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hubby not coping with termination

(14 Posts)
phanie Tue 04-Jul-06 08:32:37


sorry...this is going to be a bit long...too much to get off my chest...
I gave birth last month to our little baby daughter. We had to ha ve a termination at 26 weeks after we found out she has a genetic disorder.

Everyday feels different and I never know whether I'm going to be okay or not.
I'm finding it very difficult to cope with hubby's reluctance to talk about it. He gets really sad at times but his sadness turns into anger. He gets stroppy about so many things and blames me for really silly stuff.
I've told him i felt he wasn't dealing with what hapenned and that it came out with on-going nagging. He acknowledges it but doesn't do anything to get better.
He blames me for being sad all the time which i feel is unfair because I'm doing my best not to show him how sad i am and how often i cry.
I am seeing a coucellor, he says he doesn't have time for this. The sessions always turn out talking about him and his grief.
I know i should get on with my own grief but i feel we're slowly drifting apart.
We used to be so close and we're still very much in love but i just can't cope with his bad temper and his patronising attitude towards my grief.
I love him dearly but this is a bit too much to bear. I know it sounds silly but i miss my little girl so much and i have so much love to give, i can't stand being rejected like that.
I an see hubby's really suffering.
Anyone been through anything similar?

moondog Tue 04-Jul-06 08:35:04

Oh Phanie,you poor thing.I'm so sorry for you both.

I don't really know what to say,but I know many MNers have been in a similarly tragic situation and will I'm sure be able to offer you practical and emotional support.

KristinaM Tue 04-Jul-06 08:37:37

so sorry too

others will be along soon who can help i am sure

anorak Tue 04-Jul-06 08:43:50

Hi Phanie. I can't speak from experience regarding the circumstances, but most of us know the feeling of grief. It sounds to me as if hiding your feelings from him might be a mistake. Perhaps there is a part of him that can't understand why he doesn't see you grieving too? I know he has blamed you for 'being sad all the time' but I wouldn't take notice of that, he's just lashing out, it doesn't make any sense. I would be more inclined to think that he thinks you don't care enough if you are doing so well with hiding your feelings. His own overwhelming sadness might feel irritating and weak to him when you are seemingly coping better.

I would try pouring your real feelings out to him and having a few good cries, screams, whatever helps the most, and let him have a turn at supporting you. It will make him feel better.

cupcakes Tue 04-Jul-06 08:46:12

I'm so sorry, phanie. I don't have any practical advise but just wanted to say that a month is such a short period of time and maybe in a little while he'll be able to face his grief and talk about it with you.

phanie Tue 04-Jul-06 08:52:25

thank you all for your messages.
I've expressed my feelings to him and the first two weeks i was crying in front of him.
He says that he can't cope with his own grief and mine together.
I think he feels he has to cope for both of us, wich is probably a very protective and well meaning attitude but he tries to burry our grief.
But i think you;re right, i need to express my grief.
Loads of hugs

Marina Tue 04-Jul-06 09:30:36

phanie, I am so sorry you had to terminate your pregnancy because of your daughter's genetic disorder. I hope you got sensitive and caring treatment at the hospital, and have been referred for aftercare such as genetic counselling.
Did the hospital refer you and dh to SANDS ? This organisation exists to provide support and friendship to parents whose baby dies before, during or shortly after birth for whatever reason. They have a network of local branches and some are very active, offering monthly meetings and a befriending service. The Head Office will be able to tell you more and they are so kind there.
Unfortunately I think what is happening to you both now is very common. The hardest year of my marriage was the year after our son Tom died in the womb at 21 weeks and had to be induced. I grieved - dh painted patio doors and was blatantly, almost insultingly desperate to try and carry on as normal. I think this is how a lot of men try to cope in the aftermath of a dreadful experience such as yours, and it can be very, very hard to deal with.
We were lucky to have the wonderful support of friends who had experienced a stillbirth and a neonatal death in their time, and the mum said to me at Tom's funeral that grief was like flu - if you both have it, other people need to help look after you both. It is almost impossible to get through bereavement day to day without getting support from outside the couple.
Women know this of course - you are getting counselling, which is what I did too, and although it was painful to start with, I stuck with it.
My counsellor, a psychotherapist by training, helped me with not only my feelings, but also gave me some valuable insights into why dh and also my mother (whose response to Tom's death was very upsetting)were reacting the way they did. But they didn't dominate our sessions and your counsellor should help you strike a balance.
Every word of your first post rang horribly true for me I feel for you both so much. Dh and I almost went over the edge after Tom died. All I can say is, don't take his response personally to you, keep talking as far as you can, express your grief as you see fit, and see if SANDS can help. Unsurprisingly, most of its volunteers are women, but there are men involved in the organisation who have written books, articles etc about being a bereaved father.
Sending you lots of love and thinking of you all at this wretched time. You may not believe it now, but couples can and do survive the trauma of stillbirth. You don't "get over it" IME, but the loss and the sadness become liveable with over time, believe me. It will be four years for us in August and although we still miss Tom greatly, life is also very good for much of the time. XXX

