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My wife and I have been married for six years and have a young daughter. We have been trying to have another baby for some time now, but for some reason have been unable to conceive. This has put a huge strain on our relationship and our sex life. I really don’t know what to do to make things better. Please help.
Millie D’Souza, Mangalore
Conceiving is a lot harder than it appears. In fact, it can take several months of intense, focused effort including self-education, planning and major lifestyle changes. Inability to conceive often brings stress, disappointment, anger, boredom and self-doubt. This is the time to support your wife all the way. Accept that you both will experience bouts of frustration and impatience. Be open to learning, including accompanying her to the doctor’s appointments, and preparing questions of your own. Partner her in her quest to lose weight, exercise more or change her diet.
Do what it takes to prepare yourself to be a father again, whether it is quitting smoking to improve your fertility or getting a semen analysis done. Remind your wife that you love her unconditionally, whether she is able to conceive or not. Remembering why you fell for each other in the first place would make the rough patches easier. Make the fertile window (the days leading up to ovulation) a time of romance and caring. Most importantly, don’t forget the things you loved to do as a couple before trying to conceive. Whether it was weekly movie dates or experimenting in bed, do keep doing it. In fact, you could even consider trying a new activity together.
Remind your wife that you love her unconditionally, whether she is able to conceive or not.
Thanks to Facebook, my husband continues to remain close to an exgirlfriend. He is always quick to like and comment on her posts. He even WhatsApps her occasionally. It irritates me no end, even though I know he is not having an affair. Somehow, I still feel this is cheating…
Rithika Pandey, Mumbai
Rithika, what you have described is a common occurrence; in fact, it even has its own definition these days - Micro-cheating! Dating expert Melanie Schilling describes it as a series of seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside the relationship. Micro-cheating covers several actions such as having private jokes with another person, keeping their name under code in your phone, liking an Instagram post, thinking about another person, checking an ex’s social media posts. And while it can get rather bothersome for the other partner, it still does not amount to cheating!
In fact, it’s important for couples to have interactions outside of their relationship. It is not healthy to focus our entire life on our partner - and expect the same in return. When you term your husband’s behaviour as cheating, you are putting pressure on him to behave in a certain way, which can lead to emotional abuse. Relationship control is not a great quality for a relationship. If you are seriously worried about your husband’s behaviour, sit down and have an honest, non-aggressive conversation about it. Also ponder why his liking his ex’s posts should bother you so much. Work on your self-esteem. Build on trust and communication in your marriage, instead.