5 Ways Infertility Brought Us Together (When It Could've Torn Us Apart)

Photo: Courtesy of the Author
5 Ways Infertility Brought Us Together (When It Could've Torn Us Apart)

Infertility was one of the most stressful things my husband and I ever went through.

I lost count of how many injections I gave myself, how we went broke pursuing treatment after treatment, and I had to sit through awkward conversations with employers explaining why I needed to miss so much work.

My personal life went on the back burner as everything from sex, exercise, and my daily cup of coffee was dictated by doctor’s schedules.

Through it all, we somehow managed to stay together as we endured the darkest parts of our marriage.

Looking back, I realize how much better we have become because of that struggle. What could have ripped us apart actually solidified us in many ways, and while I still struggle with the aftermath of infertility, I'm also grateful for the happy marriage it created with the most important person in my life.

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Here are five ways our infertility journey strengthened our marriage.

1. We united in the face of disappointment.

Photo: Author

I knew marriage wouldn't be sunshine and roses and lots of sex. I knew two people living together in close quarters would cause some conflict.

But when infertility hit, we knew we had to be a united force — against the insurance company denying treatment coverage; against friends and family who couldn't or didn't want to understand; against the pain of month after month of negative pregnancy tests.

Our own experiences, biases, and opinions had to come together if we were going to get through infertility. 

2. We discovered that everyone grieves differently.

Each failed cycle and the loss of our babies brought about a unique pain for us both. I’m not going to lie — I struggled with my husband’s seemingly muted grief when I had my first miscarriage.

Meanwhile, I didn't want to get out of bed. But I realized later that he felt the loss just as deep as I did, he just handled his emotions differently.

I’ve learned to appreciate those differences, embracing them because his forward-thinking approach to heartbreak is what helped carry me through my own depression, and my vulnerability kept him sensitive to how hard this journey was. 

3. We communicate even better than before.

Photo: Author

Luckily, my husband is pretty good at sharing his feelings with me. But infertility brings about a ton of emotions, and not a lot of them are good.

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He felt terrible that we couldn't get pregnant, and I was angry and frustrated a lot.

Since fighting wasn't really fun for either of us, we had to consciously make an effort to talk to each other. Our communication back then has set us up to keep a level head when facing something challenging now.

4. We have more empathy for each other.

I’m the one who wears her emotions loudly on her sleeve, and he’s the one who wants to think things through logically. It makes me a fairly decent writer and him a great financial analyst.

Going through infertility showed each of us what we both needed for a happy marriage.

At times, it was better to just listen to me vent instead of offering solutions, and I needed to swallow my anxieties and come up with a solid plan to move forward.

5. We are more flexible.

Photo: Author

When we got married, we knew we’d get a dog, buy a house and have three kids. The first two happened, and as I write this, my daughter is upstairs asleep.

The one we fought so hard to bring into this world and the one that I’m not sure will ever have siblings.

Life didn't go as planned, but it’s still good. We have dreams, but both of us have become more fluid, changing and adapting as the obstacles come up.

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Risa Kerslake is a nurse turned freelance writer from the Midwest. Her work has appeared in Momtastic,, FertilitySmarts, Ravishly, Romper and Motherly, among other sites. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.