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Date. Get married. Have babies. That’s the natural progression of love, right? But what happens when you can’t have babies? Or you never get to hold those precious babies in your arms? Miscarriage is the last thing that entered your mind when you began to think about having a family. And now it’s happened. It’s torn you about emotionally and physically. Your wife is now raw and you are at a loss of how to help her.
Miscarriage is never anything a couple wants to think about, but sadly, many face. For so long it’s a been a taboo subject and one everyone shy’s away from. But, ignoring it or the feelings that occur after a miscarriage will not go away on their own. In fact, for many women they may never go away. And for their husbands, they are at a loss. They don’t know how to handle their own feelings while trying to be the rock for their wife.
But trying to figure out what your wife needs during such a difficult time is not easy. She’s raw emotionally. She’s hurting physically. And often, she’s spiritually distant. As the mother of 6 angel babies, I may have some insight for you husbands. Now, keep in mind these are generalities and you know your wife better than anyone. So take these suggestions with caution and apply them gently.
5 Ways to Love your wife through a Miscarriage
- Pray. Praying is first and foremost. You should already be praying daily for your wife, but this is a different pray. Pray not only for her, but also for God to reveal ways you can love her through this time. Often times I had no idea what I needed or even wanted. So when my husband would ask what he could do – I honestly had no answers. That is where prayer comes in. The Holy Spirit will guide you and direct you if you open yourself up to His leading.
- Be vulnerable. Often times men seem to think it is more important that they refrain from showing their emotions. In this case, I found it comforting to know my husband was hurting as much as I was. I’m not saying you will have the same attachment to the baby that your wife did, but you are still emotional. Even if it is from watching your wife go through this pain. When she is ready to talk, let her know you are hurting too. She needs to know it.
- Listen to her. Some women take a while before they can talk about the miscarriage, while others need time. Just let her know you are there to listen to her whenever she is ready. Each one of my miscarriages have affected me differently. Some of them I recovered quickly, both physically and emotionally. But some of them hit me so hard I didn’t know if I would ever see the light again. Those times were, and still are, hard to talk about. But sometimes I just need to get it out and off my chest. I need someone to listen and help carry the burden of my pain and overwhelming emotions. So I lean on my husband. Husbands – allow her to talk without interrupting her. Really listen to her and what she is saying – not the words she is speaking. This may take some practice and intervening from the Holy Spirit, because often times when we are so emotional it’s difficult to put together clear thoughts. So ask the Holy Spirit to help you really hear her. Don’t offer advice unless she asks for it. Comforting her and consoling her is often enough. She’s just got a heavy heart and just needs a rock to hold on to.
- Don’t shy away from her. Yes, she may be fragile emotionally, but she’s not breakable. It’s important to let her know you are still there for her – any way she needs you. And for a while that may change from day-to-day or even hour-to-hour. She needs to feel safe and secure, not treated like an outcast. It’s also important not to tip-toe around the subject. Be gentle, caring and understanding in your approach, but don’t ignore it completely. She is stronger than you think, but right now…she is broken. It will just take her a while to find a way to move forward.
- Don’t rush her. Don’t rush her healing – physically or emotionally. We women know you crave us physically, but we are broken and suffering. Give us some time to heal. At this fragile time, sex can often represent a new baby…and that we’re not quite ready for. But don’t worry. We will once again desire to be with you – it just takes time. I can’t tell you how much time (beyond doctors orders), but it will happen. Emotionally we may be raw for weeks, months or even years. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the miscarriage will likely determine the time frame. In my experience, the earlier miscarriages were easier to deal with than the ones at 10-14 weeks along. But, some women may not feel the same. This is where the talking and listening come into play again. Talk to her about how you feel and let her know you’re not trying to replace the baby you lost. That may bring her some peace and change her mood toward sex. Listen to what she’s saying to help you further gauge her apprehensions.
Remember – not every miscarriage is the same. And not every woman reacts the same. It takes time and understanding on your – the husband’s – part to find healing with each other as well as with the situation. You are married, so don’t run away from each other when you need one another the most!! Praying not only alone, but together will bring you closer together during this difficult time. Don’t shy away from each other, but learn how to love each other in this new normal.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, I am so sorry. They are not fair. They are not something we, as finite humans, can understand. But they are real. I want to pray for each one of you by name. You are welcome to share your story or just your name in the comments. If you’d rather remain anonymous, you are welcome to email me privately at mommi (at) inallyoudo (dot) net.
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