Infertility can cause emotional stress, but it can also have a big impact on your relationships, especially romantically. While it may create tension in some cases, it can also bring you and your significant other closer. When conflicts arise, follow these tips:
Allow for Differences
Everyone copes in different ways, so don’t let yourself judge how much your significant other cares just by looking at them. Not everyone shows their emotions on the outside, and sometimes what you conceive as an overreaction is a normal reaction for them. Try not to compare whose pain is “worse” or who has it “better.” Emotional pain is still pain, so offer each other support in order to find peace.
Find Ways to Connect
Although it may be difficult, try not to let infertility be the topic of every conversation. When fertility testing and treatment seem to be taking over, it might be hard to remember what the two of you ever talked about before your struggle with fertility. Work on connecting in other ways; pursue a new hobby together or think about the things you used to enjoy doing together when you were first dating. Don’t neglect your sex life, either. Although intercourse can sometimes feel like a chore amidst your struggles with fertility, try your best to make it about love and intimacy again.
Make a Plan Together
Research has shown that putting together a plan of action helps improve marital satisfaction, especially for men. Although infertility doesn’t always allow for permanent plans, you can still make short-term plans as well as flexible ones. Put together plans for the “what ifs,” like what you would do if you needed IVF. It is also helpful to begin putting together financial plans. Even if you end up not needing it, it can be used for something else.
Communication is extremely important. Issues tend to arise if one partner copes by avoiding the topic completely, or by talking about it constantly, so work on finding balance with your partner. Keep your mind open to talking about it more if you tend to keep it bottled up, or less if your partner feels as if it is talked about too much.
It Won’t Last Forever
You will not be struggling to conceive forever. You may or may not have children, but research has found that feelings of depression and anxiety peak around three years post-infertility diagnosis. After six years, depression and anxiety symptoms lesson and couples feel stronger. Eventually, you may have a child or you may decide to stop trying. Know that there is life after infertility.
The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.