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Question of the Month
Intimacy After Loss ~ Since my baby died, I no longer have the desire to be intimate with my husband. He's being very patient, but I know he wants to make love. It's been months, but making love is how we got into this situation and somehow, it feels wrong to want to feel joy right now. What can I do?

Marilyn HeavilinMarilyn Heavilin

Your situation is very understandable and very common. Make sure your husband understands it is not him you are pulling away from. Let him know the things you would like. Perhaps cuddling and touching would help you become comfortable with the intimacy again. Are you afraid of getting pregnant again? If so, be sure to talk with you husband about your fears. Even though you most likely want another child eventually, you may need to use a contraceptive for right now. That may help you relax and enjoy being with your husband if you don't have to worry about getting pregnant right away.

I can remember feeling guilty the first time I laughed after my child died. This is a normal reaction, but there will come a time when you need to give yourself permission to enjoy life again. While you do not find comfort in such intimacy, my guess is your husband needs to know that life can go on and that you still have sexual feelings for him. I remember the first time my husband and I were intimate after the death of our 7 week old little boy, I cried. That is OK, too. Just make sure you let your husband know how you are feeling. I have found we begin to heal when we can move past our own pain and be concerned about someone else's pain.

Much love,
Marilyn Heavilin

Sherokee IlseSherokee Ilse

Yes, many of us have been there. Intimacy did get us into this situation. So did love. Remember the love - the love for your partner and how you used to express that, including sexually. The love for your baby, which despite the unhappy outcome, is unending. The love yet to come if you are fortunate enough to have another child.

Focus on the happiness you (both) need and deserve, the intimacy that can bring you comfort if you allow it, and your relationship which is what you have right now. I know, this is all easier said than done, but I wish someone had pointed out these things to me. Maybe I would have been quicker to resume our close relationship, rather than stretching out the bad, tough and lonely moments and days.

Don't do things to hurt your relationship more if you can help it. Don't punish yourself because your baby died. You already hurt enough. Instead cherish each other and rekindle what was there before. You can start slowly if you need to, with hugs and cuddling. Let your partner know that this is hard for you and why. But then push yourself beyond your comfort zone. You and your partner need each other now in many and all ways. Work up to this if necessary, but do work on a positive attitude. Open your heart and your mind to each other and keep talking through it all. You are too important to each other to do anything less.


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