We've always had a strong relationship. We worked out most of the glitches in the first 6 months of our marriage/first time ever living in the same city since we began dating. That was fun... Now we communicate well and express our opinions without upsetting the other, most of the time. We spend much more of our time together laughing and enjoying each others' company than arguing. Yes, I would say that we entered the infertility realm as a strong couple. And for us, things have only gotten better.
First of all, I've actually taken to enjoying our nightly injection ritual. Every night, C and I share in an uninterrupted moment where we are working on the same goal. He treats my abdomen in a tender and even intimate fashion and I feel very close and connected to him at these moments. After all, I am trusting him with a needle filled with hundreds of dollars of medications that he jabs into a very sensitive part of my body. I've also realized how nice it has been for him to be the sole person responsible for giving me my injections, making him a very active and necessary person in this process that otherwise treats the males largely as bystanders.
Another key benefit to IVF that I've noticed is that sex is no longer stressful. There is no pressure and specific formula. We can just enjoy ourselves and each other. We don't have to force it based on a calendar or what color my urine turns a stick. We initiate it when we feel like it. And when one of us does initiate sex, the other one isn't wondering about ulterior motives in the back of their head. I forgot how enjoyable stress-free sex can be.
The entire process up to this point has forced us to have more difficult conversations, share in more secrets, and come up with more agreements than I would imagine most other couples at this point their marriage. And if practice makes perfect, we've gotten a lot of practice at navigating tough situations as a team. Sometimes I notice how some of our friends interact as couples, how disconnected or hierarchical they appear, and I smile inside with the same pride that I imagine parents feel knowing their child is succeeding and happy.
Whenever I think about the silver lining, my relationship with C is always the first thing that comes to mind. This is probably the most sappy I will ever be, so happy Valentine's Day, and I now need to vomit.