Real Advice From Other Moms

It never fails: When you have a nice night out with your spouse, you end up fighting on the way home. Here is one woman's account of an infertility seminar she attended, her reaction to the stress and the spat that followed in the car.

stressed out woman

I had my infertility (IF) seminar this evening that was given by the Fertility Center I'm going to start visiting. It was very informative and interesting. I already knew most of what they talked about from my research, but I think my husband learned a lot.

On the way home, however, he and I got in a bit of a spat. I just got very emotional, like it was just all so scary and overwhelming. And it just hit me all of the sudden, and I started crying in the car. He told me to just quit getting so upset, as he usually does.

He always seems to scold me for getting upset! I can't help being upset, and it's not healthy to let it all build up either. I told him I just have to let it out. I can't just go around pretending to be happy all the time just because he doesn't like to see me upset.

Plus. I told him that I wish he would be more involved in all this stuff and show a little more interest. I think he will be now; he sort of understands what is happening better now. And he did say that he was sorry that I feel like he is scolding me. We'll see if he gets any better, though.

Hi Kristin,

Sounds like the meeting was definitely worthwhile. I'm sorry that you and your husband had a spat, though. All that we have to go through with trying to conceive is so stressful. Maybe it was kind of hitting your husband, and that's why he wasn't more supportive.

He could be at a much different spot in the whole process than you are. I know that I think about this stuff way more often than my partner and then have to remind myself that she's in a different place than I am and doesn't know or remember all of the terms that I use. I now write out the days when things are going to happen (clomid, IUIs, testing, etc.) so she can keep track. I gave her a few books to read. It's helped her be more supportive. — Karen

As far as your husband scolding you, my partner does the same whenever I get too emotional. She says she is just trying to be strong for me, and trying to not let the emotional situation get out of control. She hates to see me cry, and thinks that's the way to stop me. But, of course, their telling us off just makes the whole situation worse. My partner is learning, slowly; hopefully, your husband will also. He just needs more educating in how emotions work, about when it's a good time to cry, and how tears help heal. Of course, nobody but we women really understand how bad we feel about not being able to get pregnant easily. That's why we need a board like this one. — Jenn

If there's one recurring theme apart from the obvious on these boards, it's that we think our men don't give us the support they always should. They get distressed or even angry when we're upset, and the more unhappy we are, the less sympathetic they become. I think they just get more and more helpless and less able to function when we are like that, and then they feel scared and indequate. But they always come up trumps when we really need their support. Emotionally, they are so different from us.

So cry your tears when you have to, and discuss the science bit with your husband if you can — but don't be offended by his wrong reaction. He loves you, and so do we. — Jane

I totally understand the emotions getting to us. I think our husbands and partners want to help us, and they feel helpless and it causes stress. I also know how emotions of the moment can get to us. — Kim

My husband is very similar. The most upset I have ever gotten in this process was when they wanted to start me on FSH. I was just bawling like crazy, and he kept saying, "So, what's the big deal?" We even had to go for a booster consult so the RE could explain the risks of FSH and all. I think maybe he got it a little then, but now it's been so long, I guess he has forgotten. I think you are doing everything right, though. Hopefully, you'll get your positive before the appointment. — Kerri

I wonder if all that info was just overwhelming to your husband, and as a result he took to arguing. I know it's awful, but sometimes I'm convinced men are just clueless. Whenever I talk about the science behind all of the hormones and stuff (I'm a chemist, he is a words person -- no scientific understanding), I'm sure all he hears is "Blah, blah, boobs, beer, blah, blah..." But maybe this will help him to understand more of what's going on. — Jodie

They all are like that in the beginning. They feel frustrated that they can't do anything. Then they really don't realize how much these hormones affect us. Believe me, they do get educated in the process, and they appreciate what we go through more in time.

My husband used to be like that — scold me if I got very upset. I've broken down at least a couple of times in the doctor's office; having the doctor say it's healthy to cry and perfectly normal, my husband is more at ease about that now.

He also did not understand why in vitro fertilization was so worrisome to me. He used to say it's not much more than an intrauterine insemination -- until we started the process. Now he is much more gentle with me. He does understand that the hormones wreak havoc with our emotions. And seeing me never complain about shots, he has become more appreciative of things. In this process, I'm glad to say we have become closer than we were before.

My husband isn't very supportive, and he gets mad when I get upset. I know how frustrating that is. It's normal to cry, and you would have issues if you hold it all in. I don't think that your response was anything but normal. — Sara

Bottom line: I know our husbands and partners love us. They just don't know how to make it better for us, hence their odd reactions. But believe me, they are always there for you when you need them. — milli

Thanks, everyone; you are all such great friends! Don't know what I would do if I hadn't found this board. Honestly, I think they would have carted me off in a straightjacket by now. I have been really down and emotional today, and I have tears in my eyes from reading all your messages.

I know that my husband loves me dearly; I should be happy that he is so strong and positive in all of this and doesn't break down all the time like I do. But sometimes I feel like he is too sure that it will just be an easy fix, and he won't look ahead to the future and think about the "what ifs."

I suppose it doesn't help to dwell on that stuff, but I want to be realistic here and think about how far we are willing to go and how much in debt we are willing to sink. I guess I just have to take things one day at a time. That's what he always says... perhaps just once he is right. — Kristin

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