Are you on the roller coaster of hopefulness and disappointment?
Infertility is hard on so many levels. Lack of control, the feeling of being let down by one’s body impacts self esteem and confidence. Physically, taking medication, dealing with medical interventions, and suffering miscarriages take a toll.
These stressors are compounded further when women don’t feel comfortable to vent. Often women put pressure on themselves to convey constant positivity in an effort to do everything they can to promote fertility. This forced positivity can create feelings of isolation within their relationships as women feel they need to either “act” happy or avoid social situations.Unwanted feelings of jealousy and guilt can creep into formerly supportive relationships. Even the compassion of others can be stressful to respond to over time.
Infertility & Partners
Do you know how to help?
Infertility impacts partners greatly although they often minimize their own suffering in lieu of helping the partner. Feelings of powerlessness often emerge as a partner sees the other in distress but is ineffectual at solving the problem. This feeling can be compounded if the partner’s body is contributing to the medical diagnosis of infertility. There can be a deep sense of shame on either partners’s side that comes when their body becomes a source of disappointment. Often partners will use avoidance to cope with all this intensity. This avoidance however, can then create distance between partners and can lead to resentment.
Partners are often concerned with the financial aspect of infertility since it’s so expensive. The partner wants to invest in creating a family and help the other fulfill their dream of motherhood, but there is fear about the impact of financial stress. At the same time, the prospective mother is often entrenched mentally and biochemically in the desire for a baby and the pragmatics are often of less conscious concern.
Sometimes partners don’t understand the other’s perspectives and become judgmental, misunderstood, and start to resent the other. A non-judgemental, experienced person can help translate and support both.