Every couple fights. In my experience, even couples who have otherwise great relationships fight at least once in a while. This is especially true during times of stress, or when there are big decisions to be made. For many couples, one of these stressful times is trying to conceive (TTC). The decision to have a baby is a huge deal and can be super taxing. So, it's no wonder that there are fights every couple has when they're trying to conceive.
When my first husband and I started TTC, we fought a lot. I think it was partially because we disagreed about a few parenting-related issues, and about whether or not to tell anyone we were trying. But we also didn't anticipate the stress that trying to get pregnant would cause. There was so much uncertainty about when and if I would get pregnant. Plus, babies are expensive and we rarely saw eye-to-eye on finances. I can tell you from experience that having a baby will not fix a broken marriage or bring you closer to a distant partner. Sigh.
My second marriage, however, is awesome. I have a partner I trust and can rely on in the worst of situations. You know what, though? We still fought while TTC. Most were just silly fights that come along with the ups and downs of heavy emotions, disappointment, and our changing lives. The good news is that if you are prepared for these common areas of disagreement and conflict, you just might be able can address some of these issues ahead of time and before things get heated (or at least know they are normal and find ways to make-up afterward).
The Fight About Timing
The decision about if and when to start a family is huge, and when you first bring it up, you might find that you and your partner have different ideas about it. As with most conflicts in marriage, the best way to handle this fight is talk about it, your fears, your wants, and your reasoning. And if you can't agree on timing, wait. As long as you are together, you owe it to each other to get on the same page about when to start a family.
The Fight When You Handle Disappointment Differently
I am the type of person who fails and wants to get right back on the proverbial horse and try again. My husband, however, gets seriously disappointed and has a hard time coming back from bad or discouraging news. So, yeah, everyone has a right to their own emotions about a negative pregnancy test or late period, and yes, my friends, those emotions can lead to a fight when it seems like the other person just doesn't get it. My best advice for making it through disappointment or surprise is to try to find empathy for your partner's feelings and remember that you are in this together.
The Fight About Sex Being Work
It's no secret that I love sex. I found the first few times I had sex while trying to conceive to be exciting and wonderful. After a month or so, though, it started to feel less like sexy time and more like a chore. Ugh. It was the source of more than a few fights, and fortunately, some make-up sex, too.
The Fight About Whether To Tell People
When we first decided to try to conceive, I wanted to tell everyone. It turns out, though, that my husband was really worried that we might not get pregnant and everyone would know. So, yeah, we fought about it. In the end, we decided to compromise, and only told a few people about our plans. The way I saw it, even if I couldn't get pregnant right away, I could probably use support of my mom friends (and my mom) to help me through the stress of trying to conceive.
The Fight About Money
The decision to have kids can seriously disrupt your financial life. Not only does pregnancy and having babies cost money on the front end, but kids are ridiculously expensive. You have to ask yourself if you are in a financial position to support a family, or can get to a financially stable place in a reasonable amount of time. And in my experience, money means fighting. From my first marriage I learned that getting on the same page about finances is so important. So, the second time around, my husband and I spent time discussing how much having another child would cost and make decisions together about how to proceed.
The Fight When You Have A Bad Day
I learned the hard way that having a baby wouldn't fix my bad marriage or fill the void of an absent husband. And during my second marriage I learned that when you are TTC, things can get stressful enough to cause even the most stable couples to argue about the stupidest things.
The Fight About Parenting Choices
When you have a baby there are a ton of decisions you have to make about how you will parent. Sometimes, when you are trying to conceive, things will come up that two people just don't agree on. In our case, my husband and I had actually never thought about circumcision, until one day when I asked him offhand and he said that he thought that's what all parents did. Nope. For me, circumcision was not something I wanted to do. Fortunately, after a few fights, and some research, we were able to agree.
The Fight When You Might Be Pregnant
Yeah, the few weeks of waiting to find out if you are pregnant can be seriously stressful, and I don't know about you, but after a couple of weeks of arguments you might just find that you are ambivalent about whether or not you want to be pregnant, even if you were trying. Fortunately, we were able to find ways to resolve conflict and move forward, but damn, it was so hard at times.
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