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The damage that has been done

04/04/2012

Belle

I got to be a care-free newlywed for one week shy of six months. Married in May 2010, Mr. Husband and I embarked on what we hoped would be three blissful years of selfishness. Three years of sleeping late, of taking trips, of drinking wine and eating cheese. Three wonderful years of just us and then, drum roll please, we would reproduce.

Just like that.

After five months and three weeks of marriage, I got sick. The sickness lasted months and was incredibly scary and emotionally taxing. It tested our marriage.

In January 2011 the doctors urged we consider children now, in the event I later require immune suppressing drugs. Were we ready to give this a shot? Were we really committed to the idea of starting our family so soon? Our marriage was tested.

After three months without a period we see a fertility specialist.  After more tests, several doctors and gallons of tears we get a diagnosis of ovulation disorder, possible Thin PCOS. I am devastated and feel like a failure. I loathe my body more than I ever have. I have alarming thoughts. Our marriage was tested.

As we struggle through IVF and the nightmare that is infertility, Mr. Husband begins preparing to graduate. He starts looking for a job in January and after months of searching, he comes up empty-handed. He is tense, angry and unresponsive. He is depressed and he has every right to be. Our marriage was tested.

To say our marriage has been “tested” can seem like an understatement. Some days I feel the universe waltzed up and took a gigantic shit on it. Lately we have been sleeping in separate bedrooms. We are tense and snap at each other. Some days I can’t stand to be near him, and some days he can’t stand to be near me. We so rarely have anything good to say that it has become a chore to have a conversation. All questions lead to infertility or unemployment. All responses lead to swearing or tears.

This is not what I thought marriage would be like. We wrote our wedding vows and left out the traditional “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.” At the time it did not matter. We wrote vows that spoke to the people we were then. How much could that change?  A lot, evidently.

During our two years of marriage we have seen sides of one another we never expected. I am ashamed of the weak, hopeless woman I have let myself become. I have seen a depressed and child-like stubbornness in my strong husband that shocks me.

I worry we are frantically clinging to the idea of a baby in hopes it is the magic bullet that will right everything.  

Over the weekend I said, for the six millionth time, “I hope this transfer works… All I want is a baby.” Mr. Husband responded, saying, “Me too. That would make everything ok.”

Since then I can’t shake the feeling that a baby won’t solve anything. That maybe we are so broken there is no repairing. Can infertility do this to you? Can it rip you and your relationship apart so much that you are no longer fit for the thing that caused all the initial turmoil?

What do you do when your vows have been broken? Today is CD8 and I am overwhelmed with uncertainty. Can our fragile shell of a marriage handle the devastation of a failed transfer? Or worse, are we ready to embrace new life if it succeeds?

Is it possible to fix the damage infertility has caused?

Mr. Husband, today I take you to be my husband and companion for the rest of our days.
I promise to love, honor and adore you.
To communicate fully and fearlessly while listening carefully.
To encourage you during times of doubt,
and rejoice with you during times of triumph.
To be slow to judge and quick to forgive.
To trust you and be trustworthy.
To always seek adventure.
But, most of all, I promise to always love your jeep no matter how smelly and loud it may become.
In all things that life may bring us, my love and devotion are yours.

Belle, today I take you to be my wife,
fellow traveller through all life’s journeys.
I promise you my love, honesty and patience.
I promise to bring calm to turmoil.
I promise to speak gentle words to uncomfortable silence.
I promise open ears with sealed lips.
I promise loud laughter and celebration of success.
I promise fearlessness and faith for the future.
I promise new excitement and clear memory of the past.
But, most of all, I promise to love your cat no matter what time in the morning it is.
You have my love, my trust and my faith in all matters big and small.
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45 Comments

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  1. April 4, 2012

    Belle, thank you for writing this post. In this community I feel I mist frequently read about amazing husbands who are supportive and perfect, relationships that work through anything and I just don’t get it. Am I the only one who has struggled and doubted my relationship and chosen partner in the face of infertility?! This post is raw and honest and I so appreciate you sharing yourself.

