It’s not just women who get depressed about not getting pregnant! These tips are inspired by a husband’s comment on my article about infertility depression.
If you’ve tried everything to conceive and feel depressed about not getting pregnant, read A Baby at Last! The Couple’s Complete Guide to Getting Pregnant – From Cutting-Edge Treatments to Commonsense Wisdom. I guarantee you’ll learn something new, even if you’ve been trying for a pregnancy for years.
“Men get depressed about infertility, too,” says J. on How to Overcome Infertility Depression. “My wife and I have not used artificial birth control for our nearly five years of marriage. We’re having a devil of a time getting pregnant, and we’re not getting any younger. Both of us were in our 30′s when we married. So, the clock is ticking. My depression comes and goes in waves. I’m grieving the loss of never being able to participate in the creation of life that birthing a newborn would allow. I’m grieving the loss passing on the family name…I am the only son of six children. I’m grieving the loss of many, many things that comes with bringing your own biological children into this world.”
Depressed About Not Getting Pregnant?
These tips are related to marriage, relationships, and coping with not getting pregnant. If you’re looking for pregnancy tips, read How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.
Accept different styles of coping with not getting pregnant
“Although few people see divorce as a consequence of infertility, many couples report increased hostility and anger,” writes Iris Waichler in Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate And Inspire. “This fighting is usually about the other person’s feelings or attitude…couples argue about feelings because they make assumptions about what the other person’s feelings mean.”
Two partners probably won’t cope with or feel the same way about not getting pregnant – and expecting each other to cope with infertility the exact same way is just asking for trouble. If you’re angry about not getting pregnant (anger is the flip side of depression), you might want to learn ways to cope with anger.
Learn how not getting pregnant affects your husband or wife
“If necessary, couples can set aside a specific amount of time each day (10-30 minutes) to talk about feelings,” writes Waichler. “Some couples may set a timer and stop when the time is over. Of course, this routine is not to be used on a day when the couple gets especially discouraging news.”
If you can’t talk about infertility without fighting, here are a few tips for talking about infertility.
Take responsibility for your feelings
“Only you can determine what kind of support you need and when and from whom you need it. Likewise, feeling responsible for taking away a spouse’s pain is fruitless,” writes Waichler. “One can only listen and be supportive.”
Don’t expect your husband or wife to read your mind and offer exactly the type of support you need when you need it. Do you need a hug, a little distance, a bottle of wine, a foot massage, or a vacation in Hawaii? When you’re depressed about not getting pregnant, you need to figure out what you want — and tell your spouse!
Widen your support system – be honest that you’re depressed about not getting pregnant
“Couples must share with others and ask for what they need from them,” writes Waichler in Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster. “They must widen support systems and broaden their bases of information.”
My husband and I can’t get pregnant naturally, and we never joined an infertility support group. I wish we had, because I think we would’ve gotten a lot out of it. I suppose it’s never too late, even though we’ve more or less made peace with never having children!
Nurture your marriage in specific, loving ways – have fun together!
“Learn to live for what is present and not for what is missing in your relationship,” says Waichler. She recommends going on dates and talking about the love you feel for each other. “Having fun and creating a balance between the stress of infertility and the joy of being married lessens the burden.”
I think it’s particularly important to have fun as a couple. Go water skiing, adopt a dog, go on weekend trips, and take cooking classes together. Don’t sit home and mope because you can’t get pregnant! Fill your lives with other things that make you feel happy, fulfilled, and alive.
To stay hopeful about getting pregnant, read How to Prepare for Pregnancy.
What do you think about these tips for husbands and wives who are depressed about not getting pregnant? Comments welcome below…
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These tips, though published in Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate And Inspire, are originally from an article by Dr. Patricia Mahlstedt called “The Psychological Component of Infertility.”