Planning to conceive a child or going through pregnancy is considered one of the happiest times in a couple’s relationship, but if you and your partner are dealing with issues of infertility and/or are having trouble getting pregnant, this can be a very stressful and challenging time for you and your relationship. A recent survey indicated that about one fourth of couples dealing with infertility experience negative impact on their relationship. However, about a third of those surveyed reported the struggle has benefited their relationship and brought them closer together.
When dealing with infertility, a lot of emotions come up at every step of the way. It is not uncommon for both men and women to feel anxious, depressed, and guilty, point blame, and feel isolated or alone. You may be feeling that all the dreams and the hopes you had for that perfect family are suddenly threatened, and worry creeps in. Depending on what the cause of infertility is, you might be pointing blame or feeling guilty. What doesn’t help is seeing your friends and/or neighbors getting pregnant or with children, and that may leave you feeling alone and misunderstood by others who have not gone through the struggles you are experiencing.
But you are not alone. Getting help is sometimes necessary, whether it be in the form of counseling or joining a support group. You may find the following tips useful while you are pursuing fertility treatments:
Do not blame yourself or your partner for the infertility. There are many things in life over which we have no control, and this is just one of them. Concentrate on doing all that you possibly can to enhance your chances and follow recommendations by your health care providers, but know that you don’t have control over everything.
Be united and strong to fight infertility, and tackle it together.Externalize the problem, do not let it define you, your partner or your relationship, but see it as a common challenge to overcome together. The responsibility is not yours alone, you are in this together.
Invest in your relationship. Go out on dates, take on a new sport together, and keep doing all the things that define you as a couple. Keep your relationship strong and close so that you will have the strength to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Couples draw strength from each other and from the relationship. Cherish each other and maintain a loving and caring relationship with your partner.
Communicate with each other, talk about your feelings and listen to one another. Don’t assume your partner knows how you feel or what you need in the relationship. Be assertive in your communication with each other, expressing your needs and concerns about the relationship.
Let spontaneous sex back into your relationship, and even spice things up if necessary. Have some fun with each other, and try to enjoy sex without the stress of having to get pregnant. While trying to conceive, many couples begin viewing sex as a means of getting pregnant, turning something that was fun and spontaneous into a chore. Make a decision to have sex on some occasions just for the sake of pleasure and closeness.
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