Keep in mind that although your situation feels absolutely personal to you, there’s a good chance that other couples have been down a similar path and have gotten through it. Sometimes, it’s helpful to learn how they navigated the waters and see if there’s anything you can take from that. This is the emotional side of infertility: you are not alone.
Your therapist, assuming you are working with one experienced in infertility issues, will undoubtedly be able to share some of those examples with you and discuss common themes related to infertility issues.
For instance, men who are experiencing infertility with some sort of sperm issue often have a feeling of emasculation, disappointment, anger, maybe even failure. There’s a feeling of injured pride that they aren’t able to complete the “one part” they feel they can contribute to this process.
They may endure shame that comes from society’s perception of what they think the man’s role is, and the virility of a man, which sometimes leads them to feel they’re only good for one thing. This can contribute to depression and potentially produce performance anxiety. Consequently, it becomes this cyclical dynamic where the guy ends up feeling bad about the situation and withdraws, causing additional issues with intimacy.
For women, if they are the ones suffering from infertility, this can trigger a feeling of lack of purpose, meaning, and/or being able to produce something they’re supposed to provide for their spouse.
That helplessness oftentimes comes into play for men when they’re trying to support their partner, but there’s nothing that they can do to fix their partner’s issue and don’t know how to help. The stereotypical obstacle is that men desire to fix things, and this is one thing they can’t “fix” for their partner.
When you’re the one that is suffering from the physical issue, you feel ashamed. You feel like you’re a failure. It can take your mind to some very dark places. Many individuals suffering from the infertile factor say they feel alone and feel like their partner might be better off with someone else that doesn’t have this problem.
When you’re supporting a guy suffering from infertility, you can also feel helpless and powerless. It seems to be an unavoidable emotion. It feels like you’re an outsider because there’s nothing you can do. It’s one of the hardest issues for the person that’s not suffering from the actual condition. He or she often puts their emotions on the backburner, and the focus goes more toward the person who’s experiencing the physical deficit. What seems to happen is that the supporting partner senses they need to be the strong one and doesn’t give voice to their feelings in fear of upsetting the partner experiencing the physical issue. This cycle doesn’t work very well!
When Tara was an undergraduate at Texas A&M, she worked in a women’s health facility processing difficult topics with patients. Later, she moved into clinical research while in graduate school. There she discovered her passion for women’s health and the associated emotional components. This motivated her to go to into private practice.
Tara began seeing a variety of patients in her practice. Having gone through infertility herself where she had in vitro resulting in twins, she became involved with a fertility clinic and became a fervent advocate helping people through their process.
With her firsthand experience and training, she found that she had the necessary level of empathy and knowledge of all the acronyms and industry terms, nurturing people as they navigate the waters.
Contact Information : http://www.TaraJoynerLPC.com
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