Men Have Feelings Too

by | 21 Sep 2014

Most of the time I imagine I’m writing for a woman who is kind of like me. My book, The Pursuit of Motherhood, is dedicated to ‘all the women who know how it feels’. So when a man tells me they’ve read it, I’m always a bit surprised as well as really very touched indeed.

This week I had an email from an old family friend who I hadn’t seen for years. He and his wife had, by chance, heard the Radio 4 documentary, A Family Without A Child, that I appeared in last month. He wrote to say that they’d bought the book and that he was half way through it. They are a generation older than me and I’d always thought of them them as a cool couple who had made a choice not to have children. But what I now know is that they had invisibly handed the baton of infertility onto me and we were connected in a way we never knew existed. He finished his email by saying that he thought my book was not just for women but also for all the men who had the hope of being partners in creating a child. It made me want to re-write my dedication to all the women who know how it feels, and all the men too.

Later the same day, I got a new follower on twitter: @MakeFertCon – a new national campaign to provide better support for men experiencing infertility. I followed back (I’m polite like that) and by return was asked whether I had any views on the taboo that surrounds male infertility. A tweet didn’t seem the place to go into the detail of my day (in the same way that’s it’s not the place to tell the world you’re in Starbucks having a coffee, unless you happen to be the Chief Exec of Costa in which case that would be interesting). So I simply replied that I thought it was a ‘massive issue’. It was yet another reminder (and note to self) of how men are so often left out of the thinking, just expected to go into a cupboard with a pot and page 3 to perform.

So if you’re reading this and you are a woman a bit like me please do what I’ve done and sign @MakeFertCon’s government petition to improve the treatment of male infertility. Because men have feelings too.


  1. kiftsgate

    What do you mean men have feelings?!!? Joking.. I completely agree that men should be more understood. It’s hard for them, especially with all the comments that a man is a real one of he can get his wife pregnant etc.. my husband has been really grumpy and sad for weeks now and this weekend I managed to finally sit down with him to talk: turns out he’s tired of waiting for a baby… I forget sometimes that it’s hard for him too.. xx

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Totally – men feel and express it in different ways but they definitely do feel it. I’ll be thinking of you both over the next two weeks with your lazy blasts and hoping that sleeping has been good for them and they’ve now got lots of strength to grow! Jessica x

  2. Dee Armstrong, Natural Fertility Coaching and IVF Support

    Such an important issue – last month a man came along to the support group I run for the first time, brave soul! I think he found it helpful and the other women there apart from his partner found it really useful to have his perspective on things. My view is that men are still sidelined in fertility investigations and treatment which are so woman-centric and there’s so much more that could be done.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      I completely agree and I applaud any partner who goes to a support group. A brave and brilliant thing to do. Jessica x