If fertility struggles are pushing your relationship to its limit, take a deep breath and start talking
Face it – trying to conceive can put pressure on your relationship. Especially if you’re having difficulties or going through fertility issues. While there is undoubtedly a lovely ‘we want to be a family’ feeling, there will be some downsides, and emotions you never expected can suddenly crop up, whether it’s guilt, resentment or distance.
You’re both going through a huge experience together and feeling the strain is completely normal, but there are things you can do to put the life back into your relationship.
Don’t bottle your feelings up
Emotions often manifest through behaviour – maybe an argument or minor bicker. If you’ve snapped, give yourself time to calm down and then have a chat.
‘Bottling something up may feel easier but getting it out can release a lot of the anxiety and take some of the strength away from the emotion,’ says Dr Clare Murray, Couple and Psychosexual Therapist with The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.
Just remember you may need to backtrack a bit if you’ve come out with something in the heat of the moment that you later regret.
Set time aside to chat
Try making time each week to sit down, perhaps make some food and talk about how you’re both getting on – the negatives as well as any positives.
‘This keeps you both communicating, but also lets you focus on other things the rest of the week because you know you have that time coming up,’ says Clare.
Start a diary
Writing down your thoughts is a good way to organise them and work out just what’s bothering you. Perhaps even suggest he puts pen to paper, too.
‘This doesn’t make feelings go away though, so make sure you speak to each other,’ says Clare.
Focus on what’s good in your relationship
If what you’re going through feels all-consuming, think about the things that make you so great as a couple. Go through some photos, remember what you do to have fun, spend some time with the people you both love.
‘Be kind to yourselves and remind each other why you love each other,’ says Clare.