Trying To Conceive & Infidelity

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Having a boyfriend cheat on you is rough…for a fiancé, it’s even harder…but when it’s your husband…that’s a different kettle of fish. The pain and devastation that arises when your husband breaks the vows he made to you, by having an affair (physical and/or emotional) with another woman, is one of the most devastating and crushing things a woman can go through. And if the couple is still trying to conceive (TTC) their first child, that is adding hot pepper to the open, seeping wound.

Trying to conceive a child is hard enough. The timing, the stress, the disappointment, and the pressure can be quite a lot for any couple to bear. But as stressful as this is, knowing you are doing it as a team can be all the couple needs to continue forging along. The stress and heartbreak can serve to even bond them even more, as they are as vulnerable to each other as they could ever be. Together, they have hit rock bottom, and they continue to help each other up as they to strive towards that :bfp:. But when infidelity inserts its ugly head, it all comes crashing down. It is an even deeper stab wound, with an even more crushing feeling of betrayal.

I know a lot of women who have been in this situation. My friend, Agatha*, was still recovering from yet another laparoscopy when she got a call from a woman, claiming to have accompanied her husband on a recent trip out of town. She went into enough explicit detail, for my friend to know she was probably saying the truth. Her heart sank as she listened to this woman rave and rant, and when she finally found her voice, the first thing she could bring herself to ask was “Are you pregnant?”, and was almost sick with relief when the woman told her she wasn’t. By the time her husband got home, Agatha had packed all his things in boxes, in an absolute rage. Bode* wept, and cried, and begged. She eventually let him stay, but moved out of their room. For the next few weeks, any time she remembered, she would lash out at him like a wounded animal. She told me how she emptied a bucket of water on him as he slept, smashed to pieces his expensive phone, scratched him till she inflicted deep marks on his arm, and constantly hurled verbal abuse at him. But he took it all with contrition, pleading with her it would never repeat itself. His excuse was that the TTC pressure had gotten the better of him. After months counselling, they were finally on the mend, and were able to put the incident behind them.

But this is not how it ends for a number of other women. Another friend of mine, Lola* didn’t get a phone call from a mistress, but watched as her husband, Val*, grew more and more distant. His nights got later, and his enthusiasm for their TTC quest grew weaker and weaker. In fact, getting him to cooperate for baby making became close to impossible. A reluctant search through his phone revealed to her what she had suspected all along. There was another woman. She confronted him with this information, and wondered if she could ever forgive him. The only thing is that he didn’t want her forgiveness, in fact he seemed almost relieved that she had found out. “But what did you expect?!” she told me was his response. “I am almost 40! Do you want me to go to my grave without a child??!”. Luckily, the said mistress wasn’t pregnant, and Val’s staunch Catholic family would not have that kind of disgraceful behaviour from their son. Unfortunately, however, the harm had already been done, and their relationship was irretrievably broken. Lola found it impossible to get over the betrayal, and no longer saw Val as the man she would want to father her children, when they eventually came. They are now separated.

My first cousin found herself in a similar situation. Her formerly loving and attentive husband, who treated her like the apple of his eye, turned into a hostile stranger, after 7 years of TTC. He latched on to every, and any, opportunity to attack her for their situation, and called her all sorts of ugly names. The irony of it all was that she was the one who already had a child from a previous relationship. After a while, her husband proceeded to start “looking outside”. Without any recourse to her feelings or dignity, he proceeded to recklessly pursue other women. He dated their neighbours, and even some of her acquaintances. He left condoms littered around the house, and had loud, flirtatious phone conversations, even when she was within earshot. One morning, she woke up and he was gone. Just like that. He had packed his things and left the house. That was the unceremonious end to what had been a wonderful marriage.

Ify* had had a tumultuous short-lived first marriage, which ended because of her former husband’s inclination to violence and wife-battery, which had made her miscarry 2 pregnancies. Two years later, she married Kola*, and everyone was so happy that she had finally met the love of her life. One year turned to two, and then three, but they were not able to conceive. After a few IVF cycles, Kola’s grumbles, which started as small murmurings but had now become diatribes, were what she fell asleep listening to, and woke up hearing. He grumbled relentlessly about how much they had spent on these cycles, and how he didn’t sign up for this. Soon, he was back in the arms of his ex-girlfriend, leaving Ify no option but to move out.

In some of these cases, even the families join in the fun. I was told the story of a lady called Irene*, who found out that her husband had impregnated another woman. She stormed off to her report him to her Parents-in-law…and got the shock of her life. Not only where they well aware of the other woman, they were in full support of the pregnancy, and told her in clear terms that she should either take it or leave it. Well, she decided to take it, and is now forced to play host to the baby mama, when she visits with her toddler son.

