As I sat in my Christian therapist's office, I was once again discussing the struggles of trying to conceive. By the time I came to talking about my husband and all that I felt about him, I found myself saying, "I'm tired."
Suddenly, I paused and had these "TV sitcom" flashbacks -- moments where I was frustrated while talking to my husband, but all my husband could say was, "I'm tired." As I sat there in that office, I finally understood what my husband was saying. And I felt so overwhelmed with emotions, I just started crying right there in her office. All this time when I thought my husband and I was not communicating or on the same page, the truth was we were both TIRED! (click 'Read More' to continue...)
Ladies, men are different. We know this and we should be more appreciative of that fact. However, we still share a lot of similarities; even if the guy does not know or will admit it.
In saying this that means when we hurt, they hurt. When we cry, they cry (not always outwardly or where you see it). When we are tired from the struggle, they are tired from the struggle too. Being married for 13 years (together 16), I am learning more and more how to speak my husband's love language and everyday language so that we both are heard and not ignored.
The best thing you can do to support your husband after tragic loss is to listen. Even listen to their silence. I know we women want to vent, cry, snuggle, cuddle, may even want deeper physical intimacy when we are emotional. But if your husband is not feeling that, be understanding, and let him have some space. In a stable marriage, he will come to you when he needs you most.
I will admit, I did not listen at first. He did not say much most days. But when he would say something as I was trying to vent or say something out of my emotions (which did not always come out the nicest but not yelling either), all he could say was, "I'm tired." Eventually, after a while, he would articulate more to me what he was feeling but it was after I allowed him time and space. After I was silent. After I talked to God more and then was silent again.
I am trying to be nice but y'all know we women can overdo it on the "talking". Sometimes we need to shut up (I was trying to be nice but hey...Lol). When I learned more on how to communicate with my husband, I found out if I gave it enough time, not only will I have moments to vent and share but that he would also listen! Now, this does not mean do not have the important talks right away. I am talking about those talks where it is too many emotions to explain so it is best to take some time before speaking.
Most men need time to understand the emotions they are feeling. I remember when I first learned that grown men do cry: my daddy came home after visiting his father in the hospital who was dying from lung cancer. As I stepped around the corner to greet my daddy, all I saw was tears coming down his face and I remember him saying, "My dad is dying!" And he quickly went to his bedroom, shut the door, and I just heard him weeping. I was so shocked but then I started crying. I never seen my daddy cry before. I was about 11 or 12 then. That is when I knew grown men cried and they hurt just like us.
Ladies, support your husband to the best of your ability after a pregnancy loss. Whatever that may look like, but the best thing is to listen and give space. They may not have carried the baby but believe me, a part of him dies. He needs you to hold him as much as you need him to hold you. Some days you will need to be the strong one for the both of you. Some days you will have to cry by yourself and then come out the room and cook dinner like all is ok. Some nights y'all must go to bed without saying nothing but y'all know the love is still there.
I have heard marriages end because of the long-term emotional effects of pregnancy lost; especially stillbirth. Please, as I pray for all, if you find your marriage strained because of pregnancy loss and difficulty in trying to conceive, seek counseling. Seek wisdom from other stable couples because there are more couples out there than you would realize who also shares your story. Do not give up! It will take time so long-suffering is a spiritual fruit you both must be able to produce and nurture to ensure your marriage overcomes the tragedy of stillbirth (or any loss).
Question: What have you found to help support your husband after pregnancy loss? Share below so we can help more couples out there!
I desire to help encourage and support women during their time of trying to conceive and if they experience the tragedy of stillbirth. When I experienced stillbirth, the best advice I received: Be Human. I hope to help Christian women recognize the importance of being human in order to process our emotions. When we admit we are weak, God is able to be faithful and be God. If we be human, then God can be God.