How to strengthen a marriage during infertility treatment

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Infertility challenges a marriage. Some marriages will strengthen and become more resolute. Others will stumble and struggle. Here is some time tested advice which has helped couples through this difficult time and it may help you too.

Laying blame

There may be a tendency, within your relationship and from outsiders, to find out who is to “blame”. One partner may feel relieved and superior while the other feels guilty and inferior. But the fact of the matter is, infertility is one of the few known medical conditions that involves two people. The couple is infertile. Understanding this and accepting it will help you act as a team and push forward to a more positive outcome.

Communication

Communication is crucial – both talking and listening. And shelve expectations. Men and women feel differently and communicate differently. Don’t judge your partners reactions because they don’t mirror yours. Women love to talk and express and detail what they are feeling. And they need to do it often for validation and reassurance. Women believe they will be understood if they most accurately describe what they are going through. Men just need to listen. Men like to summarize. Don’t expect them to be as descriptive. That doesn’t mean though that what they are feeling is any less impactful and meaningful.

The survival kit

Here are some simple guidelines which might help relieve some of the stress you are going through as a couple.
- Think of a Band-Aid - You could even keep a Band-Aid in your wallet or purse, somewhere you will see it often, to remind you that you heal, that you have a partner who wants to help in that healing. This doesn’t mean a quick fix or minimizing the pain, but understanding that with time and attention, you will make it through this experience.
- 20 Minutes - If you are at a point where you are consumed with your infertility and your efforts to get around it, if the relationship is starting to feel burdened, make a 20 minute rule. When infertility comes up, you have 20 minutes to get it all out, let it fly, all the emotion, the questions, the unfairness, throw it out and let it go. Give it a limit, don’t let it take over your lives.
- Find Romance Again - The first casualty of infertility is romance. Take a night off from the chase. Connect with your man for no other reason than making the connection. Reach out to your woman because you need her now, just to bolster you. Give yourselves a break.
Source: Marriage Missions, “When the Cradle is Empty…Answering Tough Questions About Infertility” by Van Regenmorter


 
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