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Attempting to conceive can quickly turn into a stressful process for any couple, but those realizing they face infertility issues face difficulties that can tear a marriage apart. When couples are focused on conception, learning that they cannot is devastating. As stress and fear compounds, it’s essential that couples find healthy ways to work through this issue. This is how a marriage can survive infertility.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Whether the issue stems from male or female reproductive systems, pointing the finger at your partner will never have a positive impact on any marriage. The “responsible” party will already feel guilty, questioning their masculinity or femininity.
Assigning blame only worsens their already low self-esteem and adds more stress into the situation. Instead of addressing infertility as one partner’s issue, talk about it from the standpoint of a couple’s issue. Afterall, you’re both going through this experience and need to do so together.
Before a couple realizes that infertility is the problem, they spend months or even years unsuccessfully attempting to conceive. This causes emotions to run high as they rapidly switch from grief to anger and doubt. The frustration leads to all too many fights between married couples.
During this time and after infertility is identified, it’s vital that partners stay supportive of one another. That could mean alone time, a shoulder to cry on, or heartfelt communication. Whatever your partner needs, be there and provide it for them. Otherwise, you’ll find yourselves pursuing divorce before you know it.
Discuss Your Options
High levels of emotion make it difficult to objectively talk about an issue, but discussing your options is the only way to forge a path forward. Be honest with one another about what you think is best and what you can financially handle.
You may decide on a surrogate, sperm donation, or IVF treatment options. Some couples also decide on no option, agreeing that not having children may in fact be the best course of action. Talk about all of these scenarios, making sure to discuss them in detail and leave no stone left unturned if any interest you.
Respect Each Other’s Opinions
When married couples are adamant about having a baby, one partner might latch onto an idea and insist that is the only option. This can lead to weeks of fighting when couples disagree, especially when one’s push for children ignores the other’s feelings and opinions.
The idea of using a sperm donor might repulse one partner, while another may be terrified by the idea of the needles involved with IVF. Make sure to respect your partner’s views on possible ways to have a baby, understanding if there is something they don’t want to do.
Even when couples agree, they might find themselves at odds on aspects like financing and timing. It’s best to talk about each other’s feelings on these issues, working to understand the other’s viewpoints. Every happy marriage is built, in part, on respect.
Many couples struggle with part or all of the advice above. When that’s the case, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Seeing a marriage counselor or therapist is beneficial for any couple, married or not. This can help you work through infertility while strengthening the bonds you share, coming out the other side more in love than ever before.