Answer from: Karenna Wood
Feeling guilty during infertility can almost feel endless. There are so many areas that you can experience guilt in. For example, having a jealous emotion over a friend who has gotten pregnant, and then feeling instantly guilty for feeling like that because you should be feeling happy for them. But of course, you are feeling the lack, and the loss, and the despair yourself. So how do you cope and manage with these guilty feelings?
I think the most important thing is to realize that almost the purpose of guilt as an emotion, the reason we feel guilt is to almost assess our behavior and our actions to see if we wanted to modify or change them for the future. But when we’re thinking and re-living and thinking guilty thoughts continuously it gets to a point where it’s actually not helping us to think around our behaviors and change those for the future. It’s just becoming a persistent almost worry thought, and it becomes unhealthy for us.
I think it’s key to become aware of some of those emotions and that really is the first step to changing and moving away from those. If you’re thinking guilty, for example, about a past decision maybe, it’s important to go through that decision with your partner or talk to someone around that. But it’s important to know that you made the choices you made with the information available at the time. So it’s also about being a little kinder to yourself, and one little tip I give to my clients is to say “well, how would your best friend tell you to think around that?” So let’s say you told your guilty thought to your best friend what would they say? And actually give that advice back to yourself because we’re often very harsh and very critical to ourselves, but very accepting and open when with others. I want you to be your own best friend when it comes to those guilty thoughts. I can imagine that many of those aren’t true, aren’t rational, and aren’t supporting you to live better through infertility right now. If those thoughts aren’t helping you, know that you have the power to move those and change those to some kinder thoughts to yourself.
How to cope with a feeling of being guilty if you suffer from infertility?
Infertility guilt is a common feeling that may touch both women and men. How to get rid of this feeling?