Kim Kardashian: How Does a Marriage Survive Infertility?

05/04/2015 12:26 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2016

Kim Kardashian opened up about her fertility struggles - she and Kanye West have been trying to have another baby for several months, and Kim is even seeing fertility doctors to try to diagnose the issue. However, they've had no luck so far, despite trying "as many times a day" as they can to conceive. Infertility or struggles to have a child can strongly affect a relationship, sometimes even leading to divorce. Rather than sex being simply about pleasure, it is now connected to the goal of getting pregnant. When that doesn't happen right away, couples find themselves feeling disappointed month after month. This can impact the desire to have sex with each other spontaneously, and as a result affect their intimacy.

It's interesting, because making the decision to have a baby feels like a solid taking control of your future, often without even thinking about how hard it might be or what obstacles could get in the way. You have made this life-changing choice, are ready to begin, and expect it to happen. But then often it doesn't happen right away. The first month comes and goes and you get your period, then the second month. As the time passes, uncertainty comes into play, leading to waves of anxiety that this thing you want so much isn't happening. These feelings build sometimes without your even realizing, and before you know it six or more months have gone by and suddenly what at first felt like taking control of your future feels like anything but. On the contrary, you feel like it is completely out of your hands. That is one of the most distressing parts of living through infertility. You thought a few months ago that you were taking the reins, but really, you have completely handed them over. Now where all the hope and excitement once was is pressure and tension. How, then, can a couple live through this daunting experience without its taking a toll on their marriage?

The challenge is for couples to work together to strategize a plan for navigating their way through the steps, options, and choices that are available to help facilitate and achieve pregnancy. And there are many: fertility drugs, diagnostic procedures, in vitro fertilization, or choosing an egg donor, to name a few. Try to decide as a couple what each of you are willing to do both emotionally and financially to achieve your goal. After that, arrive at a timeline to determine how long you are willing to spend on each phase before moving on to the next. These decisions will bring some sense of control to what otherwise feels like a floating in space experience. In addition, it will allow you to know that if one thing doesn't work, there are still other options to turn to.

The most challenging piece of all of this is to try not to let this consume who you are as a married couple. Do your best to go on with the other parts of your life and do the things you have always liked to do together. Despite the fact that sex now has a functional side to it that it didn't have before you were trying to have a baby, you want to find other ways to keep the fun and joy alive between you. Spend time with friends you both like, schedule a dinner out, enjoy a weekend away, or plan a lazy day just the two of you full of your favorite food and activities. Make time to build in the smaller pleasures so they can be the glue that keeps you together during your difficult journey.

The most important thing is to support each other and go through this as a team, which will keep you close and connected. That appears to be what Kim and Kanye are doing. Kim is still looking towards a second pregnancy, and hopefully she and Kanye will be able to welcome a new addition to their family soon enough.

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