Can a marriage survive the loss of a child?

After Joseph died, in the weeks that followed, when I scoured the internet for as much information as possible about stillbirth, searching for the answers on how to survive such a loss, seeking out help and support from those who had been through the same, the scariest thing I remember reading was this,

80% of marriages end in divorce following the loss of a child. 

And I can still remember reeling from that statistic, wondering how, when you have been through the worst thing that could possibly happen to you as a couple, you would allow it to come between you, to break you at a time when you needed each other the most. I remember reassuring myself that it would never happen to us, that our marriage was stronger than that, that we would never allow our loss to shatter the remaining fragments of the family we had worked so hard to achieve.

And yet at twenty six years old, and Lewis just two, we were thrust into a world of grief and left to blindly navigate our way through. And at first we managed as best we could, both a little shell shocked, both heartbroken and devastated at having to say goodbye to a child whom we had loved and longed for, both scared and afraid of what the future held, both leaning on each other to simply get through each day.

Those first few weeks were a blur. If you asked me to tell you how we filled our days, the places we went, the conversations we shared, the moments we spent together, I honestly couldn’t tell youIf you asked me to tell you how we supported each other through that time, our discussions about the enormity of what had happened, the ways in which we coped with the overwhelming feelings of loss, I’m not sure that I could remember. Because when I look back on those days, the hardest, more difficult time of our life no doubt, I just felt helpless. I felt heartbroken, angry, alone. I felt as though every second of every day without Joseph was a moment too long.

I think that everyone who has experienced grief, and particularly those who have lost a child, will agree that grief changes you indefinitely. And you may not even realise it at first, in yourself or in your partner; you may cling to the hope that one of these days you will wake up and everything will be exactly as it should be, that you will look at each other and see past the grief and the loss and be the same couple you were on that bright Summers day before your whole world came crashing down. And yet slowly but surely, as the weeks turn to months, you realise that grief has taken you on two very different paths, in complete opposite directions, and the road back to each other seems laden with hurdles.

It is only now, with hindsight, I realise that grief is such a personal journey and, should you grieve differently, as indeed we all do, it takes great strength and understanding to allow your partner to make that journey without you. My ex husband and I grieved very differently, despite the loss that we shared and the love that we felt, and I think that was the point where our marriage began to falter.

Where as I wanted to re-live every moment of our time with Joseph, pouring over photographs, clinging on to every detail, going over every second of our time together, my ex husband needed to place his focus elsewhere, to put his head down and get through each day as best he could, escaping from the devastating reality that our family had irreversibly changed, that our life together was no longer the one we had planned.

Infact, in the weeks that followed, he had ripped out our entire kitchen, unleashing his anger with a sledge hammer to the units, smashing them into pieces in the back garden, lugging pieces back and forth to the tip. And for the next few weeks he had shut himself away in the kitchen and, slowly but methodically, built a new kitchen from scratch.

And if truth be told, I resented him for that. I resented that whilst I lay in bed breaking my heart, drowning under the weight of our loss, he was hammering away down there, the radio blaring, burying his grief in the only way that he knew how. And over the following year, as we survived our first Christmas without Joseph, celebrated Lewis’s third birthday, took our annual family holiday, as we tried, and failed, to have another baby to help heal our pain, the rift between us became more and more apparent.

And all of a sudden that statistic became a frightening reality.

When our marriage ended, just two years after Joseph’s death, it was very easy for me to point the finger of blame. It was easy for me, as the heartbroken wife, to list the number of ways in which I felt my husband had failed me. It was easy for me, so caught up in my own battles, to forget that I too was just as guilty as he.

I look back now and wonder how many times over those two years did I ask how he was feeling? How many times did I push aside my own grief to be strong for him, how many times did I allow him to lean on me, to break down and cry? How often did I notice just how far away I had pushed him in order to do what I needed to do to survive the hardest time of my life? How often did I realise that his loss was just as devastating as mine?

Because when I look back to that time, to those two years when we had tried so hard to hold it together, I realise that ultimately our loss was simply too big for the both of us. Instead of seeking comfort in each other, we had shut each other out, knowing that when we looked into each other’s eyes we saw nothing but sadness and grief, a reminder of all that we had lost. Every day that we spent together, a family of three, we were painfully aware of the son who was missing, the milestones we would never see, the moments we would never share, and being together simply perpetuated that grief.

It is very hard to imagine how our lives would have panned out had Joseph lived, whether we would have lived our lives as a family of four, never knowing such sadness, never experiencing such loss. I suspect that our marriage would have failed regardless, defeated at the next hurdle, unable to find a way forward as time, and we as people, evolved.

And given that both I and my ex husband have since remarried and had children, perhaps this is how our lives were supposed to pan out. Perhaps the truth is that this was simply the path we had to take in order to reach a point where everything was exactly as it should be – loss, heartbreak, struggles and all.

