Couples Face Risk of Break Up Following Miscarriage

**ATTENTION** 7/17/12 Thank you for visiting this blog post. Please note that I am in the process of writing a guide to help those who have experienced pregnancy loss. You can read about that and more on pregnancy loss by clicking here or the tab above.**

Unfortunately, pregnancy loss can be followed by another type of loss; that of the romantic relationship. In 2010, researchers at the University of Michigan released findings of a study which revealed that couples were more likely to break up following the loss of a pregnancy. Further, unmarried couples were at higher risk.

Specifically, the findings showed that couples who had experienced miscarriage had a 22% higher risk of breaking up, and those who had experienced still birth had a 40% higher risk. These risks remained up to 3 and 9 years following the loss respectively. These numbers are particularly concerning, given the number of people who experience pregnancy loss (miscarriage occurs in 15-20% of known pregnancies, stillbirth in about 1%).

As mentioned in my first post about miscarriage, male partners tend to experience grief later than women. Thus, it could be suggested that the couple isn’t on the same emotional page following the loss. This could then cause feelings of anger, guilt and abandonment. In same-sex couples, both partners also struggle with the experience of pregnancy loss. One study conducted with lesbian partners showed that the resulting emotional distress is compounded by the complexity of planning and achieving pregnancy in the first place.

Given all of this information, couples should consider the very real risk their relationship may face. To prevent the dissolution of the relationship, communication with each other about the loss and resulting thoughts and feelings should take place. Couples should consider consulting with a marriage/couples therapist and in talking about the loss, may consider the following:

Can We Talk? Improving Couples’ Communication

I plan to include a section on the unique struggles of couples in my upcoming book about pregnancy loss.

Free images from


About Traci S. Williams-Nurse

Dr. Traci Williams-Nurse is a licensed psychologist who specialized in child, adolescent and family psychology. Her interests include child development, family functioning, video games and food. She was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
This entry was posted in Conflict, Marriage, Miscarriage, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Couples Face Risk of Break Up Following Miscarriage

  1. Pingback: The Effects of Miscarriage | Child Space

  2. couples face Risk of break up following miscarriege

  3. Thomas Giacchino says:

    A miscarriage is one of the worst things that can happen to a woman especially if it is a subsequent one and you had duly and urgently needed to have a baby since menopause might be knocking at the door. It is not only those kind of women who are hurt but any woman who wishes to be a mother would also feel hurt for having a miscarriage. In addition to this emotional pain women feel, it also causes a lot of physical pain from the cramps to the sight of a lot of blood. Now, what does one have to look out to make sure that it is showing its signs and not anything else like the first trimester bleeding?^

    Our own webpage

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