Perhaps one of the grandest ironies for couples who are struggling to get pregnant is that they’re having the most sex of their lives – without feeling a single shred of romance (or even affection).
The reality is that an infertility diagnosis – paired with a very scheduled sexual regimen, hormone therapies, fertility treatments, the colossal mood swings associated with all-of-the-above – can suck the romance right out of your relationship.
Don’t Let IVF Take the Romance Out of Your Partnership
From the time you decide to get pregnant, through the time you’re working through infertility testing and diagnosis, and then into the realm of fertility treatments, your relationship with your partner is wholly focused on one thing: conceiving and carrying a child. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of room for romance in there.
Thus, we advise couples to realign their priorities just a smidge: put the quality of your relationship (including the romantic aspects) first, and make fertility the close second.
To that end, we have a few suggestions for how to keep the romance strong through IVF and the fertility journey in general.
Make date night a weekly – if not monthly – routine
It’s time to calendar date night – and write it in permanent marker. Parents who already have kids often make a “no talking about kids” rule on their date nights. In your case, we recommend creating a “no talking about infertility” rule. It’s imperative for your personal emotional health, your relationship and your future family that your Relationship remain connected, communicative, compassionate and – yes – Romantic!
Before you cite finances as a reason you can’t go on dates, we direct your attention to:
…both of which have fantastic ideas that won’t cost you a penny and can support your romantic cause for months to come.
Be completely honest with your feelings
It’s so important that the two of you communicate often and share deeply. Those hidden resentments (If he had a normal sperm count, we’d be pregnant by now…), jealousies (If only she knew what it was like to have an infertility diagnosis and feel like a failure…) and anger (I’m sick of living every day of my life around some else’s hormone fluctuations…) should be shared calmly and compassionately with one another.
Any therapist or relationship expert will tell you that it’s the repressed, unexpressed and hidden feelings that do the worst damage. Giving them voice and airing them in the open will help to dissipate their resonance to keep the energy between you more clear and calm.
Start a Romance Jar
Decorate a jar for each one of you. Every time you think of a way your partner could please you, make you feel appreciated, express their love, etc., write it down and add it to your jar. Start with six requests each and then keep adding to it over time. When you need a little romance, get into your partner’s jar and surprise him/her by fulfilling one of their requests.
Designate “baby-making” versus “love-making” areas
The brain is hard-wired to have a conditioned response to certain situations. For this reason, we recommend designating a specific area of the house for baby-making, leaving the rest as your love-making oyster. If you already have a child(ren), this may be trickier, but it’s worth striving for. Maintaining boundaries between business and pleasure is always a good thing and if you wind up experiencing pleasure in the baby-making spot, that’s great too.
Is your romance sagging under the weight of infertility? Schedule a consultation with the Fertility Center of Dallas.