To those who have lost a child and are looking for answers, I would love to share with you the key to survival, to give you the answers as to why some marriages fail and others survive. I would love to tell you that all it takes is to simply communicate more, to be honest and open, to share when you are struggling, when you are angry and hurt, when you feel resentful and confused, when you need comfort, when you need space, when you need nothing at all but to be held, to be understood.

I would love to tell you that therapy is the answer, that counselling will get you through, that being kind, being supportive, being selfless is all that it takes, that, at the end of the day, love will be enough. And yet the truth is, none of us know how losing a child will affect our relationship, nobody can foresee how, when the unthinkable happens, you will fare against the wildest of storms. Nobody knows what the future has is store, nor the path that our lives are destined to follow.

What I will say is that when you’re faced with the greatest battle you will ever come up against, when you’re holding on for dear life, literally clinging on with everything you’ve got, hold on to each other and have faith that whatever happens, together or apart, you will weather the storm, you will survive it, and no matter how your story ends, a rainbow will always follow.

 

ethannevelyn.com
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155 Comments

  1. Laura
    August 9, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    What an emotional read. I completely get this. I lost my dad and I have never been the same since. My husband waa my rock through it all but still I suffer from the scars that I carry which will never fully heal. We also lost a baby via a miscarriage and again I turned to my husband to keep me standing. He grieves very differently to me and keeps it all in whereas I share and share. I can definitely see how if you are both grieving together for the loss of a child it would be so easy to slip away from each other. I disagree with the last statement you make though. You cannot place blame where grief is. I understand what you mean but neither of you are to blame; cicumstance is. Would you have really been able to cope in anyother way? If not then it is not a chosen course and blame cannot be placed.

    • Laura Dove
      August 9, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage and your dad, it definitely puts any relationship to the test when you are both grieving very differently. I wish I had known then what I know now, I think I took it very personally that we grieved in different ways, and he took it personally that I pushed him away, I guess we were both very young and completely clueless as to how to survive our loss. You’re right, I think I did blame myself for a long time, and him too initially, where as really it was just circumstance, and ultimately it led us to where we are today. Thank you so much for reading. xxx

  2. August 9, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    What a beautifully honest & courageous post Laura. It is so true that grief is a personal journey, and it isn’t hard to see how two people can lose one another in the midst of their devastation and heartache. The truth is we never really know how our lives will turn out, or the people we will become; and not all those who start out together will end up in the same place. Well done for sharing your story, no doubt it will bring comfort & reassurance to many xxx

    • Laura Dove
      August 9, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you Laura. It’s so hard isn’t it? We had been together since we were 18 and the people we became after Joseph were not the same people we were when we had married just two years earlier. Thankfully we have a good relationship now, we are both happy in our marriages and blessed with our rainbows, and I’m proud that we can be good parents to Lewis and honour Josephs memory together. Marriage is SO hard at the best of times, but dealing with a loss is the true test of any relationship, and it’s true what they say, if you can survive that, you can survive anything. xxx

  3. August 9, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Oh Laura, beautiful post. Grief is such a personal thing, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you talk about resenting your husband at the time for how he dealt with it. I found that with Dave when he suffered a huge loss, I couldnt understand why he dealt with it so differently to me. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through x

    • Laura Dove
      August 9, 2017 / 10:03 pm

      Thank you lovely, it’s comforting to know that you felt that way too, I think a lot of people feel the same? I struggled to understand how he could seemingly go about his daily life whilst I struggled to simply get out of bed each day, but with hindsight I know that he was suffering just as much as I, just in his own way. xxx

  4. August 9, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    We had a rocky patch when I thought about starting again without the genetic issue hanging over but our love won out and we are still together

    • Laura Dove
      August 9, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Ahh Jenny I’m so glad that you made it through. I think our marriage crumbled further when we suffered further miscarriages, sometimes there’s a limit to just how much you can go through. xxx

  5. Rachel
    August 9, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    So beautifully and eloquently written.

    Grief is a strange thing, and you just never know how you’re going to react. I’m more like your husband. I find things to do, and I go about my life, almost as though nothing has happened. I need to forget, or I can’t function. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the person, it’s just that in the immediate aftermath, it’s too raw and painful. Later on I like to talk. Once the pain has subsided a little.
    We are currently going through a member of my husband’s family that he is extremely close to having a terminal illness. Thank you for this post, and for me the timing of it. I hope that it will help me support my husband in his grief xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 9, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much Rachel. I’m so sorry to hear about your family member, it sounds like such a difficult situation for all of you. Grief is so personal isn’t it? I think when you don’t grieve in the same way it can be difficult, knowing what I know now I would have dealt with things very differently, but at 26 I think we were both very young and completely clueless on how to deal with such a devastating event. Lots of love to you and your family. xxx

