Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Understanding more

One of the things that DH said about that article was that he thought the author was exaggerating when he talked about his wife avoiding places where babies might be - because he's not aware that I've selectively avoided some of my more smug friends who have babies and small children, and we've continued to spend a lot of time with my sister and her children.

It was a real eye-opener for him when I explained that this was not an exaggeration at all. I reminded him of a comment a friend of ours made at a party a couple of weeks ago - she was talking to another friend about two couples who were mutual friends of theirs and said that they don't speak to each other any more. When asked why, she responded sotto voce, "It's because A's pregnant and S and H can't."

And then, while talking generally about the redundancy, IVF and everything else that's crappy in my life at the moment, he revealed how he's been feeling.

As a teenager, he experienced two major upheavals in his life - when he was about 13 or 14, his father had a nervous breakdown, and then a few years later, his brother died. He talked more than he ever has before to me about how he felt on those two occasions, and said that after those two cataclysmic events, the ups and downs of life had never been able to bother him in the same way.

And then he added, "Except the IVF."

He'd never really talked about how he felt, although I was aware that he had high hopes for IVF #1 and was fairly crushed when it failed. But to hear that he ranked that first failure as one of the three cataclysmic events of his life shook me a bit - and also reassured me. He wants this as badly as I do, and not just because he doesn't want me to be upset. But as a man, he's better able to compartmentalise things and push it to the back of his mind when we're not actually going through treatment.

So now each of us understands the other a bit better, and understands how much this means, how much is at stake. And I think I understand why he keeps saying, "This doesn't have to be the last try. If it doesn't work, we can try again."

It's not just for me - he wants it too. And somehow, that makes it all feel so much easier, as if there are two of us carrying this burden, and not - as it has often felt - just me.


  1. so positive that all these things are coming out between the 2 of you - so pleased it's helping!

  2. Awesome post. I am always amazed how easy it is to misread people, even those you know the best. So i'm really pleased you and DH were able to use this horrible infertility hurdle as a way to get closer. This journey is very different for the male vs the female but you are right, it is no less painful or insignificant, it is just that the males can hide thier feelings more.

  3. Thanks for sharing. It must be hard to hear how this is one of the major upheavals of your husband's life. But at the same time, I can understand how it is a relief, the feeling of being in this together.

  4. Beautiful post know, men really don't talk that much on this issue, or so, as I like to assume...But I am glad that his sharing was such an eye-opener.

    Hoping that your family-building plans are successful. Good Luck!

  5. What an amazing relief to know that he's secretly been holding your hand all along, and that in reality, he's been letting you cry for the both of you. You're right that men tend to be better at compartmentalizing, and they hide things from us very well. Wonderful that he let you in on the secret for at least a day. :)