How to Support Friends Suffering From Infertility
Infertility can be a difficult condition for a couple to come to terms with. They may very much want to have a child and be willing to do anything or pay anything to have one. Still, for some unexplained reason, they're unable to have a child no matter how hard they try.
Infertility is a touchy topic that can cause a lot of pain for a couple. As a friend of anyone suffering from infertility, you can be walking on an emotional minefield any time you discuss or mention children. The emotional minefield can become even more perilous if you have children yourself. Here are some tips on how to navigate that emotional minefield and be a support to your friends suffering from infertility.
Find out as much as you can about infertility and the different types of fertility treatments. If your friends are undergoing any fertility treatments, they'll appreciate you taking the time to learn the language of procedures, acronyms and testing so they don't have to constantly explain every detail to you during discussions.
Schedule Adult-only Events
Your friends care for you and your family. This means that if you have children, your friends love them as well. But it will hurt them to sometimes to be around your children even if they'll never admit it to you. Quietly acknowledge this to yourself without saying anything to them. Be considerate of their feelings and don't always organize events where children are present. Organize child-free activities and events as well like an adults-only dinner and a movie night.
Watch What You Say
You may be tempted to make empty comments to try to make your friend feel better. Resist this temptation. Keep your opinions about infertility, conception and adoption to yourself unless specifically asked. Do not make overly positive (and false) predictions about how soon you think they'll get pregnant or flippant comments about them simply needing to have more sex to get pregnant. Be careful about sharing stories about couples who were able to get pregnant easily.
The biggest thing you can do to help a friend through infertility is to be there, on his or her terms, when they need to talk. Let them control when they talk, where they talk, what they talk about and how long they talk. Infertility can turn someone world's upside down and they can be crushed to see their dreams of a happy life with a family crushed. Infertility treatments can be stressful as well and simply being there can give a friend suffering from infertility full control over a small part of their world. And this can often be the biggest and best gift you can provide them.