The Importance of Friendship in Infertility

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

― George Eliot

The friendship effect: Mountains become molehills

How it works: In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers asked participants to stand at the base of a steep hill and estimate how tough it would be to climb. Those standing with a friend gauged the ascent to be less steep compared with those who were alone.

What’s more… The longer the study participants had known their friends, the more gentle they estimated the incline to be. 

The Hidden Benefits of Friendship

Where would we be without each other?

Women were born to be in community with one another. We were made to celebrate together, create together, and grieve together. Women are beings of community; we are like Mother Nature, connected in every way to all that surrounds us–especially each other.

After reading today of the heartbreak of a new friends unsuccessful attempt at IVF (try number four I believe), I literally felt my heart ache for her. I began to wonder, how we survive these devastating blows. How is it that we keep going on, even when we feel we have no reserves left? Perhaps it is because when we face the enormous mountain in front of us, we are not alone.

So today I stand humbly in the valley between peaks, looking to my left, to my right, in front, and behind me. And with misty eyes, I say, thank you.

Thank you for breaking yourselves open in front of me so I could see that I am not the only one who covers over gaping scars with pretty words and complacent smiles.
Thank you for showing up on my doorstep, opening the door without knocking, putting your arms around me, and telling me not to give up and “forget what one stupid doctor tells you.”

Thank you for telling me of your secret disdain for those Christmas cards that come one right after another with baby faces plastered all over them, and in so doing helping me to feel not so alone in my hidden bitterness.

Thank you for being the one whose couch I fall onto when this world exhausts me to no end and I just want to give up. It’s your food that fills the emptiness in me that I didn’t even really know was there.

Thank you for celebrating my courage, reminding me it’s there. And for writing my story so I could see myself through you.

And thank you for being the one I call when I can’t hold the tears in any longer. The one who always knows how to set me back up on my feet again, with a little push to get me going (just like the push you gave me when I was a little girl on the swingset reaching for the sky, believing no reason existed that I shouldn’t reach it).

Because really, what do we women live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?

I love you dearly.



  1. >Thank goodness for wonderful friends. They always lift you up during these tough times.

  2. […] blogged about this research earlier this year in The Importance of Friendship post , yet still I find myself in awe at the truth of this study. The steep mountains of our lives […]

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