Counseling for couples with an unfulfilled desire for children
Couples who are childless against their will often experience this as a psychological crisis. Moreover, prolonged and unsuccessful reproductive treatments can be extremely draining physically. Unwelcome feelings sometimes arise, such as envy or anger, and self-esteem might suffer a blow. Negative thoughts (“I’ll never be able…”) are reinforced, which only adds to the stress.
Couples going through a fertility crisis often report having sexual problems too. Sexual intercourse on a fixed schedule as well as the physical and psychological challenges involved often lead to sexual symptoms and hence to sexual withdrawal despite the desire to have a child.
Psychological support can offer a way out of this cycle of conflict by helping
- to better cope with the current lack of children;
- to uncover and ameliorate partner conflicts;
- to lessen the fixation on the reproductive dimension of sexuality;
- to reactivate and affirm the sensual and partner-related side of sexuality;
- to reflect on other medical options if necessary;
- to accept potentially incurable physical limitations to reproduction;
- to discuss possible alternatives and broaden one’s perspectives.