Friday, August 20, 2010


You know, I'm really not surprised that our men tend to be more quiet on the infertility front than we are! Unfortunately other men can be less supportive and more insensitive than anything.

You tell female friends about your infertility struggles and you'll usually get one of three responses:

#1. They'll be really supportive and try to understand and be there for us as much as possible, offering comfort and someone to talk to.

#2. They'll pop out the cliches 'Have you tried relaxing?' 'Have you thought about adoption? I know such and such, who had problems concieving and they adopted and now they have 5 kids naturally!' 'You know you can only get pregnant at one time in your cycle right?' Um, really? I had no idea! I have only been trying to get pregnant for three years and NOW you tell me I can only concieve one day of my cycle? Why did nobody tell me this earlier!

#3. Silence. They don't know what to say so they look awkward and then change the subject and avoid the topic like the plague and pretend it doesn't exist, never even asking how you are when they are fully aware of what is going on and talk about everything but.

I think I still prefer option 2 over option 3. Yes, it is incredibly irritating but at least they are TRYING to be helpful, unlike option 3 where you end up feeling embarrassed for being infertile. I mean if they can't look at me then how can I look at myself? Unfortunately though it is common for people to be uncomfortable around taboo topics and so I guess we just have to either confront them or accept it.

Men on the other hand tend to do one of two things:

#1. Wish us good luck and then change the topic (I guess that's understandable with men though, they aren't great at talking) but then quietly offer support in male bonding terms like having a beer or going fishing.

#2. (And unfortunately again the most common!) They start making jokes about their manhood. You know the ones 'Are you shooting blanks?' 'You're not doing it right' 'Let me borrow her for the night and she'll be pregnant in no time' type jibes.

Is it any wonder then that our men don't like to talk about it!


  1. Great post Haidee. I agree #2 is way better than #3. At least they care with #2 and they don't get it but they are making an effort. #3 makes me feel worse than I already feel it makes me feel like I have a contagious diesease they are scared of catching or worse still they think I am going to steal their child....With men they still haven't realised it is ok to have infertility issue. They are just a bit cavemen like really!

  2. I find it's usually no 3 type that haven't had kids or tried yet. No 2 type that only have to look at the hubby and they're pregnant and No 1 that have also been there or have more of an understanding about it all. As for the men, the comment my hubby usually gets is "you get more practice then!" - Liv xx

  3. Hi there! Stopping over from ICLW.

    I admit that I generally find the men's reactions as less annoying. At least they don't ignore it all together and trying to deal with something by laughter is better than dealing with it with silence, IMO. Granted we'd all prefer that everyone reacted like #1. The good thing to come from all of this is that at least we are better responders when other people come to us in their dark moments, right? I, for one, feel like I've gained in compassion.

    Good luck with your upcoming IVF, too!!

  4. So very true! Our men definitely have a hard time with opening up to their friends. My heart breaks for DH as it is not "his issue" and yet the jokes are always made. :( We have found some very supportive friends over the years, and they mean the world to us,

    Good Luck with your IVF!


  5. Thanks for the awesomely supportive comment you left on my blog! I'm wishing you the very best for your IVF cycle and will be following along on your journey! :)

  6. ICLW - Nice post and recently found this related article you might enjoy called "Coping with Crises Close to Someone Else's Heart" via the NY Times website here:

    I also like the design of your blog and how neatly you've put it all together. :)

    Lily - The Infertile Mind

  7. Stopping by from ICLW!

    I think you've nailed the reactions pretty accurately. The men's are easier to cope with in some ways...

    -Jess (#74)

  8. Hi from ICLW. I only tend to share our story with other infertiles. I just don't think other people really understand.

    Good luck for your cycle next month.

  9. Seriously, I prefer #2 as well. The silence puts me on edge. It is like I'm wondering if I should say it again. Did they not hear me? Did they not understand? Can they not see that this is the most important thing in the world for me right now?

    As for the guys, the crass comments can get a bit much! People making jokes to cover awkward silences is never a good thing!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  10. Happy ICLW. My hubby was actually really great talking to others about our IF and making sure they were sensitive towards me. That could be because his SA came back with supersperm numbers though! :)

  11. Happy ICLW! Your comments were spot on - I haven't told anyone yet though so I can only imagine the comments I would get from my guy friends once the news is out.

    ICLW #92

  12. Here from ICLW. This is so true. I actually hate the platitudes response...I would rather they say nothing at all.

  13. That is so sad that men (and women) would react in any other way than option 1! I am praying for you and your hubby! And I will be supportive of you and not make you feel like you should be embarrassed because of infertility that you did not chose.

    Happy IComLeavWe!
    <3MaryAnne #135

  14. Reading this makes me think about all the times I've been in these situations and it makes my blood start to boil. Some people just don't get it and it's just hard. :(