Bend Couples Counselor Says Losing a Parent Can Cause Relationship Strife

June 15, 2012 by

Bend Couples Counselor Says Losing a Parent Can Cause Relationship Strife

As a Bend couples counselor, I know that losing someone is never easy, whether it’s a coworker, a friend, or a relative. But some deaths hit really close to home, and losing a parent can really take you – and your partner – through the wringer. In fact, short of losing a child, there are few losses that can lead to more relationship problems than the death of a parent.

Bend Couples Counselor: Confront Grief, Not Your Spouse

Grief is a tricky thing – one that everyone handles differently, and one that is unique to the person for whom you are grieving. Parent-child relationships are often so complicated that you might not even understand what you are feeling at first, or may not be able to deal with the confusing mix of emotions that may pop up – sadness, fear, anger, disappointment, abandonment. With this maelstrom whirling around inside, it’s no wonder that many couples go through relationship problems.

If it’s your parent who has died, you owe it to yourself to go through the grieving process instead of putting it off and trying to remain strong. As a Bend couples counselor, I can tell you that all this will do is cause friction between you and your spouse as the intense emotions you’re trying to prevent burst through and cause fights.

And if you are trying to support your spouse through his or her grief, try to be accepting and understanding – even if it seems like everything you do causes you to get yelled at. Make sure they know that you are there to help them or listen to them when they need it, but otherwise allow them to make the first move, because any “encouragement” you offer may seem like pushing to them and will only reinforce the fact that there is no way for you do fully understand what they are going through.

The only healthy way through a time like this requires patience and understanding on both sides. If, however, you feel you need professional assistance, talk to a Bend couples counselor.