Marriage Makeover: Can Our Marriage Survive Infertility?
"WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S NEXT." continued...
STEVE: "I think I've accepted not having a biological child more
than Monica has. Like I said, after the first few times when IVF didn't work, I
just kind of accepted our situation. I'm happy being married — just the two of
us — and if this is the way it is, I'm fine with that."
MONICA: "Part of me agrees with Steve that our life is great, but
part of me looks at this big house and knows we could make a child very
STEVE: "I also think about the time frame. I'm 40 and Monica's
42. If we were to adopt, how long of a process is it? And do we want to have a
really young child? That's why we jumped right into the in vitro thing. Now,
five years later, we have even less time. Are we too old for the energy of a
MONICA: "I feel like each of us is waiting for the other to make
the decision. We both like the way things are, but I feel like I'm waiting for
a sign. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be to do."
EXPERT ADVICE: Monica and Steve should take the pressure off
themselves regarding adoption and not rush into a decision, says Waichler.
"Moving on means that you are accepting that the last step didn't
work," she adds. "That's incredibly difficult. But in time, Monica and
Steve will come to a consensus about what they want to do next."
To suss out their true feelings about whether adoption is right for them,
Monica and Steve should each write down three things about adoption that they
think would be obstacles, three things they would most look forward to about
adopting, and three reasons why they may want to remain childless. Since this
is another difficult subject for them, writing may help open a dialogue. While
infertility challenged Monica and Steve's marriage, their continued commitment
to each other will guide them toward the next phase of their relationship,
Waichler says: "Monica and Steve's experience has the potential to actually
bring them closer and perhaps help them discover that a family of two people is
still a family indeed."
THE COUPLE'S REACTION:
MONICA: "We're adding spontaneity. The past five years have been
so planned out between the wedding and the infertility treatments and our home
construction. It's nice to do things on the fly. We had a date this past
Saturday and it started raining, so we walked home in the rain and wore garbage
bags. We looked like total dorks, but it was fun!"
STEVE: "I think, hopefully, that this process has helped me open
up a little more. We were thrown into a really intense situation trying to get
pregnant right after we got married and immediately doing IVF. Taking a step
back to figure it out together has been helpful. We continue to dialogue on
adoption every once in a while, but it's not going to happen now. Maybe in the