Your Pregnancy - - Q & A Fertility - LOMÉ KOEKE­MOER Psy­chol­o­gist and par­ent­ing expert

Q: My hus­band and I have been try­ing to con­ceive for the last two years. I love him very much, but the im­pa­tience and wait­ing is start­ing to take its toll. Why is in­fer­til­ity putting such a strain on our mar­riage? A: In­fer­til­ity puts a huge amount of pres­sure on a mar­riage, es­pe­cially when it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion, emo­tional bond­ing and sex­ual in­ti­macy. Also, men and women tend to han­dle in­fer­til­ity in dif­fer­ent ways, and th­ese dif­fer­ences also lead to con­flict. Be­cause of the feel­ings of pres­sure, dis­ap­point­ment, hope­less­ness and sad­ness that of­ten ac­com­pany in­fer­til­ity, it’s of the ut­most im­por­tance to pay closer at­ten­tion to your re­la­tion­ship dur­ing this time to make sure that your mar­riage doesn’t end up pay­ing the ul­ti­mate price. Here are some tips... Talk to each other of­ten about your needs. Keep in mind that ev­ery per­son re­sponds dif­fer­ently and has dif­fer­ent needs, so be sen­si­tive to­wards each other. Put some fun back in your re­la­tion­ship, es­pe­cially in the bed­room. Do ad­ven­tur­ous things to­gether. Laugh to­gether and be silly some­times. Try to live a more bal­anced life. Don’t al­low your preg­nancy plans to rule over ev­ery­thing. Fo­cus on what’s al­ready good in your lives. Gather as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble about your sit­u­a­tion so that you can make in­formed de­ci­sions about treat­ment. But be wary of ob­ses­sive be­hav­iour – too much in­for­ma­tion can also be dam­ag­ing. Learn healthy cop­ing skills. Avoid­ance is not a healthy cop­ing mech­a­nism. Re­search shows that the fol­low­ing mech­a­nisms can be ad­van­ta­geous for you, your mar­riage and even for your chances of get­ting preg­nant... So­cial sup­port: Chat to friends and pro­fes­sion­als about your emo­tions and thoughts. Plan­ning and prob­lem solv­ing: Do ev­ery­thing you can to find pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to your sit­u­a­tion and have con­ver­sa­tions reg­u­larly with your hus­band about the op­tions and pos­si­bil­i­ties. Pos­i­tive re-eval­u­a­tion: Take a new look at the whole ex­pe­ri­ence of in­fer­til­ity to see if there have been un­ex­pected ad­van­tages in per­sonal growth. In other words: What can I learn out of this? Coun­selling: Con­sult a re­la­tion­ship coun­sel­lor who can help you strengthen your re­la­tion­ship and help you as an in­di­vid­ual to deal with the ex­pe­ri­ence bet­ter on a per­sonal level. Spir­i­tual sup­port: Fo­cus on your faith and make use of your spir­i­tual sup­port net­work to help get you through this time. YP

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