    I don’t think there are any clear answers to your questions… there never seem to be in mine. We just hold on for as long as we feel its right to. My hope is that these relationships that have been tested to the max will prevail but we can’t really know. I notice my own relationship goes through cycles of pain and anger and then come back around to love and affection. Unfortunately the hard times seem to last longer and longer. I’ve learned to just take one day at a time and I’m here when you want to vent or talk. Thinking of you, xoxo

  2. April 4, 2012

    I have nothing insightful to say, other than I feel that I could have written this post.

    I hate how fragile infertility has made my life.

  3. April 4, 2012

    Belle I am so sorry that you guys are in a bad place. I wish I had answers and knew that a baby would bring back the perfect marriage. I don’t know any of that. I will just hold out hope that you and Mr. Husband are able to repair the damage that infertility has caused. It is a crippling prognosis for sure, and I think one that many relationships suffer from.

  4. April 4, 2012

    Thank you for your honesty and openness.

    I think there are more of us going through the same thing than we let on. I’m still a newlywed and feel I should still have immunity from marital woes, but when you start off a marriage where one partner is infertile (me) and the other is unemployed (my husband), things get dicey very quickly. Some days are wonderful, but some days are just downright shitty. I too wonder if we’ll make it through this. I feel like a failure as a woman because I can’t seem to get pregnant and he feels like a failure as a man because he’s not the breadwinner in the house. Can our battered egos weather this storm together? Can we hold out until I have a baby and/or he starts working? I guess only time will tell.

    I wish I had some helpful advice to give you, but it seems the only thing I know how to do is muddle through, one day at a time.

  5. April 4, 2012

    Belle, I feel like these could be my words. I also see all these posts about loving, supportive husbands who share all the hopes, dreams, fears and disappointments and I wonder where I went wrong.

    My DH says he doesn’t want to spend time with me coz I’m always irritable and snappy. So I have to put on a front and never ever share my emotions. But I know I’m not being true to myself. I deserve a man who can love and support me through what is probably the most difficult times of my life. But I do love this man so very much.

    I don’t have any answers either 😦

  6. April 4, 2012

    Infertility is so unfair. It tests relationships in ways that most relationships are never tested, and usually right at the beginning before you have enough shared experiences to lean on. This post broke my heart… and yours is definitely not the first post about this exact same thing that I’ve read in the ALI community. A lot of people are going through this, too. It’s not fair. *hugs*

  7. Jen #
    April 4, 2012

    Yes. Infertility has the ability to suck the life out of EVERYTHING. It’s so emotionally and physically and mentally draining, working on your marriage just seems exhausting.

    Just know that you’re not alone. That it isn’t your fault or your husband’s fault. When I feel the way you’re feeling now, I try to remember what it is I love about my husband, and then FORCE MYSELF to treat him as the person I remember I love. It helps. He ends up in a better place for it and so do I.

    Ugh. As if robbing us of hopes and dreams of babies weren’t enough, the infertility monster just has to involve itself in every aspect of our lives, doesn’t it?

  8. April 4, 2012

    When my husband and I accepted the fact that we would need ART in order to have a baby and decided to start the process, we essentially started committing slow marital suicide. We have to fight every day to keep this thing from becoming bigger than us. Because life without a baby is better than life without each other, if that’s what it comes down to in the end.

    I feel your pain. And it sucks.

  9. April 4, 2012

    Belle I am so sorry that you are in this place. How do you proceed with really intense fertility treatments when your marriage is not in a good place? I totally feel for you.

    I have 2 friends that got divorced right around a year after having a baby (neither of whom had the added stress of infertility). It’s extremely difficult for them. Maybe getting your feeling out is what you need and it will all be great…but the fact that you are both unhappy now is something you shouldn’t ignore. Have you tried counseling? Is it feasible to take some time of from TTC and see how that affects your relationship? I know all of these things are extremely difficult. I hope we can support you in any way possible.

