Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Infertility Chip

This post was supposed to focus on our backpacking trip this weekend which was as mentally, physically, and emotional challenging as I'd say our Peru trip last year.  Except this was only 20 miles and two days.  We were in the Sequi.oa Nati.onal Fore.st and hiked to Pi.nto La.ke.  I always hate that I write about this stuff before I have the pictures available (can't seem to find the camera USB cable) so sorry there are no pictures.  But the weather was perfect, no mosquitoes, and terrific exercise. 

For some reason however, the Labor Day weekend was for me, a heart wrenching experience filled with misunderstandings and miscommunications (I guess that's redundant.)  My husband really struggled on the hike (we had some grueling uphill climbs) and accused me of trying to starve him just because I was never hungry enough to suggest we stop to each lunch.  I am very, very sensitive about being perceived as a good wife who anticipates her husband's needs.  So, to be accused of deliberately hurting him or not helping him, hurts deeply.  And there seems to be a lot of that lately.

Now that we live apart during the week, I work more, at work and at home.  I am simply much busier taking care of a household by myself.  I couldn't imagine doing this with kids to take care of (couldn't do it) but the strain is real.  My husband has focused more on what I forgot to do or forgot to pack than what I did.  He is very much "the glass is half empty" right now.  And we argued about that this weekend.  And I cried a lot.  My sunglasses are still stained with tears.  For some reason, I just can't wipe them clean.

It became obvious to me this weekend that I have an infertility chip on my shoulder.  That although infertility no longer stings like it used to, I view myself as a survivor and expect recognition of what I endure or what I've triumphed over.  Yes, this is wrong in practical, spiritual terms but the feeling is so strong.  I want my husband to constantly recognize the sacrifices I've made for us.  Ann Romney talked about how the burden of life is greater for women than men (that's how I interpreted it) in her speech at last week's RNC.  But that comment didn't make me feel any great empathy for Republicans or made me feel at peace with life, it made me very mad.  This is not fair and everybody knows it.

I'm angry that I'm not looking at the bright side.  I'm angry that my influence over my husband is lessened especially now that he's so close to his parents.  This is a very sore subject for me.  I'm angry that I'm not the one who made mistakes but I'm the one paying for them.  I'm struggling with the idea of following my husband into a life I never envisioned for myself and one that I don't really want.  I hate to sound dramatic but it's the truth.  I like my life here.  It's not perfect but it's my life.  Argh!!!


  1. Sometimes it is harder to be the woman...in life and in relationships. But it's the way it is and we just have to live with it. right? Hoping you feel better soon...and no ones life is perfect...on ones.

  2. I am sorry N. My husband and I have had a really rough go of it the last few months (the miscarriage notwithstanding - that was a blow we didn't need. But who ever needs something like that...my point, it just made an already bad situation worse.) Anyway, I think we hit rock bottom the other night and are slowly climbing out of the pit. One thing that I asked for us to do at the end of our blow-up fight on Monday night was starting on Tues...EVERY night whether together or apart - it didn't matter, just the fact that we were doing it - was to pray a rosary. I really think our lack of prayer has been a huge cause of our problems (which also involve work problems - both of us, miscommunication issues, crabbiness, etc.) So far we are 2 for 2. Nothing big, but a start. Would your husband consider praying with you over the phone each night while he is away? It doesn't matter what the prayer is - maybe find something that both of you like. I think the Litany of St. Joseph is pretty cool, but just a personal preference, or the rosary...

    I will be praying for you guys as well. God Bless! St. Joseph, pray for us!

  3. I was really hoping that title signaled some sort of dessert...

    I think I understand what you're talking about. I think I'm conscious of the fact that nobody else sees it (nobody feels sorry for me - which is good - I guess?), but _I_ see so much of my life as "in spite of" the crosses I've been asked to carry. I frequently recognize that I've come further than might be expected (and often further than other people) despite the fact that they had advantages I didn't. (And may have had disadvantages I didn't, I know.) I don't mean that in terms of being vain - I truly don't think it's vanity - but I'm very conscious that IF has been a major burden in my life, and I tend to see all the things I've been able to achieve (even something as small as temporary peace of mind) as a major achievement in light of that fact. Which seems kind of unremarkable, except that NO ONE ELSE sees my life in those terms. Even my husband! I don't know whether that's a good thing, really, it's just strange.

    And, I can say, I remember living apart during the week during our second year of marriage. And then, again, 60% of the time for a period of 18 months, ending in 2010, because my husband's job took him all over the world. For us, with a volatile relationship, that initial year mostly-apart may have been a blessing. But it was definitely hard. And the later 18-month period was miserable. I think we're still working out the kinks after that. The bottom line was, from my point of view, we were essentially not married during that time. I couldn't need him or rely on him or be with him. And then he would come home and expect me to need him and rely on his judgment. For two weeks? For what, entertainment? I lived by myself. If I hadn't been independent, I would have collapsed. I viewed his notions as an intrusion. And I would find myself saying things like, "My house." "I do not want dirty laundry all over the floor in my house. Put it in the hamper or I will throw it out!"

    Bottom line: I think that spouses living apart, like infertility, is something you can survive, and maybe good could come of it, but in itself it is bad and only bad.

    I hope this gets easier for you guys - or, ideally, you live together full-time again soon!