A Marriage Check-Up
Did you know that approximately 30% of all infertility cases are due to male infertility? 30% are women and 30% is due to both of them.
So, really when it comes down to it, it’s about 50/50. That can cause some serious tension in a marriage.
It is devastating for men. Women crave and miss the nurturing aspects of children. We are meant to raise them. For men, it is the feeling of not being man enough. They aren’t providing for their family. They aren’t teaching sons and daughters. They aren’t able to tease them, wrestle with them, or be a hero to them. They can try with nieces and nephews, but it’s not the same for men. They can’t bond as easily as women do.
Women’s health is way more advanced than men. The doctors know which tests and procedures to do to help a woman conceive with good sperm. On the other hand, when it comes to men, doctors seem to really struggle. There’s only so much they know or are willing to check and do to find solutions for men.
Even though it’s still difficult, women have an easier time talking about this topic. We need support and community around us so we share. Men most times feel ashamed about their infertility, so they don’t talk about it. They don’t know what to say and don’t feel comfortable sharing with most people. Yet, they suffer as much as women do.
The grief for some couples is too hard to bear. Their marriage gets strained by the stress of emotions, medical experiments, and financial burden it can cause. This is a situation that is rarely black and white. It is so trial and error. So, how do you protect your marriage through these hard times?
You need to recount the things that you value in one another. What made you fall in love with your spouse?
Intimacy can wane the longer infertility goes. What are you doing to encourage your spouse? Are you still dating each other? Do you still tell one another that she is beautiful and he is handsome?
It sounds silly, but you can begin to distort how you see yourself physically over time. Through the stress and discomfort of medically being poked and prodded a bunch of times, you can devalue yourself. Keep building your spouse up and sharing what you enjoy about his or her physique.
Find something to do together that you’re passionate about. Exercise together. Bless other people together. Find something that you both enjoy and can connect on the same level with. This will energize you and give you other things to talk about.
Please talk to your spouse about how you’re feeling and processing your infertility. Don’t do it all the time or it’ll become exhausting and straining. However, it is important that you take uninterrupted moments where you can be vulnerable and work this through together.
Give yourselves a bit of time to process information the doctor gives you after an appointment. Then, later that day, take some time to talk about it. If you do it right after you leave the doctor’s office, your emotions might be too raw. You know each other best. Be gracious, be patient, and be real.
Most importantly, you need to set emotions aside and see each other through the eyes of Jesus. Though it seems like you are flawed and broken, He created you both perfectly. He’s brought you together as a couple. God’s got a purpose in this.
Pray together. Seek the Lord’s wisdom and direction to know which step to take next. Ask for His grace, patience, and love for one another. Worship the Lord together. Nothing will make you stronger and unite your hearts more than worshipping and praying together.
Women, we are to honour our men. He may feel broken and ashamed because he can’t give you a biological child. It’s not his fault. Do not diminish his manhood. Respect him and build him up. Share the things that you see in him that are honourable. Emphasize how he provides for you and protects you. If he is working, thank him regularly for doing so. Share what you appreciate about him and be his biggest cheerleader.
I know that you want him by your side to comfort and support you through your grief. But don’t forget to comfort him as well. Let him go out with guys and blow off some steam playing sports or games. He needs a filter and avenue to disconnect for a bit. He loves you but sometimes needs a break from home for a few hours.
Men, take some time to sit and listen to your wife. She knows you can’t fix anything and that’s extremely hard for you. But sometimes she’ll want your shoulder to cry on. She wants you to hear her heart and understand where she’s at. It’s her way of wanting to draw closer to you. As hard and painful for your heart as it is, please give her moments to do so. It’ll keep you close.
These are only some suggestions to help you in this hard trial of your life. You know your spouse better than anyone. Do what you can to communicate, encourage, and bless each other selflessly. You’re in this together. Keep Jesus number one no matter what. If you’re both willing, get outside counsel if needed.
Please send me a message if you need support or more specific guidance. Michael and I aren’t perfect at this either, but we’re walking through it with grace and love. We are here for those in need.