  10. Amy #
    April 4, 2012

    You’re not alone in this – I don’t write about it on my blog because too many people from real life read, but the four miscarriages did a number (four numbers?) on us. Even if we’re successful this time, as it looks will be the case, I worry about a foundation with too many cracks. We spend way more time annoyed and frustrated with each other (a lot of it is financial stress, too, though we’re at least both employed, if underpaid), and I hate that it feels like we’re somehow wasting this time and not enjoying this pregnancy like we really should be. It’s harsh, for sure. I especially feel you on the separate bedrooms thing – we do it more because I never could learn to sleep through his awful snoring, but I hate that we don’t have that aspect to keep what closeness we do still have intact. Sucks – but thank you so much for writing honestly about it, and giving us a place to say ME TOO.

  11. April 4, 2012

    Great post. I’m fortunate to not face the same troubles…yet…but we get close sometimes. For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents: I do not think that having a baby will solve your problems, no more than it would save any other troubled relationship. HOWEVER, I don’t think ANY relationship is beyond repair. As long as both of you are willing to work on things, there is no such thing as permanent damage. The vows that you wrote are beautiful. Without knowing the intimate details of your marriage, just based off of my own experiences, maybe you both could refresh yourselves on your vows to be encouraging, be slow to judge, and have open ears with sealed lips. (those are my faves!) Neither of you are to blame for what you’ve faced so both of you should let go of guilt. You made the best decisions you could at the time based on the facts you had and there’s no reason to hold that against each other or against yourself. And so what if you left out the health and wealth stuff in your vows to begin with. There’s no reason you can’t vow that to each other now, as long as that’s something you both still want. I hate when marriage gets hard. But to me, marriage was never about a promise of sunshine and rainbows forever. Instead, it was a promise that neither of us would ever have to endure another storm alone, and that we would always have someone to enjoy the sunshine with. I hope things get better for you all around…for your marriage and a successful transfer! You both deserve some sunshine! 🙂 ***hugs***

  12. Esperanza #
    April 4, 2012

    It is really brave to be honest about your relationship, especially when it’s not going the way you hope it would. I write a lot about our struggles and I feel like I’m one of the few who do. It always makes me feel really alone that no one else writes about the ways in which their marriage feels tested or imperfect.

    That said, I wish you weren’t going through this.

    I would also say that while having a baby will obviously heal some wounds, it could also be really difficult. Our marriage was tested greatly with the highly hoped for birth of our daughter. Finally, after 18 months, we retreated to couples counseling because we weren’t sure we could make it together as parents. It was just so hard. My advice would be to work as hard as you can on your current issues because a baby can bring out other stuff as well. Maybe it won’t for you guys, maybe a baby will be the salve to cure your hurts, but if it’s not, it’s hard to dedicate the time to your relationship when you’re caring for a small child. If you have the funds for couples counseling I would highly recommend it. It has SAVED our marriage. I’d be lost with out it, and we only go every two weeks.

    Good luck.

    • April 5, 2012

      Esperanza, I have actually read some of your posts on couples counseling and have tucked a few aside to help build my case for why I think counseling might be good for us. It is such a hard thing to initiate with your partner, though, and I suspect the first appointment is even more difficult. I come from lovely parents who did not address their problems before having children. While my brother and I brought joy to their lives, I don’t think we “fixed” what was broken. Actually, in ways I think we exasterbated it. One of my main life goals is to learn from others mistakes. I don’t want to repeat history but am not quite sure how to bring the discussion to light. Would you consider sharing how you and your husband started the journey through counseling? Or if you have already written this post, would you share the link here for myself and other readers? Thank you for your honest comments and posts.

  13. Jo #
    April 4, 2012

    I love this post, and felt myself nodding along as I read. IF has done a number on my marriage, too. There are days I wonder if I made a mistake marrying Mo, and other days when I can’t imagine anyone but him beside me on this journey. I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you this: I am a stubborn lady, and I think that has been our saving grace. I refuse to give up (on having a baby, or on my marriage) and somehow as dark as things sometimes get, they always get better eventually. I can honestly say, after ten years TTC and no baby, that I am still glad (most days) that I married my husband. Do I wish we’d handled all this shit better? Hells yeah. But we are human — we fight — and yes, sometimes we sleep in separate beds. A baby will not change who we are, how we communicate, or how we handle stress. But achieving a shared goal after all this time? I can’t help but think that WILL make a difference.

    Thinking of you and sending love and hugs.

    Jo

    • April 5, 2012

      Hi Jo, thanks for your thoughts. “But achieving a shared goal after all this time? I can’t help but thing that will make a difference.” This is a beautiful thought and gives me lots of hope.

  14. April 4, 2012

    I can’t think of a single person living with infertility who hasn’t been in this place with their partner. The truth is infertility CAN rip a marriage apart. Heck, babies can break up a relationship (contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe). And there are too many stories of couples who have finally been able to expand their family only to have it ripped apart again by divorce.

    Grey and I went to couple’s counseling right before we were diagnosed. And we’ve continued to see the counselor separately and together as we’ve encountered each of our losses and other hardships caused by this journey. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent and has only helped us move forward on this path together.

    I wish you luck as you move forward.

    • April 5, 2012

      Thank you for your comment, Cristy. I’m sending you and your husband positive thoughts. I know you are going through your own hell right now. xoxo

  15. April 4, 2012

    I read this earlier in the day and then I shared it with my husband tonight. Reading it out loud I started crying. How do we prevent this from taking over our lives? I know it is all about balance, but that is so much easier said than done. For some of us, there were just a few simple steps, get married and then have a baby, what do you do with your life then? What happens if there is no baby? That is what I have been struggling with lately. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so candidly, they obviously strike a chord in many of us…hoping you can find some sense of peace with whatever happens over these next few months…thinking of you…

    • April 5, 2012

      Lindsay, I think that by reading this to your husband you took the first big leap towards taking back your days and your marriage. I’m so proud of you for saying these things to him, even if you were “borrowing words.” I have not been able to say these things to my Husband yet. I only hope he reads my blog. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be ready to voice my concerns.

  16. April 4, 2012

    Thank you for your honest and beautiful post. Infertility and unemployment, as well as the emotional and financial stressors that come with both of them, are nothing but incredibly difficult. I often think, “You win, Universe, you win.” I hope you find peace and joy in whatever form it takes.

    • April 5, 2012

      Thanks sweetie. I hope all the women who have echoed similar worries find peace and joy in whatever our future holds.

  17. April 4, 2012

    You have certainly been through a lot in a short time. I wish there was some way to make it easier. Hang in there!

  18. April 4, 2012

    I just discovered this blog, and while I am sad you are going through this, not only are you not alone, no ones partner is perfect. My husband is a wonderful man, a good person, but he has Aspergers and is not usually very emotionally connected. I got to my appointments alone, I dont talk to him much about whats happening or stressing or upsetting me, and our relationship has been tested in lots of ways and on lots of different levels.

    I try to write about it honestly. I do love him and I see a lot of humor in the way we have dealt with my infertility. But sometimes the humor is only covering how scared or worried I am. I read this quote on another blog this past weekend and I think it applies here.

    “Infertility is like kryptonite to reason and logic. When reason and logic are obliterated by that kryptonite, what takes their place is the mental equivalent of a Swiss army knife; a single tool that can make you question your faith, challenge a marriage, wreck a friendship, destroy a savings account…all at once” – http://infertilit-he.com/

    I think your post is honest and brave and sadly, a lot more common than any of us want to admit.

    • April 5, 2012

      Jeanette, thanks for stopping by! I must admit I am shocked at the number of women who have admitted to experiencing the same thing. I only hope that the first step to rebuilding is admitting things are broken. I will you and your husband all the best and I look forward to following your journey.

  19. April 5, 2012

    Everyone who goes through infertility has times like this. I have said the same thing to my hubby about “will a baby really fix everything?” . In this situation, thats the main problem – so yes, it will. We may have new problems then…but it will fix these issues.

