Marriage counseling for infertile couples can reduce stress and depression, and strengthen the marriage. These tips for successful marriage counseling can help spouses avoid emotional distance, separation, and even divorce.
Before the tips, a quip:
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
If infertility is preventing you and your spouse from being friends, you need to do what you can to save your marriage and bring the love back! You can have a strong marriage even if you don’t have children together, even if infertility has caused a rift in your relationship. If you’re struggling, check out Infertility: Holding and Healing Yourself and Your Marriage — it’s a great resource for infertile couples.
And if you’re considering marriage counseling, these four tips might help you get the most out of therapy…
Marriage Counseling for Infertile Couples – Tips for Success
Be honest in couples therapy. When couples aren’t honest with their partners or the therapist, they decrease the likelihood that the counseling will be successful. Spouses may be ashamed, embarrassed, or reluctant to admit their thoughts and feelings about infertility, which creates barriers in the marriage. To create a better marriage in infertility, be honest with yourself, your spouse, and your counselor.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Couples who wait until they have serious marriage problems before they seek counseling decrease the chances that counseling will be successful, especially if they haven’t practiced healthy conflict resolution in marriage. When infertility problems get too big, they can’t always be solved – even with the help of a marriage therapist. When couples wait until the issues are insurmountable before seeking counseling, they put their marriage at risk.
Don’t quit marriage counseling too soon. Relationship stress because of infertility problems can take years to develop, and require time, effort, and energy to resolve. If the couple quits therapy after a few months and then separates, it may seem like the counseling caused the divorce. In reality, it was the fact that the couple didn’t work on their problems long enough. To keep your marriage strong when you can’t get pregnant, stay in counseling for as long as it takes to heal your relationship.
Remember that marriage counseling can backfire! This doesn’t happen often, but some therapists can damage a marriage and cause problems that lead to divorce. A therapist can make marriage problems worse by choosing the wrong therapeutic approach, announcing the marriage is doomed to failure, or by simply being incompetent. If you’re looking for a counselor, ask him or her for credentials and references before you start therapy. Ask for a free “information interview,” and make sure the counselor helps you and your spouse feel comfortable and accepted. You might also find a marriage counselor who specializes in keeping your marriage strong for infertile couples.
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Marriage counseling doesn’t typically cause divorce, but therapy can reveal unresolvable or deep-seated issues about infertility problems. It’s those marriage problems that lead to divorce. Learning healthy conflict resolution in marriage from the beginning – before the wedding, even — is the best way to build a healthy, happy marriage….even if you’re dealing with infertility.