Grieving processes, such as those that arise from the loss of a loved one, almost always involve significant discomfort for the person presenting it. Therefore, when it is our boyfriend or girlfriend, wife or husband who is in pain, a typical question arises: How can I help my partner cope with their grief?
In this article, you will find a list of tips that can be very helpful in providing the necessary support.
What is mourning?
Couples are a source of support, which can often be crucial in helping to overcome grief.
This is not an easy situation and we have to give it the importance it deserves, but first we have to understand what a grieving process is, in order to better understand what our partner is going through and in this way. . Provide help more effectively.
Grieving is a process by which the person experiences the loss of a person or an important part of their life, Either by death or because it has ceased to be accessible (for example, if it happens to be too far away). It could also come from not being able to continue with an activity that the person liked; a university degree, for example.
Once the subject has suffered the loss, a crisis of emotion related to the facts ensues not being able to live as when access to that person, object or activity was something that was taken for granted.
The stages of the duel
Typical psychological states that one goes through in bereavement have been described as follows. It is important to note that grief does not always start in the first stage, depending on the personality traits of each subject, the process could start at a later stage and last less.
1. The stage of denial
This stage of the grieving process shows the rejection that the person experiences in the face of the loss. It is such an unfavorable situation for the subject that he refuses to accept it as a real fact..
Phrases such as “it cannot happen”, “it cannot be real”, among others, are typical at this stage.
2. The anger stage
At this point, the subject begins to realize that it can’t do anything to change realityAnd that is precisely what makes her frustrated, angry and irritated.
It is anger that has no clear focus; the person knows that there is nothing they can do to change what has happened and usually cannot find a way to let go of their hostile feelings.
3. Negotiation stage
During this stage, people begin to ask retrospective questions, much like see in your imagination what would have happened if things had turned out differently.
For example; they begin to imagine that they could do something to change the fact of the loss they have suffered and they begin to question themselves.
4. The stage of depression
At this point, the subject begins to show depressive symptoms that have nothing to do with clinical depression, but are a normal response to loss.
The subject is depressed because he somehow understands that he must continue his life, despite the loss, and this idea generates in him sadness and anguish.
Finally calm comes. In this last step of the grieving process, the person has properly drained all the emotions generated by the loss, and he starts to reorganize his life again.
How can I help my partner cope with their grief?
Empathy is essential when we want to help our partner overcome their grieving process. Having the ability to put ourselves in his place during difficult times makes us aware of his situation and helps us to be able to provide him with everything he needs to move forward.
With that said, here are the top tips to help your partner get over their grief.
1. Be present
The simple fact of being present during your partner’s duel represents emotional support for him or her.
You don’t have to try to say something heartwarming all the time. Just stay close and offer your support openly.
2. Active listening
As long as you are accompanying your partner, make sure let him know he can openly express all his feelings.
It is important to listen to your feelings and emotions so that you can let go of any discomfort you may be feeling.
3. Avoid appearing to your partner
Contrary to what some people think, compassion does not help the person, in turn, it acts as a reinforcer of negative feelings. Therefore, if we want to help you get over these feelings, it would be better to avoid this anyway.
4. Encourage your partner not to neglect
This point refers to the personal care we need to give to our partner. In a grieving situation it is common for people to tend to neglect basic aspects of their life, Such as food or personal hygiene.
If you notice that your partner is neglecting some of these or other basic needs, offer support in this regard. Otherwise, this factor can make you continue to feel bad and have a greater predisposition to harbor negative thoughts, associated with sadness and melancholy.
- Archer, J. (1999). The nature of grief: the evolution and psychology of reactions to loss. London, England: Routledge.
- Bayés, R. (2001). Psychology of suffering and death. Barcelona: Martínez Roca.
- Stroebe M., Schut H. & Boerner K. (2017) Duel adaptation models: an updated summary. Psychological Studies, 38 (3): p. 582-607.
- Worden, WJ (2004). Bereavement treatment: psychological counseling and therapy. Barcelona: Paidós.