  6. August 10, 2017 / 6:04 am

    The loss breaks you completely. And you are never the same ever again. But standing together in such tough time is the true test of love.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      That is so true, if you can survive the loss of a child you can survive anything. xx

  7. August 10, 2017 / 8:05 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, very emotional read, i know its very hard to fully heal from such harrowing experience. But, when both partners are honest about their grief, it goes a long way towards working through the emotional pain.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:47 pm

      I agree, I think honesty is a great starting point. Thank you so much for reading. xx

  8. August 10, 2017 / 9:11 am

    It’s an awful experience to go through & it sounds like you both dealt with it in very different ways. I can’t imagine what I would do in that situation & it’s such a sad statistic 🙁 x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      It’s a shocking statistic, I think that more should be done to support couples following the loss of their child. xx

  9. August 10, 2017 / 9:31 am

    what an amazing and honest post, I am sorry for your loss x grief is a funny thing, it doesnt take weeks or months but many years to recover, and each day you think ‘hey things feel better today compared to the other day’ and talking about things, rather than going over and over it again, can change everything.

    x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      I agree Sarah, with hindsight I would have dealt with our grief very differently. I had bereavement counselling for months afterwards but perhaps we should have done that as a couple too. Its impossible to have regrets as we are both happily married with much wanted children, and I do believe that this was the path we were supposed to follow. xx

  10. Samantha Postlethwaite
    August 10, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Tears in my eyes reading this. What a beautifully written post. I’ve so far never experienced true grief so I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. Inevitably I will experience grief one day and I dread that day coming. My husband is the same in that he deals with emotions VERY differently to me, so I do wonder whether my marriage would survive something like this. Just want to say you seem like such a strong person, and I’m so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much Samantha, I doubt that any of us can be fully prepared for how we will deal with grief, nor how our marriages with survive it. You can have the strongest marriage in the world and still be unable to move forward, it’s a terrifying statistic really but I can totally see how so many marriages crumble. Thank you for reading. xxx

  11. August 10, 2017 / 9:49 am

    This is such an incredibly brave and honest post. I admire you so much for your ability to reflect on the past to help others.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      Thank you lovely, I really hope that it does help others. xx

  12. August 10, 2017 / 9:57 am

    My other half lost twins at 21 weeks with his ex wife, and essentially that ended their marriage. She blamed him and he was never truly supported in his own grief. My own sister has lost two children but now has a beautiful little boy with her husband. You have amazing strength x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you Shelley. I have met so many couples through losing Joseph whose relationships also ended. It is very difficult to try to find a way to move forward from a loss when you are reminding each other of that loss every second of every day. It’s such a sad situation. xx

  13. The Mummy Bubble
    August 10, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Such an emotional read. I’ve welled up imagining what a dreadful and heartbreaking experience you just have had. It’s unimaginable. I can’t believe you’ve been able to put it down into words, well done for writing such an honest post. X #stayclassymama

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you so much, it was really important to share this post as I think many people have no idea about the implications of grief on a marriage. It’s a shocking statistic. xx

  14. August 10, 2017 / 11:05 am

    What a beautiful and honest post to read. I’ve not experienced this myself and I have no idea how I’d react in this situation but thank you for sharing your story x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you Stephanie. I doubt any of us can foresee how we would react to losing a child, it’s impossible to prepare ourselves for it, but you just have to do whatever it takes to survive, and I guess some marriages just aren’t strong enough to survive that. xx

  15. August 10, 2017 / 11:40 am

    That was such a heartfelt post, The relations turning sour on the loss of a baby, made me cry. This is such a strong post on personal grief and that it needs to be handled in a very mature manner.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  16. August 10, 2017 / 11:46 am

    You are so open with your experience. I think allowing someone to deal with life differently is the hardest thing in relationships, regardless of losing a baby. When I lost ours, my husband was working away in a different country and perhaps because I needed him, when we did manage to get together, my focus was on us because we’d had so much time apart. I don’t know, every experience is different but your truth helps others. #StayClassyMama

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you, I completely agree and I think that many marriages break down for that reason. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your baby, it’s such a huge challenge for any couple of get through. xx

  17. August 10, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    This is so beautifully written, it breaks my heart to read it but it also a gift for anyone going through it. Thank you for sharing.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you so much Nichola. xx

  18. August 10, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    Oh my this post was so inspiring, I felt for you and you wrote it to well. Grief of a child is an emotional roller coaster, I can bet. I too have a child and can not imagine if I had any loss. He is now 11 and I haven’t had another child, not through want of trying, but I think that sometimes this can be a loss, but NOT as bad as a real one. I am thankful that I have him (but still the yearning is there.) It is harder for men, they do not communicate or are not as emotional as women. I really admire you and your story and think you are really brave. No mother can ever get over losing a child no matter when it occurs, but it is vital to carry on for the sake of children that you already have. I am glad that you have come out of your journey better.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you so much. I think loss of any kind can have such a huge impact on a relationship, it is very hard to live a life together that does not go as planned. Grief is such a personal journey and it’s hard enough to survive the loss of a child on your own, let alone as part of a couple. I admire those whose relationships have stood the test of time. xx

