Your partner’s feelings

You and your partner have both experienced a miscarriage but you may react to it very differently. Everyone has their own way of grieving and it helps to accept and respect those differences.

Just as you might be experiencing all sorts of conflicting emotions, so will your partner. Even though you have lost a baby together, you may have very different feelings and ways of coping. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t strong or committed to each other; it simply means that you respond to grief and disappointment in your own ways.

Some partners  feel overlooked because the focus tends to be on the loss  of the person who has been pregnant , particularly as you need to recover physically as well as emotionally. It can be difficult if your partner is asked how you are, but never how they are.

They might be terribly shocked and distressed at seeing the physical aspect of miscarriage, or seeing you unwell or upset.

It’s common for partners to throw themselves into the practicalities of dealing with the situation, and not give themselves time to focus on how they’re feeling.

Your partner might be feeling disappointed but not as distressed as you are. Some people prefer to be positive, put on a brave face and try to focus on the future. This can be upsetting if you are feeling devastated and unable to move on. You might feel your feelings are being undermined.

Your partner might be feeling frustrated and powerless to help you, or simply unable to understand what you are going through.

You might need to talk about the miscarriage, while they may not want to. Or perhaps you don’t want to talk about it and they feel shut out.

It may be the reverse and your partner is struggling to cope with the loss, while you aren’t feeling it so intensely.

Your grief might unite you and bring you closer together. Or it might pull you apart, leading to tension, arguments and misunderstandings.

“Looking back now I know my husband was trying to be so strong for me and I was so confused as to why he wasn't showing his grief the same way I did. He told me sometime after that he used to cry in the toilets at work or in the car on the drive way as he was so heartbroken but felt he had to be strong for me. That really upsets me, even now…” Sarah

If you feel like your partner just doesn’t understand, isn’t sharing in your grief, or giving you the support you need, talk to someone else. Whether a professional, or a family member or friend, talking to someone who isn’t as close to the situation can really help. You will both need space to grieve in your own way and what you need might be the opposite of what he needs. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t strong or committed to each other, it is simply that you are individuals coping with loss, grief and disappointment in your own ways.

Have a read of the Miscarriage Association’s leaflet Men and Miscarriage.

If you decide to talk to someone outside your relationship, your GP may be able to refer you to counselling services.

Or you may wish to seek private help: The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/) can help you find the right professional, or call 01455 883300.

Or contact RELATE on 0300 100 1234 for face-to-face, telephone or online couples counselling.  www.relate.org.uk

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy can help you find the right professional, or call 01455 883300. Or contact RELATE on 0300 100 1234 for face-to-face, telephone or online couples counselling.

Read more on miscarriage support

Sources

Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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