How to Strengthen Your Relationship - Facing a Fertility Struggle Together
My firm belief is that a strong relationship is a crucial key to success in any fertility struggle. It's also true that a struggle to conceive can take a toll on all aspects of your life – not least your relationship with your partner. It can do irrevocable damage.
OR, it can be an opportunity to grow and thrive as a couple.
Either way – it definitely puts relationships to the test. The truth is though, it can also reveal issues that you may have avoided addressing and create an opportunity for greater connection if managed in a healthy way.
It is normal to not get along with your partner all the time, but it is how you move through these times that can either build your relationships up or tear them apart. Often couples simply lack the ability to communicate what they need in a way that can be understood by their partner. Taking time to develop self-awareness and effective communication skills takes a conscious effort. Also, it’s a common misconception that things will just all work out without having to put any work in – simply because you believe your partner is “the one”.
Relationships take work and it’s not always easy to share your vulnerabilities. When you are going through a fertility struggle, communicating your needs and seeking to support and understand your partner’s needs is a dance that requires practice!
Outside stressors can make it more difficult to manage a fertility struggled. Work stress, difficult relationships with family or friends, financial strain can all be difficult to navigate and put a strain on te relationship. These are all sensitive issues that can be difficult to communicate and can often trigger an argument.
But you cannot avoid having the hard conversations or be fearful that simply talking about it will make it worse. If you fail to ask for what you want and need – you cannot expect your partner to read your mind and work out how to help you. Finding a healthy way to communicate is crucial to fixing relationship issues.
It’s OK to be vulnerable! Find the courage to voice your fears. Because the truth is, if you fail to deal with them by vocalising them – this can cause additional stress.
If you can accept that your struggle to conceive is really difficult right now – it is easier to be in stress and anxiety. Acceptance of your struggle does not mean that you are OK with not getting pregnant. Instead, it gives you the freedom to be more present and aware of the things you are able to do to change your situation. What we resist persists!
It is important to consciously create quality time together as a couple – cook a meal together, plan a movie night, go for a walk, do a workshop together – even something as simple as sitting on the sofa and having an actual conversation whilst you hold hands. You would be amazed at the hormone triggers your body can release from something so simple!
Take time to work through any problems now will set you up for an even stronger relationship once children come along. After all, no relationship is perfect and will always require work.
Doing the work now will help build a closer and more intimate bond so that you are a support system for each other if things are not going to “plan”.