Infertility is a private subject for most people. There’s something about it that is wired into societies subconscious that makes those suffering it not want to talk about it and prevents friends and colleagues from knowing how to.
But meet any couple going through the ordeal and you’ll mostly come away with a sense that they are trying really hard, coping, working through it in solidarity.
This is often true, but it’s a false perspective far more often than you might think. Many couples on this journey are either not ‘working through it’ or lack a sense of ‘togetherness’, a sense of unity and common purpose.
Zoom out from the picture to get a wider perspective for a moment and you will see that this idea is not so unusual. Very few couples are lucky enough to have good communication in their relationship, most struggle with this in some way or another, it’s the norm!
Entering a long term committed relationship is meant to be a ritual that ties together to ropes of two individuals lives so that they become stronger together, and thus are better positioned to raise children. The fact that we bring ‘personal baggage’ into our relationships is not the problem, indeed relationships should be secure loving places where self-discovery is allowed so that each individual can grow through the baggage. But alas this is not the reality for so many people, with separation and divorce rates a testament to this.
Zoom out further and even this is not surprising – most of us do not have good communication with ourselves, let alone with others. We don’t really know ourselves! Society doesn’t encourage this kind of self-discovery, indeed religions often impede it (whether this is deliberate or accidental is up for debate) and so we sort of blunder on in our lives struggling with a very deep lack of clarity about who we are, what we truly want and how to go about getting it without hurting others. Into relationships we bring all this baggage, where it becomes amplified.
Relationships amplify personal problems, and infertility amplifies relationship problems, but buried within the problem is the key to the solution itself. Problems are signposts that point the way – but only if you are wiling to see them for what they are – gifts that guide you through the dark interior of yourself.
Infertility is a tough challenge to bear and to beat. It requires clear thinking and total commitment from each individual. If you play the victim card, if you turn away from the deeper truth, if you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge your own baggage and do something about it, if you fail to see it as a great opportunity to get your life back on track, if you can’t get yourselves on the same page with the same dreams and same goals – infertility will unravel the ropes of your lives and steamroll over you leaving only bitterness and regret. Infertility is a direct reflection of life, it’s an invitation to get your act together – we only get one chance to do it, then it’s gone forever!