How does Miscarriage affect Marriage?
Back in January 2012 when my husband Brandon and I got married we did not know that we would end up pregnant a few months later. We had a wedding in May 2012, baby shower in November 2012, prepared our first born's room, and left the hospital empty handed in December 2012. This was all in our first year of marriage. I would be dishonest if I did not say that this rocked our marriage. Losing a child is one of the hardest things a couple will go through. It will either draw you closer together or further apart. For us, it did both. It drew us closer together because we felt broken from losing our son. We both questioned God. We both knew we needed help. We went to counseling and did what the therapist told us, but honestly I hated going. I hated having my marriage scrutinized by someone who never lost a child. I hated the feeling that I did something wrong to make my baby die. How my loss drew us further apart is me not wanting to stay in counseling, and being in denial I needed help. I felt God was punishing me for bad choices in my 20's. I felt abandoned by God. I felt my husband did not understand my pain.
How could I carry a child for almost 10 months and not come home with that baby? How could my husband understand what it is like to carry and grow a baby, feel him move and kick, and for that to be taken all away? How could I continue in my marriage when I'm so frustrated with God and grieving? After our second loss our marriage had gotten better with the help of a different therapist. Even after having our rainbow baby and him being diagnosed with cerebral palsy we still have some trauma we are working through with a therapist. But, we continue to stay committed, fight together instead of each other, and give each other grace because we have a bigger purpose as a Kingdom couple.
Miscarriage affects Marriage in so many ways and here are 5 Do's and Don'ts to ensure you and your spouse fight and stay together.
Communication - Do listen for understanding. Don’t listen to just respond.
Marriage is hard and some days are harder than others. Communication and understanding is what will get you from one day to the next. Don’t listen to your spouse just to respond back. Do listen for understanding and acknowledgement of their feelings. One of my biggest lessons learned is how we grieved differently and communication our feelings differently.
Meeting Each Others Needs – Do make time to connect. Don’t just assume connection will take place.
Having a loss affects intimacy. Sometimes women don’t want to connect with their spouses out of fear of getting pregnant and experiencing another loss. Schedule time to connect with your spouse intimately. I’m not just referring to sex, but really developing a deeper connection with him. Don’t just assume your intimate moments will take place you have to create them and be intentional. Give yourself some time, absolutely, but don’t give up on intimacy altogether. Allow this loss to bring you and your spouse together-not push you apart.
Dealing with Other People – Do tell people in your own time about your loss. Don’t assume they know your story and triggers.
If there is one thing I hated the most about losing babies is announcing to the world I lost a baby. I had to take time to process my loss, journal, and really grieve. Take your time telling people about your loss. Don’t assume that everyone knows you are no longer pregnant or that your baby did not come home from the hospital. Please take your time announcing on social media or to your family and discuss your feelings with your spouse. When you both are ready then let others know your story. Also, many people may not be aware bringing a baby around or seeing a pregnant friend is a trigger for you. Give them some grace as they may not know your loss story.
Deciding to Try Again – Do get the approval from your OB/GYN and therapist. Don’t go into another pregnancy without help.
I went into my second pregnancy hopeful that I would bring my baby girl Brielle home. When I miscarried her at 18 weeks I felt even more broken. I was still grieving the loss of my son Brandon Jr. How could I be ready to handle another pregnancy? Losing Brielle made me sit down and realize I needed help. I made sure to get checked out by the OB/GYN and waited their recommended length of time. I also made sure we both were in a good place with the therapy we were receiving.
Keeping God as the Center – Do worship together, pray together and for each other, and keep God the center. Don’t leave God out of your marriage after loss. God should remain the center.
Most of you may know my husband is a Pastor so keeping God as the center is apart of his calling. However, when loss comes so does the devil who tries to literally break up what God joined together. To keep God as the center you first have to have a relationship for yourself. Remember when I told you I questioned God? I had to have some difficult conversations with God to get to a place where I wanted to continue to worship and praise him. I needed him to prepare my heart for another baby. I needed him to strengthen my husband and our marriage. I couldn’t give up on God. Don’t leave God out of your marriage after miscarriage or loss. He should remain center and you have to continue to develop a relationship with him yourself and as a couple.
Living through a miscarriage or loss tests your marriage. You can either chose to stay together or drift further apart. I pray these Do’s and Don’ts help you and your spouse as you continue to fight for your marriage and be the Kingdom Couple God has destined you to be.