Proceedings of The 12th International Conference on Humanities, Psychology and Social Sciences
Psychological Distress, Marital Dissatisfaction, and Grief Among Involuntary Childless Couples
Shara May T. Espinol
Having children is the normal social expectation after couples get married. However, failure to have a child due to medical infertility and unknown reason could affect both individuals in a marriage. The researcher sought to describe the psychological distress, marital dissatisfaction, and grief of involuntary childless couples in one of the biggest provinces in region 4A. Societal pressure, perceived partner expectations, and personal desires lead to psychological distress. In addition, the situation could lead to perceived higher costs and risks in the relationship that ends in marital dissatisfaction. These negative experiences are further fueled by feelings of grief towards a lost chance at becoming parents. Case study was used in order to derive the following themes: personal response, individual challenges, individual attitudes, and personal reactions. These themes were derived from the experiences of the couples centering on negative emotions and negative behavior leading to miscommunication and personal issues. Based on the results, a therapeutic technique called CURE was developed to enhance communication between couples and empower both husbands and wives as they deal with involuntary childlessness. It stands for CURE – 1 (Communicate: Understand unique experiences; Reframe thoughts, feelings, and actions; and Enhance marital satisfaction) and CURE – 2 (Communicate: Understand by feeling and listening; Reassure with acceptance; and Express with words and actions).
Keywords: psychological distress, marital dissatisfaction, grief, involuntary childlessness.