3 IMPORTANT Things Your Wife NEEDS From You! - Marriage Advice
How to Support Your Wife After a Miscarriage
Miscarriages are one of the most difficult things any parent or prospective parent can experience. They can be especially difficult for women, who not only experience emotional trauma, but are dealing with physiological changes as well. Ultimately, this trying time can be made a little bit less difficult with the support of a loving companion. By comforting your wife, keeping her occupied, and understanding your limitations, you’ll be able to better support her after a miscarriage.
Offer to talk.Talking may allow her to express emotions she might otherwise not. Afterward, you’ll be better equipped to support her. Remember to use suggestive language versus telling her what to do.
Get professional help together.Ultimately, you and your wife may need more help than you can provide alone. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to help women who have gone through a miscarriage. Spend a little time locating these resources.
- Locate a mental health professional. See if your wife wants to talk to someone alone or with you.
- Use the internet or ask friends to find support groups for women who have suffered miscarriages.
- Find online resources to help your wife. You or your wife may be able to find great information on websites, blogs, or discussion forums about similar experiences others have gone through.
- Your OBGYN may be able to refer you to support services geared toward women who have suffered miscarriages.
Continue to support her for the long-haul.Many women who experience a miscarriage continue to suffer serious emotional problems for an extended amount of time. Ultimately, the emotional trauma of a miscarriage may persist throughout your wife's life.
- Make sure you continue to offer support and a shoulder to lean or cry on indefinitely.
- Just because your wife does not articulate that the miscarriage still bothers her, this does not mean it doesn't.
- Realize that the emotional trauma of a miscarriage may persist for months or even years.
- Offer to run any errands she may have to do, unless she expresses that she wants to get out of the house.
Be attentive to her health.Women who have suffered miscarriages may ignore their own health and well-being in the short-term. As a result, you need to provide extra support to make sure her grief does not overshadow her own immediate physical needs.
- Suggest that she takes some of her stress out by running, walking or doing light weight training. Make sure she has doctor approval first.
- See that she is eating complete and well-balanced meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables.
- Talk to her to make sure she has communicated with her doctor about her own physical condition. For instance, her doctor may counsel her about ways to avoid infection and what to expect in the days or weeks after the miscarriage.
- Remind her that most complications, like vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and breast discomfort should go away within a week.
Avoid common pitfalls.You and other loved ones may often be at a loss of what to say. There are common misconceptions about what is helpful to say. Steering clear of these may make it easier to find your own supportive words.
- Don’t sidestep her grief by saying things like, "It's a good thing it happened early in the pregnancy."
- Don’t reinforce any blame she places on herself. Remind her it wasn’t her fault.
- Don’t make any false promises. Instead, role model hope and looking to the future with your own behavior.
Keeping Her Busy
Take her out to eat.Going out may cheer her up and can be an important part of the grieving process. In addition, going out may provide her with new and enjoyable experiences.
- Invite your wife on a date night. See if she wants to get dressed up and go to one of your favorite fancy places to eat.
- Invite her to lunch at her favorite outdoor bistro or café. Getting some sunlight and fresh air may help her move beyond her sadness.
- Make sure she’s ready emotionally to go into the world. Don’t force her unless she’s ready.
- If she's not up for going out, consider planning a date night at home. Prepare dinner and watch a movie, do a puzzle, or something else you can enjoy at home together.
Plan a social activity.Social activities can be a good idea to relieve some of the melancholy feeling and to distract you and your wife from your loss. Remember that this may not be helpful for everyone. If your wife is more introverted and tends to find socializing taxing or draining, then going out with people may not make her feel better.
- Avoid activities where there might be young children, especially if you don’t have any children.
- Go to the movies with friends.
- Attend a festival, music event, or an art show.
Surround yourselves with friends and family.By surrounding your wife with loved ones, she’ll feel cared for in this time of emotional turmoil. This might just be the support she needs to work through the grieving process.
- If you are a man, don't be surprised if she wants to spend time with a girlfriend or her mother or sister instead. She may want support from other women right now.
- With your wife’s consent, invite people over to your home for coffee, wine, or conversation.
- See if your wife wants to invite her or your parents.
- Don’t invite friends or family over as a surprise – your wife may need alone time at first.
- Again, remember that this may not be healing or appropriate for everyone. Think about who your wife is an individual and whether she seems to be invigorated by spending time with others or if she finds this draining.
Encourage her to do relaxation exercises.There are a variety of activities your wife may want to do in order to help her relax and move through the grieving process. Suggest:
Suggest that she writes her feelings in a journal.Writing in a journal may provide a great way for your wife to express her feelings in a private and controlled way. This is important, as she'll need to express her feelings before she can move through the grieving process.
- See if she can spend a few minutes each day writing her feelings.
- Encourage her to express her deepest emotions and true feelings in the journal.
- Let her know that you'll never want to see her journal — you simply want her to use it for her own good.
Help her find a creative outlet.In addition to journaling, expose her to other creative activities as well,like coloring, crafts, and music. Being creative is a way to work through feelings without words. Great strides in grief work are made through these additional approaches. The creative process heals!
- Try coloring or online coloring apps. There are a lot of adult coloring apps available to download and use on a tablet.
Understanding Your Limitations
Know that you can’t fix this problem.Sometimes you might think that you can fix all the problems of the world. A miscarriage is a problem you can’t fix — all you can do is wait for you and your wife to deal with your loss.
- Realize that you may not be able to cheer your wife up.
- Understand that grieving after a miscarriage takes time. Your wife may take days, weeks, or even months before she seems “normal.”
- Your relationship might suffer, and it may not be your fault.
Cope with your own loss.To properly support your wife, you’ll need to move through the grieving process, too. Thus, you need to make time for yourself to come to terms with this important loss.
- Find some time to quietly think about your loss.
- Talk to someone about it. While you wife may be able to support you, depending on the circumstance you may need to contact someone else so you can appear strong for your wife.
- Talk to your parents, sibling, or best friend about your loss.
- Contact a psychologist or counselor. They may have insight for you, and they may have insight or tactics you can use to better support your wife.
- Crying is okay. This is an event that has hurt you, too.
Understand that you can’t know how she feels.Even though you are suffering a loss, too, there is no way for you to know exactly how your wife feels. This is because you’re both unique individuals who are experiencing the loss differently.
- Embrace the reality that you were not pregnant and did not carry the embryo, fetus, or baby with you. While your loss is true and deep, you are only experiencing a part of it.
- Avoid comments like “I know how you feel.” While this may seem like a natural thing to say, she may see this as insensitive. After all, you’re different people with different roles in the pregnancy.
- Let her know that you may not understand how she feels. It may be helpful to articulate that you don’t know exactly how she feels. Say something like, “I feel this incredible loss, but I can’t even imagine how you feel right now."
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