No marriage is immune to death or grief.
Many divorced individuals describe a singular pivotal event as the cause that precipitated their breakup. The death of a close family member or friend is often cited as one of those events when one or both spouses begin to question their marital relationship. Some studies have found that 75 percent of those who experience the death of a child go through a divorce. But grief does not have to destroy your marriage.
No marriage is immune to death or grief. Grief can deeply impact your relationship. It has a way of touching every aspect of your being. If you live long enough, you will experience many losses in your lifetime. Don’t let your marriage be one of them. Here are five important actions to take so your marriage will stay strong even through a grieving time.
Acknowledge Your Differences
Grief affects men and women differently because God gave us unique emotional and psychological responses to life’s stresses. It’s important to recognize some of those common differences. Men often tend to internalize their grief, seeking comfort in solitude or by diverting their attention to work or other activities. On the other hand, women usually display more outward expressions of sorrow. They seek comfort through communication and support from their loved ones. Neither way is wrong. Understanding your differences is the first step toward ensuring your marriage is marked by empathy and compassion.
Talk About It
Communication is always important for a healthy marriage, especially when grieving. Since men tend to internalize their emotions, husbands might struggle to express their pain aloud. Creating a safe and non-judgmental space for them to share their feelings is crucial. Women may feel overwhelmed with emotions and seek reassurance and understanding through conversation. Actively listen to one another without judgment so you can offer the comfort and support your spouse needs.
Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and try to understand their perspective. Men and women must work hard to understand how their spouse grieves differently. Empathy means setting aside your personal assumptions and simply learning from each other’s experiences.
Seek Spiritual Support
When a couple shares a common faith, it can be a powerful source of solace and strength. Encourage one another to lean on God and seek His healing and comfort. Deepen your spiritual bond by praying and seeking God’s purpose and peace together.
Know When to Ask for Help
Sometimes the complexities of grief require additional support. Recognize when a professional may help. Counselors who specialize in grief can give you guidance, facilitate healthy communication, and offer tools to help you cope as a couple. Asking for help is a brave step toward healing.
Grief can either draw a couple closer or create a wedge between them. It is a personal journey, but when you face it together, you can find renewed strength as a couple.