Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lessons on Suffering and Marriage

I know Melissa has already briefly shared about the miscarriage that happened about a month ago now. I'd like to take a few moments to share some thoughts of what we have learned throughout the last month in regards to marriage, faith and dealing with the emotions of a miscarriages.

One thing that we have both commented on a couple of times over the past month is how fertility issues and miscarriages are things that some couples get divorced over. After experiencing both first hand, I can totally see why. Both create many stirring emotions in you and your spouse that can feel pretty overwhelming. We have both also found it really difficult because it's this weird in-between place concerning death.

What I mean by that is on the one hand we lost a baby. A life that once was, is no longer here on earth. But on the other hand it's really hard to fully comprehend because we never physically saw anything, never heard a heart beat and never held a baby in our arms. It's almost this weird feeling of losing something you never had, which makes it really hard to articulate and fully comprehend (which, when it comes to emotions, is something I have a hard time with in general).

With emotions this high, it is completely natural to experience blow ups and break downs at some point along the way (of which we had both). It's almost impossible to avoid with such heavy situations happening. We both had to be quick to forgive and figure out how to patient with one another during the process of mourning and coping.

Given the high emotions, I think the other thing that we have had to catch ourselves with is the aspect of putting blame on one another. It sounds bad but it's a reality...and I'd venture to guess one of the big reasons things like this cause so much marital strife. When dealing with suffering, it's only natural to want to explain it, figure it out and understand why it happened. Sometimes, the fact that it just simply did, isn't good enough. But, it's the truth! It's not one person's fault (usually - unless irresponsible behavior is involved) and communicating blame will not only be misplaced but simply an emotional response you will later regret.

The last thing that has been difficult is focusing our attention forward and thinking about trying again. "Do we really want to put ourselves through this again?" "What if we have another miscarriage?" "What if we don't get pregnant this time?" All of these questions have raced through our heads over the last month and continue to sit at the forefront of our minds. The reality is, all those questions are valid. We might get hurt again. We might not get pregnant. But, living life involves risk. If you never put your foot forward because you are afraid to fall, you won't go anywhere!

The important thing is that, no matter what, we have one another. If you are struggling through any difficult time, let alone fertility issues, I think the biggest thing I have learned is the importance of doing the best we can to remain a team and to look out for one another.



  1. I appreciate how you described your experience - I know everybody experiences it differently, but those larger issues are often the same. Remaining a team would be my #1 recommendation as well. While we certainly drew a lot of strength from those around us, it helped when we recognized that our losses were only truly our own - nobody experienced it like we had. I think a big factor in nurturing our relationship was that following both of our miscarriages, we went away. The first time was by chance - we miscarried less than 1 week before we were due to be at a distant family wedding, around which we had planned our vacation. We went, and after the wedding, on our adventures alone, created something of a safe haven for our relationship. The second time, knowing how much it had helped the first time, we simply went to a cottage for a weekend. It helped us realize we still had each other and that we would be okay.
    You two are in my thoughts & prayers as you are on this journey.

  2. Hey Jake,

    My wife and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage and it was unbelievably painful. But...if we hadn't lost that first one we would never had Danae who was born about 11 months after the miscarriage. In fact, it's likely we wouldn't have had any of our four children. So, without the pain of the first get the idea. Today is our 33rd anniversary and I can't imagine not having these four kids in our lives.
    Blessings on you and Melissa!


Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.