Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, and can put a strain on even the strongest of marriages. On the Today show last week, Dr. Linda Applegarth was discussing a new study which found that women who were involved in some kind of emotional support group for infertility had a 50% greater chance of becoming pregnant than those that weren’t. Confiding in others and increasing your support system lowers stress (there is a correlation between stress and infertility).
You might notice the following issues popping up if you and your partner are struggling with infertility:
- Increased conflict
- Depression and/or anxiety in one or both partners
- Feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment
- Loss of romance and intimacy
- Decreased communication
Because of the emotional toll that infertility can take on a relationship, it is essential to take a mind/body approach to treating infertility. How can you keep your marriage strong while dealing with such a heavy issue?
1. Keep the lines of communication open, and set aside a few minutes a day to talk about your feelings with your partner.
2. Focus on what is going right in your life. Appreciate that you have this time to focus on your marriage and your partner.
3. Avoid the blame game–this just leads to more conflict and unnecessary arguments.
4. Journal. Getting your feelings out on paper can help lower your stress.
5. Join a support group for women or couples going through infertility.
Finally, If you feel like this struggle is just too much to handle on your own, consider talking to a counselor who can help you work through the emotional side of this complicated situation.