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May 8th, 2013, 01:51 PM
MelChicago MelChicago is offline
Just keep breathing.
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,986
So, I can talk about having your SO not on the same page I've shared similar struggles with my DH.

He was always ambivalent about having kids- he thought they'd be great, but also thought he could be perfectly happy without them. We love to travel and live the city life, so from time to time over the years he'd express concern about how that would change, or balk in response to family pressure (his brother is an uber religious Quiverfull type). And at other times he'd be really enthusiastic about having a little one. I made clear from the beginning that I wanted to have a family. Though I do know it's possible to have a full, great life without children, I knew what I wanted and made that clear to him. It did make me a bit nervous that he wasn't as enthusiastic as me- all the premarital advice says that if you're not perfectly in sync with your partner in every way, your marriage is doomed. (rolling eyes)

When I told him I was planning to go off birth control, a few months before I did so, he waffled a lot. I did- we conceived within two months. He was pretty overwhelmed for about a day- and then became SO excited. It was incredible. After his years of hot-and-cold, to have him become so excited and supportive truly warmed my heart.

Then we had our first loss. He was very sweet and encouraging- saying that wasn't our only chance. Again, that was such a comfort to me. But it wasn't all sunshine and roses. As sweet as he was in addressing the loss, in other ways he'd be selfish or lazy- dumb guy stuff.

We conceived again quickly. It was clear early on that the pregnancy wasn't going well, so I was really stressed out, crying a lot, obsessing a lot, until it was over. That time I used misoprostol at home to induce the mc. He stayed home with me while it was happening, and of course I was an emotional mess. At the end of the weekend, while I was sobbing, he blew up and snapped that he didn't want to do this anymore, he just can't deal with me being so sad.

That was like a slap in the face. I tried to calm down, tried to talk about it, tried to explain and qualify and excuse myself. It led to several weeks of horribleness. I felt like I couldn't be sad around him, like I had to put on a mask around the one person I wanted to be able fall apart. We were so tense. More than once I thought about divorce, having a hot affair to conceive some other guy's baby, abandoning him and forming a commune of women friends who would all artificially inseminate eachother and make this group mother-baby home. All this nutty stuff

I calmed down some, started with a therapist, and over time, I came to see that *my* experience was losing babies, but *his* experience was losing ME- to grief, ttc obsession, mysteriously complicated women-body-issues, etc. When I was able to talk calmly about that to him, he heaved this big sigh of relief, and said that was exactly it.

Have we had a big come-to-Jesus conversation where we both affirm we are exactly on the same page? No. He knows I intend to try again. I know he is ambivalent. We both know how much we would love a healthy pregnancy and baby, and don't want to go through more grief. I know- for good or ill- he is not the best equipped to deal with my grief. As much as I wish I could just dump myself inside out all the time around him, that doesn't serve our marriage. And it doesn't really serve me, either. A good friend said to me once, "When you need a plumber, you call a plumber; when you need a doctor, you go to the doctor; but when you meet a partner, somehow you expect them to be EVERYTHING. And that's not fair or possible." He's not my therapist, or my mom, or my best girlfriend.

With my third loss, I actually didn't share a lot of the detail with him. I definitely didn't tell him about my ovulation schedule or "likely" times to conceive. Sex was just fun sex. I didn't tell him about every hcg test and emotional ups and downs. I tried to keep my focus on US, on our marriage, and not JUST his role as sperm donor. It was really hard sometimes. I resented that he wasn't more "emotional", or the same as me. But I actually found that by keeping him out of my minute-to-minute anxiety, I got what I REALLY needed from him. He was affectionate, loving, cheery, supportive. We didn't just sit around staring glumly at each other and talking doom all the time. We were able to go out on dates, have fun, watch silly movies, talk about work stuff, other family stuff, be with friends, even be intimate, which helped connect me to who I am holistically, a woman with many interests and purposes, not just as a potential mother.

It's not been easy, and our marriage isn't perfect, but I've learned a lot through this journey about both of us. Do I wish he was the kind of guy to share my every thought? Sometimes. But that would change who he is, and the role he fills in my life which is so vital.

So, I sympathize with you completely. I know what it's like to have that struggle. As hard as it is to "back off" when all you want is a CLEAR ANSWER from him, I also know that pushing is not really likely to make either of you feel good about the answers you share.
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