Few things affect my Houston marriage therapy patients more than having one or both of their parents die.
It’s completely understandable. These are the people who have always been there for you no matter what, and it can seem like they’re going to live forever. Many people can’t quite comprehend what life will be like without them. In dealing with their parents’ deaths, people go through a wide range of emotions and behaviors, and may end up in a prolonged depression, become manic, or suddenly want to change their lifestyle as they face the prospect of their own mortality.
For their spouse, this can be just as trying as he or she attempts to be as respectful and understanding as possible, while still fighting to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives. Tensions can grow on both sides over time as the person grieving resents this “normalcy,” and the spouse becomes weary of the unexpected mood swings and trying to hold things together. Relationship issues aren’t uncommon.
Learn to Talk to Each Other in Houston Marriage Therapy
The key to surviving something like this is empathy – on both sides. In my sessions, I try to get both spouses to recognize what the other is going through and understand that many of their relationship issues are due to the fact that they aren’t communicating about their experiences.
Grieving spouses don’t have to be alone – their husbands or wives usually want to help them get through this grieving period, but that’s not possible unless they let them in. Moreover, opening yourself up in this way allows them to get a glimpse into where you are in the grieving process so that they can better know how they should behave around you.
It’s also vital for the person grieving to talk to their spouse so that they can see how much that person is trying to help and support them – even if that support is less emotional and more about keeping their lives functioning. Eventually, things have to return to normal – or at least some version of it – but engaging in this process together will make it happen much faster.
Couples who have tried talking to each other to work through their grief over a lost parent and don’t feel like they’re getting anywhere shouldn’t lose hope. Houston marriage therapy can help if you give us a call.