Chapter 5: How your loss may affect your relationships with others

Your partner or spouse

I've been there
Kimberley speaks about making difficult decisions as a couple for Ethan's care. (3:22)Video transcript
The grief expert says
Carol speaks about how everyone grieves differently and about the importance of partners being open and honest with one another about grief.(3:22)Video transcript

Not being honest and open can hurt the relationships with other people in your life.

If you have a partner or spouse, parts of your grief may feel “in sync,” and you may have a sense of an increased bond while you navigate a difficult time together. However, there may also be times when you feel frustrated by your partner’s demonstration – or lack of demonstration – of grief.

Whether you were carrying the pregnancy or are the non-pregnant partner, you will be experiencing this loss, but there are likely to be differences between you and your partner. It’s also possible that you feel disappointed because they haven’t been intuitively aware of your feelings.


Each of you may feel the effects of your loss at different times, and you may express your grief in different ways. Although you may want to support one another, there may be times where you feel a distance due to lack of understanding. This is normal and can usually be resolved with communication and time.

What may help

  • Make time to talk about how each of you is doing and what each of you needs. You will also need this open communication as you navigate future family planning decisions.
  • No matter how “in tune” the two of you usually are, you will not always be able to “be there for each other.” It’s important to have other supports, especially on really difficult days.
  • If you and your partner are struggling or feel “stuck,” consider professional counselling to provide you with support and ways to address the areas of your relationship that may need extra attention during this challenging time.
  • Consider joining a local or online support group for early pregnancy or perinatal loss, or for pregnancy after loss. See the Resources section.