Unhelpful comments

When you first start trying to conceive, the comments that people make (like the infamous "just relax") may not bother you much. However, as the months come and go without success, the same comments will become more and more upsetting.

Lisa's encounter with her mother-in-law

Lisa's mother-in-law was visiting for the weekend from out of town. Her mother-in-law had only been there for a few hours when she said "I just read in the paper that women are waiting longer than ever before to start their families, and this is causing all sorts of fertility problems." Lisa was immediately upset, to the point of tears, as she had been struggling to conceive for some time. Lisa felt her mother-in-law was being insensitive and passive aggressive, and was basically saying "if you don't get pregnant soon you never will".

However, in reality her mother-in-law was only trying to help by discussing the article. She knew Lisa was having fertility problems, and felt that she might be comforted by the fact that so many other women are going through the same struggles. The last thing she wanted to do was upset her. However, because of the way that Lisa interpreted the situation the comment set a bad tone for the rest of the weekend.

Remember, they are usually just trying to help

When someone make an insensitive comment to you, your first reaction might be emotional. However, in most cases the person you are speaking to is not trying to hurt you. Therefore, try to control your first reaction. Quite often your friends and family are trying to be supportive but do not really know what to say. People who are unfamiliar with fertility issues may be completely unaware that their comments are unhelpful.

It is your reaction that matters

In Part C of this program we leaned that it is our reaction to a situation that determines how it makes us feel. This is particularly important to keep in mind when dealing with friends and family.