INFERTILITY / IVF TALK

How to Keep Infertility From Consuming Your Relationship

Megan Tansom | July 29, 2019

When I asked on Instagram what people wanted to hear from me about infertility, I was asked this question by someone going through their infertility journey right now: “How do I not let infertility consume my marriage?” 

Ryan and I were (are) a pretty strong couple. We communicate well (for the most part) and often but this PROCESS took over our lives. It took over our conversations, our hopes, our dreams, our future. It consumed us. More me I guess but he had to listen to it and live it daily too. 

We met in college, dated for many years, graduated, bought a house, got engaged, got married, got a dog, and this was the next step for us. Yes, we were married at 24 but thought we were ready to have a family. We had gone through so much together, but nothing prepares you for this. If you worked hard at something, it was supposed to end well for you, right? The infertility game changed up all the rules.

It is easy to say that looking back now, maybe we should have taken a break. Maybe we should have given ourselves time AWAY from the infertility/pregnancy journey. That is MUCH easier said than done. It was consuming us, consuming me. I wanted it to be over with a WIN, with a pregnancy. I wasn’t going to take a break and I know most of you in this position won’t either. The reality is, when you are in the process it {pretty much} consumes your relationship, but here are just some suggestions to keep in mind during the process that may help preserve it a little bit or at least keep yourself sane:

  1. Your spouse is in it too but may deal with it differently. Ryan kept going about his day-to-day and didn’t think about it much until he was with me. He wanted us to have a baby but could put the conversation in a different part of his brain for the day which I could not. I thought about it constantly. Try to see the good in your current state of life. There is some reason, some perfect little soul out there that is meant to be yours… and your time will come… in some way or some form you may not even realize yet.

  2. Date your spouse. Have drinks (if you are in to that… which I am all for). Talk about something OTHER than a baby. What are your passions and goals for the future?

  3. Self-care. I feel like these days this is a bit of a buzzword, but it is important for your relationship to take care of YOURSELF… mentally and physically. Take a walk, take a break, get a massage, go away for the weekend, or just watch Netflix and chill (like actually chill).

  4. Take a break from reproduction and try to have fun sex again – or maybe NONE at all for a night (gasp!). For awhile, we tried to have sex daily to try not to miss any type of window… trust me, not fun. No matter what, you think “Is this it? Will it work this time?” and there is always so much pressure. Get drunk (or not). Have fun.

  5. Discuss options and try to understand your partner – work toward a goal together. When we first started going through this process, we didn’t realize we had different opinions on how “far” to take things. Communication is key as I said before. What do you feel comfortable with and when is it time to call it quits or figure out a new plan? I didn’t realize Ryan didn’t want to look at adoption until I started thinking about it. Through the infertility process, he came around to the idea. So also know that opinions and options may change as well. He wanted to have a family “any way we could” as in fertility treatments, adoption, or wherever this process took us.

  6. Get help. There is no shame in talking to someone else. Your partner may be at the brink with talking about this process… so pay someone to listen. They can give you coping techniques or just be there as an objective person to listen and HEAR you… hear about your struggles, your constant worry, your pain, your hopes, and your frustration. Sometimes just getting it all off your chest to someone else will allow room for different conversations between you and your spouse.

  7. Get away. This is kind of along the same lines as self-care but also get away with your spouse. Plan a trip… even if it is a few days if you are in between treatments or plans. Plan something for just the two of you. Remember to have fun and take your mind off your treatments for a while.

  8. Most importantly, do not do the blame game. There are many different reasons for why people cannot get pregnant easily or at all. Sometimes they are known, sometimes not. Try not to BLAME your spouse. Even if it is an issue with their reproductive system, I can guarantee you they already feel some guilt. You are in this together… try to stay IN IT TOGETHER.

You are a team. Remember why you married or chose to be with this person and go forward in this journey together. Good luck to all of you going through infertility and I hope you find your happy ending, whatever that turns out to be.

*Photo cred: Tadpole Photography

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