Trashy Romance Novels Kind Of Saved My Marriage

Originally Published: 
Caitlin Radjewski

Real talk: If you are related to me or my husband, perhaps a former teacher or just generally someone who DOES NOT want to see me talk about sex, be ye warned.

I mean it. Stop reading! Get out of here, Dad.

Incoming awkward subject… But I know I cannot be the only one who would feel so much better if we all just acknowledged the big infertile elephant in the room. Infertility sex.

*womp, womp, womp*

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a stressed out infertile woman in possession of a stressed out infertile husband must be in mourning of her previous sex life.

Let’s just say it together, ladies. Infertility sex is crappy. Crappy, crappy, crappy. And how could it not be?

Because infertility owns you as a couple. It owns your sex life.

It decides when you do it. It decides when you don’t. It decides how many times you do it. It makes you do it when you’re pissed off at each other because, heaven forbid, you potentially sacrifice the month. It makes you do it when you’re snotty and hideous and the only thing in the world you want to do is pump yourself with Mucinex and fall asleep watching Netflix. It makes you do it when you are depressed. It’s the reason you are depressed.

When infertility says “jump” (into the sack), you say “which cycle days?”

It’s not fun. It’s not fulfilling. It’s not romantic. It’s not sexy. Not, not, not.

I am not sure there is any way around this kind of crappy infertility sex. Infertility is pretty much the perfect storm of crappy sex. Scheduled. Required. Emotionally exhausting.

Romance reading kept me from going bonkers. And not necessarily the way you might think. Okay, not totally the way you might think.

Romance reading reminded me, albeit via fictional characters, that somewhere out there in this big beautiful world there were people having sex just because they felt like it. Because it’s fun. Because it’s part of dynamic and connected relationship. Because it’s awesome.

And that would be us again one day. You know, when our daughter turned 18 and went off to college.

Kidding, kidding.

One way or another our secondary infertility was going to end. One day we were either going to have another baby or accept that we couldn’t. And when that happened we would be able to stop all of this madness and just be together again.

Romance reading during our infertility helped me remember my true relationship with my husband. Our connection. Romance reading yanked my head out of my fertility app and forced me to remember that intimacy isn’t just about procreation. Losing myself in a budding romance and watching that relationship grow into physical love and life-time commitment helped me to continue to believe in my own love story. It reminded me that no matter how excruciating infertility felt, we were going through it together. Hand in hand as it melted us down and welded us back together even stronger.

Romance reading refused to let me forget that one day my husband and I would be together just because we wanted to be. For no other reason than he is mine and I am his.

Infertility doesn’t own your relationship. It only feels that way. But it’s not going to feel that way forever. And if you have a hard time believing me, go read a romance novel.

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