  19. Jen S
    August 10, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story, it must have been difficult. I cannot even imagine the pain and difficulty this put you through.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Thank you Jen, I think it’s always therapeutic to revisit that time in my life and realise just how far we have come. xx

  20. August 10, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    This was such an emotional and honest post to read. You can never know how grief is going to affect you and how everyone deals with it in their own way. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Thank you Debbie. I don’t think anyone can foresee how they will react to such a loss, you just have to do whatever it takes to survive it! xx

  21. August 10, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    I know when my brother and SIL lost Megan they dealt with it very differently and even now on the anniversary they do. I think it’s common for people to deal with grief differently and for a marriage to survive this depends on the next part of their journey together. I think your right this was the path for you and your ex, as hard as it was at time to split up. To hear you talk now says it all. Lots of love xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:32 pm

      Thanks lovely. I think it’s very rare for two people to ever grieve in the same way, and men and women especially seem to grieve very differently. It’s a difficult situation and a hard one to move on from. I think this was the right path for both of us, and I’m so glad that we are able to co-parent Lewis and remember Joseph together, its important that although our marriage didn’t work out, we do what’s right for our children. xx

  22. August 10, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Wow. What a beautifully written piece. You are a very brave mumma and I can not even imagine having to go through this. Your Joseph will be very proud of you 💖

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      Thank you Maisie, I really hope so. I felt as though we had failed him when our marriage ended but now I see that he would just have wanted us to be happy. xx

  23. August 10, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    A beautifully written post. I can’t imagine the heartache you both felt, it’s just unthinkable. You are an amazingly strong and amazing lady to tell your tale to help others, you should be proud of that 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      Thank you Lyndsay, I think it’s important to share that life isn’t always the fairy tale hoped it would be, but ultimately there is still a happy ending out there somewhere. xx

  24. August 10, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    I lost a baby and it completely changes you. My relationship actually broke down over it because I just did not cope and ended up in a very very dark place while my ex (in my eyes) seemed to not even care. You are so so strong and brace for writing this. I think this will help so many others in this situation. Well done for opening up lovely xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 7:56 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that Gee, I think losing a baby is such a huge strain on any relationship. We were unfortunate that after losing Joseph we went on to lose more babies and it was just too much, I’m not sure any couple would have survived what we went through. I really hope that this posts helps those in the same situation. xxx

  25. August 10, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I’m so sorry you went through such a horrific time. We lost a son in 2015, so I understand first hand, the strain it puts on you as individuals as well as a couple. x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that Rebecca. It’s so hard isn’t it? Much love to you. xx

  26. August 10, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Another absolutely moving post. Grief is such hard thing and I have seen so many people deal with it in a different way, even I have dealt with grief in different ways but somehow my husband seems to know what I need. When my grandad passed away I was ‘fine’ that was my mechanism for dealing with it. I was pregnant and told I shouldn’t be crying but he dealt with it and helped me to cry.
    When we first started trying for a baby we had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I was a complete mess, but we seemed to be on the same page with dealing with out grief and I guess that helped us.
    I’m glad you have your rainbow(s)

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thank you Jo. I think it makes a huge difference when you’re on the same page, it’s very unusual for two people to grieve in the same way but if you can at least understand each other it makes a big difference. I look back on my marriage and we went through so much, the loss of Joseph, countless miscarriages and my battles with mental health, in some ways it was doomed from the start. You live and learn though right? I doubt that my second marriage would be as strong as it is had it not been for the mistakes I made in my first. xx

  27. August 10, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    What a brave mummy , this was emotion to read . Big hugs xxx

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you Kira. xxx

  28. Stephanie
    August 10, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Felt really emotional after reading this. We went through a really rocky patch after our miscarriage, it really did take it’s tole on us for a while. x

    • Laura Dove
      August 10, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Ahh sorry to hear that Stephanie. I think loss of any kind can be very hard on a marriage, it can bring you closer or tear you apart. I think some couples are destined to be together through good times and bad. xxx

  29. August 11, 2017 / 12:51 am

    I really admire you for writing that. It takes a lot of strength to be able to do what you have done.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  30. August 11, 2017 / 2:26 am

    80% of marriages end in divorce following the loss of a child. – woaaa thats a big chunk! I haven’t experienced this myself, but Id like to thank u for sharing this to us. I really wish that anyone who’s experiencing this, I hope that they’ll have more faith that they will survive it together.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you, I agree, having faith is a great place to start. xx

