Grief and Your Marriage
Marriage is a vow to be there for your spouse “for better or for worse”. The “worse” part could include the loss of a parent, a child or a friend orlost opportunities (going through menopause or being fired from one’s job). The grief can also be about aging, children leaving the home to establish their own homes, or the bad news of a parent’s terminal illness. It can be a grief that both spouses experience or it can be something that only one spouse is going through. The grief can result in the grieving person feeling distressed, angry and bitter, guilty, isolated, fearful and lonely.
When a spouse is in a season of grieving, the other spouse needs to know how to deal with the process. The loss can cause a negative impact in your marriage or it can show how a couple express their love for each other at one of the worst points in their lives. It can bring the spouses closer to each other. Being there for your spouse can mean letting him or her “do stuff”, doing things with him or her or simply listening. However, according to Utah marriage counseling, mishandling how we help our spouse through the grieving process can lead to them becoming emotionally distant from us.
Recognize the necessity for grief. We should recognize that for one to heal from a loss, grief is an essential part of the process. So when a spouse is grieving, we should not prevent him or her from doing so.
Recognize that people grieve in different ways. Your grieving process will most likely be different from your spouse’s. If you both are grieving, you can’t expect your spouse to grieve in the same way as you do. You may need the advice of Provo therapist to understand your spouse’s grieving process. There are people who grieve by doing physical things such as running, indulging in a hobby or playing. There are also others that are grieve more verbally, who feel the need to share feelings and discuss the loss. Showing respect and continuing to be there in ways that matter will help you and your spouse remain connected at this time of grief.
Learn more about grief. Even if grief is normal, you also need to be watchful about signs of depression and how you can help. Couples counseling in Utah can provide with you with the insights about your spouse’s grief and whether it is going over to the side of depression. That said, it is also important to note that grief does not have any deadlines. You can’t come to your spouse and say, “That is enough time, you should be done grieving.” Give your spouse the time he or she needs to grieve.
Be patient. Strap yourself in and get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride. Especially when grief is still raw, anything can set tears and grief off – a song, a certain kind of food, an event. There may be days that the person grieving is feeling “okay” and days when he or she feels down in the dumps. Don’t pressure your spouse to “be strong”. It is also important to understand your spouse’s disinterest in sexual intimacy as grief can minimize the desire for sexual or intimate contact.
It can be beneficial to go for family counseling in Utah to help you as a couple or even the whole family to work through the grief. Don’t afraid to accept the support of others. You can also think about joining a support group. Provo marriage counseling can provide you with resources for your and your spouse’s grief.