Tuesday, June 22, 2010

love in the time of cholera, or infertility

Mr. August and I are not having a good run of it. Not at all. This infertility business keeps driving a wedge between us and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper. Sometimes, it is more manageable, sometimes it is unbearable. This week, we're in the unbearable stage.

I feel really heartened to read the accounts of other women blogers who have talked about feeling very much in tune and supported by their partners. I know what the studies say about the stress of infertility and its impact on couples. I find it astounding that some of you have gone through hell and back, with years of IF procedures, and still feel very much a team with your partner. I know you are grateful for that. I can read it in each of your sentences, and in-between all your words.

Mr. August is VERY supportive, wonderful, loving and warm. It is actually mostly my fault that it is driving a wedge between us. We've struggled with the disparity in our feelings over the last year. When our fertility treatments failed in October, I was crushed beyond words. For Mr. August, he was sad to see my reaction, but not really sad about not having biological children. For him, he had always dreamed of adopting children.

How perfect is that! The man who dreams of adopting marries the woman with no eggs.

It sounds so simple when I write it like that. It sounds like it could work out so well. But it's not, at least for now. And maybe it's just a matter of me coming to a different place with my grief. But in the mean time, I'm having a hard time feeling like we are on the same team, even if I *know* we are.

If any of you also feel the dividing effects of infertility between you and your beloved, please comment. I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. My computer was having a slow, hard time this week, so it didn't work the last time I tried to comment.

    I would be surprised if no one has ever felt the divided effects of infertility. It can be so devastating and men and woman by nature deal with things so differently. When I was so hormonal I could hardly stand myself, and sometimes I wonder how my husband did. And then I think IF affects men, but differently, and maybe not as severely as it can for many women.

    And we still have our ups and downs.

    What works for us is to try to remember that we are a team and that we are committed to each other and our marriage. We also occasionally read talks or books about marriage and discuss the principles in them. Then we take time to have fun together.

    Hang in there.

  2. Even though my husband and I get along well, we have not always seen eye to eye on infertility and continue not to. Most recently, our arguments seem to be when I get sad about infertility/ our losses, he tells me it's okay to cry but then he gets angry shortly afterwards. It's like he is okay for me to say I am sad but seeing me sad gets him upset. And when I try to discuss solutions, he gets upset. He also wants to do adoption and be done with it, but things aren't that nice and easy.

    Planning infertility- free date nights and having an active non-IF based sex life are the two things that help the most. We have also gone to counseling. It's not an easy place to be. We're both invested but in different ways...

  3. Thanks for your comments to both of you. I feel like you both pointed out some helpful things to focus on in my relationship with Mr. August. I feel like I want to work on it more so that we can stay close, together and become parents.

    It warms my heart SO much that you both wrote.
    Thank you!

  4. What to say... there is so much! If relationships weren't complicated enough to begin with, we pile on this infertility. If you aren't already seeing a GOOD couples therapist, I'd highly recommend it. I think that it made a huge difference for me and my lover. We saw someone together for a year, and now I see someone on my own and bring him every so often. I honestly can't imagine how anyone gets thru this without that kind of support. We are on this journey together, but our experience of it and where we are at any point in time can be SO different. So not only are we caught up in our experience of this journey, we are trying to keep track of where our partner is. That is hard work.

    My lover is wonderful too. Some of the most painful parts of this journey for us have been seeing each other in so much pain. For me, seeing him in physical and emotional distress after his biopsy was probably among the most awful things ever. For him, seeing me fall apart emotionally (I really did lose it) after we got the results of the biopsy was really scary and painful for him. Our empathy for one another is heightened, which is good, but also makes it harder.

    You are SO not alone!

  5. There was definitely a wedge between my husband and I after our third miscarriage when we were trying to decide how to proceed. (He was not ready to move forward, I was).

    I will be very frank and say that while I didn't want to face life without my husband, I wondered how we could have a life together if we could not get on the same page about children and what we were willing to do to get one. The "D" word was never discussed as an option, but it was certainly floating in the periphery as a ... what .... possibility, warning? I am divorced from my first husband so the possibility of divorce is very real to me.

    It was a trial and there was so much miscommunication and hurt feelings and pain. But our specialty is getting through hard times and love always overrides anger - that is a qualitative difference from my first marriage. Love always seems to prevail, thank god.