Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Maria Rothenburger, a psychotherapist who specializes in infertility. If you haven’t already listened to it, she shared her personal infertility story in Episode 18.
Dr. Rothenburger and Heather discuss what to do when you’re open about your infertility journey with family and friends but they pretend it’s not really happening:
- We’ve talked about this before in other episodes, but I thought it made sense to begin today’s episode with a foundation on the topic. How can you ‘come out’ to people in your personal life about your infertility struggles?
- A listener recently wrote to me about what she calls a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ relationship she has with family and friends about her infertility. In other words, she’s open about her journey and desperately wants to talk about it with the people in her life, but they seem keen on pretending like it doesn’t exist. I’d like to take this scenario step-by-step.
- How can someone in her situation determine her wants and needs?
- Now that she knows what she wants and needs from her family and friends, how can she advocate for herself with them?
- If she’s advocated for herself and they still aren’t responding to her needs, which is the case for this particular listener, what steps can she take next? What are her options? How can she decide which is right for her?
- The same listener also posed an additional scenario. People say that no one truly understands infertility unless they’ve been through it themselves, so it’s hard for those people to be supportive. I personally feel we shouldn’t give people a ‘pass’ and that there are plenty of ways to support someone even though you’ve never been through their exact experience yourself. What are your thoughts, and what would you advise listeners struggling with this situation?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add about this topic?
BONUS: Check out BONUS 17 for a discount code for some of Dr. Rothenburger’s services.
Words of Hope:I encourage anyone going through infertility to cultivate forgiveness and compassion for others who may not understand. Click To Tweet
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