Approaching your emotions and feelings together

1 07 2010

I received a letter on this blog and replied to the specific points raised. As I did so, I though that a lot of what I was saying could be of value for a general audience. I have re-written my response and hopefully it will add some value to your thinking.

As in all activities where a deep, loving partnership is concerned especially where the emotions are so raw, we all need to cherish that other special person’s contribution, whatever it is. Occasionally, we should all stand back and see things from their perspective. Understanding, patience, consideration, support, tenderness etc goes both ways.

It’s good that some people may be in a good place: parenthood/IVF will not define their relationship. Setting those boundaries, for emotional or financial reasons or both, is a good way of keeping this monster contained. Loving each other is more important than anything – given the choice, a baby or your partner, you’d chose your partner. In my marriage, we lost sight of this and unfortunately, it was this that killed us.

Dealing with infertility is so different for so many, but it has to be done together. There can’t be any dark corners in that part of your relationship, no secret yearnings, no misgivings, it has to be done as one – with help I think – to ensure you’re both in the same place. Honesty is not the question, vulnerability is the issue here – to say ‘I want a baby’ when your partner has given up is a brave thing to do and has may issues dangling there, waiting to be resolved.

Remember some key things as you approach each attempt: this is about you two, only you two and absolutely you two. Your families and friends need to respect how you wish to deal with this. If you have set the boundaries for how far you’re prepared to take IVF, set similar boundaries with your families and friends. I’ve posted on this blog, only a few moments ago ’10 requests for families and friends during IVF’. I think it’s really important you set the scene in advance.

In the email I  received, the writer said,

“I’ve dealt with infertility for many long awful years and I’ve always felt that it is worse for the wife than the husband. ”

I think the truth is, whoever is infertile and whoever is not, there are very different experiences and feelings, but many that are common – it’s not necessarily better or worse, just different.

The infertile partner feels as if they’ve failed. They’re the ones who go through terrible guilt. But guilt of another kind is felt by the fertile partner as they try to rationalise how utterly useless they feel as they see the other partner suffering.

In my situation, my wife had the same physical invasion to her privacy that all infertile women endure. I can never know for sure what that is like, I can only ‘feel’ for her and imagine what it must have been like. We all inhabit different spheres and some of them intersect, but there are realms that neither party enter. It’s therefore vital for you both to explore those areas together, with some professional help.

As you look to the future and ring-fence your emotions, your finances and your relationship, don’t forget, whatever you decide to do if things don’t work out, you’re free to change your mind. It’s fine to do that, provided you are both on the same page.

At every cross-road you face,  give yourselves time to think things through very carefully, rationally, clearly, openly and honestly. It’s so important to have professional support all the way through to make better decisions, but even more important at those Rubicon moments.

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One response

19 07 2014
Nedim

What you are saying acultaly scares me. I would not want to have to juggle men. Knowing my luck I would accidently call the wrong guy with the wrong name and they would be upset with me for dragging too many names into the relationship. I would find out which one makes you feel the most special. are you a single woman or a single mom once this is answered you can answer a few questions for yourself. do I have fun with this person? do I see myself with this person in the future? do I see this person treating my child/children with respect and doing things with them? dont go out looking for a daddy if you have children but look for a man that doesnt have a problem with your kids. If you are just a single woman then look for a man that makes you happy, special, loved, romanced, and treated with respect. you are not doing anything wrong at all, but just be careful in dating that many people at once remember you came out of a divorce and you will want to start off slow, and ONE and a time

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