How you can keep your relationship strong
Everyone’s experience with pregnancy and having children is different. However, there are some common issues that relationships may experience in the process of trying to conceive.
Problems in your relationship when beginning the process of trying to conceive:
Making the decision to try to conceive together.
You may not always agree on everything, but you’ll want to get on the same page with this and find some understanding with each of your ideas about being a parent. It can be incredibly stressful if you don’t agree. If you aren’t intentionally communicating with each other and working to hear each other’s thoughts and feelings about trying to conceive, just the start of making the decision to try to have a baby can be filled with conflict.
Other big family-building decisions.
There are many decisions to make when you begin to think about conceiving. You may want to talk about how many children you both want, what values are important for your family, your different parenting styles, traditions, and more. You may not agree on all of these things, and that’s ok. You won’t agree on everything. But this can also cause conflict for you, and it might help to go to couples therapy to address your different ideas.
You can lose intimacy when sex becomes work.
If you and your spouse get so focused on conceiving that it becomes more about the anxiety of tracking your cycle and having sex at the right time and in the right position, you could lose the intimacy and freedom in your relationship. When sex becomes work, you miss out on the joy and closeness needed for your relationship to thrive.
All of the unexpected.
Trying to conceive is filled with unexpected issues that can come up. Any issues, whether medical concerns, life changes, family problems, or anything else, can bring added stress. And so many of these things are out of your control. If you let the stress of the unexpected overwhelm you, you might find yourself getting easily frustrated or experiencing more conflict or disconnect in your marriage. It can be challenging to keep open communication and connection.
Trying to conceive: tips for your relationship
Maintain a solid foundation in your couple relationship.
Your spouse is the person you plan to raise a child with, so you need a strong relationship. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, don’t blame your partner. Focus on listening to each other and supporting each other. When you don’t agree on some decisions, be willing to sit down and talk it out.
Keep fun in your relationship.
You don’t want to lose the intimacy of sex, so allow for spontaneity. Don’t make every time you have sex become focused on procreation. Have date nights. And it’s not just about sex either. Go have fun together. Whenever you do have a baby, life will most likely be more stressful and busy. Take time now to enjoy time with your spouse so that when the baby comes, you will still have a close relationship and be in the habit of making time for each other.
Talk about other things outside of trying to conceive.
It’s easy to get stuck in thinking and talking only about getting pregnant. It can be consuming. Allow yourselves the freedom to put all pregnancy-talk to the side sometimes. Go out to dinner for a date night, and agree that you won’t discuss it. If all of your conversations are focused on this one goal, you can easily lose sight of each other and your relationship. Share other areas of your lives together.
Remember there are multiple ways to get to a common goal.
So much of this process is unexpected. You might have it all planned out- when you’ll get pregnant, how you’ll give birth, what everything will be like along the way. And sometimes our plans work, but oftentimes it’s not going to go exactly your way. Whatever your journey looks like, just remember to leave space for change and other possibilities. Remember, you and your spouse want to have a child and begin adding to your family. And while that’s wonderful, it also requires flexibility in knowing that your journey can look different from others. So instead of worrying or focusing on making it happen in the one way you want it to, just focus on the parts you can control and be willing to breathe and adjust to all the things that can happen along the way.
I know this might be a difficult season of life as you and your partner are trying to get pregnant. Whatever your story is, know that I’m thinking of you and holding hope for you, friend. You aren’t alone. And your relationship with your partner can be the most supportive and loving space to help you cope with the stress of this season. So keep your relationship strong, and you’ll be able to get through everything else life brings.