Communicating with Your Partner

Losing a child can affect a couple in a profound way. It is not uncommon for a long-term or marital relationship to become strained after the death of a child. After such a devastating life event, the stress of coping along with feelings of abandonment, indifference, frustration, and anger can have a negative impact. To prevent this from happening, couples' counseling with a grief therapist is recommended.

Investing time into listening and tending to the needs of your spouse or partner is vital. Your spouse or partner is the only person that understands your pain. Instead of isolating yourself, try to spend some quality time with your spouse talking about how you are feeling and how you will both approach the future together.

Differences in Grieving

Men and women communicate and grieve in very different ways. Women tend to be more expressive, emotional, and open to seeking support from others. Women may get upset when they see their spouse carrying on with life as if nothing happened.

Men are usually less likely to communicate their feelings and prefer to solve problems on their own. Rather than seek support or talk about their depression or grief, men may withdraw or bury themselves in other activities such as work, sports, or watching television. Conflicts may arise when one feels compelled to give advice and the other expects support and understanding. As long as both partners realize that communication and grieving differences exist, some misunderstandings and conflicts can be prevented.

Grieving Together

As you struggle separately and together to come to terms with your loss, keep in mind these tips from grief counselors.

  • Remind one another of your commitment to the relationship.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and share your thoughts and emotions with your partner regularly.
  • Be caring of each other's feelings and needs.
  • Acknowledge each other's pain and accept your differences in grieving.
  • Resume old friendships and seek new ones both separately and as a couple.
  • Find ways to remember your child together.

Children and Grief

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