Blame Game: How to Communicate Stress
So you finally built up the courage to go to a fertility specialist, you and your partner go through all the evaluation and testing, and the results come in: one of you has a problem.
This is where the very dangerous and delicate situation of placing blame can come in. In the eyes of the ‘fertile’ partner, the blame for infertility can be placed on the ‘infertile’ partner. Being the fertile partner in a couple experiencing infertility can be a very difficult position to be in. Blaming your partner may make you feel better in the short term, but what kind of lasting effects can it have on your relationship? You want to vent your frustrations, be sad, get angry, but you also want to be conscious of your partner’s feelings of sadness and guilt over this. Think about how your partner is feeling about this diagnosis and how much blame they may already be placing on themselves without any added guilt.
If you’re the infertile partner in the relationship, do your best not to take on all the blame and guilt. Infertility is a medical condition, you didn’t ask for this. Open up to your partner about your feelings and appreciate that this diagnosis creates different feelings for both of you. It can be easy to blame yourself and that can impact your overall relationship, which will add more stress to an already intensive process. It may help to talk to someone other than your partner to work through the feelings and the emotions you have in order to be the best version of yourself you can be throughout the journey.
Instead of playing the blame game, play a new game. It’s called “take action”. Take action as a couple. Validate each other’s feelings of sadness, frustration, and anger to come together. Figure out as a team what course of action you feel comfortable taking on your path to parenthood. Begin to take steps together to make your dreams of a family a reality.
If you have trouble communicating these feelings to each other in a productive way, seek out counseling or find a therapist that specializes in infertility issues for couples. These are new waters to navigate and it’s okay to ask for help when your normal communication tools aren’t working.