- 5 months ago
- Wedding: September 2015
One of my dearest friends (now in her mid-40s) has always wanted children and dreamed of being a mother. She had infertility issues, and after years of trying and several miscarriages, she and her husband decided not to pursue any more treatments. He has a child from a previous marriage, so he really wasn’t that upset about it. She, on the other hand, was devastated.
She wanted to foster a child and possibly adopt; he did not. All the stress took its toll, and the marriage ended (he basically found a job in another country and left her). Although she’d considered it, she realized she doesn’t have the necessary resources to be a single adoptive parent. She is surrounded by brothers, sisters, and friends who have kids and spouses and the suburban family life she’s always wanted, and she’s continually grieved that she has none of that, understandably so.
The problem is that her grief is so overwhelming that she has spent the last few years lashing out at family and friends, who only want to help. She’s driving people away. So many of them have told me they’ve backed off and can’t stand being around her anymore. She is angry most of the time, and she snaps at people when they try to show empathy. In fact, she snaps at people pretty much every other time as well.
She’s extremely bitter and resentful when she hears about someone else’s wedding or new baby and makes it known. In fact, people are now toning down their excitement over happy family news now. We all walk on eggshells around her. We’re constantly afraid of saying the wrong thing to upset her.
I am childfree by choice, so I think it’s why she is able to talk to me without anger—I don’t have kids, so she doesn’t resent me. I’m glad for this because I think she will continue to come to me to talk about how she’s feeling.
She most definitely needs to see a counselor, but she says therapy won’t help her so she won’t go. She went to a support group for a few months, then quit because she said she didn’t belong. She isn’t seeking any help at the moment. She tried dating, but after a difficult one-year relationship after her divorce she got disillusioned by that quickly.
My question is: How do I help my friend? My heart aches for her. I just don’t know what to do. I thought about having an intervention with her family, but that would upset her so much, she’d stop talking to us altogether.
I understand why she is so angry and inconsolable. I truly do. But I don’t want to see her so miserable the rest of her life. And I certainly don’t want her hurting her relationships. She’s a good, kind, fun person; I want that part of her to shine again.
Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated.