This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Worried about my marriage and the future(17 Posts)
Have NC for this as it’s very personal and I have paranoia about it being linked back to any of my other posts. Have posted regularly on this board before and was unsure whether to post here or in Relationships but I thought I might get a more understanding audience here.
DH and I have been married for nearly 10 years. Of that, 8 have been spent TTC unsuccessfully including surgeries and several unsuccessful rounds of IVF.
I’m starting to come to terms with a child free life. My career has really taken off over the past few years which helps. Where DH and I differ is that he desperately wants to move out of London closer to his home town (>250 miles away) or another town closer.
I know the two aren’t totally linked but if I am to have a child free future I’d rather live the London life, live somewhere we’d never be able to afford with kids, enjoy good meals out, theatre, holidays and time with friends. I don’t have much going for me outside of London but if we had been successful having kids I would be much more open to it as I would have an identity as a parent and a network through that. I worry I would feel very lonely and unfulfilled if I left.
The fertility problems are all mine, DH is fine and this is eating away at me. He said the classic phrase of “I think we want different things” last night which has caused a crushing anxiety since. I constantly feel inadequate that I can’t give him the family life he (and we) so desperately craved. I have tried to move on and focus on the next best thing - a child free life to the max - but I feel like there is a huge wedge between us and I really don’t know what to do.
Sorry for the long post, I’m just feeling terrible and needed to get it off my chest. Any views welcome.
Where is his home town? If it’s in the lakes then I see where you are coming from. If it’s near a big city like Edinburgh, Birmingham etc then I can assure you you can live a good life in the city and just visit his home town from the city . Do you still love him?
So paranoid about being too outing but it’s not the Lakes, nor either of the places too mention. It’s a town, a fairly pretty one with cities nearby.
I love him, but ‘in love’ is another question.
So it’s about compromise right? How would you feel about living in London single for the rest of your life (Worst case scenario I know) versus living in another city and just occasionally travelling to his family? The reason I ask is we can glamorise how it is to live in the metropolis and particularly with London.
It’s a good challenge.
I don’t have a problem with his family. But his friends - our friends - increasingly have kids and their whole lives revolve around them. So it just adds to the sense of loss. The same goes for moving back to my home town, I don’t want to.
Single and London, not really thought about that. Maybe I need to.
I just feel like such a failure.
You are not a failure. I was TTC for a long time (15 years) and went through a lot of ivf. It is not success to have money or children. It’s success to find happiness within a situation. You need to think of pros and cons to everything.
That’s a long time - and I hope you found your happiness.
You’re right that there are pros and cons to everything. My fear is that we won’t agree on a choice or I’ll give in and I’ll be miserable. Or, we stay and he’s miserable, and ends up leaving anyway.
Tricky one - where you are now are all your friends with kids local? Or are they back where DH is from? Do you think part of the issue for him is that he wants to move away from your current network because your friends lives are so full of children and he doesn't want the constant reminder? Does he need the family support and thinks a childless future is better closer to familial links?
It's difficult when you marry someone and you want kids to the reconcile what that marriage looks like without them?
Do you only want to stay in London because of the "distractions" available there? Or are there career implications?
In 10-15 years time will you really be socialising in the Capital like you are now?
Sorry you're feeling rotten OP. Sounds like a disappointing time for both of you. I'm guessing you're either against using a donor egg/embryo or you've tried and been unsuccessful. Have you shut the door on TTC? It's interesting you love him but you're not in love. I wonder what it is that makes you feel this way cause if you figure this out it may help you decide if you want to stay with him or not long term.
Our friends with kids are mainly outside of London. But our London friends are fast catching up. TTC not possible naturally for us and mentally and physically (and for a long while financially) ruined by it for many years. Hence why I want to move on. But another woman could give him children, and also enjoy the country / suburban lifestyle he craves. Feel like I haven’t got anything to offer (other than 80% of our household income).
I see. Sounds like you don't feel valued for anything other than income. However it's unlikely his focus is your income as he wants to move away from London and obviously you wouldn't make as much I'm guessing. If you have fallen out if live primarily because you worry you have nothing left of benefit in the relationship it sounds more like self esteem issues. As cliché as it sounds maybe counseling is worth a try. Anyhow, good luck in whichever path you take as these kind of life decisions aren't easy.
I think your main job is to fall back in love with your husband. What's the point to go through life with the person you are simply used to but not in love with?
You also need to have a conversation with your DH how he feels about being childless. We have to remember that our infertility is hard on men too not only on us ladies. I think he is desperate to move away because he is tired, upset, disappointed and fed up with the past 8 years.
Please try to date again, set up nice dinners, do activities together, play games and try to bring back those butterflies. Tell your husband how amazing and wonderful he is, trust me his ego is hurt the same as yours.
You can be childless and happy but you need to be on the same page.
OP I've NC to reply but I could have written your post almost. We got married 10 years ago and set to work TTC. After 8 years, 6 MC , several ivf/ICSI attempts we decided enough was enough. I turned 40 and realised I couldn't emotionally do it to myself anymore. I've accepted a childless future, my DH is really struggling and I feel I'm holding him back. He says this is nonsense but he's depressed and says he can't see a point to his life. I don't know what the answer is but I just wanted to reach out and say you're not alone. I cry a lot. Not for the children that won't be, but for what the journey has done to us emotionally. It's horrible.
Compromise is the fairest way with where you live. Could you both find work 250+ miles away? I see your perspective and your logic behind it. There is so much to do in London and less of a child focus was my experience when l lived there. Back where l come from then it appears it more of a do family friend things with your social life vibe. Funnily enough with fertility issues “family days out” aren’t the easiest for us right now....
Oh and l mirror hour your relationship concerns. We have no explanation and it’s become clear he’s more into the having a child thing than me. I’m bored of feeling ill, the effort and expense (lm sat here now bloated with sore ovaries after Clomid). He in contrast is more motivated with IVF (probably because it’s more invasive and intolerable for me) and would consider adoption. In contrast l have zero interest in adoption. I want to move on and get my life back
I'd book a course of couples counselling OP. You would benefit from receiving some impartial input into the situation that gives you time, space and agency to work out where you currently stand and where you go - either separately or together.
From what you say, you sound as if you've come to the end of your bit of the rope and moving away from London would just be putting a plaster over an open wound.
Get some counselling and hopefully, eventually, some peace of mind