The relentless roller coaster of managing infertility is full of hopeful possibilities and deep disappointments. Men in particular try to hide this in a misguided attempt to not over-burden their female partners, but this just leaves many guys feeling more alone and confused. And whether the infertility is male factor or not, the pain and stress of it is exhausting, disempowering, and filled with anger, sadness, and fear.
And those are a whole bunch of feelings that aren’t helped by processing them on your own or, worse, avoiding them altogether.
There are better ways, but they involve moving out of the masculine stereotypes we’ve been taught and it’s going to take some bravery to access these new ways.
One great way of starting is by looking at others who are leading the vulnerable and honest way.
Meet Brent Stoller
Brent Stoller is one of these men. He and his wife have been struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss for several years and he’s been channeling all those feelings into his writing both on his site as well as the Canadian website Fertility Smarts.
We recently connected online through Fertility Smarts and we spoke about his and his wife’s journey. He shared with me a short article he wrote called 4 Ways to Keep Hope Alive When Dealing with Infertility & Pregnancy Loss and I wanted to give you all an opportunity to take a read. He even quotes The Shawshank Redemption, so you really can’t go wrong!
I so appreciated his honesty and the concrete ideas he shares in the hopes that other guys can know that they’re not alone. So many–too many–men think they are. And they are scared and angry and lonely. If that sounds like you, or if you know someone who’s struggling, please follow the link to learn a bit of what Brent has learned so far.
Justin Lioi, LCSW is a men’s mental health and relationship expert based in Brooklyn, NY (and online throughout New York State and internationally.) He received his degree from New York University and has been working with men and their families for over 10 years. Justin is on the Board of the National Association of Social Workers and writes a weekly column for the Good Men Project called Unmasking Masculinity. He can be found on local and national podcasts talking about assertiveness, anger, self-compassion, all with the goal of becoming the man you want to be. He works with all men but has a particular focus on providing counseling for fathers (and guys hoping to become dads!)