How do you "celebrate" Valentines' Day when there is that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach that your partner somewhere back on the road of the relationship has died? One of the most difficult marriage counseling cases is the one where one of the spouses is dead. Marriages where parties are fighting are still engaging, there is still passion on some level. It is the spouse who is “dead on arrival” when it comes to relating in the marriage that brings a very challenging situation to the counseling room. If your spouse has recently suggested you look in the obituaries to find your marriage, read on for some great pointers to give you help and hope. 5 Simple Actions That Reignite Passion
Understanding how dead your spouse is, will be the first step to bringing a dead marriage back to life. Most spouses receiving the “obituary news” about their marriage are clueless. In general, the live partner is completely unaware that the other person is dead. Because of this, the live partner may spend valuable moments doing all the wrong things to revive their partner. Just like any other moments of first response in an emergency and potentially fatal situation, it is those crucial beginning moments that can make or break the situation.
More from YourTango: Staying Safe Processing Grief After Abortion - Step Five
Do not plan a romantic evening. Don't say, "Would you like to go out for a romantic evening? I’ll even plan it!" Really now! Have you ever drug a corpse around town? A romantic dinner, date to the play, perhaps? How fun is that? Understand, your spouse is dead. The kind of evening you are now suggesting would have probably been fine and wonderful and exactly what your “dead spouse” wanted several years or even decades ago. But now that they are dead, to suggest a romantic getaway will invoke an angry response from your “dead” mate. A response like this will further cement the realization that you do not know them. Your idea of hearts and flowers is complete invalidation of how they feel.
More from YourTango: How VPT Grief Might Impact Your Daily Life - Step Four
Pursuing a dead person will only bring you frustration and pain. Do not waste your time chasing a spouse who has died in your marriage. They won’t run toward you. They will stay very stationary, frozen in time. There will be no movement, no baby-steps towards you, no moments of waltzing or jitterbugging. No sweet “I love you’s” whispered in your ear.
Avoid saying the following to your "dead spouse." "Let’s talk and figure out what is wrong with you." Remember. Dead people do not talk. They don’t listen. They don’t feel. Talking with your “dead spouse” will only make you angry. Your anger will then be further justification to them that being dead is a very safe place in this marriage. “Hurry up and get over this. I need you to snap out of this so I can feel better.” Remember, dead spouses do not hurry up anything. They don’t snap. They don’t care how you feel. They are dead and dead people do not respond emotionally or physically, which brings up another point of something not to say: