Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Marital strain

DH was in Phoenix a few weeks back, and while sitting in church I made the comment to my very fertile friend D how much I missed him the week he was away. Her comment...

"Yeah you don't have kids yet. You wouldn't miss him like that if you had kids."

To which I replied...

"No we don't, but you have never been through infertility treatment and had "timed sex" or had your hormones all over the place from fertility drugs, or had to drop off your husbands semen at a lab to have it analyzed, or..."

She stopped me before I could continue to list things that strained our marriage and made it just as"real" as hers. And said, "Yeah, yeah you're right."

A few months ago after hearing someone say something similar to me and me just nodding and walking away, I decided I would never do that again. I was going to tell whomever told me this next time just what it was like to be in an infertile marriage. We have been married for almost 8 years. Just because we don't have kids doesn't mean our lives are stress free and wonderful. I have had this comment said to me in one form or another SO many times. I swear, we could fund IVF #2 if I had $1 for every time someone said something like this.

I get it, kids are hard and they make it a lot harder to have alone "couple time", but infertility can be like a cancer for a marriage. One that, if not "treated" properly will spread and kill the relationship. Yes DH can have alone quality time and date nights any time we please, but we have yet to have the joy of being parents together and watching our children grow and develop. Yes, we pray and beg for that blessing everyday, but when it comes, will I love him less? No, I think it will only make us more in love with one another. And maybe that is what I needed to get from IF, that children are such a blessing. I do believe that my non-IF friends think this, at least part of the time, but they will never have the privileged of knowing it like we do.


  1. Argh! What a comment to make to you! I'm so glad you spoke up. People look at you and see that you have no kids and make SO MANY assumptions. Ridiculous.
    The divorce rate is really high in the U.S. Sometimes, there are just unhappy marriages. It's not because they have kids, it's because they have issues that weren't SOLVED by adding kids to the mix (like some people think will happen). They like to point at other people and say, "just wait, soon you'll be miserable just like us!". It makes them feel better about themselves.
    When we were first married, we had other married couples tell us, "just wait, the second year of marriage is when the shine is off the apple". Then, it was "just wait until your 5th anniversary, that's when you get tired of each other". And now, we've been married over 8 years and are still completely in love - more and more so every year as we get to know each other better and go through more and more tough times together. It has brought us closer. And I have no doubt that kids will be a huge adjustment for us, but parenting will bring us closer together just like everything else we've done in our lives together.
    Okay, sorry for my rant. That woman was so out of line. I'm really glad you stood up for yourself :).

  2. Standing up for yourself is the hardest thing to do in life but as i've learned a long time ago,,if you don't one else will do it for you. Some folks just speak without any "filter" or "thought" of what they are saying. Sometimes it is a reflection of their own fears and insecurities that they say certain things to us. Both you and your DH have such a strong and wonderful marriage together and I'm sure with the addition of children both of you will be fantastic parents! Always remember that.

  3. What a great post...and so true! I am also sick of fertiles complaining and whining about how busy they are. I would trade places with them in a heartbeat.

  4. My husband and I have been togethere for 19 years, married for almost 12. My greatest fear about having a baby was that it would negatively impact our strong marriage. So far (only 6 months into it, but...), it has done nothing but strengthen it. Is it stressful? Yes, but you work together and feel like a team and it's not stress between us, just stress that we help each other with.

    No one understands unless they've walked in your shoes and even then, no two people have the same experience. I think going through the IF experience makes us much more conscious of what we say and the broad, audacious generalizations that others make are something we just don't do.

  5. I understand exactly what you're put it perfectly. Unfortunately some will never truly understand how infertility can affect a marriage...for the good or the bad. I have to remind myself constantly to let comments roll off my back because they just don't understand. It is good to stand up for yourself, though, if it reaches a point of discomfort or even lack of consideration for your situation!

    Wishing you so much luck and prayers that you will have your miracle verrry soon!!

  6. So true - great post!