Why then does this happen? Why are some men more prone to stray when they are on the TTC train. Some of the most common excuses I have heard is that the process is too stressful, their wives have changed, sex has become routine and uninteresting, or, and this is the worst one, because they want to have kids, with or without this barren woman! For me, not only are these extremely selfish answers, none of these is a justified reason to break the heart of this woman you are supposed to love so much. Whilst there is some truth to the fact that TTC does put considerable strain on a marriage, anyone who is not strong enough to work through this added pressure or strain, has no reason even TTC’ing in the first place, or striving to be a parent. If the slightest indication of pressure makes your partner opt for an easy way out and run for the hills, then you might be well better off without this person.

Another thing that really grates on my skin, is society’s penchant to immediately forgive these erring men, especially if their wives have not given them children yet. In fact, not only does it become an acceptable excuse, accusing fingers start to point at the wife…the poor woman who is still learning how to work her way through this mess, now has to deal with people blaming her for her husband’s infidelity. And woe betide the woman if she has a hint of a career. The story transforms into a case of how she was too busy to give her husband a baby, and how it serves her right. Case in point is the recent story involving the marriage breakdown of Toke Makinwa & Maje Ayida. Another example is the Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt divorce. In both cases, Toke and Jennifer were accused of putting career over family, and being too ambitious. Nobody knows if, and how long, these women might have been trying for a baby themselves. People think they know the whole story…but they really don’t.

The good news is that not all men are as callous as this. I, for one, have been extremely lucky, and blessed, with a wonderful man…who has stood by me through thick and thin. Rather than give me additional stress when we were TTC, he helped me relieve it. And I know there are a number of other wonderful men who will not step out of line from their position as your number 1 support and the person you can most rely on. Be it 1, 10, or 100 years of TTC, a good man will always stand by his woman!

 

* Not Real Name

Good luck, and baby dust to all!

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23 COMMENTS

  1. 1000 likes for this piece @nicole It’s sad the pressuresame that women have to go through. Just because a lady is still looking happy and dressing well while TTC, you hear comments like ‘she is doing sisi instead of getting pregnant’ people can be really insensitive and it just boggles my mind. A woman who is TTC should now carry a stamp on her forehead that says so? God help us oh

  2. As if TTC isn’t hard enough already, then you add infidelity… what grates on me most is the double standard society has for men and women and how easy it is to give the guy a pass but not so for a woman.

  3. Nicole, a friend told my husband to get me pregnant else I will continue to dress well and not think of having babies, can u imagine that. My husband told her I’m the one rather pushing for the babies to come. The question I asked is, so I shouldn’t dress well because I’m TTC.

  4. my name is aj, and my husband and I were ttc for 7 years. I got married at 25 while my husband was 35. we tried all we could but it just wasn’t working out. I was accused of marrying him because he was 10years my elder. the ridicule from his family especially his sisters was too much. there were times, his family brought him a new wife but God being soo good he rejected all. after going through there’s to be done, we decided to give ttc a break as my body was suffering from all those drugs and procedures. after 7 years of active ttc, we finally had our babies. I had triplets the natural way even though I had 4 failed ivf cycles. but during that ttc time I added value to myself, I moved from having a diploma in electrical engineering to having an MPhil. the ttc stage helped draw me closer to God and my family. I guess he was preparing me for my babies. after 10 years of marriage I have 3 year old triplets(2boys and 1girl) who are absolutely adorable. I’m also grateful to MDH who stood by me all those times. I’m most grateful. I wanted to share my story to encourage u all

  5. When I got on this platform, I was wondering whether all the TTC and Infertility experiences had only happy endings and like mine, nobody had to experience infidelity until I stumbled on this piece. Very wonderful piece but heartbreaking experiences… I have been a victim too and the lady even has a child from what I gathered… Both my hubby and I are from opposite geographical locations also (Middle-belt and East) and u can guess where I’m from ‘cos I’m most disadvantaged as everything is an issue to his family even after being married for over 7years. His family have gone with him to claim the child in my absence but to no avail. My marriage broke down and my family was devastated but I still forgave and went back. My thoughts are that this infertility thing has done more harm to me than anybody dat exists but I get to hear even worse stories… It has broken everything in me but God’s grace still gives me the strength to forgive and move on… Trust has always been an issue since then and often makes me go paranoid then I pray and do my best to gather my senses together and move on… Thanks for sharing!

