Sarah and Jack have bravely shared their story in our “Not Alone” video, and in their own words as a couple, but today, Jack will be sharing his perspective with us. A supportive partner to lean on can make all the difference through any tough situation, but especially infertility. Learn a little more about what the experience has been like for Jack below:
What unique challenges come with being the partner of someone going through infertility?
One hard thing is seeing my wife so emotional. Going through all of this isn’t easy for anyone, and to add to all of that, the amount of hormones that she has to be on throughout it all, makes things even harder. Trying your hardest to always remain positive and strong for that person, while trying to do the same for your own self can be rough too.
Do you feel pressure to continually be the “strong one,” or do you feel that is a stereotype or misrepresentation?
Naturally, as a man, I feel that I do need to be the one to stay strong, and supportive, because throughout all of this, my wife is the one having to make the biggest physical sacrifices. I feel like remaining strong for her is the least that I can do. I think that a lot of men in the same situation can relate to that.
What do you wish people understood more about the man’s perspective of infertility?
People should know that men go through the same feelings emotionally as women do. It is just as difficult for us, we just try our best not to show it, and in all actuality, it kills us inside to have to go through all of the ups and downs during the whole process. We just try not to show our emotions, and may demonstrate them in a different way than our partners might, but it does not mean that we are affected any less. I am not very good at venting or talking to anyone about the issues that we have struggled with. Life doesn’t stop, or slow down for you whenever things don’t go as you hoped with a treatment plan, or when you and your spouse go through a miscarriage, so I have always tried to do my best to keep a positive mindset, and have always just tried to keep pushing.
How has your journey impacted other relationships in your lives?
We have great friends and family, there is no doubt about that. The people we have chosen to share details of our journey with have always been respectful in trying not to make situations awkward for us, and have always showed us so much love and support. If anything, the bonds with these people have gotten stronger over the years that we have faced these struggles.
What was the most helpful thing someone said or did for you while you were going through this?
It’s always helpful to just receive a simple reminder that I’m doing a good job in my role as a husband. Reminders that good things will eventually come to us is always nice to hear, and remembering that God has a plan, and that everything will work out the way that it is meant to in the end.
What was the least helpful, or even most hurtful?
Something that is frustrating to hear these days is, “You’re young, and you have plenty of time,” when time just seems to keep passing faster and faster. I never planned on being an older dad. Accepting that things don’t always go as planned is a struggle in itself.
What has allowed you to be so open with your story?
I honestly did not even want to be open with our story originally. I’m not usually one to talk about my personal struggles and issues with anyone besides my wife. What changed my mind, was my wife’s strong belief that sharing our story could make a difference in a ton of people’s lives, and pave the way, or break the ice for other people or couples going through the exact same things that we are. Her perspective and take on things, and the passion to want to make an impact on the feelings of others is what made me look at this in a different perspective. It has actually been more therapeutic for me than I ever thought it would. It was a really great experience for us as well. I’m glad that she was able to change my mind.