A romantic relationship is built on the answers to some very important questions. Questions like, “Where do you see this going?” can cement for us whether a certain person is the one.
These questions help us to determine if a person shares your dreams for the future. It’s an opportunity to map out the building blocks for a life together. There’s one building block in particular that we often ask of our potential partner–Do you want to have kids?
In the blueprints of a relationship, the kid question is often a cornerstone of the foundation.
Having different visions for this piece can potentially weaken the structure that you are trying to build upon. It’s thrilling when you and your love find common ground. You both want kids and you both share a vision for when children will enter your life. So, what happens when, after all of your careful planning, you aren’t able to lay that cornerstone?
There may be a point when you have to turn to your chosen one and ask, “Where do you see this going if it’s just you and me?”
If you’ve experienced a loss or have faced infertility, then you know these questions often arise when so much of life’s foundation has already been laid. Your missing children feel like the missing piece. Can this life you once dreamed of exist without this cornerstone?
Or will everything you’ve worked to build just collapse?
The possibility that you and your partner aren’t strong enough to continue on in a life without children is another potential loss to consider. It seems like you built a life on a weak foundation. You may feel like a failure–I know I did.
My husband and I had been together for 12 years when we watched our dreams of family collapse. After two miscarriages and the stillbirth of our daughter, we had no idea if our family would ever look the way we had envisioned.
A new question arose: What if we never have a child?
Instead of looking at a growing family, I found myself looking at this man I had so carefully chosen and questioning my decision. The plans we had made seemed to depend on having children. So, if we didn’t end up having any, then what were we doing?
Were we going to attempt this uncertain life together?
Answering those questions was not easy. To rebuild ourselves as a couple required a lot of building ourselves up and knocking down former expectations. Hours of therapy, talking and rediscovering ourselves resulted in a renovated relationship. It was a relationship that boasted many upgrades but still contained the flaws that gave us our character.
After loss and infertility, we had to go back to the drawing board to make some decisions. You and your partner will have to do the same.
Maybe you want to keep building your dreams on the foundation you have or maybe you want to roll up the plans you drew and dare to dream of a new life together.
These dreams after loss and infertility will not come easy. They will be new and scary and not at all what you planned. And when you look at your partner there will be a new question–is this the person I want to keep building dreams with?
Originally published on Still Standing Magazine.