Infertility In Marriage

Imagine talking to your potential spouse about your future. In your discussions you talk about where you will live, what kind of home you will have, your spiritual life, vacation and so forth. In the midst of those discussions you talk about children. Do you want sons or daughters? How many children do you want to have? What are your dreams for them? You discuss these items and you plan your wedding day.

 

Fast forward several years and you have been unable to conceive. The worries start to come forth. Maybe you’ve had several miscarriages and have not dealt with the loss of your child. You discover that you may be infertile and have decisions to make. Do we go for infertility treatments? How much do we spend? Do we adopt? Do we decide to reconstruct a life without children? Do we stay married?

 

These are the decisions that many couples have to make, often in shame, silence, anger, and grief. Silence because no one understands. Shame because you feel as if you have disappointed your spouse and family. Anger because there is jealousy that shows up whenever another couple is pregnant. Grief because an imagined and hoped for life seems to be so far away. If you add in the faith component about conceiving children being a blessing, then you might also have some anger at God. What do you do and how do you as a couple navigate this unexpected challenge?

 

My wife and I had to navigate this challenge. At times we did it together and at times we had to find our own coping mechanisms because we were two different people. For her, it meant finding a friend with whom she could share her pain. For me, it meant writing and journaling. At some point, we decided to adopt children. Even after adoption, we had to deal with the pain of two miscarriages. Eventually, we also went to counseling to help us navigate through this unexpected challenge.

 

Our decision as a couple may be different than your decision. Every couple has to make their own choice concerning the challenge of infertility. Personally, I would encourage counseling for every couple facing infertility so that a decision could be made based on the values, beliefs, and goals of the couple. In this way both spouses can express their goals, joys, disappointments, and pain as they discover the best way to continue to thrive as a family.

 

 

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