If your fertility journey as a couple has been long and emotionally taxing, it’s not so surprising when one of you begins to express reservations about continuing to try for a baby.
Perhaps you have already gone through several rounds of IVF, and now the question arises if you can really afford to try again. Or maybe a heartbreaking miscarriage causes hesitation to try once more for fear of experiencing that pain all over again.
You may wish to press on for your dream of parenthood despite such events. But your partner might not feel the same.
There’s no avoiding the difficult conversations and challenges that will ensue. Although you may feel hopeless, plenty of couples have been at this point before you. Indeed, some have chosen to go their separate ways, while others have continued down the path together, either to parenthood or to a life without children.
So, what about you? How can you navigate this scenario and decide where you both stand?
Upon hearing that your partner feels unsure about continuing to try to conceive, your first reaction may be anger. You might feel betrayed, disappointed, or even depressed.
Trying to suppress these emotions isn’t the answer. But neither is taking them out on your partner.
Do your best to reserve or at least contain negative judgment towards your partner. The decision of whether or not to become a parent may be the single most important decision of a person’s life. You may not feel conflicted about it, but many people do, and it’s perfectly normal.
Be Realistic About Your Limitations
You may feel frustrated by your partner’s hesitance to continue trying for a baby. Even so, it’s important to take a step back and objectively assess your situation.
Do you really have the funds to pursue further fertility treatments? Or does your partner have valid concerns about your dwindling savings? Are you both healthy? Or does one of you have a medical condition that is making conception difficult or a potential pregnancy dangerous or even future parenting a concern?
Accepting these constraints can be emotionally frustrating, but it’s important to be realistic and really hear your partner.
It’s understandable if you don’t want to be open with your loved ones about the disagreements you and your partner are having. You may be uncomfortable with them knowing such private details, and it isn’t even really recommended to share these details of your partnership with friends and family. However, there are plenty of online communities where you can find people who have dealt with the same issues.
Forums and message boards can be good places to anonymously share your story and get some advice and support. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. You can learn more about how other couples have handled similar situations.
Accept That Compromise Might Not Be Possible
Making the occasional compromise is essential for a stable, healthy relationship. However, there are some scenarios where compromise isn’t really possible. Family planning may be one of them.
If your partner is still open to parenthood but feels exhausted by the infertility journey, you may be able to reach an agreement to continue trying for another few months or so. But, if they have let go of the desire to be a parent altogether, you may have some difficult choices ahead.
Is it an absolute deal-breaker for you not to have a child? Are you considering the path of single-parenting if you end your partnership? These are very tough questions that will need to be explored both internally and with your partner.
Consult a Fertility Therapist
It’s easy to assume that generally happy couples never have a need for therapy, but that’s not true. There is no shame in asking for help when the two of you feel like you’re at an impasse.
Guidance from a neutral third party can be key to deciding on the path you want to take. A fertility counselor can help either you individually to be clear about what you’re willing to compromise on or not, or can help you both as a couple to determine whether your paths can forge ahead together or not.
Have you and your partner found yourselves at odds while discussing your fertility options? If you’re uncertain about whether or not you both still want to try to conceive, contact me today to discuss fertility counseling. It would be my pleasure to provide a sounding board and guidance for your journey.