Written by Guest Blogger: Beth Miller, a Marriage Coach and founder of Soulify Wellness.
For some couples, the journey to parenthood can be a long and challenging road, filled with unexpected twists and turns. The fertility journey can take a toll on even the strongest relationships, leaving couples feeling isolated, frustrated, and alone. But the truth is, you can navigate the ups and downs of the fertility journey together and come out stronger on the other side. Let me give you some practical tips and strategies for avoiding a marriage breakdown during your fertility journey. With the right tools, you and your partner can navigate the ups and downs of this journey and come out even stronger!
The Rollercoaster of Emotions of the fertility journey
Infertility is not just a physical journey, but also an emotional and psychological one. Many couples who struggle with infertility experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from hope to disappointment, frustration, and sadness.
The impact can even lead to divorce in some cases.
Research on 47,500 Danish women shows that couples who failed fertility treatments are three times more likely to end up divorcing than those who succeeded.
The pressure of trying to conceive, the financial burden of IVF treatments, and the disappointment of failed attempts can put a tremendous strain on a couple’s relationship.
But you’re not alone in this journey. Many couples experience similar emotions and challenges.
With that in mind, let’s explore some practical tips that you can use to avoid a marriage breakdown on the fertility journey.
How to Avoid a Marriage Breakdown on the fertility journey?
Let’s get into the seven actionable ways to avoid marriage breakdowns on this fertility journey.
1.Acknowledge your pain
Acknowledging your pain allows you to address and process the emotions you are experiencing. Infertility is a challenging and emotional journey, and it’s common to feel a range of difficult emotions such as anger, sadness, grief, and disappointment.
You may feel lonely and worried that you and your partner are not on the same page. Or you may have financial worries and self-doubts about your ability to conceive.
There’s also the fear of not getting pregnant, and the
grief of the family you envisioned not becoming a reality. These feelings are normal and valid, and it’s okay to express them. If you ignore or suppress these emotions, they will eventually come up. They may build up, which can have negative consequences on your marriage and mental and physical health.
By acknowledging your pain, you give yourself permission to feel and express these emotions healthily and constructively. So how do you do it?
- Take time to reflect on your feelings and identify the emotions that are present.
- Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel these emotions and that it’s a natural response to this journey.
- Find a way to express your emotions, like writing in a journal, meditation, or talking to someone on the same journey.
- Give yourself compassion. It’s okay to feel off, and you don’t have to know why. So take time for yourself — walk, rest, and talk with a friend.
2. Create a safe space for expression
One of the keys to avoiding a marriage breakdown on the fertility journey is to create a safe space for expression.
Communication is crucial, but it can be challenging for some couples who already have inconsistent communication before the fertility journey.
You can repair communication by getting to the bottom of it.
Some couples struggle with being passive-aggressive, shutting down, or being explosive. Some people may not know how to express their feelings at all.
Often, communication issues are the result of past traumas. You may need to process these rooted fears and resentment to heal them.
Our communication patterns are often automatic responses and reactions that are stored as habits in our subconscious mind. To reprogram them, we can use the power of neuroscience and psychology.
Changing a habit starts with the awareness that you don’t want to act that way anymore. Then, get curious about when this behavior started.
For example, if you tend to shut down during conflict, ask yourself when this pattern began. Was it a learned behavior from your parents or a past relationship?
Once you identify the source of the behavior, you can begin to heal it by practicing new communication habits. This could include expressing your emotions more openly or actively listening to your partner without interrupting. By practicing these new habits, you can release the old patterns and create healthier communication habits that strengthen your relationship.
Remember that both of you are in pain. Instead, focus on supportive communication that is non-judgmental, and allowing space for each other to feel sad or frustrated.
You can create a safe space for expression by establishing a routine of open communication.
Set aside time to talk to each other about your feelings, and encourage your partner to express themselves without fear of judgment or criticism.
3. Take a break from decision-making
The pressure to choose the right fertility treatments and thinking if you made the right choice can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being.
One way to avoid this is to take a break.
Taking a break doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams of starting a family. It means giving yourselves permission to step back and focus on your emotional well-being to better equip you with strength and wisdom.
This can help to reduce stress, improve your mental and emotional health, and allow you to reconnect with your partner.
During this break, focus on activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This might include travel, hobbies, or spending quality time with friends and family. Use this time to strengthen your relationship with your partner, and explore new ways to connect and support each other.
4. Embrace the unknown
One of the most challenging aspects of the journey is the uncertainty of the outcome. The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming and can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and hopelessness.
However, embracing the possibilities can be a powerful tool in avoiding a marriage breakdown.
