There is so much beauty in the way God created human beings. He not only chose to make us individually unique but also made our counterparts physically different. Men and women are made to balance and compliment one another as one. Therefore we see in scripture that God brought them together and then spoke the very first command over them, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). These God-breathed words are a part of our very being; it is etched into our heart and has lead to a deep, aching and yearning desire to be fulfilled. When a couple is unable to multiply and have children it’s a devastating blow as it seems like an attack on the one thing that has been engraved within our very being. It is an overwhelming pain that rocks every part of you from emotionally mentally, and physically to even spiritually. It’s a deep void that leaves a person willing to seek answers or options that will fulfill what only they feel will satisfy: a child.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or unable to carry a child full term. This can happen when trying for the first baby or the first child may have been a success while the second has more difficulty. When couples desire to become parents and then find out they may not ever be able to have biological children it can rock them to the core, which may result in a marriage that becomes shaky and unstable. The setbacks and obstacles of infertility can push a marriage to its absolute limits. When a couple has children as an integral part of the vision they have for their lives and then it becomes challenged, it can be detrimental to their marriage. Therefore when a couple receives this devastating news, what could they do to protect their union as husband and wife?
Stand Together! Do Not Blame!
When a couple goes to see a specialist about whether or not they are infertile both the man and woman are tested. It is then that a couple finds out where the cause of the problem stems from. This could cause a person to cast blame, which would result in division and bitterness. No matter the results stand together, as a united front, and as one. Pointing a finger at someone helps no one because that person will already feel guilty. Blaming can cause a marriage to crumble as it not only makes things worse but adds to the already low self-esteem. Instead of accusing, come at it with a “we” perspective by standing on the truth that, “we will get through this together.”
Give Grace while Grieving
The grieving process bounces around these five stages, in no particular order: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This process and the way a person copes can look different for every person. However, infertility can lead you down a road of grief that jumps from anger, and doubt to hope, especially when undergoing treatment. The disappointing attempt time and time again can weigh heavily on a person. Therefore offering grace and support can bring comfort. However, this too could look differently for each spouse. What would make you feel the most supported, a hug, a listening ear, being left alone, or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? As time goes on you’ll begin to recognize what the other needs and it may need to simply begin with, “What can I do for you today?”
Make Informed Decisions Together
As difficult as it may be, talking about your treatment options objectively could help you make a wiser decision. However, there also needs to be space for an open and honest conversation about how to handle moving forward. Regardless of what decision is made be sure to always be on the same page. Check in with one another as you proceed through treatments and discuss how far you both are willing to go to conceive a child. There are so many options available to couples that are infertile, however, from the very beginning, you must know where you both stand as well as be completely informed. Always know each other’s boundaries!
Encourage One Another
Infertility is a journey no couple asks for but unfortunately, at times, it can be the hand they were dealt. It’s a hard road for both husband and wife. So, become one another’s greatest encourager by finding ways and words to be kind. Notice your spouse and comment on what is good and positive in your life. Think about and discuss the love you have for one another and remind each other that you are not alone. Desiring a child can cause some overwhelming emotions but through it, all put your relationship first, and don’t forget about each other. As hard as it may be, focus on the needs of your spouse above your own. Love each other well through this deep valley and once you’re on the other side your marriage will be stronger.
Keep the Spark Alive
Wanting to do whatever it takes to have a child may mean the spontaneity of your sex life could become more rigid and scheduled. It could lead to sex becoming a way to produce an outcome, no longer enjoyable but a chore to hopefully see results. One of the best and most beautiful parts of being married is being intimate, as making love can breed a deeper and passionate love for one another. Preserve your sex life by removing the pressures and doing it even when pregnancy isn’t a possibility. Be intimate with your husband and wife simply because you love them.
Infertility isn’t a walk in the park but it also doesn’t need to leave your marriage in shambles. In the midst of such heartache lean on God, we see this with Hannah in 1 Sam. 1:10 as she cried out to God in her anguish. Trust in God’s ways, lean on His understanding and know “that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Rom. 8:28). Even when the answers are unclear and you grow weary from the rough terrain, run to God, let Him lead you, guide you, and hold you because ultimately it is through Him that you will get to the other side with your marriage intact and stronger than ever.