Trying to conceive ruined my sex life

Trying to conceive ruined my sex life

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My husband was watching TV when I walked into the living room. “Are you ready?” I asked. “If we do it now we’ll be done in time to watch 90 Day Fiancé,” I added, hoping that might motivate him.

If it sounds like we were preparing to tackle a dreaded task, that’s because we were. Sex. More importantly, trying-to-conceive sex.

As a rule, neither of us viewed sex as a chore. But after months of unsuccessfully trying to conceive (TTC), I was on full neurotic alert. I charted, took my temperature, and factored in the moon cycle. I knew exactly when I was ovulating. Which meant I also knew exactly when we needed to have sex.

The problem was, the times when we needed to have sex and wanted to have sex didn’t always align. Sure, we heard the “just relax and forget about it” advice, how that always seems to be when pregnancies finally happen. But we couldn’t leave it to chance. Rather, I couldn’t.

When we were TTC the first time around (we’re currently trying for baby number two), my husband finally broke about five or six months in. “I never thought I’d say this,” he began. “But you’ve turned sex into a chore and took all the fun out of it.”

He was right, I had.

There was no spontaneity, no romance. If I’m being honest, sometimes there wasn’t much foreplay, either. He’d walk through the door after a long day at work and, before he could even take a moment to unwind, I’d be dragging him to the bedroom to get to work. Or rather to get it over with, which is how it felt for both of us. Something we knew we should do, but neither really wanted. At least not like this.

The act itself became clinical. I was there strictly for the end result. He knew it, and couldn’t relax. Which made it challenging for either of us to have any fun. Now I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure a key component in enjoyable sex is fun.

It wasn’t always like that. When I wasn’t ovulating our regular sex life resumed. No schedules, no pressure. But, as anyone who has struggled to get pregnant knows, sex outside the ovulation window doesn’t give you babies.

The weeks would pass. I’d be on the lookout for my cervical mucus to thicken, and when it did we’d resume our work. Any passion we regained in the bedroom during the off-season was lost once again. It began to depress us both, if I’m being honest. Is this what our marriage would be like from now on?

There were months when it was too much. I couldn’t pee on one more stick. I didn’t want to try because I couldn’t stand to be disappointed. Again. We decided to forego the clinical aspect for 30 days to give ourselves a break, and I tossed out the chart. If we had sex while I was ovulating we didn’t know. Of course I had some idea, I couldn’t just ignore the calendar entirely. But the outward pressure was off.

I wish I could say after that I was able to relinquish my control issues and let things happen. While I wasn’t entirely ready to leave it all to chance, I was more relaxed. We continued to take some months off here and there while my laser-like focus took charge during others.

Eventually, we got pregnant. And if you guessed that it happened on one of our "off" months than you’d be correct. Honestly, irritatingly, after nearly decimating the last bit of intimacy in our marriage, it finally happened when we stopped trying.

Now that we’re on our second round of TTC I’m not actively tracking my schedule anymore. I have a general idea and that’s enough for me. Yes, I try to encourage sex during this time, but am no longer demanding or insisting upon it.

My husband is much happier now that "sex" is no longer on his list of household chores. And we’re saving a ton of money now that I'm not buying ovulation kits in bulk.

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

Watch the video: How my sexuality ruined my life. VLOG 183 (August 2022).

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