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Help for men coping with partner's infertility?

(5 Posts)
PegPeg Fri 04-Mar-16 17:44:45

Has anyone come across any useful forums or articles for men who are coping with their female partner's infertility?

I have found some men's infertility forums, but they all seem completely geared towards men who are dealing with their own infertility - they've got a low sperm count, or whatever. Meanwhile there are plenty of articles advising the man what he can do to support his infertile other half.

But what about those men who are themselves highly fertile, and who desperately want their own kids, but who unfortunately have an infertile partner? There is so much out there angled towards supporting the woman, and yet very little aimed at helping the guy come to terms with his partner's infertility.

My OH has been amazing, he is present and is there for me, and reassures me he loves me and wants to spend his life with me irrespective of whether I'm able to bear children. At the same time, I know he is REALLY struggling to deal with the fact that he might not ever be able to achieve his dream of being a dad, because of my issues. I don't hold it against him for feeling that way, it must be an incredibly difficult thing to accept.

Point is, I haven't yet found any advice anywhere that is geared towards helping men cope emotionally themselves when they discover their partner is infertile. Nor can I find any guys in these men's forums who have shared their own experience of this, and how they came to terms with it - something which would be really useful for us both to read about, I think!

If anyone knows of anywhere we can find such a thing, or indeed if anyone has been through this themselves with their partner and has any advice they can share, I'd be grateful.

Thank you

holeinmyheart Fri 04-Mar-16 21:13:42

You have more than my utmost sympathy as my son is in this position at the moment. I don't know of any web site for this specific problem. I think it is because it is difficult for a man to talk about his longings for a child as it seems disloyal to his wife.
My son loves his wife dearly and has had to deal with her extreme distress. I believe he feels he has to stay strong for her and so has to keep quiet about his own anguish.
What a truly lovely person you are to think about your DH when you must be so sad yourself.
My son and his wife haven't given up hope as yet. They are on a break ATM as the whole think is so stressful and coming to terms with childlessness is so hard.
I think the next thing for them may be egg donation. My poor DIL hasn't yet come to terms with the fact that this may be her only chance.
My son says when asked, I am alright ' Mum, but I know he isn't. I feel heart broken for them both as they are so lovely.
I believe fervently that Infertility aught to be NHS funded.
Hugs.... As you deserve lots of them.

MrsDarcy4092 Sat 05-Mar-16 07:28:53

Can you afford counselling? Going for counselling to a specialist counsellor in infertility as a couple is going to be a really good solution. As not only can they support you both as individuals but as a couple too. Thing is, it's not just about him finding ways to cope but also you accepting that he has. It's such a mindfield and I'm sorry you are going through it

InaPina12 Tue 01-Nov-16 14:50:00

I'm in this exact position and there is very little out there. Even on here the focus is all about the woman - nothing on how a man might feel in having his dreams of fatherhood shattered by staying faithful to an infertile woman. We are encouraged to view infertility as a problem of the couple, but this isn't always realistic or truthful. There are also issues on how far you go down the assisted conception routes that are available - and when you give them up. We didn't get further than the Clomid stage, and now I resent her somewhat for not being willing or able to take a few more steps. (That said, we met couples who had given everything physically, emotionally and financially and still ended up with no baby). We adopted after a couple of unsuccessful years, and although I try my hardest with the boys we did adopt, it just feels like I'm going through the motions. It's so hard to bond with children who aren't yours, and who come with attachment disorders, behavioural issues etc. etc. that friends' natural children don't seem to have. If I could turn back the clock I wouldn't adopt, but I'm stuck with it now. I would say don't rush into adoption. I would also advise you to be open about how far you are prepared to gamble on treatments. Although they're better now than they were 15 years ago, they are still ugly, invasive, mostly unsuccessful and ruinously expensive. I didn't have counselling (I expect you can tell that!), but it may help you get a grip on things. If you can find someone willing to talk, it would help immensely, but this is a lonely, desperate road to nowhere that very few people can understand or empathise with. If you have birth children, (and they're everywhere!), don't even pretend that you can understand. It didn't get any easier for me, and I doubt it ever will, but I remain married to a woman I love. It would be so much easier if I didn't love her, if I was more of a bastard, if I wasn't committed to my adopted children, but there you go. Ties that bind. We men are supposed to just suck it all up.

star1980 Wed 02-Nov-16 08:09:49

I think the same applies to women coping with male factor infertility. We have male factor and my partner often apologises and says that I chose badly and would be pregnant now if I had a different partner. I always see this as 'our issue' and I don't blame him at all. I'd be lying if I didn't have some resentment - mostly around the fact that ivf is so invasive for me, but I'm apparently the one with no issue. Though one thing I've learnt is that there are no certainties in any of this - not with the treatment nor with the diagnosis. A third of infertile couples are 'unexplained' which means that even if they hadn't identified a male factor issue with us, that doesn't mean I'd be able to have a baby with someone else. Same goes the other way round.

I would second the suggestion of couples/individual infertility counselling so you can work through these issues together and individually and try to address some of the resentment. I don't think it's true that either partner is expected to suck it up - many relationships don't survive infertility - but it is just so very hard.

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