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Miscarriages May End Relationships

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The loss of a pregnancy can be perhaps one of the most devastating experiences of an individual or couple's life. And a new study shows that couples who miscarry may not be able to stay in their marriage as a result.

A study released today at the University of Michigan and published in Pediatrics Journal reveals that couples are more likely to divorce after a miscarriage than couples who go through pregnancies to term. There was a 22 percent greater risk of breakup and among couples who experienced a stillbirth, there was a 40 percent higher risk.

Nearly 8,000 couples were studied over 15 years. Dr. Louis Gamino, author of "When Your Baby Dies" pointed out to health.com that the research may not be valuable - after all, what couple wants to hear about losing their relationship after losing their child?

Loss is an experience that manifests itself into many forms - it may end up binding two people closer together, as they both work to recover from various feelings of grief. Or it may tear them apart - the anger and strain, resentment and sadness, may become too much for a couple to bare. Sometimes couples can't see themselves with their partners after miscarrying because of the association they may have between the person and the experience. They may grieve in such different ways, that the relationship isn't able to be sustained. There are many questions raised, but there are no scientific answers yet as to why miscarriages may lead to a higher risk in divorce.

Still, as with all tragedies, there may be ways to make the process easier, and eventually continue onward in the healthiest way possible. Couples who experience this kind of loss may benefit from therapy, a supportive network of friends and family, and some may even be recommended to using antidepressants or other medications.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Nina

This is a really interesting study. I find it disturbing that couples would split apart over a miscarriage. The death of a child or a stillborn birth, definitely could factor in, but most miscarriages are in the first trimester where I would have thought such a new condition in a marriage would not contribute to it's demise. There would have been no preparation yet, no nursery, (often times not even an announcement) and no baby showers, doctor visits etc. I don't mean a first trimester miscarriage is less awful to deal with but most people I know have had one (sad to say) and to the best of my knowledge it brought couples together, not apart.

I hope people find a way to get through it together. A miscarriage should never break couples apart. At least in a perfect world. But who lives there?

Great post - thank you.

April 15, 2010 - 12:05pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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