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DH wants another baby, I probably don't and it's causing resentment - fertility issues too

(51 Posts)
hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 13:35:57

Dh wants to try again for another baby. I have to have IVF to get pregnant. We tried after ds a couple of times and I feel we gave it a go, it didn't happen and I am grateful to have the child I thought I might never have.

He has openly said I didn't try hard enough and gave up on the IVF too soon. I think it's easy for him to say this as it wasn't him traipsing to the clinic daily and pumping himself full of drugs or having all those unpleasant procedures.

His resentment of this is seeping into other areas of our relationship. He has called me a waster and lazy (admittedly mid argument) and I think he doesn't respect me for this.

We have tried counselling and it's not his thing.

I now face either trying again via IVF (we can have a frozen embryo cycle so it's not quite so overwhelming but the thought still fills me with dread) and me potentially resenting him or not trying and him resenting me forever.

Our relationship isn't great in other ways and I don't know whether I can take doing it all again when he isn't very supportive in my view when I'm going through treatment plus if I got pg I'd feel fat and vulnerable due to already feeling invisible to him.


hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 13:37:26

Also, the reason we have to have IVF is mine not his and I think this makes him think I should try harder as it is my issue which has meant we are in this situation and can't do it the 'normal' way.

oldqueenie Mon 10-Oct-11 13:42:10

i think all your points of concern are valid ones... but am wondering if the relationship between you is not good then surely this is what needs addressing before (maybe) adding another baby into the mix?

LissieLovettsDeliciousPies Mon 10-Oct-11 13:42:19

I really think that while you have other major issues in your relationship, having another baby would be a very bad idea.

your infertility isn't your fault. he has no right to speak to you in the way he does.

IVF is traumatic enough without underlying issues, and he needs to see that. and you should see a counsellor, whether its "his thing" or not.

CMOTdibbler Mon 10-Oct-11 13:46:08

If otherwise your relationship was good, I'd say to give the fe cycle a go then draw a line under the ivf.

But as he's being an arse, this is not the time to embark on it imo. Counselling 'may not be his thing', but it sounds like the two of you desperatly need it - and I know where he is coming from as I'd never have thought I could do counselling, but am currently doing ecounselling, and that format is really working for me

PhilipJFry Mon 10-Oct-11 13:46:10

I would not be trying to get pregnant in your present circumstances, and I think you know yourself that it's not the time for it. The way he is behaving isn't on. Why doesn't he like the counselling? Is it the opening up? The talking to a stranger? The fact that he has to examine his own behaviour during sessions?

He doesn't sound as if he appreciates what you do or what you had to do to try and get pregnant.

Onlyaphase Mon 10-Oct-11 13:48:45

I can see this from both sides actually (other than the waster comments) and I have lots of sympathy for both of you.

It is so difficult when one half of a couple wants another child, and especially when the potential means to have another is open to you. I've been through a fair amount of IVF, and when there isn't a natural cut off point (another pregnancy, lack of NHS or private funding etc) its difficult to know when to stop.

Have you discussed around the issue in theory at all? How many cycles does he think would be a good idea before knocking the idea on the head? Are you open to any more treatment at all, are you worried about age issues? Why is he so keen on siblings? Given you have frozen embryos waiting, were you planning on using them at all?

ColdToast Mon 10-Oct-11 13:51:02

If I were being flippant I would advise telling him that actually IVF just isn't your thing. It's obviously enough of a reason for your dh to avoid the things he doesn't want to do.

I really would caution against trying for another child with this man. At best he sounds staggeringly selfish.

hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 14:00:48

Gosh lots of questions to answer.

We have frozen embryos and I can see the point that whilst they are there we should give it a go.

I think this thread has hit the nail on the head already - maybe the reason I don't want to is that at the back of my mind I think the treatment and/ or the resulting pregnancy and baby which might or might not happen will break the relationship. Problem is if we don't do it, it will break our relationship up too. So I'm stuffed.

Following your replies, I can already see that if the relationship were better I'd be happier to give it another go. If it were one where I felt supported and loved no matter what's going on (e.g. if I did get pg and felt fat and hideous).

If I'm going to take on more treatment when I'm in two minds about it, then surely the least he can do is commit to being supportive and loving. It seems he can't do that. I have actually asked him if he could commit to being supportive if we do it again. He said that he thinks he was supportive the other times. I beg to differ. This is the man who didn't even hold my hand during embryo transfer, never used to ask me how I was when I was on all the drugs and had side effects and, one time, started having a big argument with me about something to do with treatment (long story).

We tried counselling together with two different people, one Relate, one not. He felt that they couldn't really tell him anything he couldn't work out for himself.

I, meanwhile, found counselling very helpful.

All this is like a HUGE elephant in the room. We have been brushing it under the carpet for 18 months but with my age, need to face up to it soon.

