Despite its focus on romantic love, Valentine’s Day can dredge up anxiety and a sense of loss in couples grappling with infertility. The stress of unending medical procedures and escalating expenses can erode affection or even love between partners, with the pretty pink hearts and chocolate candies of Valentine’s Day serving only as a reminder that a once joyful sex life is now devoted solely to ho-hum, baby-making sex.
On Valentine’s Day and every day, taking a few moments to reflect upon each other and remembering what made you fall in love in the first place, may bolster the desire to stay connected as a couple and be happy, no matter what the fates hold in store. Sharing a romantic dinner for two and exchanging gifts are a lovely way to start. Here are some additional love (and lust) bolstering tips which may also make this a Valentine’s Day to remember.
Kindness and understanding are more than just cliches in a relationship. They are the cornerstones of communication. Even when words are hard to come by, empathy, understanding and gentleness can help keep you connected.
When every sexual encounter is geared towards making a baby, old-fashioned lust can fly out the window, as can positive body image and the feel-good sensation you used to get from simply being in each other’s presence. Try to create moments devoted to touching and connecting physically, without worrying about your ovulation date or end result. Shut off your mind and enjoy the scent, feel and experience of each other, taking time to explore every physical sensation that results.
Give the gift of listening
You’re both going through a difficult time, but may be experiencing it and showing it differently, causing confusion and hurt. Possibly, the last thing you want to do is talk, but clearing the air can help bridge the gap and bring you closer. Take turns listening to each other as if you weren’t in a couple but rather, the way you would with a dear friend.
Give the gift of letting go
What would your life be like at this very moment if having a baby was not the most important thing in the world to you? Infertility has a way of taking over every second of existence, diminishing the joy and simple pleasures of day-to-day living. Despite its all-pervasive aspects, encourage each other to experience happiness every day in little ways. Bring her flowers. Make him a cup of coffee. Schedule an after-dinner walk together. Support each other to let go of the unending aspects of pain and sadness, in small doses, as often as you are able.
On Valentine’s Day and every day, you have the right to celebrate yourselves as a couple. Connect with your strength, compassion and the love you have for each other. Celebrate the things that make you uniquely you. Live out of that emotion and know that you deserve to celebrate each other and the union you share.