The Truth

The last few nights TW & I got into it. This is the first time in a while that we fought about IF. The other night he really made me mad…He accused me of being so focused on IVF that I was letting other important things go. Like being a step mother. WTF? I was so livid I could barely even talk. I told him that he is always so focused on PT that nothing else matters…but deep down I wonder if I will feel the same way if (when) I have a baby? Will I be so focused on my baby that nothing else will matter to me? I honestly hope not. But after wanting this for so long, if (when) it really happens, I don’t know that I can make any promises.

Here is what started the argument. A couple of weeks ago I brought up the fact that PT was starting puberty. I am quite sure that she will have her period any minute. A couple of moms from PT’s school took their 6th grade girls to this pre-teen class at the local children’s hospital. It is for moms and daughters. I told TW about it and he said it sounded like a good idea. I also told him that I was going to talk to PT about her period and ask her if she wants to carry a pad around in her back-pack, in case it happens at school.

This is a very mother/daughter moment….getting your period for the first time. The fact is, PT has a mother. I am not sure if her mother has talked to her about any of this, but after thinking about it a little harder, I realized that maybe I don’t want to be the one to talk to PT about it. I think PT would want to talk to her mother about it, and her mother would want to talk to PT about it. I don’t want to step on any toes. I am happy to talk to her in addition to anything her mom says, but I didn’t want to be the first one. So I sat on it and didn’t do anything.

So, the other night, TW and I were on our way back from a dinner party. I asked him if he took his pill for the 4th time that day (I have this obsession about asking, I guess it is more like nagging, but I am SO determined not to mess this IVF protocol up, I can’t help myself!). Instead of answering my question, TW said, “Have you talked to PT about her period yet? Have you signed her up for that class?” I said I had not, and he went through the roof. Mind you, it was MY fucking idea in the first place. I told him that I hadn’t done anything because I thought I should talk to PT’s mother first. He flipped it around and said that I hadn’t done anything because I was so obsessed with IVF that I can’t do anything that isn’t related to it. He said I am so worried about his pills that everything else has fallen off the radar. He said that I was making excuses – that I really didn’t WANT to talk to PT, that all I care about is IVF. And that once I have a baby, I better get my act together because I am going to have to think about the baby, and not just about myself. Basically that I am a self-absorbed bitch. He also added that my complaining about my headaches, and shots and appointments and whatever else — that I brought it all upon myself. That no one is forcing me to do any of this. And that I should just suck it up because it is a decision that I made. (Yes, he said it was a decision that I made on my own.)

No wonder I feel all alone in this. I actually AM all alone. I had no idea.

I didn’t continue the argument. There was no point. He had had two martinis earlier and was all fired up. Obviously he had been holding a lot of this inside, for a LONG time.

I waited a couple of days to let it pass. And I needed to gather my thoughts. So last night I brought it up and I tried to stay as calm as possible. I asked him about his statement that I made the decision and that I brought this upon myself. I told him that I though WE made the decision TOGETHER. He disagreed. He said that I was so hell bent on having a baby that he couldn’t tell me how he really felt. He would never have chosen IVF himself. He is going along with it, but inside he is kicking and screaming. I asked him if he wants a baby, and he said that he does, but that he doesn’t want to go through all these hoops to get there. He honestly feels that if it is meant to be, it will happen the “normal” way. Having sex. With his wife. Missing a period. Taking a pregnancy test. That is how he thinks it should happen, and that is still how he thinks it should happen, even after FIVE years of trying. And even after talking to the RE and the IVF doctor who told us that we would have a .0001 percent chance of ever conceiving naturally.

So. The truth. The truth is that he is doing this all for me. He is not into it. He doesn’t want to do it. He is going along with it. Because he doesn’t feel he has a choice. And he feels that since I have made this choice, that I should roll with the punches, no matter how awful it gets. He admitted that he wants to have more sympathy for me, and he wants to be empathic, but he doesn’t know how, because he really doesn’t agree with what we are doing. He thinks it is unnatural and we are using science to go against nature. What it comes down to is that he doesn’t think this was meant to be, and I am forcing it to happen.

I reminded him that he did tell me he was on board, before we paid for FOUR cycles of IVF. And that if it doesn’t work the first time, that we would do it again. And if it doesn’t work the second time, we were going to try one more time. The third time? If the third time isn’t a charm, then the fourth time it will be. He confirmed that he knew we would be doing it more than once if necessary and he told me he would do everything he needs to do to keep our chances as high as possible. But emotionally he isn’t there. He is just going through the motions because he loves me, and he knows how important it is to me. And he asked me: What happens if we do it four times and it doesn’t work. What then? Four more times? He said he can’t do it. That he is willing to do this for the four times we have committed to, but if it doesn’t work, we have to stop. And he asked me to promise. So I did.