LissieLovettsDeliciousPies Mon 10-Oct-11 14:05:29

have you tried specialist counselling? our clinic (while shit in pretty much every other respect) has a great IF counselling service.

hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 14:11:48

No we haven't - he is so anti-counselling. I guess I could say it's do counselling or I'm not doing treatment though?

I suppose for the sake of fairness, we should look at his side and what he has said to me:

He is in a situation where he has married someone with IF problems (not known at that time) and now wants more children but can't have any.
I have only had two full fresh cycles (the first resulted in ds, the second didn't work) and then two frozen cycles. (Note I have also had two early miscarriages, and a cancelled cycle).
There are frozen embryos sitting unused.

PhilipJFry Mon 10-Oct-11 14:17:45

But he isn't doing anything to create a situation where you would be more open to trying again- he isn't supportive when you're trying to get pregnant and doesn't acknowledge that his behaviour wasn't what it could have been when you were trying for your first. He can't expect you to want to have more children when he acts the way he does, surely?

Your relationship needs work first and you're right to want to work at that before trying again. Pregnancy is a vulnerable place to be and putting yourself there when there you aren't happy with how he treats you seems like a bad idea.

LissieLovettsDeliciousPies Mon 10-Oct-11 14:19:23

Im sorry, but this He is in a situation where he has married someone with IF problems (not known at that time) and now wants more children but can't have any. makes me very angry. you dont marry someone for their fertility. its not their reproductive ability that you fall in love with, and its a incredibly cruel thing to say. if the problem were his, would you love him any less? because these things happen. some people get lots of colds. others are prone to D&V. some have faulty plumbing.

I would be telling him that if he comes to specialist IF counselling, I would try another cycle, but until he shows willing to do his part and support you through a journey which is uncomfortable, and unpleasant its a no go.

Lovethesea Mon 10-Oct-11 14:25:07

No one marries anyone presuming they can have children surely?! Does he often presume he can have what he wants in life? Surely you marry someone to have a partner to share your life with, you may plan and desire children as part of that but who would be foolish enough to presume it's possible for anyone?

Your last summary sounds horribly like you are a broken bit of machinery that was meant to produce his kids. Not an adored lover to be there for through the bad and good times.

hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 14:33:21

I feel so far from being an adored lover I can't even begin to tell you sad.

I know with 99% certainty you are all talking sense but there's that 1% of me that says, well what if I am being unreasonable and negative about the way he supported me last time. What if actually he was okay and I'm asking too much? You are only getting my side of the story so I am doubting myself and my view.

That said, not even holding my hand and having to be told to do so by the nurse was pretty lame. I haven't been offered a hug without asking for years either.

And there was the time when he said that, if it were him with the issue he'd try harder to sort it out, and theoretically, he could go onto have more children with someone else and I couldn't which felt like a threat even though it was in the context of a wider conversation. I cried at the time he said that second bit about having children with someone else and went into the other room - indeed I sobbed. He knew this and could hear but didn't bother coming in to me or offering any reassurance or comfort sad.

waterrat Mon 10-Oct-11 14:48:00

He sounds unkind and unloving. I can't believe that someone would be so unsupportive to their partner who is going through infertility treatment - for them! Putting aside the fertility issue - is he a good partner? does he make you feel loved? Do you feel that he has your back, that he is your friend?

Don't go through this treatment to keep your relationship together. It's incredibly selfish of him to ask you to do that.

Are you sure you want to stay with him? It sounds like he makes you very unhappy and he isn't prepared to try and change or resolve things. I can't imagine how someone could hear their partner cry like that and not come in to comfort them. and yes, you are right, it is a threat!

Lovethesea Mon 10-Oct-11 15:04:28

He doesn't appear to possess any empathy at all. He might not need physical affection much but you do, you've asked for it and he acts like it's a chore, probably with a sigh.

To use infertility as a weapon in any argument is extremely cruel. You did nothing to cause it, it just is. To threaten to leave you for someone else who can produce kids for him is horrific. Like beating someone up verbally because they are a certain ethnicity, or have a disability or speak another language as their first tongue - these are just facts of life, not choices you make. He promised to be with you for better or worse, he promised to honour you, he promised to love and cherish you - not IF you produce an heir and a spare.

Stepping back from your life, what would you tell a friend in this situation?

Does he know you question whether the relationship should continue? You could get some individual counselling and then if you wanted you could ask him to come to respresent his perspective so the counsellor hears 'both sides' and can help you reflect on the choice in front of you on IVF.

He seems to be saying you should have the IVF because his thoughts and feelings are more important than yours and you owe him. Is this a balanced and loving partnership to be in? Is this a place to bring more children?

He needs to radically alter his perspective and actions or he will continue to make you very very unhappy. If he is unwilling to consider any changes then you will have to make whatever changes you decide on - or this will go on and on.

