Infertility can wreak havoc on a marriage. Even the happiest marriages can be torn apart by the struggle of infertility — a fact I was reminded of this week when a couple I know separated after years of struggling with infertility.
I don’t know for sure if that trial was the cause for separation, but I do know that infertility can put a wedge between husband and wife like nothing else. But trying to have a baby can also bring a couple together and bond them in new ways, if they let it.
When my husband and I tried to get pregnant, we struggled. I got pregnant the last month before we would have started fertility treatments. By that point, my husband and I had made peace with the fact that we needed help.
But that peace had been hard won. Infertility creeps into your marriage in small ways. Intimacy seems futile and unproductive, making it seem like a chore rather than love. Resentment starts. And the hardest part is, both husband and wife feel sad, frustrated and alone because they can’t discuss their feelings with their spouse for fear of hurting them.
My bout with infertility only lasted a year, but my husband and I made it out with our marriage intact because of two things. First, we decided we were in it together. No matter what happened, there would be no blame and no fault. Second, we continued to live our lives. We tried to enjoy the moment together instead of focusing on the children we wanted and didn’t have.
There were some dark days, of course. There were days I felt utterly alone. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with infertility, and I hope somehow you are able to not let it consume you or your marriage. You will have the family you are meant to have. Talk to your husband. Talk to a counselor. Get the help you need to get through this time together.
Have you battled infertility? How did it affect your marriage?
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.