Relationship Strain in the Midst of Pregnancy Loss and Fertility Treatments

Losing a baby can throw you into deep, agonizing grief. Whether you are grieving after a pregnancy loss (such as miscarriage or stillbirth), or grieving the “way things were supposed to be” through the many losses associated with fertility challenges, the relational impact can be deep. As an individual, it may throw you into an array of emotions including anger, sadness, and fear. You may feel completely alone, even if you are in a close relationship. The challenges this can bring up with your partner can be difficult to navigate. For example, you may want to talk, but your partner finds talking too painful. You may want to move forward as quickly as possible, but your partner longs for a ceremony to honor the loss of the baby. You long to move ahead with the next step of fertility treatment, but your partner wants to stop and re-think other options. This can lead to division, isolation, and distance in a relationship, even though you and your partner are facing the same situation and grief. People handle grief in different ways, and you and your partner may vary in your approach to the loss of your baby or the challenges associated with fertility treatments. While you are both figuring out how to cope after the most recent fertility treatment or pregnancy that did not end with a baby in your arms, it can be divisive in your relationship. If partners do not identify ways to process and support one another in the midst of the stress and pain, the divergence can drive relationships into hardship. Please reach out, whether as a couple or individual so that this heart wrenching loss does not drive a wedge between you and your partner. After all, your partner is the person who has the potential to know about your pain in a deeply unique way. In therapy, you can work together to find ways to talk about the experiences together, and begin healing the relational wounds together.