Infertility pulls at the seams of my marriage threatening, at times, to pull us apart. It is a daily struggle to keep things put together. Here are some helpful hints that I've learned, and I hope they will help you too.
Allow Yourself to Feel
Infertility is often a grieving process. It is grieving the death of your dream, over and over again. To keep your marriage strong, you must learn to grieve together. Remember, men and women grieve in different ways. Just because your husband doesn't want to talk about infertility, doesn't mean that he's not grieving with you. It is natural to grieve, allow yourself time to do it.
Communicate with Your Spouse
When you stop talking, that's when your marriage will fall apart. Make sure to communicate effectively with your spouse. Let them know what you need. Talk about expectations. Discuss how much information you share with others. When you communicate, you can focus on what really matters - your marriage. Communication is not all about you, support your partner in the process. You are a team, act like one.
Take a Break
Sometimes you just need to take a break. Married life is not all about procreation, though when you're infertile, it often feels that way. Use the break to rekindle the romance in your marriage. Appreciate and cherish your spouse. Remember, even if you have children, you spouse is the one you've pledged to spend the rest of your life with.
Work Together as a Team
As a team, two people working together toward a common goal, make a plan. Figure out what is going to work the best for you, in your situation. No two couples are alike. Just because something worked for someone else, doesn't mean that it will work for you. You need to communicate with your spouse to come up with a game plan. Learn to read the other person, anticipate their needs. Remember, as a team you are greater than the sum of your parts.
It is so easy to get discouraged when you are dealing with infertility. Each month adds weight to your load of emotional pain and fatigue. If you want your marriage to come out strong, you must learn to offer each other hope. Remind your spouse that you love them for who they are, not for their ability (or disability) to produce children. Encourage each other. Build each other up. For me, the greatest hope is found in God. Infertility is not the end-all, though it often feels that way. Accepting that infertility is a life long process can help you keep the right focus.
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