Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | December 22, 2008

the male point of view

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I told my husband that I was going to ask him about – gasp – his “feelings”. I told him I wanted him to think about what he felt about the miscarriage and general infertility while I brushed my teeth, and then we would talk. It’s hard to get him to talk, so sometimes I try to spring it on him out ofย  the blue, but sometimes he needs to think about it for a bit. He grumbled about it, but I was able to ignore the grumbling over the noise of my sonicare. Finally, I climbed into bed, put lotion on my feet and told him he could talk now.

S: I don’t know what you want me to say.

Me: You don’t have to say what I want you to say. I want to know how it’s affecting you.

S: Why?

I explained to him that I had been reading a new infertility blog, from the rare male perspective, and the guy was saying that he doesn’t talk to his wife about how much infertility hurts because he feels like he needs to be strong for her. He talks to family or friends if he needs to talk. He doesn’t want to make his wife feel worse than she already does. When I read that, it was surprising. I wondered if S felt the same way, if he talked to other people about it, but not me.

S said no. He said he has no need to talk to anyone about it, unless they have some sort of solution. Talking doesn’t make him feel better. I asked how the miscarriage affected him. He said that it didn’t really affect him all that much, that he knew it did affect me, that I felt different, had pregnancy symptoms, had to go through the bleeding and stuff, but that to him, it wasn’t real. It was just two lines on a stick. It didn’t really exist. It was just an idea. He said that maybe once he saw the baby move on an ultrasound, it would start to feel real. I tried not to be hurt by that. I asked him if he thought I should feel the same way. He said no, that he knew it was real to me, and that it was really hard for me.

I asked him about dealing with infertility in general. He said it wasn’t that big of a deal, that we were doing things to try to solve it. He did admit that he had the better end of the deal. Having to beat off into a cup once a month is far more bearable than the invasive procedures, frequent blood draws and ultrasounds and daily shots that I get to go through. We talked about how for me, it pretty much rules my life. For him, it’s a bump in the road. I told him that being infertile makes me feel like a failure. He did not understand that at all. He tried to make an analogy about socks that made absolutely no sense.

I understand that men and women are different and process things differently, but sometimes it’s shockingly different. Hearing my husband say that the pregnancy wasn’t “real” to him hurt me so much, but at the same time, he didn’t go through it physically, so how can he know how fucking awfully real it was to me?ย  Somehow I have to be okay with the fact that his perspective is different from mine, and that both are perfectly okay. He did emphasize that he loves me and he wants me to be happy. He said it was hard to watch me be so upset and not have any control to make things better.

Anyhow, that was our bedtime conversation last night. Welcome ICLW people!

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Responses

  1. Wow. This is a great post. I’m glad you got him to open up a little. The “What you want me to say” sounds just like me and my husband. It is interesting to hear his point of view. It was real, that’s why it’s so hard.

    I just finished my post for tomorrow and it’s about trying to get my husband involved or to understand what I’m going through, so I was really excited to see your post.

    Thanks for the comment, I wondered about the 5,000 units too, I wonder if because I’m a “big” girl, do I need more? Next time I see my RE I’m going to ask about the ovidrel. If I didn’t have a dose of novarel in my fridge I’d try to get a hold of it before next cycle. I figured out that my RE usually does the u/s himself on the weekends so I’m planning one of my next u/s on the weekend so that I can hopefully snag him and ask about the ovidrel. I’m sneaky like that.

  2. My husband Will and I have had evolving conversations as we’ve progressed through infertility and miscarriages and more infertility. As we’re traveled farther along the journey he has become more affected and more willing to talk about (and admit to himself even) how difficult (although different than for me) this all is for him. We’ve definitely had ups and downs, times when he seemed disengaged and then other times when he’s just as engaged – but differently than me.

    Anyway, glad you and your husband got to talking about things. Who knows, you may have got him thinking about how all this may be affecting him in ways he just hadn’t taken the time to consider.

    Here from ICLW. Have you linked on my blog now.

    Mo

  3. I love when my husband and I have the occassional infertility discussion…he usually just pretends it doesn’t exist–at least that’s my point of view. I never really know if it’s just self-protection, isolation, or if he really just doesn’t care. A conversation like this is a connection, that at least keeps it real.

    ~ICLW ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am really impressed that you got him talking that much. It is virtually impossible to get mine to share any feelings about IF or this m/c. I keep thinking that maybe if I find some sort of sports analogy it will get him talking. I think as you said that guys are problem-solvers and this frustrates them because it’s not something they can solve instantly…and in the meantime it tears us apart (and there’s nothing you can do to “solve” emotions). I also have been told by a psychologist specializing in IF that most men feel detached from a pregnancy until the woman starts to show/they can see movement. So it’s frustrating that they don’t seem as invested in it but unfortunately I think it’s perfectly normal.

  5. My husband felt the same way as your does when we had our miscarriages. He was sad for me because I was in pain and I was sad, but it wasn’t “real” for him, yet. It took me YEARS to understand exactly how different he is then I.
    Enjoy your day,
    -D *ICLW*

  6. I love that you have to prepare him for the conversation. My husband is the exact same way. I can’t spring anything on him…he likes to have time to develop his response ๐Ÿ™‚

    Socks?! I’m curious….

  7. My husband is similar in that he doesn’t have a lot to say. I’m always wondering what he is thinking in that head of his.

  8. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I had this same conversation with my husband last night. It was hard. But I feel better now, because at least I know how he feels. Or doesn’t feel. He never has a lot to say, and i have to practically tie him down to get insight into that mind of his.

  9. My husband is very similar. When he said he doesn’t need to talk to anyone about it, unless they have solutions – that is exactly how my husband is. He very rarely talks about it, and we have MFI.

    He’s changed over time and we talk about it a little more frequently, he talks to his mom, and mostly, he talks to the dog (seriously). Men and women are SO different!


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