This means letting go of the need to control every aspect of the fertility journey and allowing yourself to be open to the possibilities. This might mean exploring alternative paths to parenthood. This doesn’t mean giving up on the journey, but instead being open to the things that are beyond your control.
This can be challenging, but it can also be liberating, allowing you to let go of the pressure and expectations that come with trying to conceive. Notice that when you choose trust and surrender control, that you will feel lighter and grounded.
Also, by allowing ourselves to flow, trust, and surrender, we create space for the unexpected to emerge.So take a deep breath, and permit yourself to let go of the need to control everything.
As you embrace the unknown, focus on building a strong foundation of support with your partner.
5. Spice up your routine
Dealing with infertility can be a stressful and all-consuming experience that can take a toll on your relationship.
It can be easy to fall into a routine of fertility treatments, appointments, and daily stress, leaving little time for fun and intimacy.
However, spicing up your routine can be an effective way to avoid a marriage breakdown.
Adding some variety and excitement to your daily routine can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of connection and intimacy with your partner.
This might mean trying new activities together, like taking a dance class or trying a new hobby.
It could also mean making small changes to your daily routine, like going for a walk together after dinner or planning a weekend getaway.
Plus, make sure to prioritize intimacy. This might mean scheduling regular date nights or making time for spontaneous moments of affection.
Remember that physical intimacy doesn’t always have to lead to conception and that finding pleasure and enjoyment in your relationship is an important part of the journey.
6. Keep your sense of humor
Keeping your sense of humor can help to relieve tension, reduce stress, and bring you closer to your partner.
When dealing with the stress and strain of infertility, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and what brings us joy. By connecting with your authentic self, you can tap into the qualities that make you lovable, playful, fun, spontaneous, joyful, confident, peaceful, and light.
This is the version of yourself that isn’t weighed down by life’s challenges, and by embracing it, you can bring a renewed sense of energy and positivity to your relationship.
This might mean sharing funny stories or jokes with your partner or finding humor in the daily struggles of fertility treatments and appointments.
Laughing together can help to build intimacy and trust and create a sense of shared experience and understanding.
Of course, it’s important to be sensitive to each other’s feelings and to know when humor is appropriate.
It’s okay to have serious conversations and to acknowledge the challenges of the fertility journey. But finding moments of fun and laughter can help break up the tension and make the journey more manageable.
7. Don’t go through it alone
Connecting with a community of people on the same journey can be a powerful support system.
It can be challenging to talk about infertility with friends and family who may not understand what you’re going through.
That’s why finding a community of people who are going through the same experience can be so valuable.
Connecting with others who have gone through similar experiences can help you feel less isolated and give you a sense of support and community.
By finding role models who have successfully navigated the fertility journey, you are expanding your subconscious.
The more people you can connect with who have walked this path, the more your subconscious can relax into limitless possibilities.
It can be through online support groups, local fertility clinics, or in-person meetups. Connecting with others who understand can provide comfort, validation, and support.
In addition to finding community, seeking professional help is also an important part of avoiding a marriage breakdown on the fertility journey.
Infertility can be a complex and emotional issue, and a trained professional can help you navigate the challenges and emotions of the journey.
They can provide tools for communication and coping, and help you build a stronger, more resilient relationship together.
Remember that happiness is your destiny, and by showing up each day as your true self, you will create the life you desire.
In a Nutshell
Dealing with infertility can be a difficult and emotional journey, but it doesn’t have to lead to a marriage breakdown.
By acknowledging your pain and connecting with a supportive community, you and your partner can navigate the challenges of the fertility journey together.
With these tools and strategies, you can build a stronger, more resilient relationship that can weather the ups and downs of the fertility journey.
Share this with someone going through the same journey, and share some love.
Beth Miller is the founder of Soulify Wellness, a Marriage Coach, a Teacher of Psychology, Certified Hypnotist and Reiki Energy Practitioner. She has coached many women who are on the verge of divorce, and helped them transform their lives and marriages, into relationships filled with mutual love, connection and support. Her method is deeply rooted in psychology and neuroscience. One of her secret weapons is Hypno-Journeying, a deep meditation that has been referred to as “meditation on steroids” that helps women to release and reprogram limiting beliefs that have been keeping them stuck in relationship struggles. Her methods were inspired by her own healing journey after experiencing a brain bleed that left her unable to walk, write, and with Crippling anxiety and depression. – She now views this life-changing experience as a gift! – Her life was flipped upside down, but she now sees it as right side up
P.S. Catch Beth’s interview in the June 13th episode of The Hormone P.U.Z.Z.L.E Podcast – Transforming Your Relationship while TTC. You can also find the episode on this podcast page as well as Spotify, and Stitcher. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, and write us a review on Apple Podcast (if you LOVE it).