Archive for August, 2012

Infertility and Marriage

A close friend of ours made an observation about our marriage that really surprised me. She said, “you guys have had more challenges in your 8 years of marriage than most have had in 50.” The statement took me a little off guard. But the more I thought it over, the more I could give credence to her observation. First of all, this woman isn’t inexperienced, nor did she comment flippantly or void of our context. She is in her mid-forties and is an experienced counselor. She has dealt with dozens of marriages in multiple phases of life. She has walked with us through the last 4 years and the maze of pregnancy loss, surgeries, and failed transfers. Because she is such a close friend to my wife, she has heard about how we have processed differently all of the pain. Consequently, she has seen how we, as do most couples experiencing tragedy, mourn very differently. 

I think every marriage is tested. And whether or not one passes the test has much to do with giving grace and forgiveness. A church pastor by the name of James McDonald has said that “every successful marriage includes hundreds of acts of forgiveness.” He’s right. For the couple struggling with infertility, this is probably more like thousands. Life is full of challenges and frustrations that turn into full blown sin against one’s spouse. But the higher the tension, the higher the likelihood of actions that require forgiveness: blowups, emotional distancing, temptations for infidelity, etc. General tensions in marriage require serious effort for any kind of success. I really believe that the tension of almost 6 years of infertility has brought our marriage through the furnace.

How have we survived so far? I suppose the simplified answer is God’s grace. He has given us the grace to forgive one another for our failures. He has been gracious by giving us friends and a few family members that have really sought to listen and understand. He has graciously given us godly counselors. He has graciously given us other purposes for living. 

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