How to Keep Your Marriage Strong Throughout Fertility Treatments
Advice from those who've survived the journey
Make a Plan
“Talk about things other than conceiving a child,” says Peterman. “Talk about other wishes, hopes, dreams, plans, events, feelings, people, and current events. Do the things you did while you were dating. Go out on a date!”
Focusing on something else will not only take your mind off of your infertility issues for a short time, but it will also bring you and your spouse closer. When you’re facing an enormous marital challenge such as infertility, it’s important to remind each other why you got married in the first place.
In the shadow of infertility, a couple can quickly slip into the blame game. In search of a scapegoat, you may feel the urge to point an accusing finger at your spouse. But this little game can quickly lead to a serious marital crisis. If you want your marriage to survive, you and your spouse need to rely on each other and work as a team.
“One or both partners may blame the other for their infertility issues, and this can cause problems,” Peterman says. “Be a team, united in your efforts instead of getting on opposite sides.”
Throughout their trying times, Elizabeth and Grant turned to each other for support, which is what kept their marriage strong. When asked what advice she would give other couples dealing with infertility, Elizabeth says, “Don’t blame each other, forgive each other, love each other. One person cannot do this alone. Both have to engage in the process.”
In the event that things do not work out the way a couple hopes and fertility treatments do not work, the partners need to address it and work through what is next in their lives. Hopefully, superstition against talking about negative outcomes (which comes naturally to everyone) will have been overcome and some conversations about this will have happened early in the process. But, in the end, the decision to stop treatments is a painful one, even when people are mentally prepared for it.
First and foremost, couples should seek counseling for their grief, suggests Linda Peterson. They will be grieving over a real loss—the loss of having their own biological child.
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