Miscarriage Changed Everything

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 months. He has 3 kids from a previous relationship, and 5 months ago we suffered a miscarriage [my first pregnancy]. Since then I have been really withdrawn from him. We constantly argue about everything. He acts nonchalant as if it doesn't matter but he says he's distraught over it. I have tried to reason with him and be more considerate with his feelings and opinions, but it's like it's more of my fault. Can this relationship be saved? I REALLY do love him. -- Nicole, 24

Dr. Susan: First, let me offer my condolences on your loss. It has to take time for both of you to recover. However, it sounds like you two haven't been together long enough to know how to deal with such major stuff in a productive way. Not only are you having to handle normal grief, but you're having to learn how to disagree, give each other space, and have compassion for one another's style of coping. It almost sounds as though one or both of you are turning your sadness and hurt into anger aimed at the other.

I would recommend sitting down with him to talk, giving each other a chance to speak from the heart, without trying to affix blame. If you love one another, there's a good chance you can fix this relationship. Try not to rush into another pregnancy until you both "get" each other better, and you're both ready to make a long-term commitment. After all, having a child will compound any and all stresses you already feel.

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