    • Pee, thank you so much for sharing your story! That is one of the least talked about, but more common than we like to admit, outcomes of infertility. I pray for God’s healing for you hun! It is well! :hugs: :hug:

  6. Being on this page has given me an insight on how TTC mothers feel… Pls I have a friend who has been trying to conceive for 3years.. Pls, what can I really do to encourage her and put little smiles on her face from time to time… Thanks! Amaka

  7. Hey everyone I stumbled on this post nw I am on same page being TTC for 3yrs and half did all the tests and mine came out fine while DH SA didn’t although he’s been taking different treatment ever since. Sometime ago I went thru his chats and saw he’s flirting with some girls I confronted him and he denied but jus last week after returning from a journey I found condom in his brief case I was shocked and didn’t confront him cos I was looking for more evidence, the following day, the condom vanished still didn’t confront him, so I secretly went thru his chats again and I saw how he was telling some girl that he missed the spooning method and some other tins, I am very heart broken I haven’t talked to him about it yet don’t think I can get over it especially as I am not with any ish and still very supportive all these years. sorry for boring you with this long epistle pls lemme have some useful advice thanks

    • @celestial my heart goes out to you dear. sending you truck loads of hugs :hugs:
      This is tough, don’t beat yourself up dear, don’t think its because you haven’t had a baby. The FAULT is all his, remember that always. A man who cheats is ONLY to blame, there is nothing you did or didn’t do that brought this on, ok girl?
      Some men have pretty slim wives and cheat with fat ugly girls so we shall never understand men jare. Some say it’s a conquest, some will say now its the stress of the SA result. They always have excuses, you just go to God in prayers to heal you and grant you wisdom for direction. When you are calm, then you can confront him.
      Finally, love yourself so much so not him or anyone can ever make you feel less or guilty…..There is this aura of confidence that goes with self love, put some on dear. Will pray for your healing, take care dear.

        • @godspeed I wasn’t trying to shade. I could be a fat ugly woman who’s man loves her unconditional right? I get you though, maybe it was a bad analogy but the summary was men leave “perfect” women for “imperfect”. Same way some woman say tall men versus short etc…..I hope you understand the clarification.

    • Hi Celestial, I’m so sorry, you find yourself in such a situation. First of all, this is your husband and it doesn’t matter, whether, you have children already or not, whether,he has been supportive or not, infidelity is bad, it’s painful and you shouldn’t feel you can’t talk to him, because of the things, he has done in the past.

      I can just imagine, how heartbroken you are now, but you need to talk about it, otherwise, you will act it. Bring up the matter of the chats and condoms with him and see how it goes. But please stop feeling that the fact that you are TTC gives him the liberty to cheat, because, it doesn’t.
      cc: @nicole

    • Celestial, my heart broke reading this. It’s especially hurtful as you have been the supportive one through all of this. My dear, you have to confront him. You just have to. This is not a case of turning a blind eye. You absolutely can’t. He needs to look you in the eye and explain why, at a time when you two should be united in this fight, he has decided to stray. He owes you that. After that, leave it all to God. But in all this, your self confidence must never waver. Like @bosa said, you MUST love yourself. The God we serve will grant you healing…and a resolution. It is well hun!

  8. I’m facing this challenge and its been tough. I sought counsel but was told by my counsellor that it is a common problem and couples who celebrate 20years wedding anniversary survived this. I quickly told him that my parents didn’t. He proceeded to tell me various stories of couples who went thru it and came out strong. He concluded with saying,’if u leave now, what guarantees you that the next person won’t be the same? What if he changes after you leave? Don’t allow another woman reap where you sowed.’

    I was comforted by the fact that I’m not alone in this situation but I keep asking myself, why is it happening? I have forgiven, I’m still here and I want children badly! Not just to save my marriage but to prove to people and myself that i’m not a failure.

    • Tigho, I know you will have children but they are not who define you a success or not. I understand where you’re coming from and that counsellor for that matter. But the truth is, you are staying not just to save your marriage, not because you want children or the analogy of your counsellor, its because, you’re able to deal with it. Not many people can and girl, you rock for having such a forgiving heart. May God bless you with those children soon.

    • Infidelity is the biggest betrayal for any TTC couple. To me, it is such a huge blow, and it can be really hurtful, especially when the couple is supposed to be bonding at such a critical time. Sending you huge hugs, my darling Tigho. It is rough. It is hard. But if there is true contrition, please open your heart to forgiveness and reconciliation. And you will most surely have your kids, by God’s very special grace. You are not a failure. Having children or not is not enough to qualify one as a failure. You are a very special lady, and my prayer for you is for all to be healed in your home, and the desires of your heart to be met. :hug:

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