As a woman who experienced infertility for a few years, and who has been in contact with a lot of women still battling it, this is one of our biggest fears…that our partner will tire of supporting us, and move on to a more fertile woman. With every failed cycle, with every negative pregnancy test, walking hand-in-hand with our heartbreak and disappointment is often the fear that your husband, with the doro-mega-superstar sperm, will leave. A lot of us might not admit it, and some might even say I am echoing the sentiments of only very insecure women, or women whose partners have already demonstrated the traits of being unreliable…but the honest truth is that this is a worry that we have all had. And no, your husband doesn’t have to be a beast for you to have this fear. I am one of the lucky ones who has been blessed with a husband who is my very best friend…but I will be the first to admit that I worried about this…and more than a few times!
Put your hands up if you felt the slightest twinge of disappointment, and maybe even resentment, when your husband’s sperm analysis came back 100% perfect. Of course, getting a good result is fantastic, but it could also mean that all the (invisible) fingers of blame are now pointing in one person’s direction. Guess whose! Before my husband went for his sperm analysis, I had convinced myself that the fault had to be from him. Yes, I had a blocked tube…and yes, I was exhibiting classic PCOS symptoms…but I did have 1 clear tube…and my periods were clockwork regular, so it couldn’t be only from me. And, of course, Dr. Google had told me that his darkened finger and toe nails were an indication of a deficiency in Vitamin B, which could also imply problems with his sperm. So, I was a little shocked when his sperm report came back flawless…fantastic! Count, check! Mobility, check! Motility, check! Shape, check! From his report, there was no reason why he couldn’t impregnate even a woman nearing menopause. Whilst we both rejoiced over this awesome result, I couldn’t help but cloak myself in the fear that, now that we both knew who the weaker link was, my fairytale would soon come to an end.
And this irrational fear wasn’t only limited to my TTC days. After I conceived through our 2nd IVF cycle, in my 20th week I found out we were having two beautiful girls. Today, I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. But back then, that very morning that I had the scan, I was devastated by the news…and I spent the rest of the day moaning and lamenting. My worry? That my husband would leave me for someone who would give him a boy. I thank God that I soon shook myself out of that ungrateful rut, and soon warmed to the idea of being a Mother to adorable girls. I also had to remind myself to trust my man…and trust him absolutely. It wasn’t enough to trust him not to cheat on me, or not to be irresponsible with our finances. I had to trust him to be true to his promise to me…which was, and is, to be dedicated to me, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health!
We recently attended a seminar on Emotional Branding/Intelligence, and there was something really poignant I took away from it, particularly the session by renown Motivational Speaker, Lanre Olusola. He said that it is what we speak that we live. He gave the example of asking us NOT to think of a blue elephant. But guess what. We were ALL thinking about a blue elephant. He said it wouldn’t do to say, for example, “I don’t want to be sick,” as that could inadvertently remind your body to BE sick, but to instead say “I am healthy!”. You get my drift, right?
Because I speak from experience, I can tell you that, if you are nursing fears of your husband leaving you because of that, these fears are often unfounded. So, basically, you will be weeping over an ailment you don’t even have. And sadly, in some very unfortunate cases, some women vocalize this worry constantly, and incessantly, to the point that this, and not the infertility, becomes the problem. Soon, this insecurity drives a wedge between the couple…and, sadly, could end even the best of marriages. When this happens, don’t tell people that your partner left because of your infertility. Your partner left because of your insecurity.
And this doesn’t happen to only women. I have been told that, in a lot of cases, men with fertility challenges are even more insecure than their female partners, and can morph into possessive, suspicious, distrusting, nagging mutations of their normal selves.
Alas, there are exceptions to this rule. There are those men, and women, who will tire of hanging around, and believe they could do much better. I have heard stories of the horrible things some so-called-husbands, and wives, have spewed to their suffering spouses, choosing not to offer them support, but to instead compound their pain. As I have said many times before, if this is your spouse, honey…you are better off without him/her.
The bottom line is this. Save yourself that extra stress and focus all your energy on defeating this thing called infertility. Instead of trying to look into the future, and crying over your man (possibly) leaving you, remain in the now and strategise about how to get your happy ending.
Stay happy folks…and in love!