Advice For Couples Facing An Infertility Diagnosis
Infertility may be one of the most difficult challenges a couple can face together and in their relationship. It can impact many aspects of marriage or partnership: infertility and it’s treatment options can change and place a strain on finances, intimacy, and future plans.
It’s common and understandable to feel stressed, angry, sad, hopeless, overwhelmed, and to often feel a huge sense of loss. The uncertainty associated with infertility is often one of the most frustrating parts, as each month comes with a hope that may be dashed. Experiencing such intense emotions, it’s no wonder that a couple’s relationship can take strain.
While infertility can certainly be a major stressor on a marriage, it need not be the end of a marriage. By approaching the process as a team, and by keeping things in perspective, you can keep your marriage healthy while coping with infertility.
Each couple copes with infertility in their own unique way, but here are some of the most important tips to help keep your relationship strong and grounded:
Make Time To Talk and Communicate Honestly
Whatever it is that you are feeling and experiencing emotionally regarding your current circumstances, it’s imperative that you make the time to talk and check in with one another.
Infertility issues affect individuals differently, and there will be times when, as a couple, you are on the same page and other times when you feel very differently from one another. Keep each other in the loop and let each other in.
Anxiety can shut down the lines of communication in a relationship.
Make the time for each other, and give one another the chance to be honest & vulnerable. As hard as it may feel at times, try to keep your communication positive and avoid getting caught up in too much negativity.
Work As A Team
It’s easy to build resentment towards your partner and even yourself during a challenging time such as this one. Help each other through this time and don’t blame one another.
Share the process and responsibilities practically (for instance, giving lifts for treatment appointments, picking up prescriptions), and pay attention to what your partner is going through emotionally, being particularly aware that their experience or way of coping may be different from your own. Approach fertility as something that you’re facing together, as a couple.
Give Yourself Time Off
If infertility dominates all of your thinking and conversations together as a couple, give yourselves some time off from the issue. It may be challenging, but try to be intentional about setting time aside to do and talk about other things. Undergoing assessments or treatment for fertility problems can feel like a full-time job, so it’s important to keep up with ‘ordinary’ life, such as discussing each other’s day at work or tackling that DIY job that’s been waiting for months to be finished.
Don’t be afraid to create clear boundaries to protect yourself. If you need to stay away from baby showers or go off of social media to avoid pregnancy announcements, do it. Your mental health matters and your intuition will guide you as to help look after it best.
Make Time For Fun and Romance
Having fun and laughing together is a crucial part of keeping a relationship strong, whatever challenge a couple may be facing.
Set time aside for light-hearted activities in the midst of the sad times. Keep the romance alive by going on date nights and other special times alone together, romance and physical intimacy can all take a hit when you’re coping with infertility. If you can, try not to make sex all about the mechanics of getting pregnant, and remember the importance of investing in your relationship.