Infertility causes stress to the concerned individual, and can also cause stress to the couple as a whole. When so much time is spent focusing on getting pregnant with fertility treatment, connection and presence in a couple’s relationship may dissipate. Unfortunately, some marriages don’t survive the stress of fertility treatments and as a result, break up. However, many couples will emerge from the challenge stronger than they were before.
The tips and information contained below will help you and your partner move towards becoming stronger together on your fertility journey.
Communication is key:
Communication is the key to sustain a strong connection through fertility treatment. When there is a lack of communication with one another, the other partner will begin to make assumptions. Assumptions are often not fully grounded in reality and often create unhealthy communication. How can one partner truly know what the other is thinking without communication? It is important that each partner has and takes the time to properly express his or her true feelings about the experience. Each partner needs to feel heard and understood by the other partner. A trained marital counsellor has the tools to help couples work on their communication so they can effectively express and release their feelings.
Creating a fertility plan:
Coming together to create an overarching fertility plan can help relieve the stress from one treatment to the next. Part of my work as a fertility counsellor is to help couples create a plan of action towards their treatment, a plan which both partners support and feel good about. On many occasions, conflict does arise when there is disagreement in a treatment plan.
Having a weekly scheduled date night creates a routine that supports spending time with your significant other. On date nights, it is important not to talk about children, infertility, medical treatments, or anything to do with the process you are experiencing. The focus of your attention should be towards each other and the programme for the evening. Allow yourself to enjoy a break from the routine and to spend meaningful time together.
Have spontaneous sex that is not focussed on reproducing. Try not to discuss the time of intercourse. Get back to being loving and romantic with each other. Consider having sex in a different location. The focus is to make it light and fun, letting go of any expectations.
Getting on the same page as your partner with the same outlook is important. Try jointly to see the bigger picture and together contemplate the fact that this journey will not last forever. This struggle to have a family is one of many challenges that will be faced. Create an affirming phrase you can use with each-other to raise the other up such as “we are getting through this” or “we are strong together.” Even if you don’t believe it all the time, continue to find words that strengthen your spirit.
There is no one certain path to assist everyone and each couple will have different emotions but, from my experience, I can say that the tools described above have worked successfully for many couples.