Recently I've noticed that while I might be coping slightly *better* with Aidan's death, my husband seems to be having an increasingly rough time with it. I'm not sure exactly why this is. It could be due to many things. For example, since I now work evenings 4 days a week, my husband comes home from work, prepares his own dinner and then sits around by himself for a few hours before I get home. Moping around by yourself in the early darkness of fall is not the most uplifting thing in the world.
It could also be the often referred to idea that only one half of a partnership is *allowed* to fall apart at a time. I remember hearing this old adage when my friend's cousin died. Her parents were a mess for months and then as they started to 'feel better', their son started to have an increasingly difficult time with his sister's death. It's like he was just waiting to have his time to grieve when he knew his parents would be stronger to support him. If this is the case with my husband, I'm okay with it. I do feel stronger now. Strong enough to do more of the housework, more of the 'hey let's go out and do something fun today!' prodding, and strong enough to just let him mope if that's what he needs to do, without it totally consuming me. I'm sad still too...but I'm finding it easier to pick myself up after a day or two of wallowing and move on. If my husband is needing help with this right now, I can deal with that.
It could be that as we wade back into the 'trying for another baby' drama, (up to and possibly including medical assistance) Brian is finding it difficult to face another pregnancy. Aidan's pregnancy was HARD on my poor hubby. Possibly harder on him than me. While I was the one laying on the bathroom floor bleeding, he was the one who had to stand by, watch and worry. He was the one who had to rush me to Emerg multiple times. He was the one who had to continue cooking, cleaning, shopping and generally 'keeping it together' while working 45+ hours a week. All while also worrying about what was going on with me and the baby at home. It would not be unreasonable to think that he might have a little Post Traumatic Stress after dealing with that for months.
I do feel lucky that my husband confides in me and tells me what he's feeling for the most part. We know each other well enough that I can instantly tell just by the way he moves or the tone of his voice if he's sad or not, so he can't really fool me. Plus, Brian pretty much blocks out his family or friends regarding anything that's bothering him...so if he's going to talk, I'm it. He's not always forth coming with me, but he will admit when he's had a rough day and will sometimes admit what triggered it. I know a lot of men out there won't share this with anyone. I'm not sure why, or what methods someone could use to draw this out. I wonder if counsellors stock up on brain teasers or other mental puzzles to keep themselves occupied during those initial sessions with a grieving man. I'm pretty sure those 'talks' must be pretty damn quiet.
I wish I could make things easier for him. I wish I could promise him that things will be better in the future. I wish I could make it so he didn't have to hurt. But I can't. I just have to wait until easier, better and less painful arrive.
We'll just have to hold hands and wait together.
How do you hold each other up? Is it working? Do you find it difficult to be what your partner needs?