The Marriage Challenge: The Lonely Journey of Infertility

The Marriage Challenge has established itself as a fun and informative monthly podcast designed to help any couple strengthen their relationship. In this episode, they talk to a couple Andy and Sarah about their journey with infertility, with often is an acutely private and personal struggle.

After over 10 years of marriage, Andy and Sarah's journey with infertility has been incredibly testing. Yet, as well as showing a deeply emotional insight into the impact infertility has upon a relationship, this podcast also gives an uplifting and practical message through the advice and hope they give to other couples facing similar challenges. As Sarah expresses, there are '"lots of tests, appointments, and disappointments... and hopes, nearlys, almosts". It can be a painful journey, which they don't shy away from talking about, such as losing friendships through it and the resilience you have to build against people pressurising you and asking why you are still yet to have children. Yet, so evident from this podcast, as a couple they have developed a real closeness between the two of them and have become skilled at learning how to support one another through the journey. They share a strong sense of embracing the situation and finding fulfilment, in the face of the struggles and disappointments. 

It’s a journey and learning experience of how to be comfortable in something that is unfinished and uncomfortable, and very painful. And how to not let that dominate your marriage, and how to keep your marriage alive.

Both progressing in their careers at hospitals, both Andy and Sarah regularly see other couples who are experiencing similar journeys to them. Discovering the ways in which union and togetherness can be compromised, with communication and intimacy often breaking down first in relationships, they have both developed a deep understanding of the pressures infertility can put on a couple. 

Through this insight and wisdom, Andy and Sarah share some really useful pieces for advice and tools that have helped them in their journey so far.  They discuss the support networks and the boundaries they have had to establish in their relationship with each other, together with their approach to family and friends. From prioritising laughter, deliberately planning and pulling together, to knowing when to open up space to talk and knowing when to turn the infertility conversation off the agenda.

There is life to be lived aside from being a parent, or a parent in the way that you imagined.