Unsure about the relationship after a miscarriage

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Dear Meredith,

I recently suffered a miscarriage with my boyfriend. When I found out I was pregnant, we started making plans to live together, start our family, and get married. Since this has happened, we are trying to move forward, but so far, it seems impossible.

I feel like everything is going downhill and that the future we once wanted is gone. The other day I was having flashbacks to when I told him I was pregnant. We spoke a lot that day and I remember telling him that I wanted to get married, to which he said he's not saying no but that he needed some more time because we had only been dating for six months. I agreed to give him time and no longer brought it up – until he later did.

Flash forward to now. We never got the chance to follow through with getting married because of our loss. It has been hard and I have started many arguments with him. Everything has become insecure to me. While we were talking last night, I asked if he still wanted to get married, and he said yes, but then said he wants to go through this difficult moment first before he speaks about marriage or anything else after. I feel like he is unsure about a life with me.

– please help


A reminder that this column in no way substitutes for talking to a mental health professional. I'll be recommending that here.

What I can say as an advice columnist is that a lot has happened over the past few months. Your partner's desire for time – so both of you can process what happened – seems very fair and necessary.

You haven't been together for that long, and much of your recent relationship has been wrapped up in intense planning – and then loss. It's important that you take care of yourself during this moment of grief. Talk to your doctor about options for support.

There is a way for you to have the future you wanted, but you can't skip past the feelings – whatever they are – by asking this man for a guarantee that everything will be exactly the same.

He might be confused and rethinking his decision, or the pace of it, at the very least. He might be considering how he's supposed to feel. It's OK that he doesn't know just yet. Do you? Pretending you're the same as you were isn't going to make you feel less insecure. It sounds like you'd have a better chance of growing stronger as a couple if you both made room for patience and honesty.

Take a beat and care for each other without expectations for celebrations and plans. Again, ask for help – because there’s a community for people who've been through this experience. You want to make sure you're taking the best next steps for you, and for the right reasons.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts? Remember sensitivity and patience, please.