She goes to take another pregnancy test. She seems hopeful, but you've been through so much already and you don't think you can watch her heart shatter one more time if she gets another negative result.
The second you see her, you know how the test turned out. She doesn't want to tell you the result was negative again. She can't stand the disappointment in your eyes as she feels she's failed her purpose as a woman and failed you as a wife.
This is a heartbreaking situation, but it's not uncommon. 1 in 8 women have a hard time getting pregnant, and some couples never conceive. This can put a strain on your marriage, especially if your wife starts to feel depressed, worthless or like a failure. There are ways, however, to keep your relationship strong during this difficult time - one of those ways is never saying these five phrases:
1. "You could have it worse"
When you tell your wife she could have it worse, she feels even more guilt on top of the guilt she feels for not being able to conceive in the first place. She knows there are people having her same struggles, but this challenge makes her feel as though the world is crashing down around her.
Instead, support her through this time and validate her feelings and emotions. Empathize with her and help her understand in a supportive way that she's going to be OK. This is not her fault.
2. "If you relax it'll happen"
She is so sick of hearing this and she doesn't need to hear it from her husband, too. She would relax if she could, but this struggle consumes her. It's hard to forget about something so important to you and relaxing is the last thing on her mind.
Help your wife (and your marriage) by planning a fun date, a surprise massage or something to take her mind off of things, even for just a couple of hours.
3. "Maybe we should stop trying"
Your wife doesn't want you to give up. Having a child is a two-way street and when she feels you've lost hope she'll be crushed. Be optimistic and positive, even in her darkest moments. She'll be so grateful you were the ray of sunshine in her hardest days.
4. "Did you hear your friend/sister/neighbor/coworker is pregnant?"
Yes, she probably heard so-and-so is pregnant and she doesn't want to hear it more than she has to. Although she'll be happy for whoever got pregnant, there will be an ache in her heart because it's not her making the exciting announcement. She sees a new pregnancy announcement on Facebook every day, and they just remind her that she hasn't had that opportunity yet.
When someone you know gets pregnant, it's OK to be happy for them. Your wife just might not want to talk about it.
5. "Maybe if you would have done something differently we wouldn't be in this situation"
Don't, under any circumstances, put the blame on your wife. Even if there is a complication in her body causing infertility, she doesn't need to feel more inadequate than she already does. Studies show that ⅓ of infertility cases are caused by the woman, ⅓ caused by men and ⅓ has an unknown or is caused by both the husband and wife. Pointing fingers doesn't change anything and just causes unnecessary guilt and worry.
If your wife is struggling with infertility, chances are it won't be easy on you either. It's also hard to see someone you love so deeply struggle with so much heartache. Be there for her, listen to her and help her remember that her worth as a woman has nothing to do with whether or not she's able to conceive.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.