Dealing when your husband is infertile

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There are different ways of giving and receiving support. When your husband finds out he is the source of infertility, you will need to respond to him in a way that is helpful, understanding and patient. Your husband may feel supported when you share the latest research or ART. Maybe he’ll want to know more personal strategies like changing his diet. Or maybe he needs some time to absorb this life changing information.

Find different ways to support the relationship

Lead author of several research studies out of the University of Iowas, Erika Lawrence’s explains that there are four different types of support: physical and emotional (hugs and listening), esteem support (expressing confidence, encouragement), informational support (advice and data), and tangible support (taking on responsibilities to give your husband time to help himself).

Don’t make assumptions

“The assumption that men just want to be left alone and women want to be held and listened to,” Lawrence explained. “In reality, different men want different kinds of support.” Talk frankly about what you need to keep the relationship strong.

Avoid too much information

Too much informational support, too much advice, can be detrimental. Know when you’ve shared enough and give your man time to think about it.

It’s the effort that counts.

“Both parties are satisfied if the husband gets the right kind of support, and if the wife feels like she’s supported,” Lawrence stated. Always the effort should be acknowledged and appreciated.

Listen when he tells you what he needs

Encourage him to tell you what he needs, then honor it. Don’t be surprised if what he needs changes over time. Be prepared to change with him. He may need some time alone to absorb the information and adjust his expectations. Then he may want more information so he can attack the problem. Be with him and be flexible.

Watch out for too much support

“If you don’t get enough support, you can make up for that with family and friends – especially women, who tend to have multiple sources of support,” said Lawrence. “When you receive too much support, there’s no way to adjust for that.”

Source: Personal Relationships Journal, The Adventurous Writer


 
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