What NOT to Say to a Friend Struggling with Infertility
It’s not easy to know what to say to a friend who tells us they’re struggling with infertility. It can be pretty uncomfortable to see our friend so vulnerable and in pain. So what do we do? We love our friend so, naturally, we make light of the situation, recoil, and try to fix our friend’s problem pronto!
We want to both run away from the discomfort and make it all better, so we say hurtful things in a moment of panic and end up becoming an insensitive, blundering beasts with hairy feet in our mouths.
So what can we do to help someone struggling with infertility? We can know what’s appropriate to say and what’s not appropriate to say. A good rule of thumb is: keep it simple, and don’t try to fix it. Just validating your friend’s grief is oftentimes enough.
So here are 21 things not to say and to say to someone struggling with infertility:
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
- When are you going to get pregnant?
- Don’t you know how this works?
- Funny, we always get pregnant on the first try.
- All you need to do is relax.
- I’m sure God has a reason.
- My husband would be happy to give you his sperm.
- God will give you a child when you’re ready.
- It always happens when you stop trying.
- You can have one of my kids!
- Just adopt.
- It might be for the best that you can’t have kids—they’re really hard.
- Who’s fault is it? His or hers?
- Don’t worry so much about it—you’re young, you have time.
- You know, I’ve heard losing weight helps.
- It could always be worse, you know.
- Enjoy your freedom! Without kids, you can do whatever you want with your time.
- You should be grateful, at least you have one child.
WHAT TO SAY:
- Man, that sucks.
- It’s just not fair.
- I’m here if you.
- I love you.
To read more on what it’s like to ride the emotional roller coaster of infertility and what you can do to help support a friend through it, please click here.