It is typical for couples to respond differently after a pregnancy loss. Suggesting that anyone is not sad enough or that they are too sad will only add additional stress to an extremely difficult time.
It may be difficult to think that somebody who deals with grief differently feels grief as deeply as you. It might help you to understand that although grief follows some common patterns, every person’s reaction is unique.
Typically, there is an expectation that acute grief will come with tears, as well as powerful expression of emotion. It is considered typical to express feelings, cry, and to process grief as you adapt to this loss. It’s referred to as intuitive grief.
An equally valid yet less accepted way of handling grief is referred to as instrumental grief. In this case, someone will take charge and emphasize being “strong.”
Often, we relate such grieving with males. It may pertain to anybody, however, particularly if he or she is usually a problem-solver. Individuals who grieve this way often discover that they have a type of restlessness or nervous energy that helps them get things accomplished.
Instead of withdrawing from activities or crying, individuals suffering instrumental grief will work upon taking care of business and attempting to master their emotions. For these individuals, taking care of practical matters might not be a distraction from the truth but a consolation.
In contrast, somebody who deals with grief by focusing on their emotions might discover that dealing with practical matters is almost impossible, and an uninviting reminder of their loss.
Most people react to grief with a blend of these two approaches.
Communication is critical for couples to get through their grief healthily. They should try to understand one another’s point of view.
I recommend sitting with your spouse and discussing how he or she feels, as well as what helps him or her. It’s okay if these things are different.
If you are an intuitive griever, but your partner is not, you might consider participating in a support group or locating a trusted confidant. Discuss this with your partner. It might mean that you can get support, express yourself, and revisit memories in a way that helps you, without conflicting with your partner’s way of handling his or her grief.