TTC: How has your fertility journey tested your relationship? One of the hidden taboos of living with fertility issues is how it affects our closest relationships, particularly with our partners. So often when the question is posed about how your marriage or relationship is surviving as you ttc, you hear how supportive partners are and how lucky we feel to have them in our lives. But how often do you hear all is not well? That your relationship is strained and far from happy. That your sex life is non existent. That you’re worried about the future if you can’t create your family.
For those who are struggling with fertility issues and dealing with the fallout of a relationship in disarray it can start to feel that your life is becoming unraveled. Fertility issues test even the tightest of relationships. Throw on top of that raging hormones, stress, lack of sleep and juggling work commitments with the ups and downs of your cycle, well it starts to become a perfect storm.
Here are 5 gentle ways that might help you gain clarity and move forward with a softer, kinder perspective:
- If you’re struggling the first thing to acknowledge is that you’re feeling this way. When we’re unhappy we sometimes go for months without sharing our thoughts. Talking is the first step to start the process of healing. If you can’t speak to your partner find a fertility counsellor or therapist who can help.
- So often we don’t know how we feel, nothing is clear and it’s difficult to make decisions. Gaining clarity about what your needs are will allow you to create healthy boundaries for yourself and your partner, so everyone is on the same page. Start a meditation or breath practice. Feeling calmer and steadier will affect how you respond to situations in your day, both the easy and difficult. Meditation allows you to process all the sadness, grief and frustration that you feel. Watch what comes up in your mind and gently and lovingly breathe it out and release it. This creates space to start to understand what you truly need right now and decide on the best way ahead.
- Notice where you stir up strife in your life. eg. when your period is late and your hubby doesn’t seem that bothered. You might immediately go to ‘he doesn’t care if we get pregnant or not’. Rather than reacting this way see if you can re-write it, instead thinking, ‘I know that he feels deeply about what we are going through and cares about us and our future. This isn’t wishful thinking, far from it. When you consciously bring your highest self to any given situation you actually create what you want to become.
- So often we are at odds because we focus on things we don’t have in common and forget to put a spotlight on what we do. Phrases like ‘me too’ can help you to soften a difficult situation and allows you both to find common ground.
- Above all remember to be kind to yourselves. At every stage where you go to tell yourself off, are critical or unkind, see if you can catch it. Close your eyes, sigh out softly and say ‘I trust’. Keep softening into the belief that even though it’s hard right now you know good things are to come. This is a crazy unique situation that you’re in. Things will change, nothing will stay the same. Believe that the love that you both share is still there. It may be a little battered and bruised, but it’s alive. It’s this trust, this belief, that allows you to keep going together towards your goal of becoming parents.