  31. August 11, 2017 / 3:26 am

    This brought back a lot of emotions for me. My ex was quite a bit older, with a 15 year old of her own. We suffered a very late stage miscarriage and a year of multiple more while trying all sorts of things to conceive. In the end I don’t know if it just wore us down, we weren’t strong enough to stick together through it, or if it was just a sign that we didn’t have what it took as a couple. My life now is good and FB stalking tells me that she is now a fantastic grandmother, but I think that hardship really does expose any weakness in a relationship

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that Jeremy, but you are so right. It does wear you down absolutely. We went through multiple losses before and after Joseph too and I think you just reach the point where there is just too much pain and sadness. I’m glad that your life is good and your ex is happy, my ex husband and I have both remarried and gone on to have children, I definitely think that this was the path that we were supposed to follow. Much love. xx

  32. August 11, 2017 / 4:45 am

    This was such an emotional read. I know it must have been hard for you too have done what you have and to have been through what you have been through. I admire you for that

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you Wynne, I appreciate that. xx

  33. August 11, 2017 / 5:23 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I know it’s very challenging to get healed soon and face this world. As people with try to the sympathy which is what even more painful than actual situation.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you Sonika. xxx

  34. August 11, 2017 / 6:57 am

    So sorry to hear about great loss to you. You are very brave to cope up with this loss and write about your feelings so emotionally.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  35. August 11, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I have no words to express my feelings at the moment. I do not have any kids at the moment, but I do have a relationship. To even think of losing it for another prospective loss I might have is chilling. You are so brave that after all these curveballs of life you fought back, and now are in a better place. Honesty and communications are really important pillars of any relationship, these are what sails your ship in the ocean of physical and emotional turmoil. It is so brave of you to share this emotional yet strong post.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much, you are so right. I’m very proud of the both of us for making it through, even if our marriage did not survive – we did, and that’s something. xx

  36. August 11, 2017 / 7:54 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine how you both must have felt, what you both must have been going through. I’m so sorry for your loss. The strain it may have put on your relationship, I can never start to understand what that was like. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Thank you Emily, it’s such a difficult situation for anyone to deal with and the ways in which it changes you as people will inevitably have a knock on effect on a marriage. In the end everything worked out the way it was supposed to, and we are both happily married. Thank you for hosting. xx

  37. August 11, 2017 / 9:12 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss, you’re so brave for talking about it. The stat about divorce after the loss of a child is scary but every situation is different x

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      I agree, every couple deals with it in their own way. I guess it makes you or breaks you, that’s only natural. xx

  38. August 11, 2017 / 9:39 am

    Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen with a woman…and a man. I know the feeling and the struggle that comes with it. We made it through those stormy waters…I’m sorry to hear that your relationship couldn’t survive that hard time, but maybe that was part of a bigger plan above.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      I totally agree, I think sometimes there is a plan for us that we may never understand, and this was ours. I’m so glad to hear that you made it through. xx

  39. August 11, 2017 / 10:17 am

    I have never been through a similar situation but I imagine it was really tough going through it.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      It really was, I don’t think anyone knows how they would deal with it until it happens. xx

  40. August 11, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    You are such a strong woman and I really admire you for that. Thank you, really, for this story you shared. Salute to all mom.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Ahh thank you so much, much appreciated. xx

  41. jodie filogomo
    August 11, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    This is such a raw and emotional post, but what an incredible help for others.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much Jodie. xx

  42. Dannii
    August 11, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    It must be hard when everyone deals with things so differently. 80% is a huge amount though.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      It really is, it’s shocking isn’t it? xx

  43. August 11, 2017 / 4:40 pm

    This must be such a difficult topic to open up about – well done for sharing your story!

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you so much, it was very therapeutic to write. xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 8:03 pm

      Thank you Kacie! xx

  44. August 11, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Wow so emotional. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. I am also sorry that your marriage didn’t work out but was very happy to read that you have both since found happiness. So powerfully written! Sending you much Love!

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you so much. It was a rough road to where we are now! xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much Lucie, it was important for me to share this as although I respect that my ex husband isn’t a part of family now, he is a huge part of my past, and it’s important to share how we reached the point we are at now as a family. Life has a funny way of working out, it’s been a rough ride that’s for sure. xx

  45. August 11, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    I cannot imagine experiencing such a painful thing, but I would like to think my marriage or relationship would survive. Definitely one of those things that you wouldn’t know unless it unfortunately happens. xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Absolutely, you have no way of knowing how you will react, as an individual or as a couple. It’s a very sad statistic. xx

  46. August 11, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    What a lovely post Laura. I’m reading it and crying as it’s exactly 10 years since my Dad died. I think I needed and was meant to read your post. Your experience, although heart wrenching and awful must help many people who are going through similar things. You have a gorgeous family.

