From the beginning of our relationship, my husband and I committed to putting the Lord’s will and our marriage before everything else—other relationships, work, opportunities, or trials that would come. But nothing could prepare us for the nightmare of infertility and miscarriage. Unmet expectations, strained finances, and overwhelming grief created friction between us. When we tried to talk, it seemed that Justin no longer recognized me. To be honest, I’d become so consumed with wanting a baby that I didn’t recognize myself.
One awful night, I unleashed all my pent-up emotions on Justin, admitting that I’d been believing the lies of feeling crazy and ruined. (Side note: Crazy and ruined are words no longer allowed in our home.) Unsure how to respond, he leaned in and whispered, “I miss my wife. I want her back.” He was trying his best to keep our marriage afloat the primary way he knew how—by being strong and helping us survive. But with my hormones raging and my heart drowning in grief, all I could hear was, “My husband doesn’t get me. I’m alone.”
Husband + Wife = Family
Infertility, miscarriage, and waiting push our marriages into the “for worse,” “in sickness,” and “for poorer” parts of our vows. These daunting challenges can drive a bitter wedge between you and your husband. Perhaps you don’t see eye to eye on fertility treatments. You might have different coping styles with stress, leading to a breakdown in communication. One or both of you might feel shame after receiving male-or female-factor diagnoses. Then there’s the conflict if your husband isn’t a Christian and doesn’t share the same beliefs and values you hold dear.
I know how these struggles can rip apart your relationship with your husband. All the tension and arguments can wear you down and make you feel like you’re losing the man you love.
Don’t lose heart. God cares for your marriage, for you and your husband and your lives together. Remember that marriage was God’s idea in the first place. Genesis 2:18 explains why he made man and woman: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” God didn’t want Adam to be alone in humanity, so he created Eve to be his companion. The husband-wife relationship is so important that it’s the first human bond God created.
Once God saw the universe he made, with man and woman as the crowning glory of his creation, he called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Notice he said this before Eve got pregnant. In God’s eyes, a husband and a wife are a family whether or not they have children.
Isn’t it comforting to know you and your husband are already a family? Like any family, you support each other through the troubles of life. When one falls, the other lifts up. You sacrifice for the good of your relationship. For me, this looked like letting go of my desire to control our infertility journey and allowing my husband to lead us through making decisions. Having him take charge helped us face our struggles together instead of fighting against each other.
By making your husband part of this process, you can unite your family of two and show your husband you’ve got his back in the battle of waiting.
Choose Your Marriage
At some of the lowest points in our journey, my husband was quick to affirm his care for me. He said, “Kelley, I choose our marriage. I choose you over all of this, over a baby, and your anger and sadness. Regardless of how this ends, we are a team.” When I couldn’t navigate the swirling chaos, I stayed anchored by my beloved’s love.
You can choose your husband during this intense season. Invest in your relationship with him, remembering that you’re already a family even before you welcome a child. If or when a baby comes, remember that you’ll still need to make your husband a priority and set aside time for just the two of you.
You are your beloved’s, and he is yours. Together, you can get through this season stronger than when you said, “I do.”
Need Help During Your Struggle with Infertility?
Interested in learning more about finding true hope in God through infertility? This content was adapted from the book Waiting in Hope: 31 Reflections for Walking with God Through Infertility by Kelley Ramsey and Jenn Hesse.