How-and When-to Talk about Your Infertility Struggles
Infertility can be a heartbreaking journey for a couple, with happy endings for only some. Infertility can cause issues between partners, can drain bank accounts, and can lead to depression and anxiety. Communicating with those around you-your friends and family members-can also be difficult at times. Even those who love you the most can inadvertently offer "advice" which is insensitive or hurtful. The fact is that unless others have actually experienced the pain of infertility, it is unlikely they really understand what you are going through. So, should you tell others about your infertility struggles, and if so, when is the best time to do so and how should you approach the subject?
Remembering that Your Infertility can be Difficult for Your Loved Ones
Although it may be extremely difficult to see beyond your own emotions right now, try to remember that those who love you are also finding it hard to witness your pain. While they may not totally understand what you are going through, they know you are hurting, and they want to help, however they may be hesitant to say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. Many people who are older may even find the subject of infertility embarrassing and not know how to speak to you about it. Try to remember that even fifty years ago infertility would have been a subject which was probably not talked about. Your friends and relatives with babies may not know whether to invite you to get-togethers which specifically celebrate birth and babies-they want to include you, but don't want to cause you further pain. While definitely not minimizing your own feelings about the issue, remember they may also feel emotional about it.
Should You Tell?
Some couples choose not to reveal their infertility struggles to anyone, deciding to wait until they see whether or not they will be able to get pregnant or not. Others will tell only those closest to them. In some cases couples choose not to reveal their infertility because they simply don't want to put up with the inevitable rash of well-meaning advice from others. Many couples simply believe the issue is private, or feel too vulnerable about the issue to discuss it with others. While these are all very valid feelings, it can be very important to have at least a few trusted friends or family members with whom you can share your emotions. Infertility is one of the most difficult things a couple will ever go through, and sharing with others can make it seem like less of a lonely journey. If, however, you don't want everyone in your town to know about your infertility, make sure to gently remind those you do tell not to share with others. In the end, telling others about your infertility is a very personal decision that you will probably make with your partner.