Sarah M. Farrell
Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
In my previous article, I discussed how to begin the process of trying to conceive and how to deal with infertility in a healthy manner. In this article, I dive into some tips on how you can keep your marriage healthy during this process, despite what could be one of the most difficult struggles you will face – coping with infertility.
Focus on Your Marriage
Focus on who you are as a couple. Strengthening your marriage will be of great importance, whether you get pregnant or not. Cling to each other. Find strength in each other. Remember what you love about your marriage and who you are as a couple.
Keep Your Sex Life about Intimacy
It is very easy to get caught up in the timed sex required, or at least recommended, when trying to conceive. Try to remember that sex is ultimately about intimacy and about expressing love for each other.
Remove Yourself from the Blame Game
It is so easy to get caught up in blaming either yourself or your spouse for your inability to conceive. Acknowledge your feelings and try to move forward without blame.
It is Okay to Not Be Okay
Dealing with infertility is hard. It is okay to just not be okay sometimes. Give yourself time to not be okay. Everyone has those days—don’t feel bad if you do.
Don’t Feel Guilty Enjoying Your Life
It is fine to have reasons why you are okay with your family not expanding. Ambivalence is normal. There can even be reasons why you are happy with your life as it is. Accepting your feelings as they are is crucial to surviving this process and making progress.
Don’t Feel Bad about Giving Yourself Time to Grieve
It is extremely difficult to realize that something you have desired and prayed for may not come to pass. If you need time to cope and come to that realization, that is okay. Find ways to grieve and process together.
Allow Others to Support You
Dealing with infertility can be an intensely private process. You may want to shut people out for multiple reasons—too much advice, or because it is a private topic that can be difficult to discuss, etc. Who you want to share your journey with is up to you, although I would caution against social media sharing if you are tired of advice. However, be cautious about shutting everyone out. It can be a great asset to have at least one additional person on the journey with you.
Forgive Yourself and/or Your Spouse
It is okay to have feelings of guilt, shame, fear, etc. during a struggle with infertility. Ultimately, infertility is probably nobody’s “fault.” Allow yourself to experience your feelings, and then forgive your spouse, or yourself, or both of you. This is where God comes in—allow Him to help you to begin the process of forgiveness.
You Have the Right to Grieve Infertility, No Matter How Many Kids You Have
Most people think of infertility as affecting the young couple who have never been able to have a child. This preconception can be accurate. However, it leaves out the topic of secondary infertility. No matter how big your family is, you have the right to be sad about not being able to have another child. The circumstances may be different, and the grief may be different. Yet it is still grief.
Know When You Need a Break from the Topic of Infertility
Learn the signs that you really need a break. Look for the signs, which can differ depending on the individual. Watch yourself and learn the signs that you need a break.
It is Okay to Take a Break from Trying
Learn when you need a break… and take one. It is okay; this process is difficult. It requires patience, endurance, and the ability to know when you need to sit one month out.
Christian Counseling as You Face Infertility
Christian counseling can offer you a safe place to let out the grief, to process, and to heal as you begin, continue along, or end your journey. Christian counseling further allows your relationship with God to be integrated seamlessly into your counseling experience. The counselors at Tacoma Christian Counseling can assist you in progressing forward or helping you to stand still, if need be.
“Couple in Rain,” courtesy of Pavel Badrtdinov, unsplash.com, Public Domain License; “Friends on an Oxfordshire Bridleway,” courtesy of Clint Budd, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY 2.0)