I was weeping. Should I be grateful that he didn’t put his foot down 4 months ago and say, “Absolutely not!” when I brought up IVF? I guess so. But I don’t feel grateful. What I want is to shake him. I want to kick and scream and tell him to get his shit together. That he needs to be supportive and I need him to give me my shots, and give me a hug when I am feeling like crap, and rub my back and make me food. I want him to drive me to my appointments. I want him to ask me how I am doing! I want him to be interested in how my doctors appointments went. But he isn’t. And he doesn’t. And I can’t make him.

I married a guy who doesn’t have an emotional bone in his body. And I knew it when I married him. But I read some of these IF blogs and wonder who these guys are that go to every appointment and call the doctor themselves for test results, and give every shot and talk and talk and talk about IF with their wives. And write blogs! Who are these men?

TW is doing this for me. Just for me. Because he loves me. And he doesn’t want to stop me from trying to conceive. But he would rather not be doing this. He would rather be doing ANYTHING but this.

At least I know the truth now. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

I guess that is why I have been feeling so lonely.


8 Responses to “The Truth”

  1. Serenity Says:

    Oh hon. It’s so hard when you want your husband to be in the same place as you, and he’s not. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

    A couple of things. The truth is – J was never into IVF either. It was the only way we could conceive, so he went along with it. With what *I* wanted. Because he wanted a family too, and that was probably the only way we’d get there. For me, he didn’t need to be “into” it for me to go forward with it.

    And because of that, he didn’t do my shots. I did them myself. He went to the RE appointments where I asked him to go. He never got test results for me, he never asked me what the doctor said. It was the same way – he would rather be doing anything else but IVF.

    So I started letting it go, and making it less a point in our relationship. We established a rule where we could talk about IF for 15 minutes a day, and that was it. We focused on making travel plans and doing things outside of IF. I took breaks when the negatives got to be too much.

    The way I look at it is that he was willing to do something that he disagreed with for me, so I wanted to reciprocate and give him something back. And over time, he really grew to respect it (and me) for it. And that’s when he started being kind and holding me when I cried about another pregnancy announcement. A BFN.

    This is just my experience, and you can feel free to ignore my next bit of assvice. But your husband clearly loves you and wants you to be happy – so he’s sacrificing what HE wants for you. I think that’s SO wonderful. He’s not going to be emotionally with you, obviously. But take heart in the fact that he loves you and wants this for you.

    And trust me, when it happens… he’s going to love his baby just as much as you do. He will.

    Hugs hon. This IF stuff is very lonely, and IVF comes with a whole lot of emotion: fear, uncertainty, hope, fear. Just because he’s not in the same place as you doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you and want the best for your relationship.


  2. kona Says:

    I’m sorry about the argument with DH. This whole IVF process is so hard, and it would be nice if he were more supportive. In his own way, he sounds like he is doing the best he can. So many men are resistant to talking about fertility issues and dealing with realities of conception. I don’t think the men that you write about (the sensitive ones) are the vast majority. Lots of men are uncomfortable talking about fertility and anatomy and conception (which is ironic when you think of how interested they are in the graphic details of sex-LOL).

    I have a dear friend who has to try every trick in the book to get her DH to do his part in their IUI/fertility program. It’s very hard on you, I know. I wish your DH were more supportive, but I think it’s still a sign of his love that he is doing this for *you*. Your DH knows how much this means to you, and so even though it doesn’t feel natural to him, he is doing it. Sometimes we compromise like that in marriage, out of love. I read a lot of posts by women who are pregnant…whose husbands are not “into” that either. Some don’t get excited about pregnancy either- maybe because it isn’t as “real” to them, I don’t know. It’s good that you & DH at least were able to be honest and talk. I have a feeling he would go crazy/happy for your sweet baby, but the medical TTC process probably just feels too technical and unreal to him. But I can see your point- you HAVE to do this if you are going to conceive, and that’s the hard part. He already has a precious daughter, so in some ways maybe it’s easier for him to say…”let it happen naturally.” I think we women have a real strong maternal instinct anyway, and that urge to nurture a child is so strong. Hang in there!!! I know it’s so lonely right now, but it will be worth it. Keep thinking positive, and get emotional support from whomever you can, even if DH is unable to right now. He sounds stressed, and you sound stressed, and it’s hard for everyone all around.

    Being a stepmom must be so hard! As a child of divorce, I can see the wisdom of your thoughts…wanting to mother PT but then, you are not her “real” mother, and you don’t want to step on any toes. As for the concept of your child consuming your thoughts & life…I think it happens to people, much as you try to be balanced. I haven’t been down that road yet, so it’s something for to keep in mind…to remember that other people in the family need love & attention, too. I think it must be so hard not to be obsessed with your own children. It’s somewhat instinctual. But you are really doing a good job at trying to be a great stepmom! It’s such a hard, hard job. ((Hugs))


  3. sarasp Says:

    Ok, I haven’t done IVF, only 3 Clomid cycles and some testing for me and D. But I have seen a similar attitude in D, that it was all my idea and that if it is meant to be it will happen and we should just be “patient.” That attitude can be extremely frustrating and invalidating when you are painted as the crazy or irrational one. There can be countless reasons for his remarks. He may feel left out or even useless since sex has been removed from the picture completely. It can make a man feel like a sperm factory.

