The stress and frustration that come along with infertility can be hard to manage. It’s normal to worry about the effects they may have on your relationship, but left unmanaged, this anxiety can lead to problems with your partner. What can you do to stay strong together while dealing with fertility problems and treatment? Let’s talk about how to stay strong dealing with fertility problems together.
Fear of Falling Apart
When you first realize that you may be having fertility problems, it is normal to want to retreat into yourself. There is too much shame and guilt tied up with having trouble conceiving, and you may just want to hide or keep it a secret.
For women and men alike, there are questions of self-worth and desirability that come up when facing infertility. “Will my partner still love me if I can’t give them a baby?” Men often question their own manhood when they can’t become fathers. Feelings like this can take a huge toll on the relationship.
But infertility isn’t a one-way trip to a failed relationship. In a survey of women facing fertility problems, nearly a quarter reported that infertility had a negative impact on their relationship. But more importantly, nearly a third said that the struggle actually helped make their relationship stronger.
Ways to Stick Together
There are many things you can do to alleviate the stress of infertility, but the most important thing is to do them together. Knowing that your partner is in this with you and sharing the experience of coping can help strengthen your bond.
Communication is also key. Even if they don’t ask, your partner needs to know what you’re feeling and experiencing. If you don’t tell them, they will have to fill it in on their own. And you have to listen when they open up to you. Only through caring back-and-forth can you come to understand each other better.
Counseling may be helpful for many couples. Having a professional available to guide you and your partner through the trials of infertility can help each of you express yourself more fully. A therapist can also give you the benefit of both scientific research and anecdotal knowledge from other couples who have gone through what you are facing.
Talk to your doctor about ways to deal with the emotional impact of your fertility problems. They should also be able to recommend a qualified counselor if you would like to pursue therapy.
Resources for your partner: