Nobody said going through fertility treatments was easy, and you may have even anticipated it would take its toll on your marriage. Even so, most couples think they’ll be different, that their relationship is more than able to weather the trail of failed pregnancy tests, ridiculous mood-swings related to hormone surges, timed sex and sex on demand, tears, stress, heartache – – whew! It’s a lot for any couple to handle and nobody knows what it will really be like until they are actually in the swirl of things.
The great news is that each year, more than 100,000 babies are born as the result of assisted reproductive technologies and yours can be too. Here are tips to help you and your significant other stay strong together and build your relationship as you weather the storms ahead.
5 Ways For Your and Your Partner to Stay Strong Together During IVF Treatments
- Never stop communicating. It’s important that the two of you have a completely open and honest communication pathway. There will be ups and downs, insecurities and anger, there may even be a little blame or guilt. It’s important that you are honest with each other about where you are at. Trying to fake it may work once in a while to lighten a mood, but it can be the downfall of your intimacy and trust over the longer haul. If talking is difficult, create a private blog/journal/email chain where you can write back and forth but remember that face-to-face communication is always best. You may want to consider working with a therapist or infertility support group.
- Start working together on lifestyle improvements. Odds are that there are a few areas where your lifestyle could be improved. This is even more pertinent for those who are trying to conceive since the food you eat, household chemicals and seemingly innocuous items around your home may contribute to your infertility. Make this a time to band together in an effort to eat better, drink more water, exercise regularly (but don’t overdo it!), ditch unhealthy habits once and for all (smoking!), and start replacing potentially harmful items around the home.
- Take a break once in a while. Take a little break in between treatments so you and your couple-hood can enjoy a few months without the constant pressure of conception in the forefront of your daily lives.
- Find ways to keep the romance alive. It’s so difficult to keep chemistry and romance alive when timing is everything in biological reproduction. Try to focus on the little intimate gestures that have nothing to do with making a baby and everything to do with honoring one another. Make lists of things you would like to do with one another and then try to cross a few items off the list. Start while you’re taking and break and it may be easier to continue once you begin your next round of treatment.
- Find ways to show appreciation. Focus on ways you can appreciate each other for what each of you brings to the table. This can be as simple as unloading the dishwasher, tucking a thank you note into a sock drawer or blowing the budget every once in a while for a special dinner out.
The more you can work to strengthen your relationship before the baby comes, the easier it will be when your newborn cry starts up for the seventh time in three hours and it’s only 4 a.m.…
Have questions about your own fertility journey or need a referral to wonderful counselors who are familiar with the struggles related to assisted reproductive technology? Contact RRC.