Friday, August 13, 2010


Our marriage has always been based on trust and mutual respect, you know two very important ingredients to make any relationship flourish. We are opposites, I the creative somewhat extroverted one- expressive, and he the logical introvert-the thinker. There is balance to our opposite natures, we are good for each other. We've also had some huge fights over the years, trying to make sense of where the other is coming from, again I think like any relationship, sometimes you have to work at it. We have an old house that we are remodeling and by remodeling I mean gutting old plaster walls, re-designing and starting over completely. We've been doing this since the day we got married and we still have a few years ahead of us. Remodeling was tough on our marriage. I didn't agree with the way in which he went about doing it, deciding he'd start a project without first finishing another and/or not covering furniture in the room where he went on a whim and created saw dust or plaster dust. We saw each other through sore backs and various minor injuries. At times I resented the fact that other people were out having fun while we were constantly working on our house. We thought it would be fun to buy old houses, fix them up and flip them. Never again. This was our life.

I was the strong career woman who really didn't need anybody but who loved her husband, and agreed to a more domestic lifestyle, who vacillated between wanting to be a mom and being unsure of parenthood but decided to give him that gift (if I could get pregnant) because his love changed me. I wanted it all and I would find a way to pursue my dreams and be a mom, I was driven like that.

He was mostly satisfied, he had everything he wanted. The classic car, a house he dreamed of fixing up, the wife, a job he mostly enjoyed. He didn't need anything else but he desired to be a father more than I can begin to imagine.

Marriage felt like a true partnership. We both worked hard contributing to the bills and housework. We had about the same desire for going out with friends, how we spent our date nights and we even shared the same level of desire for sex.

All of that has changed now. In the beginning, just after Audrey died we became so much closer than we'd ever been. Holding each other and crying night after night. We were so gentle and kind to one another, always checking in and asking the other how we were really doing. Slowly that began to change. I quit my job to start my business (with his full support). He continued on in his and virtually went back to life as usual. I worried more about him dying in an accident than I ever did before. He started working later. I was home alone to grieve. I got more and more depressed, in fact suicidal and he got more and more busy. It was like overnight there were miles between us. After seeing me cry and hearing about the depths of my soul for months, he no longer needed to ask, he already knew I wasn't okay. So we stopped talking about her for the most part. I went from feeling like our marriage had never been stronger to imagining that it was all about to fall apart. I became insecure, convinced he was having an affair with a girl at work. I based this off an interaction between her and I and he was working late and not calling. I was sure that I was no longer enough for him. I wasn't making about the same salary as he does anymore. Thus making me feel like I wasn't pulling my weight. When I wasn't busy with my business I didn't do anything. I couldn't cook, couldn't get the laundry caught up, I could barely manage to shower let alone be anywhere close to being the wife I once was. I hated myself. I hated my body for not carrying Audrey to term. I hated my reaction to the grief. I still hate how needy I've become. I felt like I failed my husband and he certainly deserved better than me. I began dreaming of him and the girl from work. I told him about the first few dreams in hopes he would offer enough validation and reassurance to obliterate my notion. But he didn't. He also didn't display any behavior of guilt either. I would say to myself that I'm being ridiculous and days would go by that I wouldn't think about it. Then I'd be greeted in the night with another dream of him leaving me or just indulging himself with her. I started to question everything inside, feeling like I can't trust anyone not even my own husband.

We are distant. To anyone looking from the outside I'm sure we seem fine. But inside there is distance. We talked about it just a few days ago, as we have before. We don't know how to fix it but to continue to talk about it, be honest about it. I think if it were up to him there would be nothing to talk about. That's just his style, it always has been. He said he feels sad from time to time about Audrey and that he doesn't like the distance between us. I just pray. I've told Jamie and God how insecure I feel about our marriage and all that I need. I guess I either wait and heal or wait and hear.
I can't speak for him but I think it helps a little that I'm not depressed anymore and I have wanted to go out and do things together. It's in the moments that resemble the old us that I feel closer.
In a season of grief I think the hardest part for the marriage is that the needs of each person can not always be met. As we each change from this tragedy so do our needs. I guess that's why we feel like there is no one answer to fix the distance. We must figure out our new marriage identity together. I think for us first we have to figure things out about ourselves, at least I hope that is the direction of all this chaos. He is now searching for a new job and trying to sell his car. As much as he seems the same he too is different, just not as able to express himself as I do about all of it.
I'm not driven for a career any longer. I want to simply work at my business to earn enough money to be comfortable. I want to live-that simple. I want to raise children and find ways to be happy in the midst of this hole that will remain in my heart for Audrey.
The fights we once had we'll have no more. I could care less how he goes about home repairs. I no longer resent others who are out having fun while we work on our I am just glad we have one because that is ALL we have. I know I certainly have a better understanding of love. I don't want to be right anymore in a disagreement, just come to a solution. I don't want him to do things my way. I just want the respect and trust to grow more in our relationship. I just want to stay together. I just want to love deeper and better. It's simple really- what I want- but it doesn't always come so easy.

This is my long answer to the question, "How has your marriage been affected by the death of Audrey?" asked by Heather at Dead Baby Club


  1. WOW. This post is going to help SO MANY blms. i have gotten a few questions to 'my two cents' on marriage and being friends with women. I believe a part of us feeling like we 'failed the babies' is we 'failed the husbands' too. it is just our own insecurities that play into our everyday lives. MIchelle there is not a 90% divorce rate after a death of a child for no reason. I think you and your husband are doing it the MOST healthiest way and that is by talking it out and coming to solutions and doing things together and just being grateful for each other. i have learned at times to agree to disagree about the grieving. i just asked anthony yesterday "do you still cry?" as you know yesterday was a BAD day for me. his response 'no i dont i am sad but i dont cry" and i was SOOO jealous of him for being able to do that and even say that without the guilt. I will pray for you guys and for him and his new job. This has also let me see i just want the simple things in life. when i was in my early 20s money was a big thing. now as long as i have a LIVING baby one day and a roof over our head and LOVE I will have ALL OF IT...strangely I have learned what is important to me NOW...xoxoxo...

  2. Gosh, this topic is not really spoken of but it is so real. The changes one undertakes when loosing a child is just tremendous.
    I am happy that you both are communicating. Right now I feel like my husband and I are in different places, it makes me sad but I know somehow we will work through this. I hope the same for you. ((HUGS))

  3. I hope that you and your husband can find a common ground again. The parts about the house made me smile, Ben and I renovated a 1895 heritage house before we moved away from the city and our personalities sound the same as you and your husband.


  4. Your post really resonates. I have been through similar feelings and thoughts with my marriage too. We are in a better place, mostly because we force one another to talk...but that is still VERY hard to do. Thank you for being so open.