Couple’s Communication Tips

Helpful Advice From Alice Domar, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D. ~ the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF, she established the first ever Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health ~ as well as the very first Mind/Body Program for Fertility.

Alice D. Domar, PhD1. The way you are coping is the right way for you and the way your partner is coping is the right way for him/her. Don’t try to make him/her cope the way you are.

2. Set aside time every day to speak together about infertility but set a time limit. That way both of you get heard and have a chance to really listen, but it isn’t the total focus of all your together time.

3. Women tend to want to talk about the impact of infertility and men tend to try to problem solve. Men-let her talk, support her, but don’t focus entirely on how to tackle the next step. Women-if you tell him that you are upset, he will try to make it better. Both of you need to think about what you need from the other, and directly communicate that need. No matter how much you love each other, you can’t read each other’s mind.

4. Share responsibilities. If she makes all doctor’s appointments, he should handle the bills or insurance claims.

5. Agree on how much you want to share with family and friends, and then stick to that agreement. In general, the more private person calls the shots, but if the partner needs to vent with a best friend, sister or mother, that needs to happen.

6. Get support from the outside. You can’t be everything to each other since you are each hurting in a different way. Join Resolve, find a support group in your area, and get online accurate information.

7. The male partner needs to understand that he can’t make her happy no matter how loving and supportive he is. And it’s not that she wants a baby more than she loves you. Procreation is a very strong instinct.

8. Infertility does not cause divorce. It actually can make a relationship stronger. And it is not a permanent crisis. The pain does go away, no matter how the infertility is resolved.