship. Take time to focus on your grief with your partner. Some of these tips may help you and your partner work through it together:
Move Your Body
It may be hard to exercise right after you lose your baby. But it is a great way to relieve stress and grief. Exercise can help you sleep and control your appetite better.
First, check with your doctor to see if you can exercise. Then try the following together:
- Yoga or stretching
Talk to Other People
Visit a support group. You do not have to talk; you can just listen. It may make you feel better to be around people who have experienced what you are going through.
Talk About or To Your Baby
Talk about your baby and how you feel about your loss. You may find some relief in getting your true feelings out.
Some people also find peace in talking to their baby. Find a quiet place where you and your partner can go to talk to your baby.
Care for Your Relationship
Dealing with grief can be hard on a relationship. Even when you are sad, it is important to spend time with your partner and care for your relationship. You can keep it simple, but take time to focus on each other.
Avoid major changes such as moving or changing jobs for a few months. It is tempting to think a big change can help your grief, but it often adds more stress to your life and makes grief worse.
Hold Each Other
Sometimes when you are sad all you want to do is cry and be held. That is okay, and it is normal. Intimacy may be difficult. But know that you love each other even while you grieve.
Do Not Blame Each Other
Remember that no one is to blame for your loss. Now is not the time to bring up old arguments or past hurts. And do not tell your partner they love your baby less than you do.
You may feel guilty the first time you laugh after your baby dies. But it is okay to enjoy little things in life, like a good laugh.