The majority of couples embark on the journey to parenting with the expectation that it would go well. After all, many spend most of their lives attempting to avoid becoming pregnant and believe that delivery will occur quickly once they actively begin trying. But, unfortunately, the journey becomes the emotional rollercoaster of infertility when months or even years pass without a baby—efforts to obtain conception increase from invasive testing to high-tech therapies.
Infertility may put a couple’s relationship to the test and damage a marriage’s foundation. But, it can also increase the strength of a strong connection while weakening the core of a problematic one. Because infertility is a crisis, most couples have never dealt with it before, forcing them to devise new tactics and coping mechanisms to deal with this life tragedy. The good news is that studies have shown that most infertile couples’ marriages are strengthened by experience, which teaches them life-long problem-solving abilities. Furthermore, because infertility is just one of many difficulties couples may experience in their relationship, the methods acquired may be used in other tough situations.
Here are ways in which couples can cope with the process of infertility together:
Communicate with one another. Fears should be shared. Don’t go about fearful that your lover may abandon you and never say anything. While bringing it up might be frightening, you’ll feel pleased when your spouse tells you that infertility will not drive them away.
He is unable to read your thoughts. Tell him if you want him to be more supportive, but be precise. What exactly do you mean when you say “supportive”? If you need some alone time because you’re furious and unhappy and don’t want to vent your frustrations on him, inform him so he doesn’t believe you’re shutting him out. If you’re having trouble expressing yourself verbally, consider writing to him in an e-mail or letter.
When one partner’s major coping technique is to avoid discussing infertility, it might become an issue. On the other hand, if one spouse talks about infertility “all the time,” it might become a cause of conflict.
The trick is to strike a balance. Then, depending on whatever side of the coin you fall on, be prepared to talk about it more or less.
Maintain the romance.
When it comes to fertility issues, sex might feel like a chore. Have sex dates that aren’t just for the sake of reproduction. This can include not talking about fertility before, during, or after the sexual act and having sex without intercourse. When you add in the reality that one spouse may be less “in the mood” outside of defined fertile windows, you’ve got a situation that might exacerbate feelings of loneliness.
For example, hold hands, go for walks together, or snuggle on the sofa. The idea is to make it so natural and enjoyable that the “work” that sex has become is banished. The essential thing is to devote uninterrupted time to the two of you.
Respect each other’s differences.
Everyone handles things differently. You can’t tell how passionate someone is about anything just by looking at them or even by their behaviours.
Not everyone expresses their feelings openly. At the same time, what appears to you to be an exaggeration may be entirely typical for them? Just because he isn’t crying or talking about his infertility for hours doesn’t mean he isn’t in pain. Men are more prone to feel irritated as a result of their distance from the situation. Please recognize that this might be his coping mechanism.
For Help, Reach Out
Would you please not attempt to deal with infertility on your own? Many people and couples are afraid to seek help because of their shame. Couples who receive social assistance, on the other hand, have better relationships, according to studies. Women struggling with infertility have also discovered that social support is crucial.
You do not need to “inform the world.” Instead, you have the option of selectively sharing the information with certain friends or family members. Just don’t attempt to accomplish everything by yourself.
Make a plan
According to research, putting together a plan of action has been shown to increase marital happiness, particularly for males.
Infertility is not conducive to making plans in certain aspects. Infertility therapy can quickly deplete your financial, marital, and emotional resources. It’s a good idea to discuss which treatments you’ll receive, how many you’ll receive, and how much money you’ll spend before the rollercoaster ride begins. You can, at the very least, create short-term strategies. You can also develop adaptable strategies.
Even if IVF isn’t on your radar, it’s fine to discuss what you’d do if you required it. However, it’s also fine to establish those arrangements with the understanding that you may alter your mind later.
Avoid black-and-white thinking and seek compromise, whether it’s a disagreement over who to notify or how to pay for a treatment cycle. For example, is one of you willing to share the news of your infertility with others, while the other prefers to keep it private?
Select a small group of persons who can serve as social supports together. For example, one of you wants to come to a complete halt, while the other wants to continue. Instead, make a compromise and take a brief pause, with intentions to discuss going ahead after the break is over.
Seek help from a counsellor
You won’t always be able to achieve agreements on your own. However, a therapist can assist you in communicating and reaching mutual agreements.
You might think that therapy is just for those thinking about divorcing or suffering from severe depression or anxiety. This is a fabrication. Counselling is for anyone who needs further support in dealing with stress or a tough circumstance.
Infertility may place a lot of strain on relationships, so couples should explore therapy as a source of support and knowledge to help them deal with their issues. In addition, counselling may be beneficial if you find yourself at a roadblock in your relationship or if your regular coping techniques aren’t working.
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