Surviving the Challenges of the First Year

Your Marriage is Vulnerable: Take Care

 

 

Marriages are at risk in the aftermath of a tragedy, especially after the tragic loss of a child. 

 

 

 

It’s said that grief tears us apart with the reckless abandon of a tornado.  Sometimes there’s enough remaining to rebuild and sometimes the only thing you can do is to move on and start over.  My husband and I count ourselves fortunate to have survived the storm and to have come through it even stronger, but that’s not to say we weren’t tossed about by the high winds and threatened by the falling trees. We emerged from that dark night forever changed. Our priorities had shifted, sometimes in small and subtle ways and sometimes profoundly.  It was inevitable that we had changed, but the changes were unbidden and most unwelcome. It took us time to regain our equilibrium and find new footing. Many months later, when our lives began to come back into focus, it was clear that our marriage still resonated strongly in our hearts. The shared love and loss of our son bound us in unspoken unity. We had grieved together, we had grown together.   

Your spouse is likely the only person in your life who truly shares your grief. After all, they, too, suffered the loss of their child. This is also the person most likely to be your most steadfast support and most loving comfort. In reality, some 16% of marriages end in the aftermath of this loss. Some say the figure is even higher. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of parents who lose a child report that their marriages suffer strains that sometimes prove irreparable. In addition, problems that existed before such a loss are only magnified and become more challenging.

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