Marriage woes

Yes, infertility is hard. Marriage is hard. Combined, a marriage in the middle of infertility is.fucking.rough. But I have embraced the hard times and even been grateful for them. I felt our relationship growing stronger and even excited at the prospect of not going through all of marriage strain children often bring. I mean, if we can make it through infertility, we can make it through parenting. Right?

I’m not so sure.

Sometimes – yes this feeling is usually tied to the impending arrival of Aunt Effing Flo – I feel like we aren’t actually making any progress. That we’re in love and do what we can to salvage our relationship after another one of my coming-period-zaps-all-remaining-patience meltdowns, but we (he) don’t actually learn anything, so the exact same fight happens every month or two.

So will we/our relationship actually be better off having gone through infertility, or are we stubbornly ignoring some signs that this relationship is doomed?

Parents- please feel free to chime in on parenting with your spouse after infertility. I need either hope or to face reality because I’m feeling pretty lost over here.


21 thoughts on “Marriage woes

  1. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. There have definitely been times in our relationship that I’ve asked myself why we’re even trying anymore…and those were before we even thought about TTC, and some of them even before marriage! I will say that in most of my experience with men overall, not just relationships…they DON’T tend to learn from these type of situations. They need to be told, or slapped upside the head with the info, or maybe write it in neon lights or sky writing…for some I haven’t figured it out yet. B and I still have the same arguments every few months or so about some things…strangely, mostly about cleaning the house. I’m pretty sure they just don’t think, or have selective memory, or short-term memory. They also know how to annoy or hurt you the most, because they know you the best, and will sometimes hit you where it will have the most impact. (A few weeks after my miscarriage, B was angry that I hadn’t cleaned the litter boxes in a long time. I pointed out that I was pregnant and not allowed to. He straight up said “Well you were pregnant but now you’re not so you can clean them again.” I mean, really!?!? I wanted to punch him, but chose to ignore him instead, which ultimately I think made him feel worse.)
    Point being…just because you guys argue and fight, maybe about the same things over and over, doesn’t mean you’re doomed. You’re going through such a high stress time, hopefully whenever things settle down you’ll be able to deal with each other better. Or maybe you could see a counselor together? One thing that I’ve thought about doing with B is each of us making a list of things the other does that annoys us so we can work on them together, I just haven’t been able to figure out the right time to bring that up to him lol! Either way, don’t give up…you’re in this together for a reason, because you love each other…just don’t lose sight of that 🙂

    • Thank you! Haha I’m going to try the list thing and I think I’ll just ask him when a good time would be to go over them. Maybe plan a date night so this can be done first and then we get to enjoy ourselves after? I dunno but thanks for the idea!

      • No problem! I’ve just been putting it off because we both tend to be sensitive to things like that, and I’m afraid that it will all go wrong and turn into a fight lol. Maybe I’ll make it a New Year’s project!

  2. IF is so freaking hard on a marriage. Among so many other things, it takes the spontaneity and fun out of sex too. It seems to make you more like business partners getting through a crisis. Whereas in parenting ( once you are through the first sleep deprived and body healing months) your sex life can return and you can be lovers again- not just business partners. I have found that during IF- my husband and I just promised to always be kind. If you want to yell- don’t. If you have something mean to say- don’t. Look at it like both of you are going through a trauma and you need to be gentle with one another. I think the real rift begins when one of the spouses forgets this and the wound feels so much deeper when the emotions and pain is raw like IF. I guess this is a long winded answer to say- in my personal opinion- the romance comes back in parenting ( assuming the passion is still there of course) and if both spouses can be kind and gentle during IF is ensures no permanent damage is done that will leave scars after you are on the other side. I also think that hardship brings out someone’s character. If your husband lashes out or is not sensitive during IF- will he also be like this during others times of hardship? Thinking of you during such a hard time.

  3. IF is just one of many trials that your marriage will go through. So far, we’ve birthed a kid (and been through much drama with said kid), survived cancer & treatment, hospitalizations (mine and kid’s), illnesses, secondary IF, and now we are almost 2/3 through this much longed for pg. We argue over stupid stuff (mostly money related), such as the rug for the baby’s room. But it’s just because there is so much frustration about lack of control and we take it out on each other. We spent some time in couples therapy the year after I had cancer and got through a period of rough communication. We are both very committed to each other and our family, whatever it looks like. You will get through this.

    PS. Hormones are ROUGH! You will feel differently next week. Sending hugs!

  4. I’m so sorry love. Marriage for anyone is tough, IF is just a cruel joke on marriage. In my experience men don’t listen all that well. My own hubby doesn’t really hear me and we fight about the same crap time after time, before and after parenting. I’d say having a kid healed some aspects of the pain IF caused (mainly sex) but others remain and new issues arise. I don’t really believe any marriage is doomed as long as you both care and both keep doing little things to focus on each other. Taking time to appreciate each other is so vital.

    What helps me is writing down everything I feel. Getting out all the anger and pain. Sometimes I share it with him and sometimes I don’t. Either way its healing for me to get it outside of me. Maybe this post did that for you.

    Love you hun, just hold on a little while longer!

