When there has been a death, serious illness or crisis in the family you may find it affects how you feel about each other. If you can share your grief it might bring you closer together. It might force you further apart if you can’t.
We are all different and men and women can deal with grief in very different ways. Some people cry and shout about how unfair things are. Others withdraw and don’t show any emotion. There is no one correct way of coping with grief, but it can be hard on the “emotional one” if they are told to control themselves and hard on the “withdrawn one” if they are accused of being cold.
You might want to try to console your partner but say the wrong thing and it seems to make things worse! If one of you feels guilty or to blame in some way it can make things even more difficult. Family and friends can be a great source of support at this time if they can just listen instead of trying to make you feel better.
In the case of the death of a child or severe grief, you may find it useful to talk to a specialist national organization such as Compassionate Friends or CRUSE. If they feel you need more help they will know of the right local organization to put you in contact with.
Use the cartoon as a start to think about these questions:
- What major losses have you had to cope with in the past – how did you support each other?
- How do you tend to react to major loss or change?
- How does your partner tend to react?