July 26, 2014

Saving your romance from the dark clutches of infertility

One common misfortune that infertile couples encounter is a change in their attitude about love-making. You used to look forward to playfulness and affection in your romantic four-post canopy bed with satin sheets. But now it has become a place where you have to force yourself to do a chore. When that ovulation test turns positive, you now must have sex even if you’re tired and not feeling it that night. All the depression and frustration of infertility gets associated with that bed. Any misadventure or difficulty in consummating the baby-making chore gets amplified. One day, you discover to your horror that you start dreading looking at that bed because it reminds you of all the frustrations of your infertility problem. You also notice a gradual loss of intimacy and your loving relationship starts to be threatened. Hopefully, before this happens, you realize it and address it by communication and discussion. Hopefully, before it gets worse, you solve your fertility problem and finally get pregnant, either with medical help or on your own.
Meanwhile, one tip to dampen this problem begins with understanding the strong power of association. For example, if in your past, you had a terrible argument at a certain restaurant with your ex which resulted in a horrendous breakup from a 6-year relationship and months of crying every night afterwards, it would be no surprise that every time you happen to drive past that particular restaurant, you start getting headaches and chills. Another example is when my dogs witness me pick up my running shoes, they go wild because they associate that act with the expectation that immediately I’m going to put on those shoes and take the dogs with me for a fun jog.

So keep your marital bed as a place for love and romance and playing. If your LH test turns positive and it’s time to do the baby dance, assess your mood. If you both feel happy and amorous, then fine, enjoy the experience in bed. However, if either of you is tired, not in the mood or otherwise harboring any negative feelings and begrudgingly going to go through the mechanical motions for the sake of the fertility goal, then find another location such as the guest room or the couch. This way, the sacred marital bed remains the place for good things.