How to Lose Infertile Friends in Ten Ways

on November 13, 2014

We just found out that my daughter and her husband are NOT pregnant…again. They have been going through infertility treatments for over a year and it is heartbreaking. It’s made me realize I have been guilty of “infertility insensitivity” in the past and I am pretty sure I am not alone.  We are hoping and praying for a happy ending just like “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”, but in the meantime here is a list of things NOT to say to a couple with fertility problems and what to do instead.

“When are you going to have kids?” Like it is any of our business anyway. Be the kind of friend that lets them share their grief with you when and if they want to.

groovy grandma infertility 3

“Just have faith.” Because we don’t think they already do or what? Telling an infertile couple this is actually a slap in the face because it is taking every bit of faith and hope they have just to keep trying. Instead, acknowledge how much you admire them and let them know you are praying for them.

“Relax and it will happen.”  We have all heard those stories of people who got pregnant right after they adopted a baby, and they are nice but not helpful. Have you ever tried to relax when someone is telling you to? You go relax!

“At least it’s fun trying” …said no infertile couple EVER!! The romance leaves when there is an objective to sex. When the shots and bills and medication and thermometers start, the fun has ended. Validate their feelings and listen with your heart.

“Enjoy being just the two of you.” Obviously they must like each other or they wouldn’t be married, much less wanting to have a family. Infertility can take a toll on a relationship so let them know you are there for them by giving them a gift card or tickets for a fun date night.

“Everything happens for a reason.” Advice isn’t what they need. Send a card like one my daughter got from a friend that just said, “If one more person tells me to hang in there….” Keep it light.

groovy grandma infertility 4

 “I understand how you feel.” No. You don’t. Period. Everyone’s story is different even if you have gone through infertility challenges. And infertility situations are all different, so just share your love and support.

“Haven’t you figured out how it works yet?” Actually infertile couples probably know more about how “it works” than anyone else in their lives. Don’t even go there with this one. It isn’t funny and it is very hurtful.

You’re lucky you don’t have kids.” Couples struggling with fertility would LOVE to be dealing with morning sickness, colic, poopy diapers and all the rest. Be grateful if you do have kids and leave it at that.

“It will all work out.” That is their hope and dream, but it is expensive. Help it happen by saying, “Here is $10,000 for your baby fund”!

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