Talking with Your Partner about Infertility
It is often difficult for men dealing with infertility to discuss their emotions. Men are typically ignored throughout the fertility process, and you may feel as if talking about your fertility issues will only make things worse. But if you and your partner are struggling with infertility, then it is very important to discuss one another’s needs and emotions. It is also a good idea to talk openly and honestly about the fertility treatments that you are pursuing and the choices that you need to make regarding the building of your family. Starting a conversation about fertility issues can be particularly hard for some men, so here are some tips on how to start the conversation.
Why It’s So Hard To Talk
You may find that speaking with anyone, even your partner, is very difficult when it comes to infertility. Rest assured that both men and women find it challenging to bring up the subject of fertility tests and treatments, but men in particular may find it harder to open up. This is partly due to the fact that men are frequently overlooked when it comes to infertility despite the increasing prevalence of male infertility.
Infertility has long been seen as female topic. Treatments options generally revolve around the woman, causing her to take a more responsibility for the couple’s infertility troubles. As a result, many men feel that they have no right to talk about their emotional needs and wants in regards to fertility. Men are also offered little guidance when it comes to expressing themselves during the fertility process.
If you are having troubles talking with your partner about infertility, it is important to ask yourself why. Many men find it difficult to talk openly with their partner as they feel that society expects them to be emotionally strong. You may be afraid to express your emotions in front of your partner for fear of appearing weak or "less of a man". Other men don’t engage in conversation for fear of stirring up feelings of sadness and anger in their partner. You may worry that your partner is already upset enough without having to hear about your emotions. But not talking about your own emotional needs could end up causing more trouble than good.
Why It’s So Important to Talk
It is common to feel as though you are being helpful by not bringing up your emotional concerns. Yet, your partner could misconstrue your silence as disinterest or lack of consideration. Of course, this may be far from the truth. Additionally, by maintaining a wall of silence, feelings of frustration and blame often get pushed inside. This can lead to extreme anger or resentment, which will only make matters worse.
Maintaining an open and honest channel of conversation is one of the best steps that you can take when dealing with infertility. You deserve an emotional outlet as much as your partner does and, though it may seem hard, communication will only bring you together in the end. Communication can help to show understanding, empathy, and love, and will help to strengthen your partnership.
Tips on Talking With Your Partner
Talking about infertility can be quite daunting, especially if you are a man who is used to keeping his feelings bottled up inside. Here are some tips on how to express your own emotions while still maintaining support for your partner.
- Tell your partner up front that you want to talk seriously about your fertility issues. Set a time and date for the conversation. This will allow you time to prepare and to get any nerves out of the way. It will also allow your partner the time and space to get ready to hear your thoughts and opinions.
- If you are nervous about talking about your emotions, tell your partner about your concerns. This will help her to offer you the emotional support you need.
- If you are having trouble starting the conversation, write down your feelings in a journal or compose a letter to your partner. Your partner can then read about your feelings and start a conversation off from there.
- After you have spoken, allow time for your partner to respond or to express her own feelings. Try to be supportive of her emotions by mirroring back what she has told you and by validating her emotions.
- Feel free to express your anger or frustrations, but avoid arguments. Arguments tend to get in the way of open and honest communication. Instead, try to explain why you feel a certain way and ask your partner to try to accept this.
If Talking Becomes Difficult
If talking with your partner about your fertility issues becomes difficult, there are a number of resources that you can turn to for help. After all, infertility is a hard issue for even the most communicative partners to talk about.
There are a variety of support groups that exist to help couples deal with the emotions of infertility. You may find it easier to talk with other couples who are going through the same treatments or who are feeling similar emotions to you. You may also find it easier to talk with another man who is experiencing infertility. There are support groups designed just for couples who are having difficulties discussing infertility with one another. These groups are often free of charge, and run by professional counselors or therapists.
If you are finding it difficult talking with your partner, you may want to experiment with some one-on-one counseling. Psychotherapists and sex therapists can help you and your partner to communicate openly and honestly with one another. Together, you can find ways to deal with various emotions, problem-solve, and make important decisions about your fertility treatment. There are also many counselors who specialize in infertility and therefore can address any specific questions that you may have.