Evaluating Relationships After Pregnancy Loss

After a traumatic event, the world tilts. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

A trauma like pregnancy loss can, for some, bring detrimental relationship dynamics-issues in relationships that were there before the loss-into sharp relief. This goes for any relationship-intimate, professional, neighborly, family, friends.

Moving into this vulnerable emotional space does not mean you are weak. It does not mean you are “too” sensitive. However, it can be disconcerting. The way you’ve experienced the relationship is coming to an end. It’s a loss-another one.

One way vulnerability can come about is when you’ve exhausted your ability to “not see” problems or have come to a place where you can no longer act as though something does not bother or hurt you.

Another way vulnerability surfaces is when someone very independent is being offered help or support, and accepting it feels scary. This is a different type of vulnerability, but it’s vulnerability nonetheless.

Add these to pregnancy loss-another avenue of extreme vulnerability on so many levels-and you can see why the recovery period is so intense. And why it’s so very important you maintain a strong connection to your needs. And, if you’re not sure what they are, now is the time to explore exactly that.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  1. First and foremost, be kind to yourself.
  2. Don’t force yourself into making sweeping decisions about relationships or about yourself. This creates anxiety. Allow yourself to observe your relationships and how you feel inside of them.
  3. Remind yourself that the process of change and discovery-though we do tend to glamourize it as a culture!-can be and often is very uncomfortable. We are learning a new and deeper way of being in the world.
  4. Don’t immediately accept the blame to keep the peace with someone else. Rather take ownership of what part of an issue belongs to you. In other words, don’t prophylactically apologize when something is not your fault. Do extend an apology when it’s fitting and appropriate.
  5. Trust yourself-whether it’s your gut, intuition, sense of things. Try to listen to your own concerns.
  6. Understand that the other person’s issues do not define your role in the relationship, nor should they define you. Likewise, you don’t define them either. This is good because it gives everyone space and honors individuality.
  7. Be aware if issues of emotional manipulation (even the kind that are more loving and caring-they exist, too!) begin to surface and, better yet, look for symptoms before they become too pronounced.
  8. When you are feeling anxious or angry, work through those natural feelings with an appropriate and trusted person or persons.

Trust the process. You can do this. You already are.

This post was written by Meredith Resnick.

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Originally published at https://alltheloveafterloss.com.

Supporting and empowering people through pregnancy loss. All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss (Turner Publishing, 2021).