Assisted fertilisation (IVF) and motivation.

Young man embracing his female partner
Tone Bråten

March 29, 2021

Young man embracing his female partner

My husband and I do not have the same motivation on the way to the dream of having children. What do I do?

Do you feel that you are the one who has to do EVERYTHING on the way to pregnancy and that your husband is not as motivated?

  • Are you the one who feels like a project manager?
  • Are you the one who goes most into the basement if the attempt is unsuccessful?
  • Are you the one who has to find courage again to manage another round of IVF trials?
  • Are you the one with the primary responsibility with regard to continuing treatment or not?

You must be wondering why your husband is not as motivated as you? I will explain to you why.

Below I come up with almost normal differences between men and women through this project. For some couples, it is the opposite, while others have a hard time recognising themselves - there is no final decision. But the majority of the couples I have had in therapy and guidance will identify themselves in this.

We women and men are different, and fortunately for that!

We, women, are good at envisioning the future, we carry hopes, dreams, thoughts and visions on how everyday life will change on the day the pregnancy occurs.

We imagine the nursery, the pram and maybe who we want to get pregnant with at the same time. We imagine the time off from work and how we will enjoy ourselves with the long-awaited child. All of these are perceptions and expectations of what the future will look like up there, preferably in a short time.

We women depend on this future-thinking together with a latent maternal instinct to be able to stand in the fertility treatment and reach the goal.

We, women, are more governed by emotions and the strong reproductive instinct than a man is.

So what about the man?

While we women spend our thoughts on what we want to happen in the future and often on what happened in the past, men are better at living and relating to what is happening here and now. They live more today and often do not want to relate to more than one attempt at a time.

Often the woman can have both plans ABC and D, to secure her way to the child, while the man has enough to relate to A.

Men are better at relating to what they have here and now, what he has concretely in front of him here and now is you!

This means that the man finds more motivation in making you happy than to motivate himself to a child who is not yet in sight.

This does NOT mean that he does not get upset by failed attempts or that he does not want children. It just means he wants to deal with one thing at a time. If you have a man who wants to create a family with you, it is a happiness in itself, but he does not have to prove it by being as motivated, future-oriented and influenced by the process as you.

Men are also more rational than emotional.

It is also unfortunate if you both go in the basement every time menstruation comes.

The biggest pitfall you can make as a man and woman is to want to make your partner more like yourself. The woman wants the man to be as motivated and let the "child project" take as much focus as her. The man wants the woman to be more like herself by living more here and now and taking the process step by step.

We must be good at seeing the value of being different rather than trying to make the other like ourselves. You really complement each other if you accept the differences and see it as a strength rather than a weakness. No one responds or handles IVF treatment and the road to parenthood in a "wrong" manner. The thing is, no emotional reactions are "wrong."

Be kind to yourself and your partner. You are expectant parents, and you are both needed with your own way of dealing with this - up to the desired child.

Tone Bråten

Tone is a family therapist with fertility as a special field.

Couples and singles who undergo fertility treatment at Klinikk Hausken are offered guidance and emotional support by Tone as part of the treatment.

Tone also provides professional guidance before starting treatment at Klinikk Hausken. A session with Tone can be helpful for those who are trying to get pregnant at home or for those who are in the process of donating.

Read more about how a family therapist can help you. You can also contact Tone if you have any questions.

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