Husband wants to move on, acting cold/distant — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

Husband wants to move on, acting cold/distant

I had a D&C last week but it took about 3 weeks to get to that point (failed misoprostol, natural didn’t happen), and they’ve been a tough few weeks.

After having the D&C I felt a sense of relief that the physical part of this pain was over and it was helping my emotions too but of course I still have occasional things that trigger me. My husband was sad and wanted some space to grieve the first 2 days, which I honored, when we found out I would miscarry but after that he’s been acting in a way I wasn’t expecting. Normally he’s the type to want to talk about feelings and now he’s completely shut down.

I understand his connection to the pregnancy is different from mine and everyone grieves differently so I’m not gonna pressure him to talk about his feelings if he doesn’t want to. My big issue though is he’s being really cold and irritable when I express grief. Whenever I cry he seems completely baffled/irritated and says things like “I thought you were better” or “don’t cry, you’re strong”. We were watching tv the other day and there was a show that had a pregnant woman giving birth and I teared up a bit and explained that I was tearing up because I felt ready to have our baby and it’s tough that it’s over and he said “oh” and then I was again dismayed by the lack of reaction and sighed and he said “it’s just a tv show”; that confused me because I very clearly explained that it wasn’t about the tv show at all.

Today my breasts are swollen and my stomach is bloated and it’s making me miss being pregnant and I told him that watching my body change back to it’s old self is really hard. It was an emotional plea for connection and he huffed and when I said it’d help if when things triggered me that he tried to console me, he got irritated and complained about feeling like he’s in a funeral parlor.

If I talk about feelings he tunes out, goes on his phone in the middle of me talking and starts laughing at articles or whatnot to the point that I just give up on talking. I have other great support people I can talk to but it’s made coming home so sad for me. His lack of empathy or unwillingness to feel his own emotions is making this so much harder for me.

I’m trying to be understanding that he’s trying to move on but the coldness towards my emotions is making me view him in a less positive light. I’m not sure what to do, has anyone else experienced this? How’d you get through it or did you not get through it?

Re: Husband wants to move on, acting cold/distant

  • junash245  Try explaining to him that you still have some PG hormones in your body and PG symptoms (bloating, swollen/tender breasts, etc.) and that makes everything you feel stronger than if you didn't have those hormones.  Tell him you need to talk through this some with him.  

    It's good you realize that you both have different types of experiences, but now you're at the point where you have to live with those differences and it can be very difficult.  I think he's being rude and unsupportive, but I also understand that it seems like his way of coping was to grieve a few days and to move on. He probably can't 'handle' it and doesn't want to think about it so doesn't want to discuss it. But maybe you need to have a talk, because HE may not understand that you're both feeling different things and that YOU can not just move on, because YOUR body is still experiencing both the PG and MC symptoms and your emotions are still haywire and could be for weeks/months yet.  YOUR body is the one who will get the possibly wonky cycles for up to 6 months following this. YOUR body has dealt with the physical as well as emotional/mental trauma of the loss. That's a lot on you.  So try to explain that you want to support his way of coping too, but that he needs to give as well.
  • Thanks @capnjackharkness. We’ve had a few conversations over the weekend about his behavior and I still think he’s just pushing his feelings down. I think it’ll take time and I’ll need to be more frank. He seems to understand why I’m upset but he is struggling to connect with the emotions I’m feeling because he’s trying to avoid them himself...
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  • After another difficult night of trying to talk about it, I just left the room and went to bed. But this morning was a breakthrough! I guess the time alone with his thoughts really forced him to assess what a jerk he was being and he basically broke down and apologized for how awful it’s been, expressed feelings of guilt that the baby didn’t make it and that he’s sorry for making this even harder for me. Grief is really a tough thing and this was a real learning experience for us.
  • I'm happy your husband was able to process his feelings of grief and loss, @junash245. It's not easy to cope with, and knowing you have a partner in all of this is an amazing support for both of you. I encourage you both to be more open and honest in your communications between yourselves about your grief. It's all still so fresh that it can be difficult to even label what it is that you're feeling, especially when you're experiencing dramatic shifts in emotions due to the pregnancy hormones still in your system (speaking from experience here). It's so important that you turn toward each other instead of away from each other whenever you're grappling with something so overwhelming.
    Me: 37 / DH: 41
    Due with baby #2: Feb 2022

