D.O.A. ~ The Dead Marriage Syndrome


D.O.A. ~ The Dead Marriage Syndrome
I checked the obituary page and was surprised to find the death of my marriage there. Help!

-“Let’s have sex.” For the offended, “live person” in the marriage, you will feel an
incredible need to connect in your way that usually works every single time---by making
love. This however is the last thing you would do with a dying person you are giving
C.P.R. to, right? Please don’t think having sex with a dead person will be helpful to
them, the relationship and especially not you.

-“Do you need to get your hormones checked?” or “Have you taken your medication
lately?” A dead person will not respond to medical questions. Asking such questions
only confirms that you do not get how very gone they are.

-“I just want things back like they were,” spoken in a very needy, whiny, tone of voice.
Ok…….grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr………this question will invoke a lot of anger in your “dead
spouse.” This is precisely the problem! They will not go back to how things were. They
want life not death and they will not in any way go back to the “old ways.” The old ways
are what resulted in their death. Why would they choose to go back to this place?

Amazing Revelations ~ I Get It!

Something that will begin the heart beat for your spouse again will be for you to “get it.”
Just your simple understanding of how dead they are will be the starting place. When a
loved one dies what is one thing we do? We begin quiet reflection about who that person was. We remember precious moments about their character, their heart. We think about special unique attributes of our lost one that we’ll miss. We ponder their value, we think of the questions we wished we would have asked them.

Just Feed Them Ice Chips and Listen for Each Heartbeat

Examining all the positive things about your spouse and cultivating a desire to “really”
know them will move your spouse from their self-imposed casket to the hospital I.C.U.
unit. It is in the I.C.U. where you tend them and listen to hear their heart beating that you absolutely swear that “if-only” you could have a few more hours, a few more days, just a couple of years, that you would love them in a whole new way.

The Resurrection

Before the resurrection, there may be a lot of pain. Bringing a “dead spouse” back to life
can be one of the most frustrating and scary undertakings (no pun intended) a person might ever do. It is a matter of understanding how desperate your spouse is for you to really know them experientially. It will be both of your journeys to have “new eyes to see” each other and find new ways of connection, communicating and cultivating a life-filled relationship.

This article was originally published at Missing Pieces . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Trudy Johnson


Trudy M. Johnson, M.A., LMFT, CSPII

Helping women process grief after voluntary pregnancy termination without fear.

Bringing abortion after-care into the 21st century by educating professionals.


Location: Buena Vista, CO
Credentials: LMFT, MA, Non-Profit
Specialties: Abortion Issues
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