KristinaM Tue 04-Jul-06 10:15:00

The child bereavement trust have a number of leaflets you can download as PDFs. one is on the different ways men and women grieve. you might find it helpful


NotAnOtter Tue 04-Jul-06 10:16:45

sorry i cant help but hugs to you both

majormoo Tue 04-Jul-06 14:46:25

phanie. Sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter.

I wondered if you have you spoken to Arc yet? They are a charity that helps couples through the antenatal testing process, including support following terminations. Your hospital should have given you their details.The email address is I know about them having ended a pregnancy last year at 13 weeks for Trisomy 13.

The grieving process takes a long time, and as others have said, it is hard to support one another when you are both struggling. Arc has an email support group for fathers as well as mothers, so maybe you could suggest your partner tries contacting them?

It is coming up to a year since we lost our daughter. I do still find it searingly painful sometimes, but most of the time it is OK. I think you are doing the right thing having counselling-it has certainly helped me.

Anway take care of yourself. The process you are going through is just awful, but you do just have to go with the flow and get through it. I really think many people who have dealt with bereavement of any kind can identify with what you are saying.

RachelRose Tue 11-Jul-06 22:07:41


I know this is a late reply, but I just wanted to add my thoughts for you. Sorry you are going through such a hard time. We also had to terminate at 21 weeks because of a genetic abnormality. This was 7 months ago now and we are starting to feel more normal now and having fun like we used to - but it does take time.

My husband was similar in that he didn't appear to think about it then he would get sad, then he would adopt a 'its for the best' attitude. I think he just struggled with the whole thing.

But I just wanted to say it does get better over time, but try not to beat each other up while you get there. I found keeping a person diary really helped so I could write down my thoughts and not have to worry how it came out.

Take care of yourself

WestCountryLass Wed 12-Jul-06 23:05:15

I am a befriender for a charity called ARC (Antental results and Choices) which offers support to parents who are told their unborn baby has an abnormality. Ultimately the charity supports parents who are going or who ahve goen through what you have. Their contact details are here:

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter and I hope you and your DH both get the support you need.

AnnemarieDee Mon 27-Oct-08 21:13:51

Hi Phanie, Im 22 weeks pregnant and have been told that the vital part of my babys brain has not formed and i have been offered a termination, me and my partner hav decide that it was best to not carry on with the pregnancy. Im really worried as my partner has got very angry to he always shouts at me. i go in tomorrow to get induced. But we have decide that we are going to name the baby and the doctor said we can have a service for him. But im so worried that this will split my partner and me up. I love him and cant bear to lose him.

Chooster Tue 28-Oct-08 20:38:55

Hi AnneMarie - How are you? If I read your post correctly then you have gone in for your termination today. I am so sorry this is all happening for you sad.

I too made the same decision in 2005 when my son was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disorder. It was an agonising time and DH and I did struggle to communite properly at the time. We were just dealing with it in different ways. So sorry that DP is not being as supportive as he needs to be, and even though you know the anger is his way of expressing his sadness it doesn't really help does it.

But it did get much better over time and we slowly started to deal with the situation calmly and talked about it better. I did write a diary as I felt I could get all my thoughts out without 'burdening' anyone (although in hindsight I think my friends would have rather I had opened up a bit more to them). And perhaps in a quiet moment you could say to DH that you know he is sad too, but his anger doesn't help either of you. Is there something else he can physically do to release some of his anger and frustration?

Try not to worry too much about your relationship, it will get back on an even keel again, just concentrate for now on your son and dealing with your grief. Did you name him?

Let us know how you are?

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