When I got the news of her pregnancy, I sat down and took stock of my life. What kind of father might I be? There is no manual for that. Then came the news. What now?
Elizabeth Leis-Newman reports June 2012 in American Psychological Association (APA), “A myth surrounding miscarriage is that it does not affect men, says Mark Kiselica, PhD, vice provost and interim dean of the School of Education at the College of New Jersey. In Helping Men with the Trauma of Miscarriage, published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training in 2010, Kiselica and Martha Rinehart, PhD, looked at case studies of men whose partners had lost a baby. They found that the fathers’ sadness and grief were largely dismissed by others. They found that men often may mask their grief over a miscarriage as anger or depression after a miscarriage”.
“Men also grapple with the physical loss of their wives after a miscarriage, Kiselica and Swanson say. What I know from my own data, and working with support groups in counseling, is that miscarriage does a number on your sex life,” says Swanson, who has conducted support groups for couples who have miscarried. “For men it was, ‘When can I go back to her? I miss her.’ For women, it was, ‘If I never have sex again, I’ll die a happy woman.'”
“Swanson advises couples consciously separate “sex for fun and sex for function.” The first is to enjoy being intimate; the second is with the plan of becoming pregnant”.
“In addition, couples should be reminded that pregnancy hormones can continue to cause emotional turbulence, Swanson says. “Prior to the menstruation post-miscarriage, there is a physical component to the sadness where it almost feels like the sadness owns you,” Swanson says. “After the hormones get resettled, there is a shift and it will start to feel like you own the sadness.” (Kristen M. Swanson, RN, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina)
Men, take heart. Even though the last thing you want to do is to talk about it, you will do better if you do.
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