The Emotional Effects of Infertility in Marriage
There is no doubt that infertility affects marriage and relationships. Whether you want it to or not, infertility is one of those things that seeps it’s way into your relationship.
It’s not simple however. Infertility can affect marriage in many different ways. Read on for some of the most common effects that infertility can have on our relationship.
Resentment can grow on both sides of a relationship when infertility is involved. One partner can resent the other for focusing solely on conceiving, and neglecting the other person.
Resentment can also grow when one partner feels like the other partner isn’t as “into” conceiving as the other, or that one partner cares more than the other. Resentment is incredibly common when one partner focuses solely on “baby making” sex, and the other partner begins to feel used and not wanted for anything other than making a baby.
Blame is another extremely common emotion that affects a marriage when infertility is involved. It is rare that blame is put out into the open, though. It is usually an emotion that is held inside.
One partner might feel that the other is at fault for the infertility problems, and they might in turn blame that partner. Similarly, one partner might feel that the other isn’t trying as hard as they should be, and that can lead to blame.
On the other side of the blame coin, is guilt. Many times, one partner (or both!) might feel that they are to blame for the fertility problems. Usually this is due to something that really isn’t anyone’s fault, but sometimes one partner feels guilty regardless.
This guilt can really affect a marriage in many ways. It can put a wedge between a couple that is very hard to break.
Depression is a very common emotion in couples who are experiencing infertility, and it is very difficult to get past depression once it hits. When a couple is facing infertility, especially for long periods of time, it can get to be depressing.
Women especially can fall into a real funk when dealing with infertility, and this can cause depression. Depression can put a real space between two partners, especially when one partner begins to lose interest in regular activities.
Probably one of the most common emotions that couples have when they deal with infertility is anger. The anger may or may not be justified, but often times, it’s still there. Couples become frustrated and angry that what they want more than anything in the world just can’t happen. This is completely normal, but can get out of hand if not taken care of in a productive way.
All of the emotions listed above are completely normal for a couple who is suffering from infertility. If you and your partner are dealing with fertility issues, it might be helpful to see a counselor who can help you work through your feelings and come to a more peaceful place in your marriage.
Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.
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