Ask Amy: I can’t be happy about my friend’s baby

Dear Amy: I am a grown woman, in my 60s, very happily married.

I have always been infertile (that in itself is a long story) due to medical complications early in life, and I have never handled the situation of my infertility well at all.

My husband has a grown son from his first marriage.

I recently struck up a friendship with a lovely younger woman. We have many things in common, despite the difference in age. She is married and has a young child.

She has always said she only wanted one child but recently has started talking about having a second.

If she does, I will be unable to be happy for her because I have never been capable of being genuinely happy for any expectant mother (because it never happened for me).

Please don’t recommend counseling. I have tried it in the past and it does not help.

I want to be happy for her, but I can’t, and this is breaking my heart.

– Can’t Get Past the Hurt

Dear Can’t Get Past: I wonder if a counselor has ever told you that it is not necessary for you to be happy (genuinely or otherwise) for a pregnant woman.

All you need to do is to accept it as a fact of this woman’s life, along with accepting the feelings this brings up in you.

One way to cope with challenging emotions is to recognize them when they arise, to accept the reasons behind them, and to allow yourself to feel them, understanding that they will subside.

It would help if you explained your history to your friend. You can tell her that pregnancy brings up complicated emotions for you.

If you find you are ruminating excessively (It sounds as if you are), then talking it through with a counselor really would be in order, even if you believe it hasn’t helped in the past.

Dear Amy: My longtime male friend and I have been together for over 15 years. He lives just a few miles away.

We talked about marriage for a while, but that impulse waned as time went by.

I think we both believe that we have a good relationship and that marrying or living together might change that.

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