    I hope you are able to have future conversations about his remarks that are less raw and emotional like that. Communication will be key, IMO.

  4. Trace Says:

    I so hear you. My husband goes to the IUI, but that’s it. He doesn’t ask about my appointments either and thinks I am obsessed w/having a baby. He is empathetic, but he doesn’t understand why it gets revisited over and over again. I now try not to talk about it, and got myself a therapist so I have someone to talk to about it.

    I’m so sorry…no men don’t ‘get it’. I hope the next IVF works for you!

  5. Yodasmistress Says:

    “I married a guy who doesn’t have an emotional bone in his body. And I knew it when I married him. But I read some of these IF blogs and wonder who these guys are that go to every appointment and call the doctor themselves for test results, and give every shot and talk and talk and talk about IF with their wives. And write blogs! Who are these men?”

    First, I have to say that I hear THAT!!!

    Now… My husband actually feels the same way. He really, truly believes that we will get pregnant on our own. He really, truly believes it will happen. No matter the deffective sperm and eggs – possible crap tubes – no matter, we will get pg anyway. He really believes that any and all time spent researching IF literature, or going to the RE and/or money spent on ART is a waste. We were doing ARTs before the Oxycotin-induced-sterility and we will do it again after. He will go along with it. But he thinks it is a waste. Not necessarily b/c it is unnatural per se, but just because he has never really in his heart (or head) accepted the truth about our reproductive situation. Likewise, he doesn’t understand that the situation gets worse with age, not better.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that your husband being willing to do it because he loves you has to be enough. I know it doesn’t FEEL like enough. As if infertility isn’t hard enough, you are effectively going through it ALONE. That fucking sucks. And honestly, I think it’s bullshit. If our sister or a close girlfriend were to dismiss our fragile emotional state in that way we would seriously question the validity of our relationship with that individual. But because the male gender seems to be biologically incapable of utilizing more than .01% of the neurons in the emotional center of his brain they get a pass on being supportive? It is bullshit.

    One other thing you have to consider. Although it’s uber-shitty that your husband isn’t walking next to you on this Journey – you do have to give him some credit for doing something that he doesn’t believe in just because he loves you. You gotta admit that many of us women would NOT go along with something that costs so much money and made our partner a raving lunatic if we didn’t agree with it. Yet our men do – they don’t understand the power of our desire, they don’t agree with the means, they don’t fully understand the ramifications of the decision – yet they acquiesce.

    I’m going to sound a little high and mighty now. You know the real deal and he doesn’t. You know that IVF is (hopefully) the answer. He doesn’t. You can’t convince him otherwise. Forgive him his ignorance. Trudge the lonely journey. Hopefully at the end you will have a baby and the means won’t matter any more.

  6. Heather Says:

    I’m so sorry, Sweetie. I know the last thing you need right now it to be fighting with your husband. I really think men process this whole thing differently than we do. Those few who blog are a very rare exception. I don’t think it is fair for the rest of us to judge our husbands based on those few.

    I pray this cycle works so we don’t have to think about more cycles.

  7. Kim Says:

    Wow. Just wow. I am so sorry about this… I’m sure it was a HUGE blow, not to mention an enormous SHOCK. We’ve had a few moments where R makes me feel like this is all MY decision, that somehow I’M the one preventing things from happening ‘naturally’. He STILL says, ‘can’t we just try naturally?’ quite often. I remind him that we DID THAT, for YEARS. There’s a point where you need to take control of things, otherwise you sit around waiting. I’m just so sorry that he crushed you with this… I am sure that he wants to be a father (with you) and just doesn’t ‘get it’ because he’s a guy, and men are men… and even if they’re good men, they’re still just men.

  8. Hubby Says:

    Hi there,

    I’m a guy in precisely the position you describe with your husband. Maybe I can shed some light onto male behaviour.

    You see, the most important thing for a man in a relationship with a woman is to make her happy, literally to ‘be her man’.

    Now, with the IF issue, and the incomprehensible strength of a woman’s wish for a child (yes, for many men it truly gives the appearance of a serious obsession), not being able to make that wish come true is shattering. It hurts. It makes one feel inadequate. It makes one question if the wife truly loves you.

    The more the woman pushes the issue, the more it feels to men that the very foundation of the relationship is being eaten away.

    I’d like to quote Yodamisstress here, and comment on that:

    “you do have to give him some credit for doing something that he doesn’t believe in just because he loves you. You gotta admit that many of us women would NOT go along with something that costs so much money and made our partner a raving lunatic if we didn’t agree with it. Yet our men do – they don’t understand the power of our desire, they don’t agree with the means, they don’t fully understand the ramifications of the decision – yet they acquiesce.”

    YES, YES, and YES. And it hurts terribly when, from the man’s perspective, he’s really pushing his limits for her sake, that isn’t recognized, but instead he’s being criticised and even attacked.

    At least that is what I (and some men I could speak about the topic with) feel. I’m afraid it might break my marriage.

    A lonely feeling hubby.

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