Weather the Storm 

August 18, 2008

Primary infertility, the failure to conceive a pregnancy after trying to conceive for a full year, or secondary infertility, the failure to conceive a pregnancy after having had a successful pregnancy are both intense conditions which can take a major toll on a relationship. Both types of infertility affect a marriage in myriad ways and some marriages don't make it through the trial.

It Is A Couple`s Problem

Nearly 20 percent of couples are estimated to struggle with infertility at one time or another. It seems the problem is on the increase rather than decrease and part of the blame is being laid on the fact that couples are waiting until they are considerably older to marry and have children. Putting the financial picture together, making a career and establishing oneself in the world have all pushed the basic desire to marry and have a family out of the center of thinking for many people. A woman's fertility decreases as time goes on. You have doubtless heard the expression "her biological clock is ticking".

Emotional Effects

The emotional affects on a relationship can either draw the couple together making them stronger than ever, or the turmoil can drive a wedge so deep that they can't live together any longer. The anger, frustration, pain and guilt along with the total feeling of powerlessness to be able to make your dream of a family a reality can ravage a marriage. Infertility can put stress on your marriage especially around ovulation when sex can feel more like a chore than a way to express love for one another. Men often experience performance anxiety and end up feeling shamed and guilty. Fertility treatments cost a lot of money and the decisions about how much money you are prepared to pay to have treatments as well as coping with the strain or debt can cause incredible stress.

Communication Can Save The Day - And The Marriage

But, a marriage doesn't have to be ravaged during this time. There are many things a couple can do to weather the storm of emotions that accompany infertility, testing, and treatments. Keeping the lines of communication open between one another, sharing your feelings and frustrations and giving yourselves permission to express your fears is one way to help yourselves cope and stay close.

It's important not to let infertility take over your lives. If all you talk about, read about and think about is fertility treatments, then perhaps it is time to take a break and make it a point to talk about other things. Set a specific time aside to discuss fertility and then spend the rest of the day living your married lives together, being the people you are.

Keep Some Fun In Your Lives

Sex should be more than an exercise in pregnancy. Try doing something fun and exciting for one another in order to keep love and excitement in the sexual relationship. A romantic movie, candles and music and dancing, whatever you love to do together are important things to maintain. Let yourselves love and enjoy one another as often as possible - you're in this together.

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