For Men

How to Keep Your Relationship Strong When Trying to Conceive

How to Keep Your Relationship Strong When Trying to Conceive

35699750_lWhen it takes more time than you thought it would to conceive, tensions can build and relationships can suffer. One of the biggest sources of tension is the need to have sex on a schedule every month and although this may be a nice novelty for a few months, it can start to feel like a chore after a while and resentments can build. This is especially true if you fall into a pattern, as many couples do, of only making love during the fertile time of month. Your partner can start feeling you only want him for his baby-making abilities and you may start feeling like your lovemaking isn’t all that much fun anymore. It’s no longer an opportunity to enjoy one another; it’s more like work.

Your partner can start feeling you only want him for his baby-making abilities

The other big issue is that when months go by and you still aren’t pregnant you may start worrying that there’s a serious problem and you may never be able to conceive. With this worry in the background you may start focusing more and more on getting pregnant and less on having a close emotional relationship together. When one person, let’s face it, 21255891_lusually the woman, is a lot more invested in getting pregnant than the other one is, tensions can increase. The guy might start resisting his monthly baby-making chores or “forgetting” about them.

The worst thing you can do in this situation is to pretend it’s not happening and avoid talking about the tensions. If you’re feeling resentful, you need to tell your partner why, in a non-blaming way, if possible. And if your partner is shy about saying what’s going on for him, you need to give him some openings to talk. This needs to be done a compassionate way.

Only when you’ve got everything out on the table can you come up with some ideas on how to ease the stress and reconnect with one another.

Things that can help are:

  • Taking a break from the monthly schedule and/or intentionally break the pattern by initiating lovemaking on other than fertile days.
  • Stop insisting that your partner “perform” on fertile days if he or she is having trouble doing so.
  • Make a conscious effort to do the things together that you enjoy and may have stopped doing.
  • Plan a get-away together for a weekend (or a week, if you can swing it) and go somewhere romantic and focus only on enjoying one another’s company.17777865_l

The main thing is to keep the lines of communication open and try to avoid blaming one another. It’s stressful TTC when it doesn’t happen right away. Find ways to reduce that stress by rekindling your affection for one another.

Kim Kluger-Bell, LMFT
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Kim Kluger-Bell is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She consults with major fertility clinics nationwide and provides counseling and assessments for egg donors, gestational carriers and patients using these procedures. She is the author of Unspeakable Losses: Healing from Miscarriage, Infertility and Abortion, as well as a series of books for donor conceived children entitled The Pea That Was Me and a surrogacy series called The Very Kind Koala.

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