Helping others help you

Quite often your family and friends who know about your situation want to be supportive, but they don't know how to go about it. They would probably find it helpful to get some pointers about what to say and what topics to avoid.

Sometimes it is hard to find the right time to bring up your struggles, and having a letter to give them is one strategy to make this easier. We have created a sample letter below. This can be used as a start, but should be edited it to reflect your situation and your relationship with the recipient.

Dear [recipient],

As you know, I am currently trying to have child. So far we have not been successful, and this has been a difficult time for me. Fortunately, I know that I can count on you for support. However, it isn't always easy to know what to say when I'm around, so I've created a list of a few things that would help make this journey a little easier for me:


  • Feel free to ask me how I'm doing
  • Let me bring it up first
  • Be supportive of my decisions (not critical)
  • Do not ignore the situation - ask me about it sometimes
  • Don't try to "solve" my problems for me
  • Don't tell anyone else about my situation
  • Continue to invite me to events with children
  • Be understanding if I don't show up to events with kids
  • Tell me if you feel uncomfortable, or don’t know what to do or say
  • Don't bring up adoption
  • Do some research about what is involved with infertility treatments
  • Offer to come to doctor's appointments with me
  • Don't bring your kids when we meet up, as I'd like some one-on-one time with you
  • Don't tell me to "relax" or that I'm "trying too hard"
  • Don't tell me "it wasn't meant to be"
  • Be patient with me, and be understating if I'm not always acting "rationally"
  • A little help around the house would be appreciated
  • I don't want to be treated differently

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you so much for your understanding.

With warmth and kindness!

[you]

It is completely up to you to decide whether or not you would like to share your letter with anyone. If you do decide to, here are a few ideas:

  • Email it to selected people a few days before a social event or family gathering
  • Print out a few copies to have handy in case you find yourself in an unexpected situation
  • If you want to share it more widely, consider using social media (e.g. post it on Facebook)