Tell Me About It

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Tell Me About It

WITH ANGEL DONNETTE ROBERTSON

 

My son and daughter-in-law were six-months pregnant with a little boy — their first baby and our first grandchild — when she had a miscarriage. I hurt so much for the two of them. How can I help them through such a difficult time?

 

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby.

Everyone grieves in his or her own way, so you need to guard against your expectations on how each individual should react or what each should need. Sometimes, we inadvertently try to control another’s healing through our own preconceptions.

Instead, you should consider their personalities, watch their behavior, engage in a dialogue with them and focus on their specific needs, as best you can.

If they need to talk through their grief, listen to them. If they need silence, give them quiet. If they need someone to cook, clean or shop for them, offer your services. If they just need to not be alone, stay with them. If they need solitude to grieve, allow them space. If they need to find a support group, assist them in their search.

You should also avoid offering a pat phrase in an attempt to comfort. Sometimes, words that are well-meant actually minimize their loss and invalidate their grief. Usually, simply saying, “I’m sorry,” or asking, “How are you?” or “How can I help you today?” is more useful and comforting than an attempt to explain the unexplainable.

Also you should continue to remember the parents as time passes. Some dates may bring particular anguish, such as the due date and future would-have-been birthdays.

Finally, you, too, have suffered a loss. As well as your sorrow for your son and his wife, you are grieving for your grandson. You already loved the little boy. You probably even already had plans and dreams for him. So, please, do not overlook giving yourself the time to mourn the loss of your grandson in your own way.

 

How can I make my husband hang up his wet towel after a shower? Every morning, after he leaves for work, I go to take my own shower and find his wet towel in a ball on the floor, and every day, I nearly lose my mind. It may seem silly, but I just feel so disrespected when I see that he has once again left it for me. How hard is it to hang up a towel?

 

Ah, the wonders of marriage. Two individuals working together to build one life, sharing love and laughter, happiness and heartache, failures and successes.

And surviving those crazy-making, infuriating little habits that creep into day-after-day life.

Does your husband also leave his dirty clothes lying wherever they fall? Does he leave dishes in the living room floor for you to retrieve? Does he basically leave chaos behind him?

If he just generally expects you to clean up after him, then his actions may reveal a lack of respect for you. However, if the towel is an isolated incident, then you are probably dealing with a habit rather than actual disrespect.

Either way, you can approach him — calmly and rationally, which may require you to wait a length of time after finding the wet towel — to discuss your preferences. Many suggest using “I” statements like, “I feel disrespected when I find your wet towel on the floor.” Obviously, you don’t want to yell, “Even a 5-year-old can hang up a towel!”

Well, I mean, you may want to. But you shouldn’t.

In the end, you cannot make him change. He may always leave his wet towel on the floor. Or he may change and then you discover he has another even more annoying habit. So, whenever you start to lose your mind, remember what you love about him — his kindness, his humor, his work ethic, his willingness to watch romantic comedies with you.

Whatever you need to refocus your attention off the bad and onto the good.

Because, hopefully, in the grand scope of your marriage, a towel is just a towel.

And love is love.

 

Have a relationship question for Angel? Contact her through her blog at www.angeldonnette.wordpress.com.

 

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