Much has been written about how a woman can get through a miscarriage. To be sure, the loss of a pregnancy due to a miscarriage can be a very traumatic experience for a woman. She may feel grief, loss, guilt, depression, despair, and even anger. There are a number of things that a woman can do to help get through a miscarriage. Yet, less attention has been paid to a similar but equally important question: how can a man get through a miscarriage?
Men tend to handle their emotions differently from women. Some men are overwhelmed when they start to feel the loss or other emotions that can accompany a miscarriage. They may not know how to deal directly with those emotions. Some men may try to avoid the emotions by avoiding the topic in conversation. Other men may avoid their partner. This is particularly unfortunate, as this is a time when each partner is struggling, and when each partner could use the other’s support to get through the miscarriage.
Some men do indeed have trouble relating to the loss that a woman feels after a miscarriage, to be sure. For some men, because there is no physical change in their bodies, the pregnancy often doesn’t become really real to them until after a baby is born. In these cases, a miscarriage may not be nearly as traumatic. However, this would seem to be the exception, rather than the rule. Most men whose partner has a miscarriage do indeed react the same way emotionally as women do, even if they do not express those emotions.
In addition, while the actual miscarriage may not impact a man as directly as it does his partner, he is impacted in other ways. While his partner is struggling, he generally feels a great deal of care and concern for her. He may feel as though it is his job to try to cheer her up, for example. When this happens, it is possible that his partner may become upset, or feel like the miscarriage didn’t phase the man. Far from it, he is often just trying to help her cope with the situation the best that he knows how.
The most important factor in helping men get through a miscarriage is understanding. By being aware of how men react differently to loss, and by trying to understand the ways that men cope with loss, you can better help him through this difficult time.