Men often get lost in fertility treatment. Unless there is a male factor issue, all of the attention is on their partner. They have several big performances to make to supply the other 50% of the baby, but beyond that – not too many people are asking “The Guy” how he’s doing.
So often men are left to struggle silently and be strong for their women. I think this is left over from our more tribal days when men went out to battle and hunt, and came back to protect and feed their family. No one was really that tuned in about how “The Guy” was feeling. His duty was to stand by his woman and protect her. I believe that legacy is still around today.
But men hurt too! Infertility has a significant emotional impact on men. The truth is, infertility resides within a coupleand hurts both partners. How that emotional impact is felt and is expressed may look a little different between women and men, but the fact that infertility breaks hearts doesn’t change between the sexes.
But men get stuck in the “brave” box. And showing tears, or admitting that big holidays hurt, or having feelings of guilt and grief – may seem to them to be a sign of weakness.
For many men, being a “Daddy” is as important to them as being a “Mommy” is to their wives. And Father’s Day as a trigger of that pain may be over looked – because no one thinks of “The Guy” as having feelings of grief around not being a Daddy on Father’s Day. While women may receive messages of support and hope around Mother’s Day, the waiting Daddy may receive nothing at all.
So how can you help?
- Ask him how he feels about “Father’s Day”. Sometimes, men have to be invited to share their feelings. Encourage him to talk.
- Does he want to skip family celebrations? Just like we give permission to women to skip “Mother’s Day” we can allow the men to skip Father’s Day too!
- Love him to pieces. Maybe make “Father’s Day” into a day that is all about him! Women are way better at escaping into a spa than a man is about escaping into the woods. What does he love to do? Do it!
So remember–no matter how you choose to celebrate or acknowledge Father’s Day this year, there is a Someday Dad in your life. Create the space to listen to him, love on him, and take care of his heart. He may not be as comfortable as you are in expressing himself, but letting him know that he is not forgotten will be the best gift you can give him.
Call 855-RMA-inPA to set up a consultation with a physician who can help you create a plan for parenthood.
Author: Pamela Madsen, The Fertility Advocate, Guest Blogger