    Just remember this: men and women react differently. TO EVERYTHING. Don’t beat yourself up for how you react or judge him too harshly – infertility tends to bring out our emotional differences. And they can be VAST.

    Love you and sending you hugs. It will be ok. The things that are worth anything in life don’t usually come easy, but they are SO worth fighting for.

  20. April 5, 2012

    As if the fear, pain and stress infertility cause aren’t enough, it has to go and hurt relationships. I’m so sorry you and Mr. Husband have gotten to this place and I’m truly hoping the infertility will bring you closer and make your relationship stronger in the end. It’s not fair that your plans were disrupted and you two have had to deal with so much in such a short time. Sending you hugs!!!!

  21. April 5, 2012

    This rings a lot of bells. I also got ill shortly after getting married and it was a year of recovery and testing and disability. Then, all the infertility stuff for me and my dumb body (Darcy’s samples remain among the best they’ve ever seen.) My body craps out on me a lot. And Darcy, he doesn’t take my bodily failures well. His health is grade-A: the dude never gets sick. He has the constitution of a
    Viking. So it’s hard. Thanks for opening up about this. I think so many can relate. Good
    luck.

  22. April 5, 2012

    Oh Belle, I’m so sorry to read this. Infertility can take a huge toll on relationship and that’s just another crappy thing about it. Beautiful vows you gave to each other. I hope by acknowledge them you might be able to start talking again. I don’t know if a baby would fix it as it comes with new challenges but since that’s your hearts longing I think it would let up a little bit at least. Take care and be gentle on yourself.

  23. veetamia #
    April 5, 2012

    Marriage is hard on its own! Then drop the IF bomb on top of it and it can be a recipe for chaos and heartache. I’m sorry you’re going through this rough patch, I don’t think anyone that has been down the IF road has been exempt of this kind of hardship – myself included. I completely take responsibility of being one of the bloggers who talks wonders about my husband, but it goes without saying that my marriage is not perfect and neither is my husband. It just feels good [to me] to have a space where to shout out the good things. I should maybe start balancing it the other way once in a while.
    You both wrote beautiful vows and from reading it seems to me that you had a strong foundation starting out, there’s always hope to go back and strengthen it. I think it’s courageous of you to voice out your struggles, and that’s the hardest step!
    Lots of hugs and know that you are definitely not alone on this.

  24. EmHart #
    April 5, 2012

    Oh hun, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I can’t do anything more than echo the words of these wise women above me. I am just on the first steps of this journey, and I am so grateful to you for your honesty about what may lie ahead. I have never had couples counseling, but I know every other counselor I have been to has helped me deal with whatever was wrong. It is something to try at least.

  25. April 5, 2012

    So sorry you guys are in such a bad place at the moment. I wish I could give you useful advice, but all I can say is hold on to each other and your love!! Hold on for dear life, because it’s all that matters! Having lived with both infertility and my husbands unemployment of and on (creative industry with few stable jobs) during the first 6 years of our marriage, I have learned that love can conquer all. But it’s really really hard work and there is no simple recipe, but we are stronger for it for sure!! Now that our financial and living situation is probably as bad as it has ever been, it helps me tremendously to know that we have conquered so much already, we can handle this as well. And so can you and your husband!!
    Don’t give up hope and don’t give up on your love!!! big hugs

    • April 7, 2012

      Irene, I actually thought about you while I was writing this post as I know you and your husband are having similar struggles. It warms my heart to know that you guys have come out on the other side, stronger and closer. Thank you for sharing.

  26. 35life #
    April 5, 2012

    I really commend your bravery for pouring out your pain. Like many other comments on here, I think we’ve all felt our own version of this and it’s so hard. I know my husband and I have been having some rough moments and discussions lately. Just the other day he said he wants a baby so we don’t get divorced. I’ve never heard him like that before. He told me that he’s so worried about me and wants us to be ok again. At that point, I realized we have to be ok with us for now and then see what happens for us in the future. As I read all your examples of being tested, I also nodded my head. The specifics of our tests were different but they tested our marriage, that’s for sure. Infertility has been the hardest one of all. I hope you begin to feel better. I love your vows, btw. Hang in there.