    • Laura Dove
      August 11, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      Oh lovely, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s so hard isn’t it? Grief changes you so much, and inevitably it changes your relationships. So much love to you. xx

  47. August 12, 2017 / 8:44 am

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post. I’m so sorry for your loss. It must’ve been such a difficult time and you are so brave for sharing your story x

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you Jemma, it’s always therapeutic to share. xx

  48. August 12, 2017 / 10:27 am

    While lost can break you, it should not destroy your love, even though part of that love may be loss. It is always worth fighting for.

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:28 pm

      I totally agree, and yet sometimes you have to admit defeat…and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you can no longer find a way forward. It’s very sad, I was absolutely heartbroken at the time, but we both went on to find happiness and I would not be where I am now, surrounded by my children, had that marriage not ended. It’s impossible to have regrets. xx

  49. August 12, 2017 / 11:07 am

    The loss of a child can never be easy and in a marriage it must be hard to try and make things work because like you said we all have different ways of grieving. I am sorry to hear that your marriage broke down after the loss of Joseph and that you have been through so much heartbreak. You are so strong and I know that Joseph would be so proud of his mumma. You will inspire so many people to come forward with their stories xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much Ana. I think I felt as though we had failed Joseph when our marriage ended and yet with hindsight I know that he would only ever want us to be happy, and we are. We are in a good place all of us, we get on well and co-parent Lewis between ourselves and our partners, sometimes things just work out right don’t they? xx

  50. August 12, 2017 / 11:13 am

    Grief and loss may be the toughest things we as humans face. The bravery and strength you share with all of us with every post, show us how somehow, the loss of little Joseph, devastating, has brought you a strength you probably did not know you had. And it is that same strength that you give so freely to many, many others. So sorry for your loss and the experiences that followed, but he is still with you, and you share him with us. #Strongwomen #ThatFridayLinky big hugs to you <3

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      Ah thank you so much Lisa. I’m always very careful about what I share with regards to my first marriage, I appreciate that my husband didn’t sign up to be a part of my blog. At the same time, this is my story and it’s important that I share it in the hope that others can relate and seek comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Thank you so much for reading. xxx

  51. August 12, 2017 / 11:42 am

    What a deep post. Got me thinking. Many marriages can’t survive a loss because it is too heartbreaking and people grief in various ways.

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you for reading, nobody can ever foresee how their relationship will fare. xx

  52. Georgina Clarke
    August 12, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    This is a really lovely and respectful post and I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head by pointing out that you are a reminder of each other’s grief and I can’t imagine how hard that must have been on both of you.

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you Georgina. I think it was only when my marriage ended that I began to find a way forward. These days we are both in a good place and I love that we are able to parent our son together and honour Joseph’s memory. xx

  53. August 12, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Sorry to hear about your loss. What an emotional yet informative article. I can’t believe the stats that 80% of marriages end with the loss of a child.

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you Melanie, it’s very high isn’t it? Just devastating all round really. xx

  54. August 12, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    Thank you for being so brave to share your story. I was so touched by this and learned so much!

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Candice. xx

  55. Sarah Ann
    August 12, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    It took so much courage to publish this post and I want to thank you for sharing it with us all. I can’t imagine what you went through and grief is never an easy thing to deal with so I can’t even comprehend what it must be like losing a child. So beautifully written and you’re such a brave woman.

    • Laura Dove
      August 12, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah, that’s so kind of you to say. xxx

  56. August 13, 2017 / 2:42 am

    My goodness, Laura, such beautiful words. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a child. What a staggering statistic when it comes to the divorce rate after a loss such as this. It makes my heart hurt, because not only does someone lose a child, but they lose their marriage as well. Big hugs. x

  57. August 13, 2017 / 7:37 am

    This is such an emotional read. I cannot begin to even contemplate the grief of losing a child, I can imagine it being a pain so consuming it being difficult to see or feel anything else. I’m so sorry you ever had to go through this. Sending love x

  58. Elizabeth O
    August 13, 2017 / 8:25 am

    Such an emotional read!!
    As I read it I gradually hurt. I’am sorry for your loss. It hurts to lose a child. You are so brave Laura. You are so strong and I know that Joseph would be so proud of you wherever he is now. You will inspire so many people to come onward with their struggles in life.

