When I was surviving infertility, I was a hotbed of emotions: anger, grief, disappointment, and hopelessness.
I remember one Saturday afternoon by husband and I were on our way to a BBQ at a friend’s house, and I picked a fight and wouldn’t let it go. My quiet, sweet, even-tempered husband dropped me off in front of our friend’s house and drove away.
I felt sick as I watched him speed off, knowing that I had pushed him too far. I also knew that he would be back in a few minutes, but I still felt sad and alone and confused.
Those were tough years for us. We were trying to have children, and it wasn’t working. I had been doing infertility treatments for over a year, and we had been going through the adoption process for the same length of time. I’d had months of artificial inseminations, an ectopic pregnancy, and surgery. We’d been contacted by seven expectant mothers who were considering adoption, but they had all changed their minds.
My husband and I were a ball of emotions that we couldn’t really verbalize or totally understand, and it is no wonder that we lost it on each other once in a while.
Today I would like to share some takeaways that, looking back, I can see would have helped us during those difficult times as we were surviving infertility.
1) Do not expect your spouse to heal you. Even though he or she is in a way going through the same loss and experience as you, they are not you. Rather than wishing that he or she could read your mind and know the perfect thing to say or do to support you, just tell them. Talk to them and forgive them when they get it wrong AND do everything in your power to take care of yourself.
2) Know yourself and what you need. Get quiet and ask yourself what would help support you during this time: Time with friends? Time alone? A walk? A massage? Less on your to-do list? It’s your job to take care of yourself, and it’s okay to ask for support, not permission, in getting your needs met right now.
3) Consciously serve your spouse in every way possible. What you are going through together right now is truly a battle, and you need each other’s tenderness and small acts of love. This week, prioritize doing a little something each day to show your spouse how much you care about them, even in the midst of your pain and heartache.
>>>Are these tips about how to survive infertility helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.
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- Article: “Joy Will Return: Nurturing Yourself and Your Marriage Through Infertility”
- Article: “32 Ways to Spoil your Sweetie”
- Book: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Promptly Journal: Loom Couples Journal
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