  27. April 5, 2012

    Just emailed you.

  28. sangela71 #
    April 6, 2012

    Here from Mel’s Friday Blog Round-Up. . . .

    First off, I want to say that I am sorry that you and your husband have had to deal with so much during your first two years of marriage. That truly sucks.

    Second, I wanted to share that, if my experience is any indication, finally being “successful” at fertility treatments may further test your marriage.

    After 40 failed cycles trying to get pregnant with my eggs, we did a donor egg IVF cycle which resulted in twin boys born 11 weeks ago. I can honestly say that my husband and I have bickered more in the past two months than we did during three years of infertility. Becoming parents is hard, and becoming parents to twin newborns who arrived 6 weeks prematurely is even harder.

    I hope I’m not being too much of a downer with this comment. I just want to give you some food for thought. . . . having a baby will not fix things, and may actually cause more strain.

  29. sangela71 #
    April 6, 2012

    Here from Mel’s Blog Round-Up. . .

    First let me say that I am sorry that you & your husband have had to endure so much during the first two years of your marriage. Life can be so unfair at times.

    My husband and I “pulled the goalie” before we were married, so by the time of our wedding in November 2008, we had already been TTC naturally for over seven months. 40 failed cycles later, when I still wasn’t pregnant, we turned to donor egg IVF and were fortunate that it worked on the first try. Our twin boys who were the result of that successful cycle were born at 34 weeks’ gestation 11 weeks ago.

    We congratulated ourselves often that our struggle with infertility had not adversely affected our marriage. I think we truly felt during my pregnancy that our union was strong enough to withstand anything after that.

    Enter twin preemies. WIth dealing with the care of our sons, my recovery from preeclampsia and an emergency c-section, and adjusting to parenthood, we have fought more in the past two months than we did during three years of infertility and treatments.

    I don’t want to be a downer, just want to offer another perspective and some food for thought. Having a baby likely won’t fix anything and may, in fact, be another test of your marriage.

    • April 7, 2012

      Thank you for this comment and your honesty. First, congratulations on your sweet babes – I absolutely love hearing success stories from the ALI community. Second, I can’t imagine the stress you guys are going through right now. We have had some very serious discussions about one vs. two embryos and both agreed that twins could very well be the last straw in our relationship. After much soul searching and reading about statics we decided that one embryo is best for our little family. I do hope that you and your husband find peace and are able to work though this tough time.

  30. April 6, 2012

    IF changed my marriage. In good ways, in bad ways. It made us realize that things aren’t always going to be easy. Sometimes things are going to be horribly, awfully hard. Sometimes love isn’t just there. Sometimes it is a choice. A big, huge, hard choice to stay. It’s committing and recommitting. A baby won’t fix things. Mostly because it’s unfair to put that kind of responsibility on another person, especially a child, who wasn’t involved in the messing up of the thing in the first place.

    I don’t write about this much, and not as honestly as I’d really like to, because so much of our families read my blog. And I simply don’t want to open myself and our marriage up to that much input. I so respect the courage it took for you to put all this out there.

    Basically, what I’m saying is this. I hear ya, sister. I’m there, too. But it does get better.

    • April 7, 2012

      “A baby won’t fix things. Mostly because it’s unfair to put that kind of responsibility on another person, especially a child, who wasn’t involved in the messing up of the thing in the first place.” This is exactly my thought on the topic. Thank you for stepping forward and putting those words down. I needed to see them. xoxo

