How to Keep Your Marriage Strong Throughout Fertility Treatments
Advice from those who've survived the journey
Take a Break
“Keeping things bottled up until they explode or refusing to deal with the emotions will cause a distance in the relationship, which can lead to more problems and even divorce,” Peterman warns. “The best way for any couple to handle this is to talk openly and honestly about their feelings—good and bad. They need to be able to communicate in a way that is non-critical and non-judgmental toward their partner.”
The counseling setting is a safe place where partners can express all of their feelings with the help of a good counselor who will encourage them to do so even if those feelings are hard for their partner to hear, says Peterman.
Angela says that she and Brian worked hard to keep the lines of communication open during their treatments. “My advice for another couple dealing with infertility would be to talk to your partner about your feelings, regardless of how stupid you feel or how hard it may be,” she says. “It will make all of the difference in the world to know you aren’t alone—which is what you’re the most concerned about anyway.”
Not only should you and your spouse talk to each other—you may also want to open up to other loved ones. “We handled the emotional ups and downs through prayer, open communication between the two of us, and open communication between friends and family,” says Elizabeth. “It really helped not to keep what we were going through to ourselves. You shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to rely on friends and family for support.”
During fertility treatments, it’s easy for a couple to become completely consumed with the ultimate goal: getting pregnant. After a while, all of your thoughts and conversations may revolve around your fertility treatments, getting pregnant, and babies. However, it’s important to give yourselves a break every now and then.
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