29 April, 2019

Rebuilding relationships

I recently read a post from another blogger that reminded me again that there are always two perspectives. A relatively new mother after infertility had got together with two friends. She had to leave early, but later realised that she hadn’t been asked about her kids and her life (or not as much as she wanted) by her two friends. She felt abandoned, ignored, and was personally offended.

I am sure we can all point to times when we felt that we had been abandoned and ignored offended because we didn’t have children. However, what the aforementioned blogger made me realise was that we are not the only ones who might feel like that. They may have withdrawn from us because they were busy, or because it was easier to associate with others who had children and shared so much, or even because they didn't want to hurt us by having their children around us. Misunderstandings, though, still lead to hurt. It may not all be one-sided, and it may not be equally shared. We may withdraw to protect ourselves, feeling alone and abandoned, and that in turn can hurt the person we need protection from. But they won't necessarily understand that.Then they are hurt too. Being able to step back - perhaps after time has passed, or if an olive branch has been extended - and think about how the change in friendship affected us both can really help us with forgiveness. Forgiveness for their actions, and for our own.

This then can provide an opening for conversation, for healing wounds, and for rebuilding friendships. Or maybe, at the very least, it can just make us more content with the relationship as it has evolved. We can learn to appreciate each other anew, ignoring the hurts of the past. That's what I'm trying to do now. It's not easy, as I am finding. You probably know that too. But I hope it will bring us both some pleasure, and some peace.


  1. Yes, a thousand times yes to this. I think one of the gifts of infertility and subsequent nonparenting is empathy. Not always, but I feel like I can do what you did here and stop and think about other perspectives of being marginalized and unheard and left out because I am so familiar with the feeling. I had an interaction like this with my best friend, who is a stay at home mom of three, and there was a time where she felt I wasn't asking about her kids enough which made her feel crappy as her kids are pretty much her life, and so she felt swept under the rug a bit. (It did turn out that I did ask and she didn't feel comfortable expounding as much since I was in the throes of awfulness myself, and it was both of us that needed to work through the communication.) It made me think about how she might feel in situations where everyone is talking about their work and she could feel left out or undervalued. I think the answer to everything, not to be simplistic or exaggerating at all, ha ha, is EMPATHY. More empathy would solve so much.

  2. I think it's important to make an effort to show an interest in other people's lives. I remember how awful it was to be the infertile person while friends were talking non stop about their kids and not asking me anything. But likewise I realise now there were times when I met friends while I was in the midst of IVF and didn't even mention their kids which was probably hurtful without me realising