Infertility is not an easy burden to bear. And for most, it’s not a burden we bear alone even if it feels like it. Many women struggle with the mindset that this is my cross to bear alone since I’m the “broken one”, but they never take a step back to see how it affects their husband.
I’m guilty of this and it took me a year and a half to notice that infertility wasn’t just affecting me, but my husband as well. I assumed (and shame on me for that) that since I was the one infertile that only I was hurting until I stopped and really paid attention. Geoff would talk about how being around young children was hard on him and I started noticing how withdrawn he was when children were mentioned.
It broke my heart.
I knew this road was going to be hard on me I’ve been on it for so long, but Geoff was knew to it all and I never stopped to think how it would affect him. All my feelings, fears, and doubt had been shouldered by the one person I want to protect from all of this anguish.
Geoff experienced a few “side effects” during our infertility journey and these items are very out of character for him. At the time, I didn’t understand what was going on, but looking back it all makes sense.
- Quick to anger
- Low self-esteem
- Low sex drive
I realized that I was not alone in this heartbreak. When we sat down and talked about this, I got some reality shaking answers to my questions. My confident, funny, and outgoing husband felt broken and useless. My emotional journey made him feel powerless because as the man of the household he wants to 1) Protect his family and 2) Provide for his family. And the thing I prayed and wanted the most he couldn’t give to me.
Talk about an eye opener.
I had never meant to make him feel like he wasn’t a wonderful provider. I realized that my self loathing could not continue because I was hurting the person I love the most. How could I keep my feelings in check? One simple step.
- When I feel those all too familiar feelings start to build, we talked about them.
Being open with each other instead of trying to protect each other from the heartache has made this journey easier for the both of us. It allows us to take care of each other through prayer and community instead of hiding alone in the dark, expecting everything to be ok.
Are you going through infertility? What are some of the “side effects” you have experienced?