Do you experience the grief and loss linked to not being able to have a child that has your genes? Do you feel guilty that you failed your wife/partner and caused her pain? Do you worry that you will not feel like the “real” dad and are concerned that the child will not perceive you as their father? We feel you.
Infertility causes a life crisis that negatively affects all kinds of relationships, from marital to social ones. Though much more is known about women’s responses to infertility, both genders may feel anxiety, anger, depression, guilt, or grief. Moreover, as sexual intercourse and reproduction are intertwined in our consciousness, infertility causes men and women to feel embarrassed about their masculinity or femininity and undergo a feeling of some kind of inability and low self-esteem. Sadly, irrespective of the cause of infertility, both men and women may feel deeply broken and unworthy of their spouse’s loyalty.
But you are not alone: About 15% of couples in their reproductive years encounter infertility. Moreover, there is a consensus that men and women are affected at comparable rates, with harshly 40% of infertility referable to a female factor, 40% to a malefactor, and 20% impenetrable causes. Sometimes, using a sperm donor is the only way for a couple to have a child. Well, here are some tips for coping with your distress and dealing with the situation you are in right now.
Face and Acknowledge Your Feelings.
The feelings connected to infertility are caused by many aspects – internal and external – simultaneously. To overcome this situation, you need to face your emotions and acknowledge them. Are you feeling judged? Jealous? Angry? Ashamed? Guilty? Do you have feelings of failure or inadequacy? Loss of self-esteem? And last but not least, are you afraid of rejection or abandonment?
Then you need to learn where these feelings come from. For example, what exactly do you feel guilty about? Is this your feeling or emotion based on expectations from your surroundings? Ask yourself these questions, and you will understand these emotions, which can help you share them with someone who can help.
Stop Bottling Up Your Emotions.
As it has already been stated, infertility hits men and women the same, and they may feel similar emotions consequent to being diagnosed. However, their journey of infertility may be considerably diverse.
Society supports women in displaying their emotions, which helps them solicit the comfort of others and use available means. On the other hand, men are frequently instructed to repress what they feel, which enhances isolation and lessens the likelihood of obtaining help and relief. It is not a secret that men and women often have different communication methods that can disconnect and alienate couples from each other. Usually, when women gather information and support, they communicate their feelings with others and simply engage with them. On the other hand, men tend to bottle up their emotions, which prevents them from receiving encouragement from others and information about what alternatives are there, for instance, donor insemination.
If you are like this, you may feel isolated in your efforts to have a child of your own. Just know that it is normal to need support in talking about your emotions about infertility. This will help your partner better understand your thoughts and feelings.
Get Some Support from Your Closed Ones.
Opening up about your infertility and seeking support from the ones close to you can help you deal with emotional distress a lot. Of course, it’s great to find support in your significant other, but sometimes the pressure you may both be feeling adds up, which can make it super hard to sort out them together. Thus, finding comfort from outside the relationship – such as visiting a therapist – can be profitable for you two. However, it is vital to be careful in your choices regarding who you will open up to. You may learn that the source of some of your negative thoughts comes from those people.
Do Not Underestimate the Power of Professional Help.
As it has already been stated, some men are afraid to seek help from a counselor. However, we strongly encourage you to do so. See a therapist on your own or with your partner. Such professionals work with individuals as well as couples, so you can choose which way is most suitable for you at the moment depending on your needs. Moreover, a consultation with a mental health professional specializing in donor insemination is likely to improve communication within the couple, increase their closeness and intimacy, and help the couple jointly decide that will significantly impact their family’s well-being.
Stop Being Jealous.
Many men like you may have stress with the idea that your wife will be using another man’s sperm. Even though you know that your wife is not in a relationship with the donor, you may feel jealous and betrayed and fear that you will think of him when interacting with your child.
Never forget that being family is a group of parents and their children living together as a unit and not only some people who share DNA. So, as long as you raise, love, and look after your baby, only you are their father, and nothing can change that.
Conclusively, the purpose is to attain the approval of your own feelings and those of your partner. Infertility is hard. We encourage you to be as kind to yourself as possible. Do not allow infertility to take over your life – always keep in mind that this difficult time will pass, and eventually, things will get better. We at Royal Surrogacy wish you a very happy life and a healthy baby.
By Dina Jaoshvili