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Therapists Reveal 6 Ways to Support a Couple Who Suffers a Miscarriage

Therapists Reveal 6 Ways to Support a Couple Who Suffers

A miscarriage is a tragedy for expecting couples. As a friend or family member, it can be hard to see the toll that it takes on them. It’s natural that you’ll want to do all you can to help them get through their grief, but you may not know what to do. Taking the advice of medical experts and therapists can help you with this.

Therapists advise not only grieving couples but loved ones of grieving couples because a tragedy takes a toll on friends and family as well. By following some simple advice, you can help the couple get through their grief in one piece. Here is what therapists say will help a couple who have suffered a miscarriage.

6 Ways to Help Someone Grieving a Miscarriage

So, you’re not sure how to comfort your friends? Here are some tips on compassionate ways to show them your love.

1 – Acknowledge the loss.

Many people often try to avoid talking about a miscarriage because they think it’s too hard for the couple to talk about it. While this is a noble idea, it’s not necessarily the right idea. Talking about grief is one of the best ways to get over it. Perhaps it could be that you don’t know what to say to the couple.

Not acknowledging the loss can make you seem that you don’t care how the couple is feeling. While this is probably the furthest thing from the truth, the couple is probably not thinking straight, and the couple may feel like you aren’t empathetic to the plight. A simple acknowledgment lets them know that you care about what they’re going through.

What you don’t want to do is pretend the incident didn’t happen. The couple is going through a real tragedy, and their grief is there. You don’t have to pretend to be a professional therapist – merely letting them know you’re there for them can be enough.

If you want to go a little more in-depth, or you feel that the couple needs to go a bit more in-depth, London-based psychotherapist Julia Bueno suggests saying something like, “Tell me your story. Start wherever you want.”

Not only does this let them know that you’re there for them, but it opens up the floor to allow them to express whatever they need to communicate. This leads to the next tip – listening.

2 – Listen to them.

Acknowledgment is the first step. When the couple is ready to talk, you should be prepared to listen. It could be just a few sentences they want to say, or it could be an entire speech. Either way, you should be ready to be the ears they need.

Listening doesn’t mean just “hearing” what they say. It shouldn’t be going in one ear and out the other. This means understanding their emotions, reacting to it, and being non-judgmental.

This last part – being non-judgmental – is where a lot of people go wrong. It’s not that they do it on purpose. Sometimes it can seem that you’re being helpful, and no one can blame you for that. After all, you’re not a therapist.

Avoid saying things like, “you were only X weeks along,” or “you’re young so that you can get pregnant again.” Not only is this judgmental, but it’s also insensitive. It’s like you’re telling them that their grief is unfounded.

Of course, you don’t mean any harm, but remember that the couple may not be in the most rational state of mind. They can take your comments and advice out of context and turn it into something that you didn’t mean.

After the acknowledgment, sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing. Allow the couple to do the talking, and you respond only when necessary. Just let them get their emotions out while being non-judgmental.

3 – Refer to the lost baby as a person.

This may seem simple, but it’s especially important if the baby was lost early in the pregnancy. You don’t want to refer to the baby as “it”, or “the fetus”. Remember that to the couple. Their baby was a person, not a failed project.

If the couple had a name picked out for the baby already, use it. When you talk about the baby (which may not often be because you’re listening more than talking), talk as if the baby was already a part of everyone’s life. You may even realize that the baby was a more significant part of your life than you thought.

Just make sure you don’t make unfounded speculations. For example, don’t say something like “baby Sarah would have loved the color pink,” because you don’t know that. Just keep things simple and remember that the lost baby was just that–a baby.

4 – Be prepared for erratic emotional responses.

A miscarriage can cause couples, especially the woman, to have erratic emotions and bizarre behaviors. Many times, the feelings aren’t entirely logical, but depressed people can have strange responses and reactions. Pair this with raging hormones and guilty feelings, and you have a couple that might be nuclear reactors waiting to explode.

You must understand that every couple is different, and there is no right or wrong way to react to such a tragedy. There is also no right or wrong length of time to respond to it. One couple may get over it in a week while another may take years.

It can be challenging as a friend or family member to deal with the ups and downs of an emotional couple, especially if they are expressing anger or frustration, but remember that you need to be there for them. The couple doesn’t mean to take it out on you. Intense emotions, paired with tragedy, can make people behave in ways they don’t mean to.

Another consideration is that one partner may be reacting differently than the other partner. This happens more often than you think. In this case, it’s essential to be there for the partner that’s taking the miscarriage hard.

Women can often take a miscarriage harder than men. According to Rayna Markin, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and associate professor at Villanova University, women can feel desperate, inadequate, embarrassed, or even have guilty feelings. A woman may need a lot of support to get over these feelings.

