Just as “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen.2:18), so also it is not good for the wife to be alone, especially when she has been traumatised by news of serious illness, or whatever the specific situation might be. Similarly, children, regardless of their ages, need the support that only father can give; and they must not be deprived of that. What dereliction of responsibility that would be if the husband and father were to neglect this parental and matrimonial duty and responsibility.
I sometimes wonder if husbands are aware of the deep emotional and spiritual needs of their wives and families at a time of trauma. Perhaps the husband is so caught up with his own situation that he gives precious little thought to how his wife and family are feeling, or even coping with the situation. Yet he can spend more time with others whose needs are not ass great. This is a Christian duty that has great potential for spiritual benefits for all concerned.
I heard of a Christian husband whose wife has cancer, and is not handling it very well, going off on his sporting activities when he would have been better to have stayed with her. I know that when the time is right, carers need a break from their responsibilities and to re-charge their emotional and spiritual batteries again. But in the early days of cancer or whatever caused the trauma, is essentially a traumatic situation, and his place is with his wife and family.
When a husband undertakes at his marriage to “love his wife” and to do so “in sickness and in health,” (that is, in good times and in bad) when she suffers (from cancer), it is his privilege as well as his duty to fulfil this vow in the most practical of ways. To demonstrate his love for her at such a time is a great witness to the love of Christ for His church (Eph.5:25). For her to be abandoned in such circumstances is nothing short of criminal. She needs him, and he must be there for her and for the children.
I remember reading about what Prof. E. M. Blaiklock did in order to make up for the time he hadn’t spent with his son who had become most wayward in his living; he took many months off just to spend quality time with him. He placed his parental responsibilities before even his academic career.
When trauma strikes, it hits the whole family; no one escapes, regardless of who is the primary sufferer. Trauma can be a lonely and isolating experience. But God has set the solitary in families (Ps.68:6), for it is not good that men or women or children should be alone.
Cherish your family; value who and what they are; appreciate them because they hurt, too. And they also need your nearness.