- Find comfort in each other
Please know you are not alone in this. Your spouse is experiencing grief as well. Find comfort in each other and the fact that you’re both feeling heartache. When you experience a tragedy, it can be easy to cut yourself off from those you love and try to cope with things on your own. Why do that when you have someone who can grieve with you? Let yourself feel the comfort your spouse can give you.
Don’t cut yourself off. It is okay, as stated in point one, to grieve in silence and to need space for a time. It is not okay, however, to remain distant for so long that you’re unreachable and that you’re neglecting important relationships in your life. You need to be able to come back to the people you love with a soft heart and a willingness to show empathy and compassion. You need to be able to comfort and be comforted, especially when it comes to your spouse.
- Recommit yourselves to your marriage.
Even though it may feel as if you’ve lost everything, you haven’t lost your spouse. Dig deep and find the strength to tell yourself that you’ve lost enough and you don’t need to lose your marriage, too. In the midst of sorrow and grief, it’s still possible to make your marriage a priority and to give your spouse time and affection. Don’t neglect what a precious gift your marriage is. Cling to it, cling to your spouse, and cling to the hope that things will get better.
How exactly do you recommit yourself to your marriage? Here are some simple ways to get back on the right track:
- Plan a date night and make it a non-negotiable weekly event
- After getting home from work, talk to each other, look one another in the eyes, and ask how the other person is doing
- Find a new hobby that you can do together—one that you both enjoy
- Set aside a time to truly talk.
Schedule a time to talk about what you’re both going through. If one of you is the type that doesn’t like to talk about things and closes off when there’s a tragedy, this is especially important. You NEED to talk about what just happened so that you can find hope and healing. Talking will bring you closer together and will help you know what stage of grief your spouse is in. It will help you both feel not so alone and it will give your soul a chance to feel a little more peace.
Talking about emotions is hard enough, but add a tragedy to the mix, and talking about how you feel gets even harder. It’s uncomfortable and awkward because you’re incredibly vulnerable when you let someone see what you’re thinking and feeling. Talking also helps you to admit out loud to someone else what you might not be ready to admit to yourself.
That’s why so many couples avoid communicating. And that’s exactly why scheduling a day, time, and place to talk is crucial—it helps you to verbalize what you’re feeling even if you feel uncomfortable doing so. If simply setting aside the time to talk to your spouse is what could keep your marriage from breaking apart, it’s worth the discomfort and potential awkwardness. Don’t let your fear of being vulnerable get in the way of making your marriage into something beautiful.
At LIFE Marriage Retreats we work with many couples struggling with the after affects of tragedy who have lost their connection to one another and their marriage. A key to remember as you work through the inevitable challenges and losses in life is that as you lean on and support each other in healthy, you will develop new-found strength and trust in your marriage, and the way forward to new light and happiness.