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Marriage Makeover: Can Our Marriage Survive Infertility?

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"WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S NEXT." continued...

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 young child?"

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!"

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