There are many faces of grief, and all marriages will be forced to face grief at some point along the way. Whether that loss is the loss of a child, a parent or someone else, grief can either be a force that binds you together or one that rips you apart at the seams. Below are five steps that couples can take in conquering grief together:
-Allow your partner the space to grieve as he or she needs to grieve. Sometimes a spouse will get upset at his or her partner because the partner is not grieving properly. It is important to remember that there is no proper way to grieve. Everyone grieves differently. You may grieve by crying buckets of tears. Your spouse may grieve by losing him or herself in work. You may grieve by wanting to constantly talk about your loved one. Your spouse may grieve by never talking about your loved one.
-Keep the lines of communication open. Even if you both are grieving differently, it is more important than ever to talk to each other about how you are feeling. Grief can often leave one feeling numb. Force yourselves to talk about how you are feeling.
-Keep a grief journal. This can be an invaluable way of expressing your grief. Sometimes the words are so difficult to express, but in writing they come a bit easier. Use it to write a letter or pen a poem about your loved one. Share what you write with your partner, and use it to help open the lines of communication.
-Don’t play the blame game. During the grief process, there are times when your emotions are running so high, you don’t know what to do with them. This is when it can be easy to play the blame game. You may find yourself pointing your finger at your spouse, spouting accusations all meant to make your spouse feel guilt over the loss of someone.
– Enlist the support of family and friends if needed. Sometimes it just helps to have another person to talk to about how you are feeling.
–Be forgiving of one another. When stress, anger, or grief makes your spouse say or do things that are hurtful to you, try and remember where it is coming from. Reach out in love and forgive.
-Take the time to have fun together. As you learn to laugh again, you will gain a new appreciation of life and the moments that you have together.
Grief does not have to take its toll on your marriage. It can help you grow in your relationship to one another. One day you will be able to look upon the loss that you shared together and remember your loved one with a smile.