By Bina Benisch, M.s.,r.n.
June 14th, 2011 at 12:00 am
As Father’s Day is looming near, couples struggling with fertility once again may experience the quiet rumbles of impending anxiety – wondering how they will cope surrounded by another celebration of parenthood while they remain feeling empty as a family.
Women often express the dreaded anticipation of the emotional beating they experience during holidays and family gatherings, where seemingly innocuous remarks about parenthood are felt like a blow to their hearts.
But how do the men in their lives feel?
Infertility may raise feelings of frustration, self-doubt, inadequacy, and isolation – and Father’s Day can intensify these feelings. Does your partner open up about his feelings? Is he aware of them? If so, mutual compassion and communication can strengthen the bond of your relationship.
I often hear the frustration of men who attempt to be supportive and sensitive to their partner’s feelings, yet whatever he says or does seems wrong…. and even worse, he feels powerless to help his wife or the situation. Ouch.
Take a step back for a moment, and imagine how the feeling of emotional powerlessness is amplified in the mind and heart of a person struggling with infertility – mirroring the physical failure of infertility. Even if the fertility issue is a female factor, the male partner is often left feeling bereft in terms of how to cope with supporting his wife. These feelings are often multilayered and multifaceted. The emotions are a mixed bag, and clarity is elusive. This may manifest as verbalizing words that simply reflect frustration, anger, and emotional withdrawal.
Men often feel used for their sperm, and sexual intimacy is no longer an intimate expression, but a duty performed only for fertilization. Unfortunately, infertility can drain all the spark, chemistry, sexual, and emotional attraction from a relationship. Awareness of these issues, along with the will to overcome them, empowers your relationship to not only survive this crisis, but become even more connected as a couple.
This Father’s Day, try giving a gift to the man you love, the man who would like to become a father. Perhaps the gift is appreciating his value and support in whatever unique way he demonstrates it. Perhaps the gift is accepting his perspective on fertility, even if that perspective differs from yours.
The gift may even be as simple as letting him know that you love him unconditionally – irrespective of needing him for sperm or conception.
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Are you planning on doing anything special to help your man through the day?
PLEASE ENCOURAGE HIM TO ENTER OUR CONTEST! OR ENTER IT YOURSELF! SEE THE JUNE 6TH POST RIGHT HERE ON THIS BLOG FOR DETAILS. IT’S SO EASY TO ENTER AND YOU COULD WIN A FREE MICRO-IVF CYCLE AND OTHER PRIZES!
JUST TELL US THE MOST SHOCKING, INSENSITIVE THING SOME MORON HAS SAID TO YOU!