5 – Be willing to help with physical responses to grief.

The mind and body connect on a spiritual level. It makes sense that when the mind is in distress, so is the body. This can lead to a lot of physical ailments when couples are depressed over a miscarriage.

This means you must be empathetic to their emotions as well as their physical needs.

For women, they’ll already be dealing with the health-related physical ailments of the miscarriage. Their emotions can cause even more problems. These can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration issues
  • Sleeping problems

Women’s emotions and physical ailments can be extreme compared to men. This doesn’t mean that men don’t take it hard, but women tend to take it harder.

Research now reveals that men can be in psychological distress, just like women. For men, their guilty feelings or depressed state of mind can cause some of the same adverse physical reactions that women have.

Depending on how severe their ailments are, they may need a third person to aid in their physical recovery. It could be as simple as making dinner or fetching sleep aids. Whatever they need, you should be willing to help with it.

6 – Don’t rush their grieving process.

Everyone grieves differently, so it makes sense that everyone will take a different amount of time to get over the grieving process. It doesn’t matter if the length of time doesn’t make sense to you. People must have the time they need to process and get over tragic events.

If you’re an impatient person, now is the time to work on that. If you plan to be a good friend or family member, you must be willing to deal with the couple’s grief for as long as it takes. Don’t try to rush them through it.

According to therapists and researchers, women can take up to three years to get over the emotions from a miscarriage. Men usually don’t take as long, but the relationship can be affected by negative emotions. Just be prepared to be the shoulder and ear for the long haul.

Final Thoughts on How to Support a Couple Who Suffers a Miscarriage

Losing a baby is one of the most challenging things a couple can go through. It doesn’t matter if the baby was born or not. The couple had a strong bond with their child, so losing the child can be devastating.

Being a person on the outside of the situation can be tough as well. You want to be there, but you may not know what to say or do. The advice that therapists and doctors offer in this article can get you on the right path.

Above all, remember to be empathetic, non-judgmental, and patient. You can’t put a time limit on grieving, and you can’t streamline the process. The most you can do is be a good friend or family member and be there for them the best way you can.


10 Relationship Killers No Couple Should Ignore

10 Relationship Killers No Couple Should Ignore

Relationships are hard work. It seems there are more reasons that a relationship will fail than succeed. However, there are plenty of successful relationships, so it’s not impossible to make it work. No one is perfect, so that no relationship will be perfect. One of the critical things to do in a relationship is to recognize relationship killers and fix them before they get out of control. When both people in the relationship are willing to do their part, success is inevitable.

Here are ten relationship killers that couples should never ignore.

1. Poor Communication

Bad communication is one of the top reasons that relationships fail. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or both people that are bad at communicating. Eventually, things will crumble.

Bad communication can come in several forms. It could be that one person isn’t letting the other person in on their feelings. It may be that body language says something different than what comes out of a person’s mouth. It could even be assuming that you know how your partner is feeling without actually talking to them about it.

It’s normal to have some communication issues. However, if you can recognize these issues and work on them, you can save the relationship. Don’t ignore them because they’ll only get worse if you do.

2. Unwillingness to Cooperate or Compromise

A relationship is a partnership. It takes two to tango, and the dance isn’t going to go well if you don’t work together. Both people must be willing to give as much as they take.

While your relationship may seem like a match made in heaven, you must remember that you’re two different people. You’re not going to do everything precisely alike, so you need to be willing to compromise. There can be no cooperation without a bit of compromise.

If one or both people won’t compromise and cooperate to make the relationship go smoothly, this is a sign that the relationship is not going to work out in the long run. If you care about each other, you should try to identify the root cause of the lack of cooperation and fix it before it becomes a big problem.

3. Jealousy

Some people think jealousy means that your partner cares about them. After all, you can’t be jealous over something you don’t care about, right? Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Any good relationship should build from trust and respect. A jealous partner could be insecure and emotionally needy. The jealousy has absolutely nothing to do with whether they care about you or not. As the insecurity builds, so does the negativity. The relationship could turn verbally or physically abusive.

Jealousy is often a result of some underlying issues that the person has. If they genuinely want the relationship to work, they’ll get help in discovering and fixing those underlying issues. If they don’t get help, it’s going to be a relationship killer.

4. Lack of Intimacy

Sex isn’t an essential part of a relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The desire to fulfill intimate needs is normal and natural. When your partner is not fulfilling this need, you’ll begin to feel like you’re missing something or worse, that you’re not what your partner wants.

Intimacy doesn’t only mean sex. It encompasses those private, meaningful moments that you share with your special someone. It’s what distinguishes a romantic relationship from a friendship.

