No one ever prays that a long term relationship breaks up or, worse, that a marriage ends in divorce. More so, when the reason turns out to be because of the inability of the couple to have children together. That singular reason can make the break even more brutal.
Oftentimes, I have heard about couples who went their separate ways after years and years together, without any children, only for them to have kids with the first person they ever slept with, but I had never met any such person, until recently, when I met someone virtually.
I got a long email that detailed the life and times of a marriage that died, and a man that is hurting, on the one hand as a result of a seeming insult on his manhood, and on the other hand, he is happy for his ex-wife, who had been a blessing to him. Here’s his story.
“I met Aina at the training school of the bank when I got my first job. Her name was unique and old, as in almost no one bears that name as a first name any more. When I heard her called by the name, I had thought it was her surname, but when everyone kept calling her Aina, I approached her, and truly, she was Aina (that’s a child born with its umbilical cord around its neck). She’s a special one.
And that was what I called her afterwards, instead of calling her Aina. She was the special one and soon, she became my special one, as we were posted to the same branch. She was in customer care services, and I was in marketing.
After a year, I was transferred to another branch, while she remained in the old one. That was when I realised how much that girl meant to me. I knew I loved her and that she loved me, but nothing prepared me for not seeing her every day, the way I had been able to do while we were working at the same office.
That was when I knew I was going to marry her and truly, before the year ran out, and on my second year on the job, I proposed to her, she accepted, our families met and a date was fixed.
Amidst all of this, we knew our bank wouldn’t allow us both work together, so we agreed we should both look outside and who every got a reasonable offer first, would leave.
I did and it was a far better deal than where I was, so I left and within that year, we got married in our own quiet way, only close family and friends were invited. That caused some rancour among people who had known us from the beginning of our relationship, whom we did not invite, but who felt they should have been there.
Even now that the marriage has ended, there are still people who are still holding a grudge over the wedding we did not invite them to.
After marriage, she wanted to try for babies immediately, as she felt that since she was two years older than myself, she needed to get the business of child bearing over, and then work on herself to look slim and trim for me. The thought of my wife looking sexy even after several kids was something that appealed to my senses, even though I would have preferred that we waited at least six months for me to enjoy my new wife. But I agreed.
If only I had known. That was the start of our TTC journey. I did not even know the meaning of that acronym back then. It was fun trying, but it soon became dreary and mechanical. My libido kept reducing; I found that the times she mentioned ovulation was when I had the least appetite for sex.
We went from trying by ourselves to seeing a doctor, who put us through several investigations, where they discovered she was not ovulating and, in the doctor’s words, my swimmers were superb. With this verdict, we started treating her irregular cycle and using medication to trigger ovulation.
It worked but it did not result in the pregnancy we had hoped for. After two years of trying different things, my ex called a couple’s conference and said she wanted out of the marriage.
Honestly, I was blindsided. I mean, where did that come from? We were lovers, lived in each other’s pocket, had spent close to five years of our lives together, and she wanted to dump me. I was in shock for a long time after that.
I started to replay our lives over the course of the years, to see if I had done something wrong, not loved her enough, not taken this TTC business serious enough, pressured her into giving me kids, if I have been rude to her family or friends, but I had no answers.
So, I asked her the questions, but still no answers, just “Kunle, let us go our separate ways! I’m tired of this baby business and not get any rewards for it. If we were meant to have kids, it would have happened since. Perhaps, when we separate, we can get our babies. I’m not getting any younger.”
The next time we had this conversation was with her parents, who were devastated that it was their child that was calling for the end of her marriage. This was a couple that had been married for over 3 decades, but even her parents couldn’t talk her out of it.
She moved out but I still kept in touch, cajoling her to come back to me, until the day she called me and, in a hushed voice, told me she was pregnant, and that it was time to file papers for the dissolution of our marriage.
I couldn’t respond. I merely dropped the phone on my table and stared into space. My wife was pregnant with another man’s child? My own wife? So, she was serious about getting this baby? It was a hard one to swallow. It was as though a bulldozer parked on my head. I was heavily burdened.
She called back but I couldn’t pick the call. I was depleted! So, after all this time, with that doctor telling me I had superb swimmers, I was the one with the problem. I mean, she got pregnant within a year of leaving my house.
Eventually, I called her and insisted on seeing her. When we saw, it was pretty obvious she was pregnant, over three months gone, if I know how to read the signs. She looked beautiful, glowing, but I was sad I was not the one who put the bun in her oven.
We talked modalities of our separation and surprisingly, it was an easy conversation. At a time, I asked her why we couldn’t continue from where we stopped, that I would love the baby, but she said no, that it wasn’t fair to me. So, I asked who the father was, still no answer.
Moving on, we, agreed on proceedings. Our divorce was finalised a week ago. A good thing just ended like that because we couldn’t have children together.
The worst part is, I’m afraid to go for an investigation to find out if my swimmers are really okay, or someone had lied to me. Meanwhile, Aina’s child is already walking.
And I’m here, afraid, still single and not searching. No one can replace my special one. No one can. I know, I need to move on, but I still don’t know how to or when I will be able to.
Phew!!! Why am I writing all these? Perhaps to unburden myself and hopefully someone will read it and find the strength not to allow infertility rob them of a good thing. That was six years of my life down the drain. I guess it’s my turn to say, I’m not getting younger.”
I think this story says it all; I don’t need to add more. Infertility, if not handled with care and love on both sides can lead to the demise of a relationship.
In the end, it is not about the love you started with but how far that love will sustain you in your relationship.
Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
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