  59. August 13, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Such a beautifully written piece, you will have been able to help someone more than you will even realise with this xx

    • Laura Dove
      August 13, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Thank you Kirsty, I really do hope so. xxx

  60. August 13, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Laura you have written this so beautifully. Even though I haven’t lost a child of my own, I know exactly where you are coming from. Different people have different way of grieving. Funny enough, I dreamt of my sister last night and for a moment there I thought she was still here. We do cling on tightly as possible. But we do have faith to help us get through each day – day at the time. Big hugs. xx

    Thank you so much Laura for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      August 13, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Ahh Su, I totally agree, grief affects everyone differently and not just the loss of a child. I have seen friends go through difficult times in their marriage due to grief, losing parents, losing siblings, grief for the baby they would never have. It’s very hard, and it’s a huge challenge to face as a couple. Much love. xxx

  61. Kelly Peters
    August 13, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    Now I’m in tears! I don’t have the words to justify that lovely and heartbreaking read. For you to talk so openly about such painful and raw emotions is brave, and inspiring to others who may be going through that hell. I consider my self so lucky that I’ve never had to feel that, and never will. But I applaud your honest account of what it is really like. You are brave to look back and consider what you could have done differently, not just consider your own hurt feelings. Big hugs. x

    • Laura Dove
      August 13, 2017 / 6:02 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Kelly, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. It’s such a difficult situation for everyone involved and I have no idea how anyone survives it, but we did, and here we are. I think sometimes things work out how they are supposed to, even when we really can’t understand why things happen the way they do, and it’s important to focus on that. xxx

  62. August 13, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Wow what a incredibly honest post Laura, I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to lose a child. Although I can see how the pressures and stress of grief can destroy a love for your partner because we greive so differently wonderful read as usual you always bring a tear to my eye Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week for

    • Laura Dove
      August 13, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you Nige, your comments always make me feel glad that I shared even the most personal of posts. Grief changed me indefinitely and I wasn’t the person I was before, and nor was he, and I think it took us a while to realise that, whilst that’s natural to have changed, we were no longer the couple we once were either. See you on Friday. xx

  63. August 13, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I honestly just don’t have the words to describe how I feel right now. I have to commend you on your bravery in writing this post, and I’m so sorry for your loss, even now. I can’t even begin to imagine that kind of grief.

    • Laura Dove
      August 14, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Thank you so much, that’s very kind of you to say. Xx

  64. August 14, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Hugs, Laura. This is such a courageous post. My heart is breaking for the both of you after reading this and I wonder how you would have felt, still feel. Perhaps, you can never get over this loss but I hope and pray that you get the strength to go on each day just as you did to share this with us.

    • Laura Dove
      August 14, 2017 / 10:34 pm

      Thank you so much. Eleven years later and life is very different now. We are both remarried and with rainbow babies in our arms, it is very hard to live with regret, I just wish that we had our son here with us. xx

  65. August 14, 2017 / 10:00 am

    Laura, this is incredible and real — and so needed. Thank you for persevering and for writing about your journey.

    • Laura Dove
      August 14, 2017 / 10:33 pm

      Thank you so much Michele, that’s so lovely of you to say. xx

  66. August 14, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Such a beautiful post. You’re so right though, no one ever knows how their lives will change once they are thrust onto such a devastating path. #GlobalBlogging

    • Laura Dove
      August 14, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thank you Heather, I think when the worst happens you just do whatever it takes to survive. xx

  67. August 14, 2017 / 11:04 am

    Wonderfully written post that really is touching. Grief is too often all consuming and sadly one loss often leads to another whether thats the breakdown of a marriage or something else.

    • Laura Dove
      August 14, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thank you Emma, grief has such a huge knock on effect on all aspects of your life. xx

  68. August 15, 2017 / 12:23 am

    Such an emotional, brave and honest post. Grief is so hard to navigate even in our own terms and then we have to factor in other people who are struggling with their own loss and feelings. Not at all easy. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that by writing this somehow you have reflected and found peace with the end of your relationship. I have no clever words – there are none in situations like these

    • Laura Dove
      August 15, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you Kate. I found this really therapeutic to write, although I have no regrets about how my life has turned out, it was important to realise that circumstances led us to make the choices we did. I love that we can focus on raising our son together with our partners, whilst honouring Joseph. I think that’s very important. xx

  69. August 15, 2017 / 9:22 am

    I really don’t know what to say. I guess I just wanted to comment to say how moving this post is and how very brave I think you are. Your posts will be such a comfort to many others to know they are not alone and not only that, this post might even save a marriage by highlighting what you couldn’t see at the time. Big love x

    • Laura Dove
      August 15, 2017 / 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much. I think that couples who lose a child should be offered more support, not sent home and left to fumble their way through. I would think that if couples counselling was offered after a bereavement the stats would be a lot less, who knows? Thanks for reading lovely. xxx

  70. August 15, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Oh Laura, what an open and honest post! I can only imagine how difficult this must have been for you to write. Grief is just awful and so personal to each and every one of us and I love how you totally can look back and accept both your parts in what happened. I think at the time of happening I would have been just as frustrated with my husband too if he kept busy like yours did, but then to be honest I’d probably be frustrated with anything! I hope this post provides comfort to others and if anything reminds someone what to possibly try and do if they are ever in this situation. Hugs x

