How to look after your relationship when going through fertility issues by Victoria Jeffries Therapy
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Fertility treatments can take their toll on even the most loving and healthiest of relationships.
I was fortunate enough to be approached by a Metro journalist to contribute to her article 'How to look after your relationship when experiencing fertility struggles'. In the article, Claire Lindsay speaks from her personal experience and gives advice on how to nurture your relationship while experiencing fertility struggles. Claire asked for my professional opinion on how fertility struggles can affect relationships.
Claire made the following suggestions when it comes to looking after your relationships during fertility struggles:
Understand the facts together
The ins and outs of fertility procedures can be complex. It is easy to get perplexed with the different terminologies and intricacies of all that the variety of the procedures entail. Confusion around this can cause great stress and anxiety, which is why it is so useful to understand the facts about the procedures you may be faced with together. This way, your anxieties and fears can be eased.
Going through fertility treatment can take an emotional toll on your relationship. This is why, in the article I urged couples to validate and understand each other's feelings and allow themselves to feel what they feel. I truly think even the slightest understanding can go a very long way. It may be a good idea to allow each other to feel what you feel and don't put pressure on yourself to feel a certain way. Even if this means not feeling ecstatically happy in the event that you do conceive.
"‘This is why it is critical that you both show compassion to yourselves and each other, and allow yourself to feel what you feel." (A quote from myself, in The Metro)
Nourish your relationship. In the article, writer Claire speaks of the importance of self-care and rewards throughout the fertility journey. I can't emphasise this enough; fertility can be all encompassing and it can be so easy to forget that life exists outside of your fertility journey. Remember it does; Claire suggests scheduling in time together, whether this be in the form of having a weekend away, a meal in a nice restaurant, or simply staying at home together to watch a nice movie.
Claire suggests that, while there is strength in keeping positive, there is definitely a lot to be said for also remaining realistic and preparing for any news that may come your way. I second this; I would certainly not encourage pessimism; however, it may be a good idea to discuss various outcomes and how to approach them if this does indeed become reality.
Going through fertility treatments are, to put simply, emotionally draining and incredibly trying. It is important not to "lose yourself" or let the fertility process overtake not only your entire self, buy your entire relationship. Couples counselling can support you as a couple to look after your relationship and explore your thoughts and feelings together in a calm, safe and caring space. If you feel you would benefit from wither couples or individual counselling, please don't hesitate to contact me or read more about how I work on www.victoriajeffriestherapy.com