  • @junash245 I'm glad you guys were able to talk some.  It's always difficult after losing a baby, and everyone grieves differently. Just keep talking and working on it and RESPECTING each other for your varying ways of coping and you'll be able to work through it.
  • Thanks for all the support on here ladies, it makes this process easier to deal with. It’s been kind of up and down with my husband so just trying to take it one day at a time.
  • @junash245, It comes in waves. Loss can make or break a couple. My advice here is to be patient. It takes MONTHS to get through, and you'll never get over it. I sincerely hope you and your partner find the path that's right for you. I can only tell you my experience. I miscarried Jan 8 of this year. Everything kind of came to a head in late March, though we still struggle even today. We're expecting our rainbow baby in late January, a bittersweet celebration.

    It's been nearly a year since our loss and SO and I finally just talked about everything that happened recently. We all deal and grieve in our own ways. His was to shut out the world, including me. Because our pregnancy was unplanned, and it took time for him to adjust, only to lose that pregnancy, he just internalized EVERYTHING. I felt abandoned. First during the pregnancy, then during the loss, when I needed him most.  It nearly destroyed our relationship. It's something we still struggle with. For me, it taught me a lesson that I can't depend on him, which isn't true. I have to work through that. For him, he has to work through the knowledge that I'll never fully trust him again.

    In the end, it sealed parts of our relationship. We were a relatively "young" couple (although we're in our 40s), and we didn't have the foundation most couples do to fall back on. Maybe that saved us. It became PART of our foundation. It ended the lovey dovey sweetness, although we are still VERY much that annoying cute couple.It sucked us out of the honeymoon phase. It forced us to each look at the relationship and what made us US. We became a stronger couple. He asked me the other day, "Is your love for me less because of it?" I said, "My love for you is DEEPER because of it." 
  • @FyreFlyeRush I’m sorry for your loss it’s such a tough thing. Congrats on your rainbow baby, that’s very exciting!

    Our story is nearly identical, surprise pregnancy, I started to feel abandoned during the pregnancy and definitely during the loss. It’s hard to picture the future given that it’s all very recent. Your 1 year our story gives me a lot of hope, thanks for share. I’m also going to start seeing a therapist to work through some of this, so I’m hopeful that’ll help as well.
  • @junash245 I’m so sorry for your loss. The relationship aspect after loss is just such a minefield. DH isn’t great at talking about painful subjects to begin with and our losses (MC in March and CP in Sept) just made it really clear to me how differently he and I process grief. We’re also a pretty new couple, had been married less than a year with the first loss, and it was eye opening to experience that together.

    It sounds like you’re making progress connecting over your loss and I think a therapist is a great idea. I also found that it helped my husband for me to be explicit about what I needed. For example, Nov 7 was our original due date, so earlier this week I reminded him of that, just told him I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that, etc. Just having the heads up was helpful for him and it helped me feel supported to know he was aware and trying to be sensitive.

    One of the tidbits I learned in therapy has stuck with me, “feelings aren’t facts.” While I may FEEL abandoned or alone in moments, it helps me to step back and recognize the pain of that feeling but also acknowledge that my DH is beside me, not actually abandoning me, and he’s trying to love me well in this. That has been helpful for me and therapy in general can be great for providing you tools to walk through this season together. 
  • @rachelredhead I’m sorry for your losses, it’s such a hard thing to go through.

    thanks for sharing your experience though, it’s so hard while I’m in it and it’s all so fresh to picture a better future. With my husband it’s been up and down even though he opened up to me. We’ve been together for 11 years so I think we’re realizing there are other things at play emotionally beyond the grief but again just trying to go one day at a time and be more open and honest about our feelings.

    I really like the feelings aren’t facts bit, I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m stuck in my feelings. Thanks for the support and best of luck to you.
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