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Relationships Under Fire

When you met your partner, did you imagine what your children would look like? What kind of parent your partner would make? How life would be with a family of your own?

Sometimes a reproductive crisis brings you and your partner closer than ever, but sometimes you may feel in conflict with the very person you want to feel closest to. It’s good to remember that you are both going through this reproductive trauma in your own way. You each have your own reproductive story that you are trying to set right and you each have your own way of coping.

If you don’t understand how you each cope, you may easily misinterpret your partner’s behavior, leading to hurt feelings. If she wants to talk about it and he doesn’t want to, she may feel like he doesn’t care. But he may feel that if they talk about it, she will get upset, so he avoids bringing it up. You may take your differences in coping and reactions personally, feeling that ‘if my partner really loved me, s/he wouldn’t act this way.’ And you both end up feeling awful.

Understanding how your partner responds to stress, and vice versa, gives you the opportunity to navigate these rough waters together, rather than feeling alone and adrift at sea.  

Unsung Lullabies Excerpt from: J. Jaffe, M. Diamond and D. Diamond, Unsung Lullabies, Understanding and Coping with Infertility, St Martin's Press, 2005. Copyright © 2004-2005 by the Center for Reproductive Psychology. All rights reserved.
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