Your relationship with your partner after a miscarriage
You will have all sorts of feelings and emotions after a miscarriage and so will your partner. Some couples find that going through a miscarriage brings them closer together. Others may find it more difficult.
Even though you have both lost a baby, you may have very different feelings and ways of coping. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t a strong couple or committed to each other, it just means that you respond to grief in your own ways.
You may feel:
- frustrated that your partner doesn’t want to talk about it but you do
- upset that your partner isn’t as devastated by the loss as you are
- that your partner doesn’t understand how you feel
- upset that your partner wants to move on and is talking about making plans (such as trying for another baby) when you’re not ready
- that your feelings are somehow not as important as your partner’s
- powerless that you can’t help your partner
- so upset that you feel unable to support your partner emotionally.
“My husband didn’t want to discuss it after the first few days. I struggled with this, because not only was I feeling the loss of my baby, I was also feeling a lack of the support I needed from my husband. No matter who else I told, I felt the only person who really understood was him, as he was the only other person who shared our loss. We did get through it, but it took time.”
Sex and relationships
It may take a while for your sex life to get back to normal. Some couples find it helps as a way of showing their love for the partner or comforting each other. Other couples may not feel sexual at all. Perhaps one of you wants to have sex again, but the other doesn’t. All these feelings and reactions are natural.
Sex always raises the question of when, and if, you want to try again for another baby. From a practical point of view, you may be fertile in the first month after a miscarriage. So you should use contraception if you’re having sex and don’t want to get pregnant again.
Emotionally, it may take some time to decide what you want to do, especially if you and your partner have different feelings about this.
Try to take your time and give each other some space, if you need it. Your sexual relationship should develop when you’re ready. If you’re finding things difficult, it may help to get some professional support. (anchor link to get more support)
This can all lead to misunderstandings and arguments during what is already a stressful time, but there are some things you can do as a couple that may help.
Try to keep talking and listening to each other. This will help you understand how the other is feeling and will help you come to terms with your loss.
Commemorate your loss
It may help you both to commemorate your loss. Finding a way to remember your baby together and grieve the loss of the future you hoped for may help you feel united and stronger as a couple.
Accept your different feelings
If you and your partner are having different reactions to your loss, you may start to feel alone in your relationship or even start wondering if you should be together. Try to remember that it’s normal for you to feel differently from your partner about this and it doesn’t mean that your relationship isn’t working.
The most important thing is to be kind to each other, listen and respect each other’s way of coping.
Talk to other people
We don’t necessarily get everything we need from our partner and it may help to try and give each other some space from time to time. Family and friends can help. You could use this time to talk to someone outside your relationship about what’s happened and what you’re both going through, or you may simply want to spend time focusing on someone or something else in your life.
Get professional support
Grief can put a strain on the best of relationships. If you feel like the stress of your loss is pulling you and your partner apart, it may help to get some professional support. You may want to go alone or together.
Your GP may be able to refer you to counselling services or you can get help privately.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) provides information for people who are thinking about counselling. Their website also has a directory of qualified therapists.
Relate can offer you space for you to talk about your worries together in a safe and confidential place with a trained counsellor.
The Miscarriage Support Tool
If you have miscarried before, it's understandable to feel anxious about trying again.
The Tommy's Miscarriage Support Tool can give you a percentage chance of your next pregnancy being successful and gives personalised support and information.
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2016) Early miscarriage https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-early-miscarriage.pdf