The grief is real.

We are often told that Partners react differently. The truth is the shame and blame game can drive a couple apart. Let’s talk about the difference between guilt vs shame.

Guilt is defined as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. In other words, it involves the awareness of having done something wrong; it arises from our actions.

Shame is the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another. It’s a painful feeling about how we appear to others (and to ourselves) and doesn’t necessarily depend on our having done anything. When it comes to miscarriage, guilt and shame present in big ways but also feelings of embarrassment and humiliation become woven into the overwhelming cascade of sadness.

Guilt is likely preferred over shame. Let me tell you why. It is well documented that shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, eating disorders, violence, bullying, and aggression. You work through the guilt of something but shame is overwhelmingly destructive.

Shame questions your “worthiness.” Shame is about causing pain to someone. Guilt being about accountability. Shame is never healthy or useful. Guilt, on the other hand, can be healthy and useful. Shame leads to disconnection with others. Guilt leads to healing and overcoming. Shame means “I am wrong.” Guilt is I did something wrong.

Miscarriage is not about blame. It demands forgiveness to be able to try again for your dream of a child.