How do you grow closer to your partner after a miscarriage? I've really struggled accepting how much less the miscarriage affects him. I know I shouldn't, but I blame him for how alone I feel in my grief. What do I do?
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
The first thing that jumps out at me from your post is that you feel alone in your grief.
Grief is isolating. When you're grieving, it's hard to reach out, and harder to connect. If you're both grieving, this hits from both sides. Counseling might help you express what you're going through, and connect with each other. Time alone together might help.
Miscarriage is often something that families are encouraged to go through privately, and I don't know that that's always a good idea. I miscarried about three and a half years ago, and was very open about what I was going through. The result was a TON of sympathy from family and friends, to both of us, for both of us, so there were a lot of occasions where other people said things, and we just squeezed each other's hands, and that helped us stick together, I think - being able to listen to other people and express a kind of silent "yeah that" rather than having to sit face to face and find our own words.
Also, keep in mind that people express grief very differently. Some of them do it by going silent.
And people do feel loss to different extents - you went through a physical process that he didn't, so things are going to be different.
(((hugs))) m/c affects men much differently. i've been there, and i love my dh so much, but i experienced anger around my m/cs.
you can talk to mamas here, if it helps. i remember giving dh this sheet the first time, and it at least made him realize that internally i was disappointed and hurt on so many levels.
it gets better, it really does. also, i think many times our families and partners feel like they have to "stay positive," even falsely so, and that's one way they think they're actually being supportive, however misinformed or inappropriate that may feel.
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
I'm really struggling with this right now. My husband keeps saying "I'm ready to try again as soon as we can, right now if we can, we'll get pregnant again as soon as we can" and I just want to run and hide.
inner-city crunchy mama with country-style dreams, and gettin' happier by the minute!
I have had a few deaths this year and then my loss. I have had many conversations with my friends who work in various professions related to death and grief. What I can sum up from those conversations is that partners not just men grieve very differently.
The nonpregnant spouse wants to appear "in control", a miscarriage is out of their control so it makes them feel powerless. We like to talk about everything in detail this isn't always comfortable as it runs against their need to make us feel they are going to take care and support us. With men the patriarchial crap about we can be weak and they must be strong. I feel though sometimes this "I am physically here and therefore supporting you" is a cop out for not having to express anything emotionally intimate.
Also a miscarriage for men is tied into sex and can bring up the possibility that there was something wrong with the swimmers. That for any man is scary as hell as they are a little tied to their manhood. If you are ttc again then there will be fear and aprenension that another pregnancy will end the same way. When we swan dive emotionally they are also left alone and scrambling. They fear saying the wrong thing, and then sometimes say nothing. Or see sadness and try to solve that by "cheering you up" (cause that's really going to work ....)
We also usually have a flurry of our female friends and family calling and coming over and I think they can feel as if they are taking care of us. Another "problem solved" however there is a lot we cannot get from those people. They also typically look to us for emotional support = we "feel" even sometimes for them. I have often wondered if all of my tears are my own or if the men in my life get me to cry "for them" at funerals.
Men like to see themselves as problem solvers - lost pregnancy - replace pregnancy.
That seems like a solution.
Problem solved, loss replaced.
My pregnancy was not planned and sent me to a level of stress that could only be described as hellish. I am a mom and I am prolife "for myself" not for export. I didn't have "options". This mc put things back the way they were before and "solved that problem" (*and other not suitable for halmark card quotes...)
I am still a mother, that is still a loss, even though it will probably never be replaced and really cannot be. In this way my grief process has not been muddied by trying to replace that asap the loss stands for both of us in what could have been. And there's no pressure or people saying dumb things like you will try again, you will have more, you will be pregnant really soon. I went back on birth control asap but if god gives me a rainbow - even if it is only for a few short weeks I will never waste that time again.
It's a horrible lonely scary place and I wish sometimes he could have been more present and maybe I would have emotionally be okay sooner. I really felt as if I could have lost myself in that grief and drowned. I am trying to look at my loss and my emotional abandonment by dp in positive ways. Being alone in my grief helped me to see things and uncover trauma I hadn't dealt with that had nothing to do with him (and added in new trauma that did....) Grieving this loss helped me to finally have that nervous breakdown and start the grief work for my other deaths this year that I hadn't even begun to deal with. I would love to have these conversations with the other side, but I am also aware that doing that might make it seem like I am judging their grief.
The funny thing is when they feel safe to talk - and that might not happen until your rainbow baby is born - they will probably describe the same trauma and helplessness that you felt. I have really wished at times like these with the men in my life we could have cried together. I try to accept that we all grieve alone and no two people grieve the same loss the same way. Even in reading other mama's postings they grieve different losses differently. I am lucky to have some really close male friends. I am glad I told people I was pregnant as I had some conversations with men about the losses their wives had when I had to tell them the baby had left me. I wonder what the wife would say he communicated at the time. They were really supportive, but I also wonder is this because they learned how by going through the trauma? Can I expect dp to know what I need if its a place we have never been and hopefully I will never know if he's more supportive second time around.
I went looking online (slow work day) and found these:
She just isn't the same person anymore, she's more sad, less optimistic. I think it's changed me as well, I feel like I failed somehow, even though that's obviously not true.
So she's "lost a baby" and he's feeling "failure".
"I had no idea what to do or say and I wasn't there emotionally for her, since then our communication has gone to crap, we fight about dumb crap, divorce was even mentioned, I'm scared and sick, as of yesterday I started anxiety medication so that I can calm down and not say anything to make things worse"
The advice to that poster was interesting ranging from "it's not too late to tell her", someone suggested counselling - he thought it was for her...not him and if he doesn't snap back she might have an affair.
8 might be enough
My biggest issue right now is getting DH to show interest in me sexually. I am wondering if what Shiloh said about men and their swimmers has something to do with it, though we know his are great based on testing anyway.
Sorry. I didn't address the question. One thing that might help is just being willing to silently hold each other and hug each other. That can be the best part of recovery after a loss.
There's a book called "Tear Soup" (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Tear-Soup-Pat-Schwiebert/dp/0961519762/r) that is absolutely fabulous! Really, I strongly recommend that you check your library to see if they have it. That book single-handedly helped me out of a very dark, angry, and lonely place of grieving.
Mine told me how "attractive" I looked getting wheeled out of my D&C.
They mean well, but often really really miss the mark.
Sex hasn't been an issue but we aren't ttc.
Sex has actually gotten better, I accepted he's not going to talk and expresses himself "that way"....
But I am also not at the place where I can actually talk about it, without it feeling traumatic.
8 might be enough
My husband has become very protective of me and my health. We are actually closer since the loss. I think he was just as upset as I was, he just expresses it differently. We were already in therapy so when it happened we already had a safe place to talk about our feelings. We go to therapy once a month and more often if a serious issue comes up. With our busy lives it's necessary to basically schedule a meeting, like we would at work, to talk about important stuff that we might neglect otherwise (we aren't going to talk about it later because we are paying someone to talk about it now).
~Patti~ Momma to three girls and three boys , First mother to one girl
Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Club