Dear Abby: My partner and I have just suffered a miscarriage. It was our first pregnancy, and even though it wasn’t planned, it was very much wanted. Now that I have recovered from the miscarriage and passed my medical clearances, I have noticed a significant increase in arguments. I know it’s happening because we are both still grieving. However, it almost feels like he is trying to push me away.
I do my best to reassure him every day that we will get through this together, and I try my hardest to make sure he knows how loved he is. I’m also working on acknowledging that his healing path will be different from mine. I give him space and have assumed more household duties to take some pressure off him. None of it seems to make a difference.
I’m struggling with how to address my concerns about us coming apart at the seams while still allowing him his space to heal. I also struggle with giving him advice when he asks for it. Because I had to physically go through it, my reactions and methods of healing are substantially different than his. That said, I don’t want to minimize his grief or feelings when we talk. What more can I do?
—Going Forward in Washington
Dear Going Forward: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your pregnancy, which has been traumatic for both you and your partner. I agree that couples don’t necessarily grieve in unison, if that’s what’s going on. Because you have been doing everything you can to lighten the load on your partner and nothing has worked, consider consulting a licensed psychotherapist to help you both navigate more effectively through this painful time.
Dear Abby: I have been retired for more than 10 years and living in a city I no longer like. I’m alone and have very little means. I’m so tired of just being here and not doing anything. When I tell friends I want to relocate, they always remind me that it’s expensive and advise me not to do it. Abby, it’s expensive living where I am now.
I thought I’d just take a chance and see if I can get a job right away in a new area. What do you think? I’m depressed and despondent all the time. I feel like I have absolutely nothing to look forward to. I think I could have a chance of finding work somewhere else. Could you please advise me?
—Displaced in Arizona
Dear Displaced: Boredom and depression are not the same. If you feel you have nothing meaningful to do, first explore what is available in the city in which you live. If you are depressed, discuss it with a physician to see if some sessions with a psychologist or medication would help. I caution you against moving to a new community with no emotional support system in place, hoping you can find employment. You could wind up more depressed and despondent than you already are.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.