Started writing this as a response to a comment, then realized it was getting long—so I’m making it a new post.
In response to my rant about my MIL (below), Trish said:
"People just don't get it. They really, really don't get it. I think the worst of it for me is that my HUSBAND is the same way to an extent. He doesn't understand why I cry when my period comes. Or feel fear now that I’m pregnant. What's happened in the past is the past so why let it affect my future."
Here’s my response:
I had a heart-to-heart with my husband on this very same issue a couple of days ago. At some point, when I was all weepy and he was being sweet and comforting, I asked him, "so how are YOU doing?"
He said, "Don't worry about me. Just worry about yourself."
I mulled this over for a few days, then realized why it bothered me so much. The truth is, I WANT to worry about him. I NEED to worry about him. All I do is wait, day after day, for someone to worry about and take care of. In the meantime, because he doesn’t want to trouble me, my husband and partner––the only other member of my tiny little family––is denying me the ability to worry about and take care of him.
So I told this to J the other night. And I explained that I have never been more isolated than I am when I’m dealing with or thinking about infertility. Worrying about myself is isolating, and frankly, it's getting boring and frustrating. The most healing events in this entire nightmare have been the few times--and I can think of only two right now--when J needed something from ME. Even something as simple as telling me, "what I really need is for my mother and aunt to stop talking about our future child for the rest of the holiday weekend." Or a year ago, when our due date for our first pregnancy came up the same weekend that his twin brother visited with his 6-month-old baby, hearing J tell me “I didn’t expect it to be this hard.” Just knowing that we’re in this together—that it’s not just happening to me while life goes on as usual for him, made me feel so much better.
I also told him that he was dreaming if he didn’t think infertility was affecting our marriage. Not that it’s threatened, but it’s … I believe I used the word “droopy.” And it’s pretty much ruined our sex life.
When I really pressed, I finally got him to admit to a feeling. He said he was “just tired” of the whole thing. Progress! Trying not to be patronizing, I explained to him that this “tired” sensation is depression. And that I’m feeling it too. And that it’s normal. And that we’re in this together.
Not exactly the kind of heart-to-heart you have with a girlfriend, but it felt good nonetheless.
UPDATE: Since our conversation, I've not succeeding in getting any more information out of J regarding how he's feeling. So while that was a nice moment, I don't think it's going to get him to open up to me anymore. Who knows? Maybe he's not feeling anything. (Except tired of being stone-cold sober--clean living SUCKS.)