When a couple does not have kids, some questions posed by friends and family might be uncomfortable: "When will you have children?", "Are you well-advised when it comes to the assisted reproduction treatment?", "Have you tried to relax?". These questions arise emotions such as irritation, sadness or pain, depending on the situation you are facing.
The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.
Why do questions bother us?
There are two parties involved: on one hand, the person who asks the question is usually not aware of the frustration infertility creates. Questions may also carry an implicit message and urge us to do something more or different.
On the other hand, the person to whom the question is directed to does not always accept it and usually answers abruptly. This happens because the person usually thinks there's something wrong with her and that she's not doing what she should, increasing the feeling of guilt.
How to manage questions
According to Gestalt Therapy:
First accept what you feel.
This is fundamental. If you do not accept what you feel, others won't either, and even if they do, you won't see it that way.
Do not feel guilty if you don't know what to say or how to react, you are facing a complicated situation, which is not easy to deal with.
Draw a plan for the next time someone asks you a question: you can prepare, with your partner, the answer you want to give and write it down so that you will remember it.
Tips on how to react
We give you some ideas as regards how you could react behind a situation or question that is uncomfortable for you.
Give an explanatory-educational response
Many people don't know and can't imagine what having an infertility problem is like. Keeping this in mind might help you control your feelings. Tell them, for example, the percentage of couples who cannot have children, what the process is like, all that it implies, the effort required and what feelings are more common. This allows you to distance yourself from your experience and the person who asked the questions will be more careful when broaching the subject.
Why not? We all have the right not to answer questions if we don't want to. One way of doing it is by switching to another topic: “How is the treatment going?” – “Well, it's going... And you, how's the new project?”. You should do this gently and demonstrate you don't want to answer without being too abrupt. Moving on to a more interesting topic should be radical but not exaggerated.
Ask the other person why she wants to know
One way of doing this is: "I'll answer but, first, I'm curious. Why do you ask?" Questions often hide an opinion or feeling that is not openly manifested. Maybe you won't get a personal and honest answer, but you will make the other person reveal her intentions before you do.
One day you might want to open up about what happened to you. Meanwhile, try to respect and protect yourself, if necessary.
No one should make you talk, you are the one facing the situation so you should be the one who decides when and how to talk about it. However, treating the subject naturally helps to cope with it.
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