Losing the person you have chosen to share your life with can destroy your hopes and expectations for the future. When you lose a partner to suicide it is not unusual to experience strong feelings of rejection or betrayal – a sense that they broke your shared commitment, that they chose to leave you or that they did not feel that they could look to you for help.
“I felt I was not good enough to stay alive with…”
You are likely to have had one of the closest relationships with the deceased – physically and emotionally. If there were no indications of their intentions, you may question yourself about how you could not have noticed or feel that they deceived you by hiding it. Or if there were indications, you may feel guilty that you did not do enough. You may find yourself questioning other aspects of your relationship and worrying about how others perceive you as a partner or spouse.
It is likely that you will be grieving alongside your partner’s birth family and it may be that their reactions leave you feeling blamed in part or whole for the suicide. This may be unintentional but sometimes people voice explicitly where they think that the blame lies.
“This wouldn’t have happened if (s)he hadn’t been with you…”
If you have children, you may find that you have to manage your experience of grief as a spouse alongside supporting your children through the loss of their parent.
In addition to the emotional impact of your bereavement, you may have practical concerns as a result of now having to cope with finances, home and family single handedly. There may need to be major changes to your life – changing or giving up your job, moving to a more affordable house or becoming a single parent.
You may also find that your social life is impacted too – the world may suddenly feel as if it is made for couples. You may find that it is difficult to contemplate developing new relationships in the future.