If there is a lack of intimacy in your relationship, you need to find out why immediately. There are a plethora of reasons that this could be happening, and not all of them are as bad as you may think. However, the issue does need to be addressed before one or both partners lose interest in the relationship.

5. Unfaithfulness

If your partner is unfaithful, this is a clear, unmistakable sign that your relationship is headed down a dangerous path. Despite this being obvious, many people try to sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen. This never works.

Cheating changes a relationship. The trust is broken, confidence is shaken, and the love between the two of you is questioned. The person who was cheated on will be hurt deeply, and even if they pretend to be over it, they usually aren’t.

Cheating doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship, but it will take a lot of hard work to save it. The cheater must be willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they won’t cheat again.

6. Codependency

Codependency during a relationship is when someone dedicates themselves to making their partner happy, and the partner enables this behavior. It’s more than being clingy or really in tune with their partner. One person finds no joy in life other than doing any and everything to please their partner while the other soaks it all up with no cares that their partner has no life. In other words, one person needs someone, and the other person needs to be required.

It may seem that if both partners are okay with this behavior, then it would work out. However, this isn’t the case because codependency is a mental health condition that usually stems from some past childhood trauma.

According to psychotherapist Linda Esposito, LCSW, codependency is created when someone had unreliable or unavailable parents when they were a child. The child grows up constantly suppressing their needs and desires and continues the behavior into adulthood.

It’s a behavior that can lead to an abusive relationship. It can become extremely dangerous because, over time, the partners’ mental state can become more and more unstable.

The bad thing about codependency is that it often takes someone outside of the relationship to recognize it. Once it has been pointed out, you and your partner will have to move mountains to fix this problem. You’ll likely need a lot of therapy.

7. Lack of Goals

If both partners have no goals, then maybe it won’t be a problem. They can both be happy settling for less, provided they can at least pay their rent and not be homeless. However, if one partner has goals that their pursuing, being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any plans isn’t going to work.

The reason for this is that a partner with no goals can become more of a burden as you rise and achieve success. They’ll be someone you’re towing along for the ride. They may even hinder your success.

Suddenly your relationship is not a partnership, and you may find that you don’t have much in common anymore. Your partner may begin to feel like they aren’t good enough for you, and you may start feeling that way also. The only way to fix this problem is for your partner to have their own set of goals their working towards. You don’t have to have the same goals, but they need to be at least similar for the relationship to work out.

8. Laziness

No one likes a lazy person. Lazy people hinder progress, don’t get things done, and cause more problems than they’re worth. They aren’t dependable, and they’re not any fun.

Lazy people may have problems at work. They won’t get raises or promotions. Indeed, they may have trouble keeping a job in the first place. This affects the finances of the relationship, and money is one of the significant relationship killers.

If your partner is lazy, you need to nip that in the bud immediately. You may be tolerating it now, but in the long run, it will ruin the relationship.

9. Holding Grudges

Everyone makes mistakes, but those mistakes shouldn’t be held against you forever. Perhaps you did something in the past to upset your partner. Your partner has probably concerned you also. However, at some point, you must let it go.

Holding grudges, especially if they’re minor, will only keep the drama going in the relationship. It kills trust, creates negativity, and causes passive-aggressive behavior. This negativity leads to a whole host of other problems.

Unfortunately, holding grudges is one of the typical relationship killers. If you or your partner are holding grudges against each other, talk it out and let it go. If you need to get professional help, do it to save your relationship.

10. Unrealistic Expectations

You can’t go into a relationship with your idea of a perfect relationship already preformed. You must let the relationship develop on its own, the way it’s going to develop. Psychologist Bernard Golden, Ph.D., says that clinging on to unrealistic expectations in a relationship can “foster an adversarial posture that undermines a greater commitment to the relationship.”

Unfortunately, a lot of people’s unrealistic expectations become fast relationship killers.

You can’t predict the personality of the person you’ll fall for any more than you can predict the lottery. Sure, you may know of some qualities you prefer, but people are much more complicated than a few superficial qualities.

This is an easy problem to fix. Simply open your mind up to the possibilities. The same goes for your partner. Stop “expecting” and experience instead.

Final Thoughts on Relationship Killers You Shouldn’t Ignore

There isn’t one perfect relationship in the world, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore major relationship killers. It’s okay to have standards and to stick by them. Without these standards, your relationship is headed nowhere fast.

If you recognize any relationship killers in your relationship, the first thing you need to do is have a serious conversation with your partner. You should both be willing to put in the effort to fix the problems. Successful relationships are hard work, but the happiness that comes from them is worth it.