This fabulous post inspired me to blog about why I think infertility tears relationships apart. Princess talks about how her husband made an admission in marriage counseling and how it affected her. The admission was simple; I wish I could fix it.
I’m convinced that most women and men are born with instinctive anchors to their sense of self, especially relating to their sex. Two of the important ones are the ability to be a mother (for women) and the ability to protect their family (men).
Now I’m not saying that all men and women want these things, but I think that if the person does want them and becomes aware that they can’t have them then they begin to feel robbed of their status as “woman” or “man.”
The ability to protect their family is a huge part of a man’s pride. They are born big and strong, they are built to be protectors. I think this is why men have such a hard time seeing women cry, especially their wives. I think they feel a need to fix it and protect them from the hurt and yet powerless to make it stop. Infertility makes everyone involved powerless but I don’t think women take the powerless feeling as hard as men do. Every time you cry it makes him feel like less of a man, and lets be honest after a few years of that you’re a pretty amazing couple if you’re still going strong!
The ability to bare children, or at least mother is a huge part of a woman’s basic make up. Even the parts of us that make us outwardly female all stem from our future as mothers, breasts, curves and hips. Women’s bodies were designed for one thing: to procreate. If we’re not able to do that what are we good for? Infertility takes our basic sense of being a woman away from us and makes us question our worth. Even if we have never placed our worth in our bodies before, infertility can turn the whole world upside down and make a confident successful woman feel lower than dirt.
This then turns into a cycle.
The woman feels sad and debased so she cries.
The husband can’t fix it so he retreats emotionally.
The wife sees the husband retreat and feels like it's because he is disappointed that she can’t make him a father so she cries some more.
And the cycle continues.
I think I’ve identified the cycle and some of the problems, but I have no idea how to fix them. How can we stop putting all of our worth in our baby making capabilities? How can we make our husbands realize sometimes protecting us just means we need them to hold and tell us they love us?