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Reactions to Infertility Can Lead to Divorce

Posted on in Adoption

Reactions to Infertility Can Lead to DivorceLearning that you or your partner is infertile can be one of the most difficult challenges a marriage will face. Your feelings may be similar to how you would react to a death: grief, denial, anger, depression and acceptance. In a way, you are mourning the loss of a biological child you and your partner will never share. Amid the grief and seeking alternative means to have children, it is easy to miss signs that your marriage is in trouble. Infertility can bring a couple closer together but can also cause a division that leads to divorce.

Emotional Reaction

Both people in a marriage may feel shock and sadness at the news that one of them is infertile. The infertile spouse often feels guilty and inadequate, especially in the case of women. The other spouse may feel disappointed and uncertain of the future if having children is one of his or her goals in life. Negative emotions can cause couples to react in unhealthy ways, such as:

  • Not communicating how they feel about issues;
  • Avoiding each other because they are reminded of the infertility;
  • Feeling resentful because of the infertility;
  • Arguing about whether they still want to have children; and
  • Attempting to ignore that there is a problem.

A couple might not divorce because of the infertility, but the emotional strain may weaken their marriage and lead to a divorce.

Adoption and Fertility Treatments

For couples who cannot have a child together, there are other ways they can become parents, such as: adoption, fertility treatments, artificial insemination, and surrogacy. There is excitement at the possibility of having children, but couples may overlook the stresses that come with making a major decision:

  • It can be expensive. Some health insurance providers do not cover fertility treatments. Adoption is a long legal process. Disagreeing about money is one of the primary causes of divorce; and
  • Both parents should agree upon pursuing adoption or fertility treatments. One spouse may be ready to have children, but the other may still be considering if it is what he or she wants. The uncertain spouse may feel pressured into becoming a parent in order to please the other spouse, which can cause resentment.

Infertility and Divorce

Infertility can be a catalyst for divorce. It is likely not the underlying cause of the divorce, but it can expose a weakness in a marriage that may have manifested on its own over time. Dealing with infertility shows the importance each spouse places on being a parent. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you with going through a divorce and/or adopting a child. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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