The Impact of Grief on Relationships
Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most painful things each person must face. The shock of your beloved friend or family member having passed away, along with the finality of their death is difficult to deal with.
Everyone Mourns In Different Ways
The process of mourning is a very personal experience. Grief is very personal. As result, each person reacts in different ways to the death of a loved one. Your instinct may be to reach out and connect, and the instinct of your friend or relative may be to retreat. Or, distract themselves with work or hobbies or shut down.
Your relationship with the deceased was a unique one. As a result, the process in which you grieve the loss will also be unique and personal to you. The close friends and family that you would expect to be there for you in one of the most challenging times of your life may not be present in the way you’d hoped or anticipated. Even your spouse or partner may not provide the comfort you’d expect.
Relationships Impacted by Grief Will Change
It’s disappointing and hurtful to experience what feels like a breakdown in your relationships when you need them the most. But, you must realize that your friends, family, and spouse are likely also affected by grief. As a result, they are likely going through their own process of mourning.
It’s also important not to rely only on your spouse for comfort. It’s healthier for both of you and will ease the stress on your marriage if you have other people to turn to for help. This may include other friends, family, or a grief counselor in Atlanta, GA.
The impact of grief is an incredible strain on your existing relationships, as who you are as a person is temporarily altered as you struggle to cope with the loss and find a way to move forward. Your close friends and loved ones may have difficulty coping with how you’re mourning, causing them to pull away temporarily. They could also be very used to seeing you as a source of strength, and a pillar. So, seeing you in this vulnerable state (along with possibly dealing with their own grief) is more than they can bear.
Other Ways Grief Can Impact Relationships
In some cases, a person’s grief can be so profound that it leads them to feel isolated from their partner, unable to connect. The loss of a loved one can shake a person to their core and have drastic effects on their identity and purpose in life. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for couples to sometimes separate or experience infidelity.
Seek Out New Sources of Support
Maintaining relationships takes effort, and they’re vulnerable to the difficulties we face as we move through life. You may need to turn to distant family members, other friends, or acquaintances, and make new connections through bereavement groups. Or seek professional help from a grief counselor to find solace and understanding.
Although we can expect bereavement to change our relationships, we can also expect some semblance of normalcy as everyone affected copes with the loss over time. By forgiving friends or loved ones who weren’t there for you as you dealt with your grief, you can re-establish lost connections.
Begin Working with a Grief Counselor in Atlanta, GA
If you’re having difficulty with your relationships as you grieve and need understanding and guidance, please give us a call. You can speak with a grief counselor and we can set up an appointment to talk. Our team of caring therapists would be happy to offer support from our Atlanta, GA-based therapy practice. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
- Contact us to schedule an appointment
- Meet with one of our caring therapists
- Start understanding how grief impacts your relationships
Other Mental Health Services Offered at North Atlanta Psychotherapy
Our team offers a variety of mental health services in addition to grief counseling. We are happy to offer in-person and online therapy services. Other services North Atlanta Psychotherapy offers include anxiety treatment, depression therapy, play therapy, and infertility counseling. We also provide support for men, couples, teens, and children. Feel free to also learn more about how we can support those with bipolar disorder and OCD, or visit our blog or FAQs to learn more today!