The Blame Game PT 2, Are you blaming your partner?
In our last email correspondence (which is now listed on our website under Fertility Tips) I wrote about how it is so important to stop blaming yourself if you are perceived to be the one with the issue in regards to fertility. In this tip you will find one of the most important questions you can ask yourself about your relationship when you are experiencing fertility issues.
Last week I suggested to shift your focus from blame to responsibility and be committed to doing everything possible to improve your fertility. This tip will focus on what happens when you may blame your partner and what you can do to improve your chance to conceive. And even if you don’t feel like you blame your partner, you may have a partner that doesn’t seem to care as much as you do about the fertility issues you are experiencing. This tip and next weeks tip will deal with this issue as well.
If one of the partners has been diagnosed with low sperm count, high abnormals, low motility, blocked tubes, PCO, recurrent miscarriage, secondary fertility issues or endometriosis there may be a tendency to blame that person for the fertility issue.
As a matter of fact I have had couples in my office say to me when I ask about there health history, “I am fine. He/She’s the problem.” It takes every fiber in my being to stay in my chair and not fly across the room and strangle that person. One key point they seem to forget, is YOU ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.
A fertility issue involves two people. This is what can make it quite distressing at times. When I am working one on one in counselling sessions with one person to address one issue in their life, it is relatively straight forward and that person learns how to create what they want as long as they continue with the techniques. But since working with couples regarding fertility issues it can be a bit more challenging because their are two people, double the variables, and I am working only with one (unless its couples counseling). Its very important that the couple (that means both partners) work together to improve both of their situations so that the possibility of conceiving is enhanced.
IF you find yourself blaming the other person (or yourself as discussed last week) either outwardly or inside yourself (not telling the person but underneath you really think its their fault), this causes a conflict between the two of you. It may not be a conscious conflict, it may be under the surface, but it is there and if you want to conceive and be able to raise a well adjusted, healthy child together it is important to address it and remove it.
If you find that you are blaming your spouse or think “its their problem” because of the diagnosis that they were given, do whatever it takes to shift your focus to supporting your spouse and making the improvements in your health both physically and emotionally together.
When you committed to each other, you chose to be with this person for the rest of your life and love them unconditionally. If you ask yourself the question, “If I would have known that we would have this fertility issue, would I still have married this person?” and your answer is yes, then I would say that you are going to be very supportive and work with them and participate fully in changes in diet, exercise, supplementation, and emotional support.
If you honestly answered “no” to this question and you are serious about having a child then you have to ask yourself if you are willing to do whatever it takes to improve your relationship so you know that you can love this person unconditionally. Or you have to ask yourself if this is the person you want to expand a family with. If you know you are in the right relationship but are blaming them for fertility issues and not supporting them FULLY with your own participation and emotional support, this may may be contributing to your fertility issues possibly just as much as “the diagnosis” is.
I had one couple come to our weekend workshop workshop to get off the emotional rollercoaster and they admitted that relationship issues were contributing to problems with them conceiving. She was told her eggs were told old and he had a low sperm count and she was angry with him for not doing anything about it.
After the workshop they said, if it hadn’t been for what they worked through in the weekend we spent together, they probably wouldn’t be together today. Now both partners are coping much better as a result. And within 6 months of the workshop they conceived and now have a baby girl.
What if the other partner doesn’t participate fully to address their situation especially if they are the one with the “diagnosis” related to fertility. For example, what if they continue smoking or continue drinking heavily or continue to eat foods that are high glycemic and contributing to their situation such as polycystic ovaries? What do you do then?
Talk to them first. (Write them a letter if you don’t know what to say to them face to face) Let them know how you feel and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to support them. Ask them what specifically is the reason they continue with the behaviors that are likely effecting their fertility. Remember that you can’t expect another person even if it is your partner to perceive fertility issues they same way that you do. They may not cry or become upset and this may be difficult for you to understand. But keep in mind, everyone processes these issues differently and just because someone isn’t reacting the way you do, doesn’t mean they don’t care.
If they can’t open up to you or even when they do, you may need to adjust your communication techniques to be able to communicate effectively. Oftentimes we communicate they way that we understand best, not the way another person understands. This is one of the key issues in relationships, one that I address often in couples sessions. But if you are not sure what to say or do, just remember author Steven Covey’s advise. “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”
If you or your partner are having difficulty expressing how you feel about fertility issues there is probably something unconscious, be it fear, anger, sadness, or guilt that continues to feed these old patterns and this is much greater in intensity than their desire for having a child.
And it is important for them to sort this out as soon as possible not only in the short term for fertility purposes, but for long term health purposes as well. Seek out help to do this when needed. I do one on one sessions with individuals frequently to clear these issues and once they take responsibility and identify what is holding them back, they do extremely well IFfthey are ready to make a committment to do the work for themselves. And if you don’t feel drawn to our program, then look around your community for assistance. It can be extremely beneficial to let go of all that is weighting you down.
The last bit of advice and this is probably the hardest bit. For those whose partner just won’t change anything or won’t make all the changes that you think are necessary to improve their fertility (make sure you speak to your fertility advisor about what steps you can take to improve your fertility) then it may be necessary for you to let go of your NEED for them to make these changes.
If pressure from you is pushing them further away because you are desperate, then it may be necessary for you to back off and let go and concentrate on what you can do for yourself.
Pushing someone in to making changes usually ends up creating less than optimal results. But you can still influence them by encouragint them to come with you to appointments and discuss your situation with different professionals who can look at your situation objectively and give you both advice.
You can also gently ask them to read a certain article or chapter by leaving it on their bedside table with a note and adding words such as “when you are ready”, “in your own time”. Sometimes you may just have to leave it alone for awhile and revisit the issue a few months down the road, meanwhile continuing to improve your health in the process.
I can’t tell you how many times one partner comes in to our clinic or utilises the herbs through mail order and a few months later the spouse or relative comes in because they notice how well the person who has been working with us is doing. By you improving yourself and your health, you unconsciously show your partner that they can do it too. I hope this information helps. I know its difficult to take some of these steps but when you do, you can only improve your situation.
Fertility tips are (C) copyright of Stacey Roberts and Positive Image publishing. This material is not to be distributed or reproduced in any fashion without expressed written consent of Stacey Roberts
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