Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why Do Couples Split After Loss?

It happens all the time. After a devastating loss, weeks, months and years can roll by ruled by three deadly components: Pain, Fear and Guilt (PFG).

PFG causes anger, depression, low self-esteem and more. Here's how it works. In your pain and anguish you may think he's probably better off with someone else. Someone who is normal or happy. Someone who can carry his baby to term, protect his child or get pregnant. Unlike you.

Later, guilt may cause this type of thinking to turn into a self-hate or low self-worth. You may tell yourself, I'm nothing ... I can't carry a baby. He doesn't really want me ... he wants someone who can bear children!

You don't feel good about yourself and begin to doubt his feelings toward you and yours toward him. You may even begin to resent your partner and grow confused by your feelings. Do I even love him anymore? Should we divorce and end this heartache? I can't stand that he's stopping me from getting pregnant again! Over time, the situation - triggered by the pain of grief, the fear of losing your mate and the guilt associated with infant and pregnancy loss - spirals out of control.

Under this type of stress, we may feel like we need to cut back on some of life's priorities. Many times, one or both partners incorrectly assumes their relationship is the area which needs to eliminated. WRONG! Do not throw away your relationship because you feel frazzled by PFG! The confusion and insecurities you experience are related to stress. And grief is very stressful!

Do what you can to divorce-proof your relationship. Choose not to make any major decision while feeling confused or stressed. Instead, use the next 6-12 months to work hardest on your relationship.

Communicate openly, understand the grief process, be gentle and gracious with one another, keep God in the middle and experience a stronger, long-lived relationship.

I know we have.


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