People who are trying to have children but struggling to do so experience a lot of stress, emotion and pressure. When you and your spouse are struggling with infertility, it can begin to take over your marriage, creating habits that can destroy a happy marriage if left unchecked.
You Stop Protecting Each Other
Infertility can be like a guest you didn’t invite who refuses to leave, no matter how many hints you drop. People often have nothing but nice things to say to someone when they have a baby, but infertility tends to open up the worst kinds of questions and comments from people, even if they are well-meaning.
A married couple in this situation needs to plan together so that they are able to protect each other when insensitive comments are made or awkward questions arise. By sensing each other’s discomfort and stepping in, you can navigate the harsh waters that other people may create.
You Let Desperation Come In
Desperation can erode a happy marriage pretty quickly. Putting all your efforts, hopes, time and attention into achieving something not under your control is a sure-fire way to put your marriage into jeopardy.
Infertility can make a couple desperate because they feel as if they are “working against the clock,” whether that clock is tied to financial limitations, getting older, or other factors.
Before you and your spouse take big decisions, agree to banish desperation from your home. Remember that when you go to your infertility treatment appointments, you will both be okay and life will go on regardless of what the news is.
Your World Narrows Too Much
Some parents don’t think of anything outside of their kids; you might notice that their conversations are always about the kids. However, this can be the case with people who struggle with infertility, too. Before you realize it, all your conversations with your spouse and others revolve around children and what you are doing to have one.
You should not let children become the sole focus of your world. Enjoy what comes with not having children, for example, taking that trip you both always wanted to go on, going out and having fun. Children definitely don’t need two parents who have forgotten how to have any fun together!
You Allow Communication to Shut Down
Stress, desperation, negative emotions–all of these can shut down the communication between you and your spouse. However, it’s vital those lines stay open. No decisions about treatment will ever be easy, so you have to be able to talk openly, freely and continually to each other to get through this period.
None of the habits above have to take root in your marriage. Although being unable to have a child is not an easy experience, you and your spouse can still have a solid marriage by being mindful of how this issue can impact your relationship and interactions with each other. As you explore your infertility treatment options together, make a real commitment to stay strong and work as a team during this time.