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Husband's best friend has miscarriage; wife says he's grieving 'like it was his own'.

Husband's best friend has miscarriage; wife says he's grieving 'like it was his own'.


Losing a pregnancy is extremely hard on both parents... but what about the best friend?

A wife came to Reddit to ask if her husband's reaction to his buddy's tragedy was normal, or if she was the A-hole.

'AITA for saying that my husband’s reaction to a miscarriage is excessive?'

SendHelp__AITA writes:

I need to know if I'm being reasonable or heartless here. My husband, 27m, has a long time friend who we'll call Bill - 31m. The two of them met when my husband was 16 and from the way they always tell the story, they've been inseparable ever since.

Bill is now married and lives nearby with his wife. They announced their pregnancy a while ago and my husband was absolutely overjoyed for them. He would visit at often as he could and it seemed like he was singlehandedly funding the baby's wardrobe and nursery, honestly.

Unfortunately, they suffered a miscarriage just before the six month mark. Bill and his wife were understandably devastated, and so was my husband. I got it - he was watching his best friend go through something unimaginably painful. He was often gone for long periods to time comforting Bill because not only had he suffered this loss, his marriage didn't seem to be holding up very well either.

The miscarriage occurred at the end of September. Now, this is where I might be a huge a-hole, so I'm in desperate need of judgement-- I completely empathize with Bill and his wife still needing time to recover, but my husband is ALSO still acting as if this is fresh.

Not just in the way he's still comforting his friend during his free time or excusing himself to take hours long phone calls, but the intensity of his emotions. I caught him crying about a week ago and when I asked him what about, he got angry with me and said it should be obvious.

I was surprised to be met with such malice over a simple question, so I tried to gently suggest that maybe therapy would be beneficial. He was feeling this loss like it was his own, and I didn't find that very healthy. In fact, I had been concerned about him since mid-October if I was honest but had no idea how to broach the subject.

The conversation that followed didn't go well, and my husband said his emotions were perfectly normal and that maybe I was just lacking in empathy. He's been avoiding me since. AITA (Am I the A-hole)?

What do you think? Is OP not being empathetic enough, or is her husband's reaction inapproriate?

Reddit was all over the board with this one - and they had a lot of questions. And OP was gracious enough to give more info:

We don’t have children. We both want them in the future, but haven’t really established a timeline for when.

chaos_coordinator_X3 wants to know:

NTA (Not the a-hole). Therapy asap. You sure this wasn’t husbands baby? Secret donor? Affair? That does not seem normal.

To which OP responds:

I know this wasn’t my husband’s baby for a few reasons - health related and otherwise.

AggravatingPatient18 has another theory:

NTA. Your husband is unusually enmeshed here. Like weirdly so. I don't think his relationship with Bill is entirely platonic. Have you seen Bill and his wife recently? If you've been distancing yourself I'd say it's time to go when your husband does so you can judge just how things are between the three of them. Whatever it is that's bothering your husband, it's clear he's grieving much more.

And OP answered:

I saw them a few weeks ago. His wife seemed very distant from Bill, but she was kind to me. We talked for a while. Bill and my husband spent some time alone while she and I did. She’s coping decently well, but their marriage isn’t holding up very well, like I said. That’s troubling her.

diagnosedwolf says:

I think that what needs to be remembered here is that this was not a miscarriage. At 24 weeks, unintentionally losing a baby is a stillbirth. It’s physically traumatic to go through because you have to actually give birth to a corpse. A formed baby that has all its parts. If my best friend went through that, I’d grieve with them for longer than a week.

Studies have shown that it’s psychologically no different to have a stillborn at 24 weeks than it is to have one at 30 or 40 weeks, or to lose a baby to SIDS. You’d think it would be harder the longer you “had” the baby, but apparently not. I know what it’s like to be a spectator to the parents’ grief. For that reason, I think NAH (no a-holes here).

BlondeJonZ has another concern:

I can't help but feel really bad for Bill's wife. You know, the one who ACTUALLY experienced the stillbirth? Maybe the marriage is in trouble now because Bill is also refusing to share his grief with his partner, with his wife? Instead it's 'hours long phone conversations' with his buddy?

I understand that there is a lot of grief here, But neither of these men seem to be handling it in a healthy way, and both of them seem to be alienating their wives.

Nickei88 comments:

I'm not into jumping to conclusions on this sub but it seems as if Bill and the husband are more than friends and the husband is devastated because he and Bill were going to raise the baby together after Bill leaves his wife.

But CrabRepresentative50 isn't having it:

The conspiracy theories here are just wild. There could be any number of reasons to explain the husband's extreme grief without jumping to secret gay affair. Maybe he and OP have decided they aren't ready for kids, but he actually really wants one and has been living vicariously through the friend.

Maybe he was promised a role of 'uncle' and felt connected to the baby that way. Maybe he is undergoing some mental health struggles and this event has been a catalyst of sorts. You can't internet sleuth your way to an answer.

I absolutely agree his reaction isn't normal and therapy would be beneficial - but it sounds like he might not be easily convinced of this fact. I think the best OP can do is express their concern gently and with love, and try to keep therapy on the table as a way for husband to work through things without judgement.

There are no simple answers (or perhaps A-holes) here...

Whatever is going on, both husbands need to communicate with their wives. Good luck, OP.

Sources: Reddit
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