ChaoticAngelofSamhain Mon 10-Oct-11 15:11:40

Do not have another child with this selfish, unsupportive, arse of a husband. Quite frankly he isn't good enough to be your husband. Going through IVF is, from the little I know of it, physically, mentally and emotionally hard. It must be more so when the man, who is supposed to be there for you, is so unsupportive.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 10-Oct-11 15:40:45

What a sefish, self-centred, twunt you had the misfortune to marry. I'd be sorely tempted to tell him to fuck off and find another womb to have umpteen dc with.

Frankly, regardless of IVF, this man is incapable of empathy and of supporting a woman through pregnancy/childbirth in a loving and caring manner, and I doubt that any woman would want to go through the experience twice with him.

He calls you 'a waster and lazy'? Is he a hands on df and dh, working morning, noon, and night, to provide for his family, or spending all the hours god sends doing household chores/maintaining the family home?

He says counselling is 'not his thing'? Stuff his views, honey - make sure that counselling is your thing so that you can work out whether this man is suitable to be your lifelong dh before you even think about bringing another dc into the world.

HansieMom Mon 10-Oct-11 16:18:39

The more I read, the worse he sounds. He just has an answer for everything!

Very close family members had IVF (with great results!!), and I have such admiration for what both parents went through, but especially the wife, as it was her body being bombarded with hormones, shots every day, the disappointment when it didn't work that time.

As to your DH saying he could have a baby with someone else, I'm afraid that would be the icing on the cake for me.

Dozer Mon 10-Oct-11 16:46:28

Agree with the others, your DH is bang out of order.

IVF brings risks for your health (now and in the long-term) and you've already had lots of treatment. It's your body, your life and you who must decide if you can deal with any more, not him.

If you found counselling useful, go back without him.

Inertia Mon 10-Oct-11 16:50:37

The more you post, the less it sounds like he actually wants to have another child. I think he wants to prove a point about his own fertility, and perhaps exert control in your relationship by controlling your body. There's no mention of him wanting to share his life with more children, no promises of support during difficult IVF pregnancy - not even a hint of how much he loves the child you already have.

hesaysyayisaynay Mon 10-Oct-11 17:13:15

"The more I read, the worse he sounds. He just has an answer for everything!"

God yes!! He totally does. He thinks he knows better than a Relate trained counsellor. He knows more about the subject I specialise in at work than I do etc. etc.

But Inertia - I haven't mentioned that but he does love Ds and has a strong bond with him. He just wants more of that with another dc. He is a very good dad.

Interesting Dozer - I think he thinks he should decide because I am the one with the fertility problem so I should try harder.

Lovethesea -"He seems to be saying you should have the IVF because his thoughts and feelings are more important than yours and you owe him. Is this a balanced and loving partnership to be in?" No not loving and not balanced. He has a lot of the power financially so it's not balanced that way and emotionally I've always chased after his affection so not that way either. Yes I think there's a bit of implication along the lines of 'I earn an arm and a leg so the least you can do is get yourself down to that clinic and make another baby'.

Maybe he is right, in the grand scheme of things I haven't tried that hard to have another but it definitely comes into it that when 'we' do treatment it feels like 'I' do it not 'we'. It doesn't make it easy or very palatable.

Waterrat: "I can't imagine how someone could hear their partner cry like that and not come in to comfort them" - he gives me the impression lots of men are like this when I've tried to discuss it. Are they not? My dad was the other way and way too emotional and volatile so I don't think he is representative either. I have no idea what a 'typical' man would do.

The counsellor did try and talk to him about him needing to meet my needs even if it's not what he would want for himself e.g. a hug. It didn't make any difference and he can't see why he should change.

A big thank you for this thread's replies so far - this is very very helpful.

PhilipJFry Mon 10-Oct-11 17:22:23

Glad this thread is helping. Some men may be like him, but there are plenty more who aren't, and it certainly isn't a normal or desirable trait to not be comforting AT ALL when your partner is distressed. He comes across as someone who isn't willing to make many concessions or accept that he needs to change. He doesn't want to and won't, and probably thinks there won't be any consequences if he carries on in this way. Judging by this:

"God yes!! He totally does. He thinks he knows better than a Relate trained counsellor. He knows more about the subject I specialise in at work than I do etc. etc."

He isn't really willing to listen to others because he's so convinced his perspective is the right one.

Please don't think of this situation as either being you having a baby and keeping the family together or breaking it apart by not trying for another child. You could just as easily view it as his behaviour damaging your relationship, and the way he treats you as being the cause of this. It's not your fault that this has turned into such an unpleasant situation.

holyShmoley Mon 10-Oct-11 17:47:39

It seems to me that the IVF is actually a red herring. It seems you are unsure if you want another child with him under any circumstances- whereas he has assumed you would.

My guess is that he will start throwing ultimatums pretty soon, so try to decide what you really want.
My husband found IVF very difficult because he can empathise a bit and hated going to the clinic, but we were definitely a team, a couple through the process.

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