It’s easy to let infertility take over your lives and your relationship. But it’s important to prioritize the relationship, first and foremost, and dedicate the necessary time to the relationship.
It’s imperative to maintain a life outside of the infertility. Couples easily forget this because the process CAN be so consuming. It’s easy to wear your partner out by needing to talk about it constantly.
For example, when you get started on the journey, consider making a commitment to having a regular date night to bond and leaving infertility off the table for the duration of the date.
This is one of the most important reasons having a therapist is such a huge resource! It allows you to get your processing done outside of the home to relieve some of the stress and anxiety. This gives your partner a bit of a break from being the emotional support. Otherwise, it puts too much pressure on the home life.
Most often, the woman is going to be the one that feels the need to talk about it more than the man. It’s easy for the man to get frustrated and feel like that’s the only thing she’ll talk about and that this is the only thing she cares about. He may think…
“What about me? Where do I fit into this relationship?”
And there’s the fear of…
“What if this doesn’t happen? What about me/us then?”
So, really prioritizing time together and designating time in which infertility should not be mentioned is important.
It’s also paramount to foster your connection. For example, how do you greet each other? How do you talk to one another? What is the tone when you resolve conflict or have difficult conversations?
Focus on the “Love Languages” and meeting your partner’s needs. Consider the ways that they feel loved and respond accordingly. Try to maintain some sort of intimacy. That can get tricky, obviously, but it’s important to keep putting in the effort.
If it helps, consider setting a specific time where you sit down and talk about what you’re going through, so you know that you have a dedicated period to express your feelings, frustrations, and so on. Then, you know there’s going to be a specific outlet, and you feel less of a need to bring it up all the time.
Or, if there’s something that you must discuss sooner than later, set a time limit by saying something like, “Hey, can we talk for 15 minutes after the show?” or “I need 10 minutes after dinner to talk.”
Be sure to set a time – and a length of time – for the conversation.
By consciously carving out the time, you can focus and tend to what the other person needs in that window without the fear it may never end.
Fortunately, it’s not very common to see one of the partners blaming the other for the infertility. But if you find yourself wanting to blame your partner (or vice versa), that’s generally going to come from a place of fear. Therefore, take a moment to address the fears as a couple so that you don’t wind up adding unnecessary stress and burden to the process.
What is more common is when the couple has received advice from their doctor and one of the patients isn’t adhering to the advice, frustration or blame may surface. For example, the doctor recommends quitting smoking or limiting caffeine, and one of the partners isn’t following through. In cases like this, someone may feel like their partner isn’t fully invested in the process.
In such situations, you should talk about what’s going on: the process, the disappointment, or the fears that you have about the other person not being fully committed. But again, this ultimately comes down to the “fear factor” on one or both sides (the person not taking the doctor’s guidance may be subconsciously afraid it’s not going to work and will at least have a reason in the end).
About Tara Joyner, LPC
When Tara was an undergraduate at Texas A&M, she worked in a women’s health facility processing difficult topics with patients. Later, she moved into clinical research while in graduate school. There she discovered her passion for women’s health and the associated emotional components. This motivated her to go to into private practice.
Tara began seeing a variety of patients in her practice. Having gone through infertility herself where she had in vitro resulting in twins, she became involved with a fertility clinic and became a fervent advocate helping people through their process.
With her firsthand experience and training, she found that she had the necessary level of empathy and knowledge of all the acronyms and industry terms, nurturing people as they navigate the waters.
Contact Information : http://www.TaraJoynerLPC.com
Get your copy of Fertility and Beyond: Join the Conversation on Amazon.