I’m a firm believer in honest communication in a marriage; in fact, I expect it. But what happens when you and your significant other are faced with something you couldn’t have ever imagined would happen to you. Something that they never could have expected that you would have to endure.
I’ve have found out quickly that you have two choices: you can work as a team and figure out how to handle the situation or run in opposite directions unwilling to find a way to make it work. Sometimes a couple might find themselves teetering somewhere in the middle.
If there is anything I know to be sure in marriage, it’s that it’s much easier to run away from your problems than to face them sometimes. When you decide to face your problems, it’s oftentimes harder because you’re having to work as a team. For anyone that knows my spouse and I, we are the definition of stubborn. In every single aspect of our life, my spouse and I have opinions that vary from each other. Now, I’m not saying that the whole “opposites attract” is a myth, but I am saying that because of that, he and I have a harder time communicating during difficult situations and thus working as a team. This isn’t because we don’t care about the situation or about our spouses feelings, it’s because we close up or lack direction when trying to express our feelings. We don’t like to ask for help and we don’t want to let each other know when we are hurting. We equally want to be that “strong” spouse.
From the beginning of our infertility journey, we have had issues communicating with each other. When going through infertility treatment, there are a lot of decisions that must be made. Sometimes we are able to come to a decision quickly, whereas other times, we struggle to reach an agreement. Some of this comes from our fear of the unknown.
Lately as we discuss IVF more and the costs associated with it, it’s as though it has started a war. Again it’s not because we don’t care about each other or about the situation, it’s because we are equally overwhelmed and not sure how to handle it. We both acknowledge that we want more children, but when we look at the price tag associated with it and then look at all of the things we could do with that investment, we find ourselves questioning what our hearts are telling us. Additionally, we have a hard time swallowing the fact that IVF success is not guaranteed, and that additional IVF rounds might be necessary in order to get pregnant.
For the past several months, I was so dead-set on moving forward with IVF until I started seeing all of the additional charges. As if it weren’t bad enough that our insurance company provides zero coverage to those struggling with infertility, the staggering additional costs are disheartening. Just trying to wrap our brains around the costs of IVF is hard to do.
We don’t want to argue. We don’t want to work against each other and deal with our situation as individuals verses dealing with them as a team. We realize that’s unhealthy, and we are learning new ways to communicate more effectively as a married couple dealing with infertility.
Some of the ways we can practice better communication during infertility and other difficult situations are by listening to your spouse, being sensitive to their feelings, loving unconditionally, and being supportive throughout. When a couple focuses on these things, they’re able to handle the situation much better. Their line of communication is open and uninterrupted and they are more likely to work as a team because they know what’s going on inside the other’s head.
Infertility is hard enough. Don’t let it destroy your marriage.
Strive every day to communicate with your spouse by listening to them, being sensitive of their feelings, loving them unconditionally through the good and bad and supporting them through thick and thin.
Photo Credit: Sebastian Pichler