My Husband Scarred By Infertility

This morning I got a rather painful reminder of the damage that infertility has done to my DH. It was a shock to be reminded that I’m not the only one in this situation, that I’m not the only one hurt and damaged by this situation, but I worry that perhaps I am the only one who is working through the emotion of the situation and not just bottling it up, never talking about it and burying it deep within myself. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own hurt and pain and determination to succeed at this that I forget that he hurts and has pain over it as well and the worst part? I did this to him. He is not a willing participant in this. This is my fault. But let me back track a bit to give you some back ground.

Walter is my second husband. I was married to my first husband for almost 2 years before we divorced, he was an abusive bully who had numerous affairs throughout our relationship, the final straw was when I discovered he’d been having a rather long affair with a woman I thought was my best friend. You can imagine, this relationship did a lot of damage to me, there are still issues from this relationship that I’m trying to deal with even now. I have serious trust & self esteem issues and have to keep reminding myself that Walter is not my ex husband. What compounded these problems further was that straight after my divorce I got invovled with a man for about 2 years who although not a physical bully was an emotional bully. Our relationship ended when he told me that he could not take our relationship to the next level as he did not want to commit to me as he was afraid he’d miss out on something better! Can you imagine??!!! During this time in my life, my faith was probably the strongest it has ever been. I had a beautiful relationship with God, he spoke to me and sent me messages and led me through a mine field of hurt and pain and confusion. On a particularly bad day, I’d been having my quiet time and I’d asked God to show me what my future held, was I going to find happiness, would I ever find a good man to spend my life with. That night God gave me a dream, a beautiful dream, I can still see it in my minds eye when I think about it, here is what I saw:

I was walking in a beautiful garden, the most magnificent garden I’d ever seen. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. There was a man walking next to me, holding my hand, I was unable to turn my head to see who he was, but I knew it was my future husband, I could feel the love he had for me and I could feel the love I had for him. We were walking on a cobbled path that wound its way through the garden. I kept stumbling and tripping over the cobblestones and every time I stumbled he’d steady me and catch me and keep me from falling. We walked for a long way like this, eventually we started to descend down a hill, and I could see the cobble path winding its way all the way down the hill and far in the distance at the bottom of the hill the cobble path came to an abrupt end directly under the hugest oak tree I’d ever seen in my l life. We kept walking, me stumbling down down down, towards the oak tree, as we got closer, I realized that there was a man standing under the tree, he had his back to us and was facing an artist easel. We kept moving towards him and eventually we got under the oak tree, as we arrived the man turned around to face us and he was holding a baby. He arranged “my husband” and I next to each other and then passed me the baby, it was then that I realized it was my family and the artist began to paint our family portrait….

Three months later I met Walter!

In hind sight I realize that the cobble path was my journey through infertility, I have the utmost faith and belief that I will have a baby one day. But there is one HUGE inaccuracy of this dream/vision. My husband did not walk down that cobbled path, he was dragged down it, he was forced in that direction by me! This morning I saw what this journey has done to him and I hate myself for it. I realize that he has sacrified so much more than me, sure I’ve been the one that has under gone all the surgeries and unpleasant procedures. But I did it willingly, I did it because I wanted to, I did it because I felt I had to, but my husband does not want this. He reminded me again this morning that he felt he was happy to live life without a child. But I feel he should not have to sacrifice that because of me. I know so many of my fellow infertiles have said this before, but sometimes I think he would be better off if he went and got himself a younger model. A less smashed up and damaged model, then he could have all the things he deserves in life.

I’m so sorry Hartjie!

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  • Reply Melanie (mella)

    Hi Sharon

    We all feel like that sometimes it is difficult to understand.

    This is also my second marraige and was emotionally abuse in the first and that hurt and fear will always be there no matter what.

    God gave you your wonderful hubby because he knew that he will alwyas be by your side and help you through this difficult time in your life and you and hubby went through a hell of alot. We do think that they will be better of without us and have a happy life but remember he wants to be with you and surely will tell oyu when he had enough.

    We do sometimes forget how this all effect then and that they are also hurt in the process. Just give him all the love that you have and you will be ok!!

    God is looking down on you and hubby and just keep praying and believing in God and talk to him about your problems, He will help you!!

