Posture for Conversation

Infertility. Oof. A word that’s followed me around now for seven years. Spoken by doctors, family and friends. I’ve been on a journey through so many thoughts, feelings and decisions in this area of my life but one thing is for sure. Infertility has become one of the biggest struggles in my relationship with my husband. Seven years is a long time to trash negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test. It’s a long time to attend everyone else’s baby showers. It’s a long time to be just “you, me and the cat”.

In the seven years, our communication has certainly evolved and it is major that it’s been a positive evolution! Lots of hard work and hard words have brought us to where we are. So as we focus on restoration this month, I wanted to share several things that have helped our relationship along this journey. Let’s start with the two tips that will lead you to the right frame of mind to have these hard conversations. The kind of conversations that lead to restoration.

Early on in our marriage, when I had only started dreaming about babies and family, I heard these two little words. “Lean in.” Throughout the years, I’ve come back to this constantly as a frame of mind more than a physical action. Sometimes, it’s literally meant rolling over and leaning toward him in bed when I was mad and would rather keep to my side. Sometimes, it’s meant taking a breath in a conversation so I can listen better instead of deciding that I’m right and he’s wrong. These small things instantly soften my heart to my husband and allow me to communicate better. It allows me to have an attitude of grace and come at a conversation for the better of our relationship instead of just winning, no matter what we’re talking about.

Does rage laundry folding and anger dishwashing sound familiar? Yeah, I’ve been there. And I’m ashamed to say that it took me too long to realize it wasn’t getting me anywhere because he didn’t know what was wrong! He didn’t know that I’d been bawling over another pregnancy announcement all day. He didn’t realize that his response to me skipping an event hurt me. And if I don’t tell him, he won’t figure it out. My bad communication doesn’t mean he doesn’t care though. So with a brave, sometimes teary face, we’ve had some conversations. It’s hard. It’s kinda scary. Sometimes we don’t even get to finish and come to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone. But it’s been better for our relationship in the long run. Just recognizing that neither of you can fully know where the other is at is a big step forward.

No matter what you’re facing, infertility, miscarriage, loss, grief, embracing these ideas can help us have a humble, willing posture towards our spouses. This is where we want to be as we approach these hard conversations.

Casey Watkins has been married for eight years to her IT handyman. Together, they live in an old house on the east side of Indianapolis with their cat, Charlie. In their seven years of infertility, they’ve renovated their house, visited Iceland and baked a lot of cake. You can read more about Casey over on her blog, Chasing Cozy.

Leave a Comment