AIBU to feel offended by an infertile friend?(24 Posts)
Not sure if I should post this here or AIBU, but feel here will get opinions of people who are touched by infertility.
I am currently going through my second early miscarriage, but I am lucky enough to also have a DC who I conceived after two years of TTC.
My (former, should I say) best friend has been ttc for four years and it starts to look like she may remain childless. When I was pregnant with DD she tried to be there in some way, but made it clear it isn’t easy for her. To be honest a lot of the time it feels like she is forcing herself to meet me or keep contact otherwise. We do have much less contact since my successful pregnancy.
Now, I’ve shared with her the news I’m going through a miscarriage. Instead of offering any empathy, she made it clear hearing this has made her feel awful and basically ruined her holidays. She seemed to think I’m just one lucky bastard to have gotten a bfp again.
She did realize her reaction was from a place of personal pain and not perhaps the most appropriate one. However, I am left feeling sad and like I made a big mistake by telling her about my mc. I feel offended really. AIBU?
I’m not quite sure what happened- you told her you were MCing and she expressed jealousy that you’d got a positive test?
Yep, exactly. That was what made her feel terrible and actually run to the bathroom to cry.
And she then realised that her reaction was inappropriate and apologised?
No she didn’t apologize. She said she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. But she did say that she realizes it’s not a nice reaction or so.
That is not a great reaction and YANBU for being upset. It might have been better though to tell her your news by text or email. If she had a bit of tune to digest it before speaking to you, do you think she would have reacted differently? Maybe it was a gut reaction on her part and after thinking it over, she understands it was unkind?
I'm very sorry for your loss.
Infertility can be hard on friendships, unfortunately I’m just starting to feel like I’ve been walking on eggshells with this friend for a long time already. And now this.
I don't think you're unreasonable to be offended, because you're in pain and reached out to/shared that with your friend. You rightly expected some empathy.
But she is so consumed by her own pain right now that she can't behave the way that maybe she would if, say, a close relative died or you lost your job or you found out DH had been cheating your whole relationship.
Your pain has essentially triggered her pain. She's not intentionally being rude, she likely didn't want to upset you, it's just her pain is more than she can deal with rationally.
And I'm sorry for your MC. I hope you're doing ok - well, as can be expected.
Thanks, yes probably it would have been better. And would have put much more thought into how to tell her had it been a viable pregnancy. I didn’t realize it would be just the same for her even in case of an empty sac.
It's a hard one..infertility can be all consuming. But she was out of order and a good friend should be able to offer you empathy.
I would try not to lose friendship over it but not discuss ttc, pregnancy miscarriage with her again. Do you have other friends who can support you and share this with instead?
I mean obviously if you have a big bump in the future it will be an unavoidable subject.
I'm not sure I'd have shared this with her in the first place, she's so obviously not in a place to offer you any support at the moment.
Agree with PPs that a text first would've been good to allow her to deal with the raw pain initially then be able to respond appropriately. After 4 years - if she's never had a bfp I expect she's feeling absolutely let down by her body and consumed with the grief and pain.
Very sorry for your loss too. It's hard on everyone.
Thank you all for your comments. I also feel now I shouldn’t have told her about this at all. On the other hand it makes me wonder what is left of our relationship if we cannot mention a topic such as this. Small talk then, I suppose. I haven’t generally brought up baby related topics with her much, unless she asks. This is all fine for me and I’m not dying to talk about my child all the time. We have other common interests too. But still...it’s just hard. I think I will now give her some space and let her be in touch when she feels like it.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It is truly awful.
I can say that I have been the other side, TTC, miscarriages and ivf for 10 years whilst everyone popped out kids. I would never ever ever have said it in person to any of my friends, but I had been jealous even of miscarriages - as just to get that positive on a test seemed so impossible. I did find it easier to respond to the good news via text as had time to process.
Wishing you well, you have enough to worry about without her reaction 😘
It was unkind of her to not express sympathy or concern at the news of your miscarriage.
Personally I would try not to be angry or hurt but instead accept that this friendship may be over. I would respect that your friend has continued to try and make an effort until now. But it sounds like she’s reached a point in her journey where she can’t hide her feelings anymore.
I’d worry that trying to push forward with this friendship may cause hurt feelings and unhappiness on both ends. If you amicably take a break from one another now you may still find it possible to reconnect in the future.
I also don't think you should have told her? You can surely see that having never had a BFP she is not going to understand what you are going through?
