Avoiding Friends and Family Due to Infertility?
As I write this tip, I couldn’t help but reflect on recent events in my life. I had to put our family pet to sleep the other night. I was surprised about how this affected me as we made the decision, even though I have had many pets throughout my lifetime and knew it was the right decision.
At the moment we were all saying goodbye I became very emotional and I realized how little I previously thought about how I felt about this loyal member of our family. It reminded me to pay attention to all the relationships in my life, even the ones that I automatically take for granted. And especially the relationships that I have ignored or distanced myself from that had brought me joy because I have been too busy.
I know that when you are dealing with a fertility issue, many times its easy to forget and sometimes avoid other relationships in your life. The fact that you are improving your fertility is not something that you announce at the family dinner party or happily spread around to all your friends. Many times you feel like retreating and being alone to deal with the issue. You lose sight of the normal everyday support system that maybe you never even realized you had before. It can be very isolating and depressing.
After retreating and suffering in silence, it can become harder to reach out because many of your friends and family haven’t got a clue as to what to say or do because they haven’t had fertility issues or don’t know that you are going through difficult times. Due to their inexperience in this area their comments come off as insensitive and hurtful. This can push you into isolation even more and at times when friends or relatives get pregnant, you can feel tremendous frustration, anger, sadness and jealousy related to “why isn’t it our turn?” You try to feel happy for them but when you don’t the guilt seeps in…”What is wrong with me?”
Well you are not a terrible person, you are struggling and need a support system of your own. So I urge you for your own mental and physical health to adjust your focus and start to pay attention to the important relationships in your life and reach out to them for love and support. Some of you may be thinking, “I can’t reach out to my family”. If thats you then get back in touch with your friends. Do something to experience joy in your life again.
If you have tried but its uncomfortable, many times it’s because your friends and family don’t know what to say and might keep asking out of ignorance “I see you aren’t drinking tonight, does that mean there is good news”? Or “do you have anything to tell us yet?” or “Come on guys, you have been married for how many years now? Are you going to have kids?” I know these type of questions can cut to the very core of where your hurt lies, but one approach that has stopped the questions and comments for some of my patients is to just let family and friends that you spend time with know that you are trying and having difficulty. And you promise that you will tell them when there is good news and ask them politely to stop asking because it can be uncomfortable and hurtful.
Only confide this to family members or friends that you can trust. The ones who will respect your wishes to just stop asking. Be vulnerable only with those who have earned that position in your life.
And let them know that you want to spend time with them because they are important to you and they need to trust you that you will keep them informed of any developments. Your friends and family don’t want to hurt you and for the most part, this will stop them asking you those painful questions. And for those relatives and friends that just won’t stop, consider putting more of your energy into relationships that support you and relationships that you can support and less time in relationships where people don’t respect your requests or feelings.
How do you tell them? Email them (You can cut and paste from this tip directly into an email to someone if you like), say it to them, write it down, do this in whatever way you feel comfortable approaching them about it. Let them know that the reason you are telling them this is because your relationship with them is important and you are doing everything you can do help yourselves and will ask if you need some advice. Let them know that the best way to support you is to help you live your life and enjoy it again. It’s your responsibility to make the step and begin to get your life back by rekindling the important relationships in your life.
Your friends often don’t know what’s wrong. They may not understand why you haven’t reached out, so you will likely have to make the first move.
Communicating with your friends and family and reconnecting to the important relationships in your life will help you release some of the negative emotion that weighs down your heart. But the joy you feel when you reconnect can help fuel your motivation to keep going and know you are on the right track.
Fertility issues can consume much of your energy and focus, but come up for some air and reconnect with those you love. Don’t let this time separate you from life, reconnect with life so that you will be more apt to receive it…
Fertility tips are (C) copyright of Stacey Roberts and Positive Image publishing.
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