Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Men Dealing With Childlessness September 14, 2010

This month’s Oprah magazine has a feature about surviving miscarriage—from the man’s point-of view. It’s so rare that we ever hear what it’s like for men to deal with infertility, loss, or “missing the baby boat.” I think it’s easier for us women to find communities and to talk to one another openly and honestly about our feelings. Not so for men.

While I’m merrily discussing my infertility with you and pretty much anyone who’ll listen, I know that my husband is dealing with it by not dealing with it. In time, if properly ignored, it will somehow go away. I’ve been hashing out my emotions in writing, sorting through my story and looking for meaning, but my husband doesn’t want to read anything I write. He says he doesn’t want to have to relive it all again.

We all deal with things differently and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, but I wonder if the men involved in our stories are getting what they need to heal. Where does your spouse/partner go for help? Does he go anywhere? Would he benefit from having somewhere safe to go to talk, or is that not how he deals with problems?

Our men may be from Mars, rather than our own planet of Venus, but we’re all hurtling around the same crazy solar system.


5 Responses to “Men Dealing With Childlessness”

  1. Sue Says:

    My husband doesn’t talk about his feelings much regarding our losses and being childless. He says he is fine not having any children but he just hurts for me and how much pain and sorrow I have felt. However, he does have a friend who lives out of state that he talks about it with. His friend and his wife have struggled with getting pregnant and I know they share stories and such. I’ve asked what he talks to him about and what he says but he always generalizes it. I’m really curious to hear what the two of them say and share, but I’m not going to push to find out. I’m just happy he has a friend to speak to and confide in who understands from the male perspective.

  2. Monica Says:

    My hubby for the longest time said nothing, much like myself he couldn’t wrap his brain around the concept. I went to therapy and we practiced my “homework”. I think in his focus on getting me healthier, for that I am more then thankful, he also got some of the management lessons I was learning. He is now talking about it, not only with me but with some of his peers. I think we lucked out with our friends, all of them knew it took years or us to talk about it and now they are hear to listen and not offer up “fixes”.
    For my upcoming artshow, he made a work, I was over the moon that he wanted to be a part of the discussion and deeply touched that he felt safe in sharing it with not only me but others too.

  3. lmanterfield Says:

    This is really great that your hubbies have found an outlet. I am going to keep a close eye on mine and find a way to help if I can. Thanks for the insight.

  4. Catherine V Says:

    My husband’s outlet is telling me that I should talk to him. And then when I do, it seems I’m having the wrong feelings about infertility. I don’t know which way is better or worse — having a husband who’s overly involved or one who isn’t. Maybe it doesn’t matter, as I suspect you still feel lonely and guilty either way.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Ack! Your feelings are your feelings, not right or wrong, just what they are. It’s hard when you’re not coming from the same place about this. It’s hard either way, I think.

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