sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
While the research is mixed, some studies suggest that couples are more likely to break up following a miscarriage or stillbirth. Sometimes the couple was struggling before their loss; other times, miscarriage led to unhealthy grief habits that affected the relationship.
Men and women often grieve differently, and loss parents may have difficulty understanding the other through their pain. Women may feel severely depressed or anxious after a miscarriage for up to three years. The heartache will often either bond a couple together in inseparable ways or cause a schism between the two that is hard to heal.
Loved ones may or may not see the cracks forming in the aftermath, but regardless, couples need help in myriad ways, including encouragement in their relationship. Here are a few ways to help them as they grieve and learn to live together following a miscarriage.
Loved ones should be careful in suggesting a couple receive counseling after miscarriage. First, many couples do not need counseling; they draw closer together or remain strong during the grieving process. But, even when a couple is struggling with their relationship, seeking counseling is a deeply personal choice.
However, if you are extremely close to a couple and see issues that a trained counselor can deal with, you may suggest they seek therapy. Sometimes, they need a push to do what’s necessary to strengthen their relationship. Counseling will help them understand how the other grieves and how they can be a healing balm to each other.
Watch Their Kids While They Go Out
Kids are one of the greatest blessings in life, but they also cause plenty of stress in day-to-day life. Loss parents with alive children may need a break from the rigors of child rearing to spend time together. Even a few hours out can make a significant difference in a couples’ relationship.
If you are family, you may offer to watch their kids for an entire weekend. Parents can invest some time in their relationship and get a breather from the demands of their everyday.
Suggest They Go on a Marriage Retreat
Marriage retreats serve as part vacation and part counseling. They provide concentrated time for couples to enjoy each other. Churches often sponsor marriage retreats, and if you go to church with loss parents or know of another marriage getaway, you may want to encourage parents to attend.
We all benefit from intentional effort on our relationships. For couples in an intense grieving state, it may be even more crucial. Watch their children, pay their way if you can, and ensure they can be alone together for a short time.
Be Slow to Speak and Quick to Listen
This popular truth from the book of James is vital to coming alongside loss parents. While there is a time to suggest couples get help, they may benefit most from a caring, listening ear. Don’t try to “fix” the situation; be supportive and loving. Listen.
Couples and Miscarriage
Miscarriage affects every aspect of life, including the relationship that formed that precious child. If you are a loved one, you can help ease some of the strain that couples feel after losing a child. It’s a tough road back after losing child; let’s do all we can to make the journey a little smoother.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University.