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Marital limbo following infertility

Community Member

My husband and I have been going through infertility testing since July and found out the only way we can conceive is though IVF/ICSI. I'm relatively OK with this news but I've found all the procedures so far to be invasive, painful and upsetting, hence I'm dreading the prospect of egg retrieval etc. But my husband has been desperate for kids since before we were married, so we were planning to start our first cycle in about a week and a half. We were supposed to have our "day-21" appointment to kick off the cycle 2 weeks ago (the timing's a bit funny because I'm FIFO), but the night before my husband told me, while drunk, that he doesn't want to go through with it. He said our relationship isn't good enough anymore for it to be fair to bring a child into it. He said we no longer have any fun and doubts whether we're even compatible anymore.

I realized things between us hadn't been great, but I thought it was just the emotional toll of IVF wearing me down. I'd tried talking to him about this over the last few months but he didn't feel like IVF was a big deal and didn't understand why I'd get so upset about the blood tests and procedures. I thought once this rough patch was over though, we'd be able to start getting back to normal.

So I spent the Christmas/New Year period upset, lonely and trying to put on a brave face for friends and family, while he went drinking with mates everyday and spent as little time at home as possible. He didn't feel like driving me to the airport when I came back to work a 4 days ago and we haven't really spoken since. I feel heartbroken and don't even know what else to say to him.

I have an appointment with an EAP psych on Monday arvo and he's willing to get counseling too. But tbh this whole ordeal has me questioning whether our marriage is even worth fighting for. I only went through all of this to give him something he's always dreamed of having - a family. If he doesn't even have my back through that then I can't see how we could possibly have a future together...

Just feeling really confused and alone.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi kaycee33

I feel for you so very much as you face some incredibly intense challenges at this time in your life.

The fact that your husband has expressed his willingness to attend counseling is hopeful. The counseling may provide an opportunity to get to the bottom of why your husband is feeling and behaving the way he is. Maybe he doesn't even fully know why at this stage. It could even be as simple as him lacking the emotional maturity to deal with this whole situation. Counseling may help him get more in touch with both his and your emotions, creating a very different type of partner. Yes, partner is the key word when you're in it together. Or if you've expressed often enough how you're doing this all for him, maybe he's come to resent this. Not sure.

Sounds like you have a lot of conflict going on:

  • The thought of having a child vs the thought of avoiding the drama/trauma (pain) of IVF
  • The thought of keeping the marriage together vs the thought of 'calling it a day'
  • The thought of longing for support and understanding from your husband vs the thought of abandonment (him off drinking with his mates) and not understanding how hard this has all been on you (aka emotional abandonment)

Just a few points but it gives you an idea when it comes to the kind of conflict I'm talking about.

Every time we experience conflict, we experience a war of thoughts in our head. It makes sense that the only way such a war can come to an end is when we make a decision, in choosing one thought over another. Whether this is achieved through a pretty cut and dry decision or whether it's achieved through negotiation so that some 'treaty' is reached (such as with strategies through counseling), the result is the same - peace of mind.

So, there are some choices for you to now make and they are definitely not easy ones. Perhaps counseling will make these choices a little clearer for you both. In the meantime, the choice to take care of yourself mentally and physically vs not taking care of yourself should be an easy one. You're going through quite a bit, so it is important that you do take care of yourself. Conflict can definitely take a toll mentally, physically and spiritually. It can certainly drain our energy in all 3 aspects of our self. It's important you find ways to recharge. Regaining energy can also help with us gaining a clearer perspective (especially when it comes to making choices).

Take care of yourself kaycee33

Community Member

Hi Kaycee,

I hear your feeling confused and alone, this situation sounds like a challenging time for you and you need tp surround yourself with people who support your IVF journey. It is not an easy journey and can be emotionally taxing.

You have done the best thing for yourself by reaching out for support! keep it up!