    Lots of love darling

    June 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply samcy

    My friend, I do think that all too often us girls can forget the impact that the infertility road has on our men. I do know though that you and your DH can get through this, and I know that God will bless you abundantly, just keep your focus on Him. Keep your eyes on Him. You and DH will be ok, and once those children are here, you will be so thankful for this journey which makes you appreciate them all the more! HUGS to you my friend. I hope you feel less guilty.

    June 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Elize

    Hi Sharon!
    I’ve often felt the same, but one thing I know for sure is that Stian would rather have a life with me than with someone else who can also give him children, and I can assure you that Walter feels the same. The love between you guys are so evident, and if I were you I would encourage him gently to talk about his feelings and to get it out, obviously when the time is right, and it certainly helps to soften him up with a beer or two. Works every time!

    Things will look up, and as Sam said you WILL be blessed abundantly and the little ones will come. Hold onto your dream, you got it for a reason, and I suspect it’s because God knew you will need something to hold onto.

    Love ya lots!

    June 24, 2008 at 3:13 pm
  • Reply Sweetpea

    I can really, really relate to this. While I want a child and wanted to go through all the invasive IVF treatments, I did it knowing that he didn’t really want it. He started to come around, being excited and all, but then fell apart. He didn’t want it. He went through all of with because he loves me. He gave in to what I wanted even though it was at his own expense. It all came back to bite me in the btt and I thought I had lost him. I still want to be a mother, but if it’s a choice between that and my husband, I know what my choice is. I realize that we can’t be the only ones in this situation, but it doesn’t make it any easier, does it? Just keep the communication open between the two of you and make sure that you’re on the same page at every single step. Sounds like you’re doing really well with this. : )

    June 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Oh my gosh Sharon – you truly have been through the mill of life. You are such a strong and amazing woman. I know right now that you feel this way but I firmly believe that you will be blessed and rewarded with your babies.
    I too sometimes wonder why I put my Dh through all this? I married him knowing he had a vasectomy and already had 2 children and he has gone through all this with me so I can have children too. I also battle with myself about my needs being stronger than his but I know he wants it as much as I do. Give Walter all your love and show him how much he means to you. He loves you Shaz and although not dealing with his issues the same way you are – he is probably doing the best he can. I’m sending you a cyber hug!!!

    June 25, 2008 at 9:30 am
  • Reply Cosciug alexandru

    Hy Sharon,

    Please, ask me to one question.
    Does your husband was in vitro conceived?
    When you give me the answer, I give you the solution.
    God is with us and gives help to the people who ask the help!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:35 am
  • Reply Karen

    We were on the same path as many of you. Husband dragging his feet and unhappy. Me unable to have a child. We were growing further and further apart. A few rounds of invitro brought much sadness as nothing worked for us. My husband wanted to live our lives without children after this. I could not. I felt I would miss the most wonderful thing, being a parent. We were on the brink of calling it quits in our marriage. We went to a counselor. After one meeting, my dh said to me, let’s adopt. I prayed to God and asked him, was this right for us. All I could hear was yes. I told God of my fear that our child would not blend in, I heard back from him, “don’t worry”. We adopted our dd 7 WEEKS after applying to the agency. She was a newborn and we bought her home from the hospital. Our world changed. My dh was so thankful we did this. We adopted another little boy 3 years later, again another newborn directly from the hospital. The most amazing thing is these children look like our children. People tell us all the time how much they look like us. Even greater is the sense of good we have done. We have taken two children that desperately needed homes and gave them one. God is happy about that. I always thought I wanted my own children, but what I found out, is they become your own, when you take them home. We went through 7 years of infertility that almost broke us. I wished we turned to adoption sooner. My husband gives me a card every fathers day, thanking him for making him a father. This from a man that wanted to live childless after IVF didn’t work. A child can change everything. A child that needs a home and a couple that needs a child, what a perfect fit.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:43 am
  • Reply Chereen Strydom

    Wow, Sharon. I so loved reading this post and finding out more about your past and where you’ve come from and what you’ve been through. I’ve said it before, but it’s the honest truth: I admire your strength so, so much. I’ve never met you, and I only really started reading your blog religiously a couple of months ago, but my admiration and respect for you has just grown and grown over this period. I’ve read your archives, but I’ve never made it to your very first post and I’m so happy that you shared this – you seriously rock, mama!

    April 18, 2016 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks Chereen! xx

      April 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

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