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Please Stop Crying!
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Oct 20, 2001
When a child dies, an immediate strain is put on the marriage relationship. The reason for the strain is quite easily explained. Men and women choose very different paths when grieving. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but the differences often cause a lack of understanding, and lines of communication begin to break down rather quickly.

It is easy for others to stand back and understand how and why a couple’s relationship begins to suffer following the loss of their child. So many times, though, the couple who lost the baby is not able to understand what is happening to the marriage because they are so consumed with the overwhelming pain of losing their child. Child loss brings a lot of stress to a marriage!

Men are fixers of problems; therefore, when a child dies, a man will resort to very physical ways of grieving. A man might choose a work project that will keep him busy in the garage hammering, cutting, and sawing every evening into the wee hours of the morning. While he works with his hands, he is grieving with his heart. This is very hard for a wife to understand!

A woman is designed to show her emotions in a different way than a man. When a child dies, a woman’s emotions become very visible to others. She might cry at the drop of a pin. Even women who previously did not cry much find themselves very easily dripping with tears. Child loss is very hard on the emotions, and can cause us to do things that we normally would not.

Trying to grieve the loss of a child together as a couple is very hard work! Husbands will often shout out in frustration, “Can’t you please stop crying?” It is very hard on a husband to see his wife in constant tears, not knowing how to fix her pain. Tears make us all very uncomfortable.

Dealing with the different emotions can complicate the grieving process. A husband can become easily frustrated with his wife, not understanding that she cannot control her emotions during this intense time of grief. This frustration will often push a couple further apart, causing the husband to spend even longer hours in the garage working in order to avoid seeing his wife’s tears.

What can be done to bring a husband and wife closer together as they grieve? Husbands need to be reminded that a woman’s emotions are very vulnerable following the loss of a child. If a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or stillbirth was involved, it is even more difficult for a woman because her hormones need to level out. It is extremely difficult for a mother to be reminded with each monthly cycle of her non-pregnant state. The onset of menstruation can bring on many tears in the early months following early child loss.

“Husbands, be patient. Your wife has extra emotions to deal with. Her body actually housed this child that you shared.” (Silent Grief, page 136) Be sensitive to your wife’s needs, remembering that the tears will not last forever. Tell your wife often how much you love her, and how you hurt with her over the loss of your child. Rather than showing frustration at your wife’s tears, offer reassuring words, reminding your wife that her tears are to be expected.

As you listen and spend time with your wife, you will help her to move forward in her grief, and you will be drawn closer together as a couple. By sharing, you can have a stronger marriage!
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