Miscarriage: Husband Relieved After Miscarriage

I recently had a miscarriage after an unplanned pregnancy. I was devastated, but my husband seemed relieved, though he never said so. I have wanted a baby so much since then that I almost can't think of anything else. My husband cannot understand it. I really love him, but this is driving me CRAZY. How can I accept his feelings?


Gayle Peterson

Gayle Peterson, PhD, is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She is a clinical member of the Association... Read more

Both you and your husband shared initial upset and ambivalence when you believed you were to become parents unexpectedly. The visceral experience of pregnancy no doubt helped you attach to this reality in a deeper and more immediate way than might have been the case for your husband. You may have been working on the bonding necessary to welcome your child, while he was working through the anxiety you both shared. It is natural that you would be expressing the grief about this sudden change in events, while he would be experiencing the relief.

Your husband's "relief" in no way obliterates loss, however. It is possible to experience both sadness for the loss of the pregnancy and relief that your preparation for parenthood is now extended. Do not expect him to grieve in exactly the same way you do, but do not mourn in isolation. Plan a ritual together for saying "good-bye" to this potential child. Take a walk to a special place in nature, plant flowers or throw a stone out to sea. Create a ceremony to help you release your sadness and crystallize the feelings that this pregnancy has brought forth for each one of you.

Talk together about what this journey has put you through, and the feelings that have arisen. Create a safe atmosphere for differences so that your sharing is productive. Honest expression of feelings and the ability to accept similar as well as different emotions about this experience can provide opportunity for greater closeness instead of distance.

It is not unusual for a miscarriage to blossom into a commitment to parenthood. In your case, pregnancy has clarified your desire and readiness for motherhood. Share this transformation with your husband. Perhaps he has experienced something similar. Your next pregnancy may well be a planned one. Perhaps you will find that this pregnancy had its own purpose that has been fulfilled afterall.

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