Infertility ruins friendships/family relationships - you will naturally become divided into distinct groups - the fertile / those experiencing recurrent miscarriage / those that never had or never will experience a BFP and finally secondary infertility
Your friend is on a completely different journey now - the incredibly painful one where you desperately want children and will
Never have them - you are lucky that you have one DC and whilst your journey is still painful your lives are completely different now
I dont think you're being unreasonable at all, I've kind of been on both sides of it. I had a 'Friend' at work who had a miscarriage at 12 weeks some months before I did. She hasn't had any issues with her fertility (Shes now pregnant again) but when I was going through IVF, she never once asked me about it, but constantly spoke about her pregnancy/MC and how depressed she is, then when I actually got a positive but then had an MC, she said something along the lines of "Well atleast it didnt have a heartbeat like mine did" It's safe to say we just speak if we have to at work now. She has still never apologised and doesnt think shes been unreasonable.
However on the other hand, my childhood best friend has 3 beautiful healthy children, I'm godmother to them all, over the past year shes been having pain and trouble in her lady region, long story short turns out Endometriosis is basically eating her insides away, I have it and her sister has it, so we could sympathise, but then it's like she forgot about what I was going through and told me she had a have a hysterectomy and that shes going to sue the hospital because shes now infertile, I was fuming, literally went off my nut because she has 3 beautiful children, and told me in the same breath she doesnt want anymore! We had a huge argument, I realised that even though she has children that it's still a big deal, but this was literally a couple of weeks after the MC for me, so I felt like she was being selfish and a dick. We both apologised to each other and now it's like it never happened because we were both in a bad place. Sorry for the long passage, just wanted to share my experience and that I can relate!
Thank you so much for your insights. It really helps me to feel more sympathy towards my friend in this situation, and to look at this more from her point of view. @babasaclover & @Dot457 you’ve been through a lot, like everyone going through infertility. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am sad to think this friendship may be ending. I absolutely don’t want that, but I can’t help thinking if my miscarriage was this hard for her, what will happen if I have a successful pregnancy again. I hope I will, but I by no means take it for granted. I was also ttc long term with my DC, which she is very much aware of, and now second blighted ovum. I defo don’t try to say that I can compare my situation to hers, but I also have a little tiny idea what it’s like. It’s such a sad thought that people not only go through infertility, but can lose important friendships too because of it
Anyway thanks to your comments I feel now more calm and emphatic about this myself. Maybe I will approach her with some kind words after a few days.
Sorry to hear this OP . It sucks all round, you needed your friend and looked to her for support, but it's understandable that she didn't feel in a place to give it given her infertility; I don't think either of you were in the wrong. I think it is something you can't empathise fully with unless you have been through it on both sides. I had a friend who when I was pregnant cut all ties with me due to her struggles, which hurt but I respected her wishes and could understand why, so gave her space and left it as she could contact me if she ever felt she was ready, if not then I valued the years of friendship we had, and because I cared about her didn't want to cause any upset. What really hurt though was that I had a complicated birth which due to medical error has left me unable to have anymore children; something I am at peace with, but she was quite gleeful about it when she was told via a mutual friend, which is disgusting in my view. She has thankfully gone on to have a DS, and I am over the moon for her, but still think that there's a limit on to what's an acceptable way to be treated despite someone's pain.
I don’t think I would have told her about the pregnancy or the miscarriage. There will be other friends who can better support you during this, she isn’t the person to be sharing this with at the moment because she is dealing with her own pain. You can still be friends I think, there might need to be some boundaries around this kind of topic. Sorry for your loss
I actually didn’t really tell her to get support. We are just used to sharing this type of intimate things in the past, and I felt like keeping this from her would indeed indicate that our friendship is not what is was. I guess I would have assumed a simple “sorry about that” or “glad u told me, sorry it didn’t work out”. Instead of a burst of pain making me feel like it was a terrible thing to do telling her.
@Dubya thanks for sharing your story. It seems like your friendship never really returned?
My friendships have never recovered and I've found the pool of friends who I did lean on/talk to has gotten progressively smaller as they move on with their lives whilst I'm still stuck on the ttc rollercoaster - I had primary infertility then secondary and now permanently infertile after 2 ruptured ectopics and just started 3rd cycle of IVF. I gave up sharing with friends/family a long time ago - even with friends who had suffered a miscarriage before as once you reach recurrent levels even they don't know what to say anymore. Even my IVF friends group is withering away as most of them had success with their first or second cycle. If friends ask how things are going on that front I'll give them an update - most don't ask though!
I think your friend just couldn't get past the initial BFP - i used to have that initial jealousy and bitterness when going through primary infertility
There is that poem called Solitude - laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep along - it should have been written about infertility x
@Jmommy no it hasn't, been in reality that's more about her saying she was pleased that I couldn't have anymore behind my back. Otherwise I would have given her time and space and left the door open for when she felt ready; as is we have both moved on. I would wait and give eachother space and see what happens
@Dubya what a terrible thing to say to a friend. There certainly is a limit to what you should tolerate from anyone.
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