If you are experiencing infertility currently, please know our hearts go out to you. There are many different emotions that will be experienced throughout an infertility process. Infertility can trigger depression and anxiety when you may have never experienced these emotions before. This can begin to affect your marriage in hurtful ways.
It's very natural for depression to occur within this process. With each passing month, doctors appointment, test result, etc., tension builds and hope escapes if the news is negative/delayed/extended. One person in the couple may have hope last a lot longer than the other & one may lose hope faster. This can create distance between the two of you within your marriage. You may begin withdrawing from one another rather than coming closer together.
At the same time, anxiety creeps into the marriage the longer the infertility process lasts. You may feel a lot of pressure and sense of responsibility. Both men and women may not look forward to intimate times together, feeling anxiety surrounding their sexual relationship. Thoughts may swirl - centering upon timelines, what-ifs and the future. All adding to the anxiety monster.
One important contributor to depression and anxiety to be mentioned here is ambiguous loss. Ambiguous loss occurs when we experience a loss of something (or someone) but we don't have any closure or understanding. Generally ambiguous loss is discussed when there is a death of someone, yet their body is not recovered (such as in a natural disaster or war).
However, within infertility, there is the loss of a dream of having a child, yet there is no closure or understanding as to why this loss is occurring. It's truly ambiguous. There are no funerals or ceremonies when experiencing loss in infertility. Yet it's impact is deep, real and long lasting.
Again, our hearts go out to you if you are experiencing infertility. Tomorrow we discuss the impact infertility has on a marriage.
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.