One of my biggest blessings through this life journey has been my amazing, supportive husband. We have definitely grown closer to each other, especially during our journey with pregnancy loss. It hasn’t all been perfect. There is a definite learning curve when it comes to marriage and grief. And I wanted to share the things I’ve learned through this process.
- Be bluntly open. I had this fantasy, which I’m sure is shared by many, that my husband would be able to just know what I need. Especially during grief when I assume it was obvious what the correct course of action was. However, it’s not fair to him or to myself to play the guessing game. If I need him to stay home, then I need to say something. If I need him to hold me or give me space, then I need to literally say the words. I know it takes the romance out of it, and I’m sure there are couples out there who always seem more in sync, but now is not the time for comparing or trying to force him to just know. Instead, just tell him.
- Let him grieve how he needs to. We both grieve differently, so what works for me may not help him at all. Sometimes that means that I allow him to help me because that helps him, even when I just want to be independent. Sometimes it means letting him talk about what he wants to talk about. It means letting go of my stubborn selfishness and allowing him to just be there with me at that moment, the way he needs to be there.
- Community. While leaning on each other through the tough moments is essential, it’s also important to allow the community around us to take care of us too. We can’t do this alone, just the two of us. Sometimes it’s tempting to close everyone else out because Michael is the one person who understands this journey better than anyone. It’s his journey too! But it can put a drain on both of us if we don’t gather strength and support from outside sources.
- Keep God in the conversation. This hasn’t just grown us as a married couple towards each other, but it’s also brought us closer to God as well. We always pray together, but our prayers have deepened through this process. Our conversations about our losses, or about anything going on in our lives, always seem to find their way back to how God is using us or what we feel God is calling us to do.
These things I’ve learned have helped both of us grow closer to each other. Still, there is more for me to learn. But looking back, I’m amazed at how much we have changed into the people that we are today. God has had a hand in this relationship for the beginning, and I know that he continues to work through each of us individually and together as a couple. I truly am overwhelmingly blessed to have him as my life partner.