I can recall many occasions where I would glance over at my husband sitting on the couch watching his favourite hockey team lose yet again, and wonder if my anguish-filled thoughts and prayers were echoed in his mind. Did he feel the pain of childlessness like I did? I could talk about it and agonize about it all day long but he seemed to be able to go about the day as if the greatest struggle we had endured to date was not occurring!
There were many times during my infertility journey that I thought I was losing my mind. In retrospect, I wonder if I had been on the verge of a mental breakdown. My brain was on overload from trying to make sense of a loving, sovereign God who was letting me suffer in pain and sorrow. At the same time, He had done so much for me in my life that I knew Him to be the God who loved me and had saved me from so many other forms of sorrow. I could not reconcile in my mind the differences between the God I served in my past and the God who was allowing my pain now.
And my amazing husband? He could simply accept that we were to wait on God’s timing and everything would work out. He is a man of great faith. I love him dearly and am so grateful for the strength in spirit that God gave him to endure our time of trial. I think it was hard for him to see me, the woman whom he had married knowing that faith was central to my existence, grappling with the core foundations of my beliefs.
Friend, do you feel that you are dealing with your pain differently than your spouse? That you feel so much more anguish than they do? Does your suffering saturate each conversation that you have with each other? I know how easy it is to dwell on being childless. It’s hard to ignore it. There are children everywhere! When looking for an understanding shoulder to lean on, the first place we go is to our spouse because they are going through the journey with us and should be feeling all the same emotions that we do, right?
I am very aware that men deal with issues differently than women. They internalize their emotions and are not quick to share while women are looking for a sounding board and an empathetic ear. We could talk and talk all day long about the same thing because it weighs so heavily on our hearts that it’s all we can think about.
Our husbands are our built in support system. Even if it is akin to pulling teeth to get them to share their feelings! God did not leave us alone to suffer. It is so easy to sink within ourselves and dwell in our own pain. We create walls around ourselves to protect ourselves but we need to remember to not push our spouse aside. He is indeed questioning the whys of being childless. It is difficult for anyone to feel deficient in any way. I think a husband feels this all the more because he is to be the leader, provider and protector for his family. Lean on each other and on God for the strength to persevere through the waiting. Keep an open dialogue between the two of you but do not force repetitive communication about your childlessness. Remember, you are both on the same journey, dealing with it in your own ways. You are in this together!
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:5-6
“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:26-27a