Social Coping

Relationships with others can be a most difficult aspect of infertility. Sometimes it seems that it would just be easier to be alone and not deal with the questions, comments, and expectations of others. While ideally relationships should offer support and strength, in the reality of it all, the sorrow and betrayal of infertility often seems magnified as we associate with family and friends.

It is impossible (and not advisable) to eliminate relationships with others from our lives, so, what do you do? How do you handle the comments and questions of others? How do you deal with announcements of pregnancies and births? How do you keep yourself afloat when you just want to disappear? How do you find contentment in a world where families with many children is an expectation?

How about these ideas:

Allow the door to be opened and then educate. More often than not, when people have brought up infertility with me, it has been done in a less-than-ideal manner. You can probably relate to the anger that is quickened by a comment or question that seems completely and totally insincere or offensive. You can probably also relate to using that anger to attack back, whether it be to their faces or behind their backs. It happens, let’s just admit it…more.

Be specific about what you need. It is difficult to be in a supporting role. We have all done it, I am sure. And, none of us is perfect at it, I am sure. It is difficult to know what a friend needs you to say when she is mourning the loss of a child. It is difficult to know what to do when a family member is dealing with health problems. And, we know that it is difficult to say and do the “perfect” things for someone dealing with infertility. We can be key to giving others the tools to support us successfully…more.

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