Loss affects all relationships, to your self, to your partner, friend and family – there is no doubt. But how? And how can we deal with it?
First of all, relationships are challenging with or without loss.
This week, Carly and myself discussed this topic and share intimately about our personal experience with the challenges we experience in our intimate relationships.
In this video, you can see and hear us talk about:
- Emotionality (anger, impatience, anxiety, sadness etc.)
- Projection and other ways to cope
- Differences in self and other (new normal selves)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Differences of relationship between mother and child and father and child
- Different ways of grieving (instrumental and intuitive) – find more detail to this in the book Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple
- Intimacy & Sexuality
- Loss following birth, for example in the case of still birth or birth complications
- Communication, in general and about the loss
- The danger of assumptions
- Self-awareness (use 5-10% of your awareness for the ‘witness’ part)
- Where was our relationship at, before the loss?
- What challenges did we experience in our relationship?
- How has this loss affected me? How has it affected our relationship?
- What expectations do I have in relation to my partner and the loss?
- What was the original reason we got together?
- Is this relationship worth making it work post-loss?
- Am I, are we, wiling to put in the work?
Not every relationship can be saved. Not every relationship makes sense to continue.
Chapter 6 of the book Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple is dedicated to ‘Couples and Grief’. In this chapter I go through what determines your grief, the effect on the couple’s relationship (emotional, physical and psychological reactions), and grieving as a couple.
You might be relieved to know this fact regarding the percentage of couples divorcing post-loss:
- Well-meaning people tell you that 70, 80, or even 90% of couples divorce after their child dies. According to the website of Compassionate Friends you will be relieved to know that new studies have shown the opposite to be true: the divorce rate is 12-16%, believed to be caused by the “shared experience” aspect
(Check it out here: http://www.compassionatefriends.org)