When a Couple Remains a Double
You anxiously wait for the results. With crossed fingers, you finally dare to take a peek… and heave a sigh of disappointment. It’s negative – just like the other times.
When a couple tries to get pregnant, the hopeful expectations develop into alarm when the “acceptable waiting period” has long since passed and the date with the stork is not forthcoming. They start dreading family and friends who keep asking, “So, when are you having a baby?” The couple decides to seek medical intervention. When the diagnosis points towards infertility, the two spouses may decide to go for infertility treatment. When this happens, it is best to also go for Provo marriage counseling to help deal with the challenges of the situation.
Infertility, Treatments, and its Effect on a Marriage
A baby is a blessing to a loving family. However, not all couples are blessed thusly. Some couples have to face infertility. On top of the medical challenges, infertility treatments can prove to be an emotional roller coaster ride. Without the necessary coping mechanisms and assistance coming from Utah marriage counseling, this struggle to have a baby produces a lot of stress between the two spouses.
Emotional pressure and stress. The treatments are truly stressful for both the husband and wife. As the menstrual period makes its appearance, both spouses experience disappointment after a period of anticipation. This cycle (treatments, anticipation, letdown) takes a huge toll on the couple’s emotions. The couple may also have feelings of loss (for the family they dreamed of), jealousy at other couples and shame (where the inability to bear a child makes the husband feel less like a man and the wife less like a woman).
Sexual tension. With the pre-occupation towards getting pregnant, sex no longer becomes a pleasure, but rather ruled by schedules. At this point, the wife may become demanding and insist that the husband be available and “able to perform” during the time she is ovulating. In turn, the husband, feeling the pressure, may have problems having an erection or maintaining it. There is resentment on the part of the wife (for the husband’s failure to help with the conception) and the husband (for the wife’s expecting command performances from him). There are also feelings of anxiety and disappointment. Thus, the vicious cycle continues.
Financial stress. Infertility treatments cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes, financial worries and disagreements over the treatments can also be a source for conflict such as how long the couple is going for infertility treatments and how much to spend.
Physical challenges. For the woman, infertility treatments are not just uncomfortable. They can be quite painful. The fluctuations in hormones caused by the medications can also result in moodiness and can heighten the stress and disappointment.
Now, what can you do to cope? Here are some things you and your spouse can do:
– Shift the focus from ovulation periods and basal thermometers. It will be helpful for couples (especially for women) to move attention away from menstrual cycles and make sex about intimacy. Procreation, after all, is just one of the aspects of sexual contact. Have fun with your spouse!
– Agree on infertility treatments. Both you and your spouse should agree on the length of time for the infertility treatments and when it is time to stop. You should also agree about alternatives in case the treatments don’t work. For instance, you can explore the prospect of adoption.
– Spend time together “baby-free”. Relate with your spouse without “conception” and “pregnancy” floating over your heads. Schedule nights out, weekend getaways and special dates without discussing how you can get pregnant.
– Seek help. It will help to get couples counseling in Utah to strengthen your husband and wife relationship. Remember, you don’t just need to prepare yourselves physically for parenthood. You also need to have a strong relationship to provide a baby with a loving family environment. During marriage counseling in Utah, be honest about your feelings and thoughts.
The pressure brought about by infertility may shake the foundations of a marriage so that it reaches breaking point. Don’t wait until the cracks have become so huge that family counseling in Utah comes too little, too late. Talk with your spouse and talk with your therapist. This will help you come out stronger as a couple.