Infertility can be an incredibly stressful, anxiety-inducing, and all-consuming complex disease. It can lead to depression and other mental health issues, which may cause you or your partner to become distant. When faced with infertility, a couple’s connection may be tested, and their ability to communicate feelings can suffer. Still, you can take steps to improve your relationship and find ways to support your partner through their infertility.
Ways To Support Your Partner Through Infertility
A common myth is that infertility only affects women. However, that is untrue, as infertility impacts both men and women alike. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development suggests that
- One-third of infertile couples, the problem is with the man
- One-third is a problem with the women
- One-third is due to a problem that can’t be identified or is a problem with both the man and women.
You may not understand what your partner, man or woman, is going through, but it’s essential to be a part of their journey. Here at Carolina Fertility Institute, we understand the struggles that follow infertility. Here are some ways to support your partner through their infertility.
Make A Plan
A plan can help ease the uncertainty that follows any infertility journey. An infertility plan may include what treatments you intend to try, a timeline, and a budget. Once you have a plan in place, check-in with your partner periodically to ensure you’re both on the same page about your treatment options and the course of action. And if your partner is okay with it, accompanying them to their doctor appointments is always an excellent idea.
While avoiding your problems is not recommended, finding distractions that can take your mind off your troubles for some time is a great way to connect with your partner. Try engaging in your favorite activities prior to your infertility struggles. Some date night activities to connect with your partner include dinner and a movie, volunteering, going to a concert, or even taking a vacation!
Attend A Support Group Or Counseling
Finding a support group or attending counseling with your partner is a great way to talk things out if reaching emotional conclusions is challenging to do in private. Fertility counseling gives you access to a trained professional who can help guide you on how to communicate and support each other. Additionally, infertility support groups can put you in the presence of those with similar struggles, reducing feelings of isolation.
Allow Emotions To Fly
Sticking together during these difficult times can help your partnership become stronger than ever. One great way to ensure feelings don’t get bottled up is to be present physically and emotionally and let whatever emotions, sadness, angst, and frustration come forth. Suppressing emotions can lead to physical stress and strain on the body, which does little for the situation you and your partner are faced with. And while letting your partner feel every emotion that feels right to them, don’t forget your feelings are valid, too!
Being patient is paramount among all the ways to support your partner through their infertility. Remember, this isn’t your partner’s fault, and blaming them will only worsen matters. Understand that you and your partner might have different coping strategies, and be patient as they compartmentalize their emotions without immediately trying to fix them. Reaffirm to your partner that you love them and are on this journey together.
For those of you who are the ones struggling with infertility, don’t be afraid to ask your partner for support. When trying to conceive, they are just as much in this as you are! Are you interested in making an appointment to learn about infertility options, treatments, or ways to support your partner through their infertility? Carolinas Fertility Institute is here to help and guide you through the process. Check out our website or give us a call to find out more.