Facing infertility may add stress not only to your mental health and physical wellbeing, but also to your relationship. Dr. Domar shares communication tips to support couples facing infertility.
By Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D.
- The way you are coping is the right way for you and the way your partner is coping is the right way for him/her. Don’t try to make him/her cope the way you are.
- Set aside time every day to speak together about infertility, but set a time limit. That way both of you get heard and have a chance to really listen, but it isn’t the total focus of all your time together.
- One partner may want to talk about the impact of infertility and others may tend to problem solve. Both of you need to think about what you need from the other, and directly communicate that need. No matter how much you love each other, you can’t read each other’s mind.
- Share responsibilities. If one partner makes all doctor’s appointments, the other should handle the bills or insurance claims.
- Agree on how much you want to share with family and friends, and then stick to that agreement. In general, the more private person calls the shots, but if the partner needs to vent with a best friend, sister or mother, that needs to happen.
- Get support from the outside. You can’t be everything to each other since you are each hurting in a different way. Join Resolve, find an online or in-person support group, and get online accurate information on fertility treatments, prenatal vitamins, and more.
- Infertility does not cause divorce. It actually can make a relationship stronger. And it is not a permanent crisis. The pain does go away, no matter how the infertility is resolved.