Childless women in pain

I had a great weekend, although I was strongly reminded of my childless status at a party where everyone was talking about their children and grandchildren. At such times, I can either smile and nod or hit the buffet table again. “Five grandkids, huh? And the new one is due in September? Nice.” You know how it goes. I’ve been dealing with it for years.

But some women are in the throes of such deep pain they don’t know what to do. I received messages from two such women this weekend.

The first is Jennifer, who writes:
“I’m now 37, husband is 40. We have been married for almost 13 years. I always wanted children. He wanted to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, 3 years ago I ‘made’ him go to a fertility doctor with me. The doctor immediately thought it was me, put me on Clomid, etc. He tested my husband ‘just in case.’ On Halloween (my favorite holiday in the world, or it used to be)…I went for my checkup to see how the Clomid was working. He examined me, told me I was responding “wonderfully” and told me to have sex that weekend. I was SO thrilled!!!! Then, before he left, I asked him if he had the results of my husband’s exam. He looked worried, and said “I’ll be right back.” He came back a few minutes later, and simply said “There was a big problem. Your husband has no sperm.” I must have said “are you sure?” about ten times. I was shocked. He said, “Don’t worry, we can use donor sperm and you’ll be pregnant within a month or two.” My husband, however, did not want to use donor sperm. My husband doesn’t want to adopt. He’s happy with his life. He likes his job and has his stupid band. I, on the other hand, am miserable. I feel left out. I don’t have any friends anymore because all of my friends have children and that’s all they talk about. I don’t have family, so my having a child meant everything in the world to me. I feel so isolated and SO lonely…I honestly don’t know how I am going to survive another day let alone a lifetime. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m at the end of my rope.” 😦

This morning, I got a message from Iris:
“I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know how to deal with the pain of
being childless. My heart never felt so broken. I am married now and
my husband has four children. None of those experiences were good. Now,
between layoffs, strikes, and circumstances, I think I will never have
children. I am 45 going on 46. If the window of opportunity is not
already closed, it is fast approaching. I don’t want to feel this
pain. I don’t want to be bitter. I don’t know what to do.”

Friends, we’re all in the same leaky boat. I think the hardest time to be childless is when you’re in your 30s and 40s and feel your chances slipping away. When you get older, I promise you will find ways to make peace with the situation. Meanwhile, I think it’s essential to talk first with your partner. Try to make him or her understand how you feel, how very important it is to have children NOW. I was guilty of not speaking up enough. I think if I had, I would have children now. If your mate will not listen, find someone else to talk to, a friend,a counselor, anyone who will listen. Don’t keep it bottled up. You also need to consider whether this partner is worth the sacrifice. If you had to choose between losing him or her and losing your potential children, which would you pick?

I welcome your comments and your advice.

11 thoughts on “Childless women in pain

  1. The pain. Yes. It permeates every fiber of my being. People make snide remarks about the woes of having “a couple of kids running around” and I wish I had the opportunity. My husband, whom I adore, nods his head in agreement with the sarcasm, but not me. He got the opportunity to participate in the bittersweet game of parenthood, albeit in a less than positive manner. I haven't gotten that chance. He doesn't want it. Even my pleas and tears and depression only managed to elicit a half-hearted agreement to see a specialist, who told me, essentially, that at 42 my eggs are so old my chances are very slim. Add that to the cost and my husband’s lack of desire and here I am… bitter, lonely, childless. This is the biggest regret of my life and one from which I don't think I will ever recover.

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  2. My husband and I have been married for 20 years. When we were young and healthy, we tried for a baby, but then health issues got in the way. Then he stalled, seems he wanted me more than the risk of a child. Only a few years ago, he finally told me about his' fears and we started trying again but the doctor told us we had waited too long. Now I spend every day smiling to people and nights crying. Although it has been a month since being told this, the pain is as fresh as day 1. I am angry, sad and confused. I hate the fact that my husband has his' son from his' first marriage. While it’s not a great relationship, he exists and I have nothing. I cannot stand hearing from family and friends about how well you could do this or that…guess what, we looked into it all and “don't have the money or don't qualify.” I want to scream. Not that the other side of the coin is much better with some telling you maybe it is for the better or God’s will. Can we say please let me slap you. I know in time I will heal, but until then every day is a battle and every night I weep for the loss of a child that never was but could have been so much more…the dreams, hopes and love that I needed to share.

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  3. I am also a childless married woman. I am so unlucky that in both of my marriages, this is my second, my husbands don’t like children. My second husband before marriage said he likes children, but after marriage it was different. He is even unable to do intercourse. Otherwise he is a nice person. I am 48. I don’t keep any connection with friends because they all have children to talk about. I do a job just to pass time, I don’t have interest in anything. I don’t like to talk to people much, no interest what is happening around me. Just do job and watch TV when I am at home, no other interest. I wanted to have a child so much. I tried for adoption too, but my husband did not cooperate. I don’t know how to cope up with this situation. I don’t want to pursue any hobby too. Left everything. Am I just living to just count my days before I die?

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  4. Anonymous,
    You sound so depressed I'm worried about you. Have you considered getting some counseling just to have someone to talk to? It can help.
    I can advise you to try to count your blessings because I know you do have some, but I also know it's hard to do that when everything seems worthless. Please try.
    I wish you the best and hope you see daylight soon.

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  5. Dear SueThanks for your encouragement. I tried counselling, developing some hobbies, even some religious spiritual yoga meditation methods. Nothing helped. When I work I forget everything. After work and on weekends, I feel so depressed and always feel sorry about myself that i don’t have a child.

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  6. Ladies, I am feeling the same way you all are. I'm 39, married for 12 years, husband has a 16 year old ( hardly a relationship there). Sick of everyone and their “children” talk. Husband doesn't want kids, thought he did at one point. But nope. He lied to me this whole time. I think he got fixed and didn't tell me. He swears he didn't. In a nutshell, I'm just fed up and don't know what to do. Depressed and angry.

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  7. Anonymous, I'm sorry. I think you have to get your husband to be honest about whether he did or didn't “get fixed.” I mean, what kind of relationship is it if you can't talk about something so important. Maybe he didn't do it.
    I sympathize with being sick of the talk about children. I started with a new dentist this week, and her assistant never stopped talking about her children. I wanted to scream, but of course I had sharp instruments in my mouth.
    Hang in there.

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  8. Dear Sue, Thank you for your reply. We have a screwed-up relationship. He does/says things that are solo. We hardly do things together. Always speaking ” I” did this, have this instead of “we” when I’m standing there in front of others. Makes me feel bad. But I will find a way to communicate with him better and do things as partners. Maybe he's experiencing mid life crisis?! I'm sorry I hope I make sense. My husband drives me bananas!

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  9. HelloWhen I was 38-39, I was so sad one day (first day of my period which was always on time; never late) while in a shopping mall, I went into a lift and suddenly was surrounded by a pregnant woman and her 2 toddlers. Goodness me, I felt so sick with jealousy.If a husband doesn't want children, he has to let her go while she is still fairly young so that she still has her chance to be a mother.To Anonymous who wrote on October 4 (39 years old), if you are reading this – you still have the chance to become a mother. But you have to take action now.

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