4.) Be a man of protection – I truly believe that the greatest suffering men face during infertility is not the actual fact of infertility, but watching helplessly their wives suffer through infertility. Our greatest suffering is watching our wives suffer. Don't get me wrong. Childlessness and fatherlessness hurts me in many other ways, but I wish this was a suffering I could just take all upon my shoulders. But I can't. We are in this struggle together for however long the Lord allows it. However, we men are not completely helpless.
We can still protect our wives from this suffering by shielding them from hurtful comments, standing up for them or just listening to them when they are hurt by others with their thoughtless words and actions, and being peaceful and encouraging during very difficult, emotional times (like Cycle Day 1). We can also protect by going to some of their medical appointments (at their discretion). That is, wives often feel a lot more comfortable with all the uncomfortable procedures if you are simply there in the waiting room or to drive back with them from their appointment. Perhaps you may want to treat them to some of their favorite things to do or to eat on those days. They do deserve a break, a lot more than we do because they take the brunt of the infertility medical treatments and suffering given their fertility cycles. Again, it is not an accident, therefore, that they are more likely than us to blog – because they need the support more.
Another important place to protect wives is at parties or even in our parishes. Often women who have children will want to talk only about their joys and crosses with children. This is fine and good and we don't want to steal their joy away, but it can be emotionally draining on our wives. So make sure she has an 'out'. Invite her over to talk with the guys as guys hardly ever talk about their children or if it is just too much than be willing to go home early from the party/parish sometimes. This is a great way to protect our wives.
Finally, especially protect your wives on difficult days, like Mother's day or Christmas. Go the extra mile to make those meaningful days by celebrating your marital love in some way. Plan an elaborate date, go on a vacation, or buy flowers and a gift. Do something to protect them from these hard days. Go to an earlier Mass if necessary in order to avoid families. Also, try to protect them by calling your parish office and politely requesting that a prayer intention be included on Mother's day, Father's Day, Christmas, etc. for those struggling with infertility. Ask that this intention be included also during national infertility awareness week. We need recognition of our suffering and one great way is to include an intention during the weekly prayer intentions said at Mass.