You and your partner were never closer than when you made the decision to have a child. Now months have gone by, you haven’t gotten pregnant, and you’ve grown apart. What’s happening to your relationship?
In the WebMD Trying to Conceive Community, Yvette Smith, MD, MPH, discusses how trying to get pregnant can strain the relationship between couples. Sex can become a chore -- a means to an end rather than a joyful expression of love. You may feel that your partner doesn’t take it seriously enough and he may think you need to lighten up. Differences between how you generally experience and handle issues can become magnified under the stress, leading to resentment and anger.
To preserve your marriage and your spirits while you’re trying to conceive, Smith offers these tips:
- Communicate your feelings and check in with your partner about his feelings. Try to understand each other’s point of view.
- Agree that it’s OK to stop trying for a month or two if either of you are feeling overwhelmed by the process.
- Spend time together that is not focused on trying to conceive. Enjoy the other aspects of your relationship.
Many women responded that their partners didn’t really “get” what they were feeling. One woman said that her husband isn’t as emotionally involved in trying to conceive because he already has one child, and that makes her feel alone. Smith said it’s common for men and women to approach conception issues and express their feelings about them differently. She suggested reaching out to other women for support – possibly a counselor or a support group for women struggling with the same issues.
Another woman with a physical condition that affects her getting pregnant felt her partner didn’t really understand the strain that put her under. Smith suggested that her husband go to her doctor’s appointments with her to learn more and ask questions himself.
One woman said that trying to get pregnant was destroying her relationship. She recalled how strong her desire for her husband used to be. But after three years of failing to conceive, she has come to equate having sex with him with the disappointment of finding out she’s not pregnant every month. Smith suggested that she consider couples or individual counseling. She said that getting pregnant alone will not necessarily fix the strain that had built up in the marriage.
But another woman said trying to conceive has actually brought her and her husband closer together.
Smith notes that difficult times usually either strengthen or weaken relationships. Her advice: Building a solid foundation of communication while you try to get pregnant. It’ll help you get through the rough times. What are your suggestions?