The effect on a relationship
IVF treatment imposes many demands on couples. Not the least of these is the strain it can place on the couple's relationship itself. The impact on Anne and her husband took many forms. So did IVF treatment affect her relationship? Part 3 - The effect on a relationship.
I think that in terms of how IVF affected our relationship, it was we’ve always been very close, we remain close. But I think during that time, obviously, we were really struggling with some things especially for me. I felt it very deeply from about the 3rd or 4th month of trying to get pregnant, after we’d had our first chemical pregnancy that didn’t go anywhere. I was just distraught really. And I remember that time really as being four or five years of utter devastation.
And even though outwardly some good things were happening in life there was a real bleakness within. And so obviously that’s going to affect my relationship. And it affected my behaviour, and I mean I was in tears every single day for quite a long time and talking about the desire for a child and the infertility - all the time really.
Obviously it had an impact on our time together. And eventually it got to the point where, very sensibly, Alistair suggested we might want to contain the amount of time we spent talking about it. I certainly always felt very supported by him, but it did feel as if we were going on a journey in a different way, and so during those years of treatment I was very much emotionally - kind of out there, engaged, talking about it, viewing everything through the lens of infertility. And whether or not people had children. And I think for Alistair, I’m sure he could talk about this himself. For him it was a bit more of a case of wanting to support me. So possibly his response emerged more deeply after we finished the treatment.
We definitely responded at different times. And for me I did put a lot of work into actively engaging with it too, and saw a counsellor and was reading about it all the time, thinking about it all the time. So it was full on.