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Can Your Marriage Survive Infertility?

Yes, your marriage can survive infertility! These tips for infertile couple includes ways to move on after years of trying to conceive and not getting pregnant.

Before the tips, a quip:


“The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are going.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes.

You and your spouse can live “happily ever after” — if you figure out what that means to both of you! One of my favorite things to do as a married couple is to take classes and read books together — such as Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work (because trying to conceive and not getting pregnant can be extremely difficult for couples).

And, here are tips for surviving infertility as a married couple…

Marriage and Infertility Can Live Happily Ever After

Find ways to make your life meaningful – as a couple

Here’s one reader’s comment — she just left it today: “We are currently waiting to be placed with long-term foster children (waiting nearly a year), after 13 unsuccessful IVFs (in vitro fertilizations) and 6 years in total trying to conceive,” says Josie. “I know it is possible to be happy after infertility – for us, we have even found value, meaning and purpose out of our deep suffering. We feel blessed that we will provide a loving and stable home to kiddies who have had a rocky start to life.

Accept that infertility may always make you sad

If I never have kids, I’d be okay with it. But if we could get pregnant, I’d love it! Even though I’ve never been seriously depressed because we can’t have kids, I still go through bouts of longing, sadness, and yearning for a child. I know that many infertile couples — both men and women — feel despair, anger, and depression because they can’t get pregnant. Those are powerful feelings that don’t just go away! It’s important to mourn the loss of your pregnancy hopes and dreams and accept that life after infertility is full of ups and downs. Knowing this can help your marriage survive infertility.

Keep saying “Yes, my marriage can survive infertility!”

Not just surviving but thriving after a childfree life has been thrust upon you takes time and energy. “It has taken a huge committment on our behalf – years of couples and individual psychotherapy to work through our anger, loss and longing,” says Josie. She and her husband worked hard to overcome their pain at being an “infertile couple” — it didn’t just happen overnight. They helped their marriage survive infertility by not letting their feelings of loss overcome them.

Deal with your infertility problems together, as a couple

Don’t assume that your partner feels the same way as you do about infertility or living a childfree life. For instance, I’m a bit more accepting of the fact that we can’t have kids than my husband is — he always wanted six children. But, the more we talk about our different expectations and attitudes, the more we accept our life as an infertile couple. Balance your mourning for the years of trying to conceive and not getting pregnant with ways to forge a new path in life — together, as a married couple.

Join an infertility support group, or a group for infertile couples

This something I’ve always said my husband and I should do, but we never did. Josie said that it helped her: “Being part of a support group has been instrumental to my healing – helping and supporting others through their infertility journey. And I started a facebook page to support other infertile couples.”

Remember that infertility affects couples psychologically and physically

Infertility can have serious emotional effects, such as depression, increased irritability, withdrawal from social situations, poor work coping skills, apathy, blame, damaged egos (male), and damaged body image (female). Infertility increases the stress on your marriage — but it doesn’t mean you can’t survive it! If you are struggling with depression, read Dealing With Disappointment of Not Being Pregnant.

If your marriage is in crisis, you may find 7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage helpful — it’s from a marriage coach.


What do you think about the effects of infertility on marriage? I welcome your comments below…


3 thoughts on “Can Your Marriage Survive Infertility?”

  1. Dear Angela,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your problems with infertility! I had no idea it could have such a devastating effect on married couples – much less on their careers and future security.

    Our marriage has been affected by our infertility, but we haven’t been coping with it for 10 years…it’s only been 4, and we’re still hanging on to the hope of fertility treatments.

    My heart goes out to you. I know there’s nothing I can say to make things better…but I want you to know you’re not alone.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. Ten years of TTC ultimately culminated with both my husband and I losing our jobs and health insurance. Results: depression, resentment, damaged self esteem (for both of us). We seem so far removed from our wonderful carefree first seven years together. Infertility is heartbreaking. Infertility plus bad economy is devastating.

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