  5. My previous fiancĂ© blamed me and my entire gene pool for my fertility battles after the 4th month of trying..needless to say that relationship died fast and hard. When my husband and I started dating I made it very clear that kids would not be possible the usual way and I gave him time to accept it before deciding if we were going to pursue the relationship. I was lucky to find someone who was able to laugh with me through all the pain and hardship and to be honest with me about how he was dealing with everything. We forget that though this is our journey, our bodies that has betrayed us and our hormones that are swinging from the tree tops, our partners are also going through their own “why me” issues. It almost broke me the day he confessed that he couldn’t understand why his siblings could shoot out kids left and right while we,who were in a stable loving relationship and actually willing and able to care for a child, were unable to have one. I could never have had the support from any of my previous relationships.
    That being said..since we had our bundle, it’s been hard. Our baby is hard of hearing and now has to wear hearing aids and I am battling so much with my husband to get him to accept facts and deal with them. All the support etc I got while TTC has disappeared and makes me wonder just what happened. We never fought but now all I want to do is throttle him and have seriously considered leaving him. It affected everything from our general relationship to our sex life as he just can’t seem to accept that we aren’t the childless couple who could go where we wanted at the drop of the hat and now have a huge responsibility to our child to maintain.
    I do try to remember that he is also dealing with stuff but a lot of it is taking for granted that I will sort everything out. Being tired all the time doesn’t help my moods so that also causes friction. The best thing I found so far was on his last trip home, I went away for two days. Alone. It helped a lot as it gave me a chance to breath and stop to think for the first time in I can’t remember how long. I had no distractions and could actually spend time remembering why I am with him and see some thing other than the floors that haven’t been cleaned or the other chores he doesn’t think to do with me standing over him. The best part is it made me remember that the little things don’t matter and if you spend all your time fighting about them, you will lose sight of the bigger ones. It also made him see what my daily life is like looking after a stubborn toddler and dealing with all my other responsibilities and he seems to understand a little bit better now why I need a certain level of help from him. It’s not perfect and we will never have fairy tales written by us but it’s kept him from getting hit with his golf club and me from losing my last shred of sanity.

      • I hope it helps…it’s hard enough fighting this battle without having to fight your partner too. You haven’t missed anything, I haven’t posted in absolutely forever. I just couldn’t find the words and when I thought I did, I haven’t been able to put them down just yet. I still follow your story and a few others though and am rooting quietly on the sidelines that you find your happiness.

      • It does help. And that’s it exactly-having to fight this battle AND your partner. Well take care and I’ll be praying for you and your family. I’m here if you need anything!

  6. It’s hard to say. My husband was not super supportive during IF and thought that a lot of my feelings were too much. I don’t quite know how to describe it. He was great when he saw me in physical pain (after fibroid/endo surgery, after retrieval, etc.) but he didn’t get the emotional pain which was hard. Now with our daughter here he is great. He is a fantastic father and when he is not traveling, he is super helpful and 100% there.

    I’m a little worried about how this next year is going to play out with an upcoming frozen transfer and any other fun obstacles that may get thrown our way….but I will just rely on friends more than my husband for the emotional aspect.

    • That’s how my husband is too. But on top of that he regularly tells me I’m “overreacting,” or to just stop being “irrational.” I imagine he’ll be great with our kids and def wants to be very hands-on so thanks for that hope. I know your upcoming FET is a little nerve-wracking, but I’M super stoked!

  7. When actively trying, my sex drive COMPLETELY disappears. I am willing to have sex during ovulation times but I have a hard time getting turned on and it really is very business like. I definitely think that affects our relationship, because we only have sex around ovulation, and my cycles can be so long that this means many many weeks of no sexy time. Whereas before and after the kids were born, we have sex regularly, it is totally totally different.

    I think it is really hard for men to really understand what is going on with fertility treatment. Most men are very uninvolved in the process because they don’t have to do the bulk of the work. The appointments and drugs and procedures – mostly just for women. So they don’t know what it’s like having hormones coursing through their bodies, or feel out of control and frustrated at themselves. And many people just don’t empathize very well. So you combine those two things and it looks like you’re being irrational. But you aren’t.

    That said, if you know this is a monthly fight related to when you are going to get your period, I would start tracking your emotional status along with your cycle so you can be extra nice to yourself around the time you start to fight with your husband. You can also warn him that you will need extra support, like just in the morning be like honey this is one of my days can you be extra supportive and extra attentive to me and the housework today, it will save both of us a lot of heart ache. I think maybe if you can give him some warning it will help him support you and also help you to restrain yourself from fighting on the days when you feel the most hormonal and vulnerable.

    You know what’s funny my husband actually pays attention to how much chocolate I consume so it turns out he knows how stressed out I am. I have a super dark chocolate bar in one of the kitchen drawers that I nibble on throughout the day and it is his job to replenish it (he does part of the grocery shopping). So he notices how frequently he needs to replace it, the more frequently he replaces it the more stressed I am, haha! I usually go through a bar a week I think? It’s a big bar, but before my period I think I eat two bars instead of one…

  8. I don’t have parenting advice, as my due date isn’t until June 1st, but I can say that as hard as IVF was on our marriage, I think we are closer now because of it. Now that we’re pregnant a lot of the stress of infertility is behind us, well, for now. We are happy together, excited for our future, we feel more connected, and we certainly know where we’ve been and how hard we worked to get here!

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