I don't know about you but I often find my hubby and I are completely aligned on the outcome we want...but mismatched on how we want to get there. I'm like a bull at the gate - I like action, launching into things....hubby is more cautious and really likes to think things through.
A classic Virgo, he can be a bit of a perfectionist. A classic Gemini, I can be a bit slap dash!
I often describe this aspect of our relationship as us being inside a giant elastic band. He balances me out by keeping some resistance in the band so I don’t charge forward without thinking. In return I pull him forward a bit more quickly than he would sometimes go himself.
When its come to TTC this has meant at times we have been a bit mismatched. Always aligned with the end goal but not often running at the same pace.
This is not a bad thing, each of us have played cheerleader, motivator and pacer for the other at times. Right now, just as exhaustion is kicking in for me, hubby is going full steam, helping me to pull me forward.
It can also be hard. Infertility an odd experience as a couple. It’s a strange world in which you are going through together, but at the same time on your own. How it effects me, how I cope with it, is different to my hubby.
I think sometimes for women the sense of urgency and the realisation its time to try something new hits home first. When TTC we watch every detail of our cycles, but men don’t have that same exposure.
This can sometimes mean we are ready to make a change….but our partners might take a bit longer to reach the same place.
TTC is a time in life where you need to have some extra focus on nurturing your relationship. If you are not careful infertility can invite in a lot of unwanted elements such as:
- Mismatch on feelings about treatment options and timing of when to do them
- Difficulties making lifestyle changes
- One partner feeling they are making all the effort
- Not feeling supported, or supported in the right way
- Shame, guilt, blame, obsession, depression
- Hormonal mood swings
- Diminished sex life
- Diminished social life
- Financial strain
In an already emotionally fraught time these feelings of disconnect between you can be easily magnified.
However, this experience can also knit you closer together, and help you grow as a couple in a way you never would have otherwise.
My tips for keeping a strong relationship while TTC:
Remember You Are A Team!!
Don't blame or judge each other or yourself. Don't take it all on yourself and not let the other person help. Accept it might take each of you different amounts of time to process things, and try to support this rather than feel frustrated by it.
You are in this together - you share the dream – so lean on each other!
Everyone experiences things differently, gives them different meaning. You can't expect your partner to know exactly what you need or how you feel unless you tell them. Listen to and respect how they are feeling as well.
Good communication saves a lot of wasted energy and keeps you close to each other.
Be a couple!!
This one is important. Make time to go on dates. Hold hands. Have sex for sex's sake not just cos its the right time to conceive!!!
I'd like to finish by saying thanks to my wonderful hubby - a man of infinite patience, who is wise, kind, funny and wonderfully supportive. I’m grateful to have you on my team!! :-)
What's your advice to keeping your relationship strong while TTC?