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Miscarriage: Fathers Hurt, too!
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Aug 15, 2001
One of the most misunderstood thoughts about miscarriage is that fathers don't hurt over this type of loss. Usually, comments, concerns, and cards are directed to the mother only when a baby is lost through miscarriage. Many women will sadly say that it seems like the miscarriage didn't mean a thing to the father. When you talk with fathers, though, you will find out how off track that thinking is. Fathers hurt, too!

Men express their grief in different ways than women, and that's okay. Women, by nature, are more open with their feelings. Tears flow freely, and society accepts this as normal. In fact, it is quite acceptable and expected for a woman to cry for a period of time following a miscarriage.

Fathers have a difficult role to fill, though. They are expected to be strong for their wives, yet to be tender, caring, and compassionate at the same time. Men, by nature, do not like to verbalize their feelings because somehow the American society often reduces manhood when a man freely shows emotions. So, men are more prone to "get busy" in their grief, working extra hours, spending time on outdoor projects, or finding something creative to do in the garage. This behavior is easily mistaken to mean a lack of caring.

Communication is a very difficult part of the grieving process, and can cause a great deal of marital stress when miscarriage occurs. It's so easy for a woman to think her husband's new busyness and distance means he's not hurting. The truth is that fathers have very strong emotional ties to an unborn child. They simply express their feelings in a different way.

When I suffered the first of several miscarriages, my husband shut down all communication with me. I misinterpreted that to mean that he didn't care one bit about the loss of our baby. What I didn't know, that I wish he had shared, was that he was having a difficult time functioning at work over the loss of the baby. He had moments of unexpected tears each day. He had many of the same emotions as I, feeling very alone in his grief. "My husband was hurting and just remained very quiet. He hardly ever mentioned the baby." (Silent Grief)

If talking with your wife about your feelings of loss seems impossible to you, then write your feelings down on paper for your wife to read. Every woman needs to know that her husband is hurting with her over the miscarriage. Take a moment to explain to your wife why you need some time to work in the garage, or to play basketball one night a week with the guys.

As you learn to express your grief over the miscarriage together, you will support each other in your feelings of loss. Allow time, tears, and words to help you walk towards a time of healing from miscarriage.
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