  31. April 7, 2012

    We have a bit of a similar situation – we have been married 1 and a half years. In that one and a half years, hubby has lost his job (June 2011), filed for bankruptcy (November 2011 with debt from a previous relationship) and has been involved in a lawsuit with his ex wife. He is still unemployed (though hopefully not for long), his ex-wife is still crazy, and we are still infertile. It is a lot for a newly married couple to endure.
    We have definitely had “do you think we are going to make it through this?” moments. I don’t blog about all the craziness much because some of it is still ongoing and I don’t want to mess up anything by blogging about it. I thought the first couple of years were supposed to be blissful?
    I worry sometimes too that we are relying on a child to fix something that a child cannot fix. I worry that I get so wrapped up in having children that ignore my relationship. I have thought about couples counseling for us, too, just so we can stay on the same team. I’m sorry that you have been through all you have been through so soon in your marriage. Some aspects of life just plain aren’t fair. Could you guys take a mini trip somewhere in attempt to re-charge? (I know not easy with the financial aspect of infertility) Do some couples counseling? I wish there were something I could say or do that would be more helpful/…..

  32. April 9, 2012

    I am sorry you are going through this, but as you can see, you are definitely not alone. My dh was a lot more supportive than many while we were going through stillbirth & infertility — but they do take a toll. He is a wonderful, wonderful guy who mostly lives up to the picture I paint in my blog — BUT, he lacks self-confidence and struggles with anxiety & depression, & stillbirth & infertility most certainly did not help matters. I don’t write about the bad days too much in my blog (even though there are times when I am dying to vent), because he reads it and gets mad when he thinks I am airing our private problems on the Internet. When things are good, they are SO good… but there are days when I think, you know, we decided to live childfree because at least we still had each other — but if days like this are all I have to look forward to….!

    We have been to counselling on & off through the years (although I practically had to drag him there), and it did help. I have also gone by myself on occasion when he wouldn’t come with me, and that can be really helpful too.

    Maybe some financial counselling would also help you get through the budget stuff while he continues to look for work? (You’re certainly not alone in that regard right now either…!)

  33. April 9, 2012

    I’m sorry you two are going through such a difficult time. It is so unfair what IF does to a marriage. My Hubby and I have had to work so hard (and still are) to keep our marriage strong. We have had many difficult times and I know there will be many more since we will be doing more treatments. I hope and pray you two can get through this and come out stronger. Love you hon!

  34. April 10, 2012

    Hi belle I only just read this post. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s crappy, on top of everything else.
    I am lucky because my husband is very very easygoing and optimistic, and because our period in ART was short. Stressful but short. We had some issues. The things I did that helped were to talk to my sister, not always him, when he pissed me off, to clarify my perspective before talking to him, to get advice from the counsellor at ivf about his reactions, we agreed before marriage he would get counselling prior to being a dad because of difficulties with his own father, and creating space, even on bedrest, for time apart. Time apart is really healing. I repeatedly rang his mates wives and asked them to tee up blokey outings, and he always came back in a better place, dealing with things in a way that hundreds of hours of conversations with me could never achieve. Your relationship is like a plant that will keep growing and changing, baby or no baby. There is no deadline to grow it. Pregnancy will change things- many in a magical, improving way, some things will challenge it. First, look after yourself, your thinking, your feelings, your joy in life . Second, get him to look after his needs. Third, come back together and work on marriage. Some of the most productive discussions we’ve had are when i explain to him when to speak and when to listen, when to allow my reactions and when to step in. He listened, and it short circuits IF and pregnancy clashes. Of course you can both do it. A baby won’t make it better, or worse, just different. A different way to love each other as you watch the other become ready to be a parent, a different appreciation of the other’s strengths.

  35. April 20, 2012

    Shared success does make things better. Albeit temporarily. Kind of like falling in love and getting married, ooh, the presents, the great sex, basking in the glow of all the positive attention and encouragement. Shared failure and grief can makes things worse because it does bring out sides of one another that are not pretty. People process grief differently and if one’s feelings are not validated by the other, it can be difficult. Your friends tip toe around you and no one really knows what to say. My husband and I were together for 8 years before adopting our child. We had our struggles, our own bags of karma to carry and bringing home a child was an incredible joy. Followed by the reality of the often mundane routine that children adore and adults hate. All the above comments are great advice about communication (of which we are still struggling with) no matter what, surround yourself with positivity and appreciation, even when you don’t feel like it.

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