Dealing with infertility in marriage

Dealing with infertility in marriage

Relationship expert Gaopalelwe Seleka tackles infertility and how to deal with societal pressure so it does not affect your marriage negatively. 

Infertility/ iStock

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. 

According to the World Health Organisation, one in every four couples in developing countries had been found to be affected by infertility. 

Sadly, the inability to have a child can put stress on the couple. 

Seleka says the first thing that needs to be addressed is the misconception that when a couple can’t conceive, the woman is at fault. 

READ: Infertility causes and treatments

“When you get married, as a wife you are expected to have children, but people forget that you are not the carrier of the seed,” she says. "It takes two people to have a child." 

Seleka, who has been married for 19 years, says another challenge people face is dealing with in-laws who pressure the couple into having babies. 

“From the minute you get married, some in-laws hint that they want grandchildren. Some in-laws can make you feel unworthy because you are unable to conceive”, says Seleka. 

The marriage counsellor says it is important to communicate and support each other as a couple. 

“The two of you have to decide how you are going to deal with it so that you can have a thriving marriage in the midst of the challenge.

“Do you sit there and cry because you don’t have children?” she asks. 

Seleka says couples need to understand that it is not their fault that they don’t have any children.

“Children are a blessing from God. Acceptance is the first step to dealing with the challenge,” she says. 

After accepting your situation, she says it is important not to compare yourself with other couples - understand that every couple has their own challenges. 

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She says it is important to remove the stereotype that in order for you to have a happy marriage, you need to have children. 

The expert says you can still have a good, fun-filled marriage without children. " How you look at it is key. Count your blessings instead of focusing on what you don’t have,” she says. 

The marriage counsellor adds that throwing a pity party for yourself can rob you of enjoying what marriage has to offer. 

Lastly, she says find a support system and be intentional about having fun in marriage. 

Image courtesy of iStock/@Prostock-Studio


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