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  • Writer's pictureEllen H.

RESOURCE: Spouse Support Cheat​​ Sheet

Updated: Apr 9

Helping your spouse help you

Infertility can be full of stressful situations: your monthly cycle, medical appointments, pregnancies of family and friends, or waiting for an adoption match. When facing these stressors, we seek comfort and help from our husband. Many times, he longs to help but isn’t sure what he can do to alleviate our anxiety, grief or stress. Don’t make him guess! By creating a “support cheat sheet” for each other, you can clearly communicate your concerns and how you would prefer to be supported. In addition, be sure to seek out your husband’s reactions to the stressor, and learn what his feelings and concerns are around it. Please share this support cheat sheet with your spouse in its entirety and discuss each section together.



Setting up your support cheat sheet

When creating a support cheat sheet, consider the following areas:

  • Stressor ~ Identify the situation you are currently facing or are expecting to face in the near future. For example, this could include upcoming medical appointments or procedures, arrival of your period, a series of recent pregnancy/birth announcements, or the anniversary of a miscarriage.

  • Behind the scenes ~ Explain how this stressor affects you and why it feels so challenging.

  • How I will help myself ~ We can’t rely on our spouse to take on the full brunt of a challenging season for us. We need to be responsible for what we can do to help ourselves. For example, what activities can you plan for relaxing and letting off steam? Are there any work or home tasks you can delegate to make this time easier for yourself to navigate? Is there a friend, mentor or counselor you could chat with? How can you bolster your faith during this time? For more ideas, see our “Levels of Self-Care” and “Toolbox for Stressful Times” resources. It may alleviate some of your husband’s concerns for you if you share your self-care plan with him. If you have upcoming bloodwork, he may worry for you, knowing how anxious medical appointments can make you, but if you share your plans for self-advocacy during the appointment and rewards afterwards, he may rest more at ease knowing you’ve set things up to make it easier on yourself.

  • What really helps ~ Be specific about what you need. Remind him that when he shows support, you may still cry or feel anxious, but that feeling loved by him will help you weather the storm much more easily. Sometimes knowing we aren’t alone makes all the difference.

  • What makes it worse ~ Which well-meant actions/words harm more than help.

  • Husband’s perspective ~ Connect with your husband to learn how he is most impacted by this stressor and where his concerns lie. Remember, he may need some support from you as well and/or may want to find ways to recharge himself so he can be better present for you in your time of need.



Printable Worksheets





Click below to download your own printable “Support Cheat Sheet” worksheets, which include both an example page and a blank template for you to fill out with your own plan.


RESOURCE_ Support Cheat Sheet
.pdf
Download PDF • 284KB

For further resources to help you along the infertility journey, check out our Resources Page.


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