    • Laura Dove
      August 15, 2017 / 7:25 pm

      Thank you Natalie. Hindsight is amazing isn’t it? It’s important to accept our parts and remember that at the end of the day, we were both very young and dealing with so much. Life has worked out well for the both of us and we are able to work together to make sure that we raise our son as best we can, whilst honouring Joseph’s memory. I couldn’t ask for more. xx

  71. August 15, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    Grief must be a really hard thing to go through as a couple and I suppose the way things pan out and how people are able to deal with it and with each other in that situation will vary hugely. Another very emotional and beautiful read Laura. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • Laura Dove
      August 15, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      Thank you, I doubt you can ever fully prepare for grief nor how it will affect your relationships. 80% is such a huge number but I think that sometimes it just becomes too unbearable to live the life you had planned for, without your child. Sometimes starting a new life is the only way to survive it. xx

  72. August 16, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    I can’t imagine the pain you went through and not being able to share your grief must be awful. It is a shocking statistic but as you say, grief is a personal journey and affects everyone differently and over a different time span. #globalblogging

    • Laura Dove
      August 17, 2017 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you, it was very difficult, especially when I reached the point where I was grieving for both my son and my marriage, but I think we did what was right for our family, and our sanity, and we are both happily married and focusing on raising our son as best we can. xx

  73. August 17, 2017 / 12:09 am

    We do all grieve so differently and it can be hard to understand how someone else is grieving. I know even through our miscarriages Steve and I grieved differently and there were times I felt he just didn’t care enough, I judged him for this and that was unfair, but natural. I was so angry with my body, with the world, the doctors and he was there for me to get mad at. So to go through what you went through I can’t even begin to imagine that grief. I am glad you got through the hardest times, even if in the end it wasn’t with each other. Joseph was such a gift, and now he has more beautiful siblings he will one day meet through the journey you have been on. Sometimes there are just no answers to why life goes the way it does. You are amazing xx #mg

    • Laura Dove
      August 17, 2017 / 6:16 pm

      Thank you Mac, for your beautiful words and for understanding. I think that’s the main thing, we might not have survived it together, but we did survive it….and that’s the main thing right? Joseph really was the most special little boy and he has five wonderful siblings who will carry him through life always. xx

  74. August 17, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    What a moving and honest post. I can only imagine how alone you feel in your grief when you lose your child, the thing most dear to you in the world and I imagine there is no room for you to cope with your partner’s grief because yours is so achingly overwhelming. As you say, perhaps it was meant to be that you and your ex would move on in different directions after you lost Joseph, and meet other partners and perhaps it was the best thing for you both to carry your grief with you on those separate journeys. Thank you for sharing #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      August 18, 2017 / 2:26 pm

      Thank you Susie, you’re absolutely right, I think both of us were struggling to cope with our own grief, let alone each others. Life worked out the way it was supposed to in terms of where we ended up, I just wish that Joseph had been a part of that too. xx

  75. August 19, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    It is a world of grief that I can not even begin to explore. Love and hugs to you always Laura.

    Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging

    • Laura Dove
      August 19, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thank you Kristin. xxx

  76. August 19, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    This is so beautifully written Laura, I genuinely can’t imagine how you both felt and I think that you had typically male and female reactions to the overwhelming pain. I hope that you and your ex have found peace in your relationship with each other now and that you are able to support each other a little better as parents to Lewis and Joseph instead of as husband and wife. I’m also so glad that you found Gaz to spend the rest of your days with in love and happiness. Thanks for being a part of the #bigpinklink this week.

    • Laura Dove
      August 19, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks lovely, it really was the hardest time in our lives. We are actually in a really good place right now, I would go as far as saying we have forged a friendship and have learnt to co-parent Lewis as best we can and honour Joseph’s memory along the way. We shared 11 years together and I think it’s important that we salvaged something from that time? Life has a funny way of working out how it was supposed to, I don’t think I’ll ever understand it but I will always embrace it. xxx

  77. August 20, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    I have no idea how I would handle such tragedy. I am amazed at how much you have come through and that you share it with us so beautifully.Thank you for that! #globalblogging

    • Laura Dove
      August 21, 2017 / 10:38 pm

      Thank you so much, I guess there is no way of every knowing how you would react. xx

  78. August 20, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    This post is so raw and full of emotion, as are all your posts. You are so right that we all grieve in different ways and sometimes we close people off as a way of dealing with the hard times. That statistic is so high and so sad but from reading this post and how loosing Joseph affected your marriage I can begin to see why it is so high. So sorry again for your loss Laura , it amazes me how you manage to write about this awful time so honesty on your blog xx #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      August 21, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you so much Wendy. I remember wondering why the statistic was so high and yet as time went on, it totally made sense. It’s so hard to move on from such a loss, I feel I only ever started to find a way forward when the marriage ended. We simply reminded each other of our loss every minute of every day. xx

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