Tips for Coping with Infertility
Sarah M. Farrell
Part I of a 2-Part Series
Infertility can be a life-changing, devastating intruder into your marriage. Coping with infertility is a highly personal and individualized process, and not every tip will work for everyone. Beyond this, every person you know usually has recommendations about infertility and getting pregnant. The advice can be overwhelming, and this can create a desire to shut out future advice and the people offering it. If you will allow me, I will take a different path in seeking to assist you. Instead of focusing on getting pregnant, let’s take a quick look at some tips for developing a stronger marriage and surviving the struggle of infertility – no matter the outcome.
Starting Out in a Healthy Manner
This article is the first in a two-part series on coping with infertility. In it, I outline some tips that can help you to proceed in a positive manner as you face the challenges of infertility.
Infertility can feel like a clear manifestation of your lack of control. Setting limits on how long you are willing to try and how much money you are willing to spend can be a great way to retain some feelings of maintaining control, even in an uncontrollable situation.
Set Up a Game Plan for Coping with Infertility
This is another avenue through which you can begin to create hope and gain a certain amount of control over your life circumstances. It is also a great way to begin to discuss the process, your options, and your limits and boundaries as a couple.
Seek Balance in Your Marriage
Find a balance between hope and contentment. Hope can be beautiful and can be helpful in the process, yet the disappointment can be devastating. Finding a balance between hope that it will happen and contentment with your life as it is currently can help you to make peace with the process.
Remember Who You Are – Keep Your Identity Intact
You are not the woman who can’t get pregnant. You are not the man who can’t get his wife pregnant. Your identity is not wrapped up in your ability to reproduce. More importantly, your value is not tied up in your ability to reproduce. Remember who you are and what you want apart from having children.
Use Relaxation Techniques to Help You Cope and Find Calm Spaces
Mindfulness techniques can be an excellent tool in learning how to accept your own feelings and cope with anxiety. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are some great options for relaxation exercises that can help you to process and cope with your current situation.
Spend Time in Prayer
Disappointment can be extremely frustrating and disheartening. This is a time when you can easily begin to feel angry with God and to cut Him out of the process. Yet He is the only one who can truly understand how you are feeling. Furthermore, He can offer you peace and comfort.
Give Yourself an Infertility-Free Safe Space
This may just be a vacation spot that you head to on a three-day weekend. Or it may be a room in your house. No matter what it is, finding a space in which you are free from the topic can be helpful. If the process becomes too overwhelming or all-encompassing, you can head to your safe space. Or, alternatively, you can visualize it when the going gets tough.
Try to Focus on Keeping Negative Thoughts at Bay
How we think impacts everything in our lives. It sounds so cliché and frustrating, yet focusing on blessings and thankfulness has long-term benefits.
Christian Counseling to Strengthen Your Marriage and Parenting Skills
My next article will cover tips for coping throughout the process and continually strengthening your marriage. If you are facing infertility and would like assistance, it would be worthwhile exploring Christian counseling. We would be honored to take this journey with you, one step at a time.
“Holding hands,” courtesy of Redd Angelo, unsplash.com; “Hanging On Tight,” courtesy of Alex Hockett, unsplash.com