It’s no secret that major, or sometimes even minor, life transitions and challenges can put a lot of stress on relationships. Infertility is one such stressor that can take its toll on both partners, wearing away at their patience, intimacy, and healthy habits. 

So, Can Marriage Survive Infertility?

Couples counseling can help that. It can help you both feel seen, heard, and understood, so that it doesn’t feel as though you are on opposite teams but representing the same jersey and fighting for your future together. Keep reading for some ways you and your partner can prioritize your bond and relationship while in the throes of infertility. 

couple hiking

1. Have things separate from infertility.

It is inevitable that you and your partner are going to spend a great deal of time talking about infertility, attending fertility appointments, scheduling said appointments, taking medication, and more. 

“Make sure that you prioritize conversations and experiences together that are separate from infertility,” says OURS Co-Founder Liz Earnshaw. “While you will obviously want to spend a lot of time discussing and connecting on what is happening during your IVF journey, you'll also want to be mindful of spending time that is related to other interests in your lives. Take time to talk about your interests and other focuses in life.” 

Make sure to do things together that you enjoy, and chisel out time where you can, just for a few moments, try to put your IVF thoughts on the back burner. 

2. Work to manage your own stress.

“During stressful times, couples can allow the stress of the situation to take over. When stress takes over, it becomes difficult to discuss challenging topics and to connect with intimacy,” explains Liz. “Pay attention to your stress levels and take steps — individually — to care for your wellbeing. This might include spending time with friends, partaking in hobbies, and exercising separately from your partner.” 

Don’t lose sight of yourself on this journey. It can be challenging and difficult, but managing your own stress and not putting it on your partner will be extremely beneficial for you both. 

couple dancing on a dirt road

3. Schedule weekly check-ins.

This one is major. Always try to connect with your partner, and if it isn’t happening organically, don’t be afraid to pencil it in. 

“During weekly check-ins, talk about what is going well in your relationship, what you think needs improvement, and check in on how you're each feeling about the current state of the relationship. During your IVF journey you might want to include a specific check-in question regarding how you are each feeling about IVF,” says Liz.

This can be a powerful tool for maintaining a healthy level of connection during infertility. You might think you are on the same page as your partner, or you might feel really alone. This technique can help with those feelings. 

Taking Care of Us, While Making Ours

While we can’t stress enough the power of couples counseling during infertility, knowing where to start and how to get help can pose another great challenge. In fact, it can be daunting and overwhelming. Luckily, OURS is on a mission to make relationship healthcare more accessible.  

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“OURS is a relationship health company,” explains Liz. “We support couples through life's biggest moments. During the OURS journey, couples are supported by mental health professionals and technology to better understand each other and the science behind what makes relationships last.”

We know the toll infertility can take on you mentally, emotionally, and financially. Don’t let it take away the joy of a true, loving partnership with your significant other

couple hand in hand

“During stressful times, couples can really benefit from taking time to talk with a professional to maintain the strength of their relationship and to keep the channels of communication open. Just as with any other transition, fertility treatments can bring up emotions, differences in opinions, and high-stress decision-making moments. Fertility treatments can also be a very isolating experience,” explains Liz. 

You can start prioritizing your relationship today by joining the waitlist for OURS’ upcoming virtual support program for couples trying to conceive!

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.