Advice for Spouses from SpousesJamie

On this page you’ll find advice from spouses to other spouses. The advice is deeply personal because they are there – hand-in-hand with their spouse and often feel the same feelings that a childless woman may feel.

Are you a childless husband?  Would you like some support? There is a companion Facebook group that is made up of other childless husbands at: Childless Mormon Support for Men

So, it’s now 2014 and I want to back peddle about 6 or so years to the beginning of this fertility journey – that has become an infertility journey instead.

I just want to take a brief look at the beginning of this journey.

It started after about a year of not being able to conceive. It involved tests, tests and, oh why not, more tests. It ultimately ended up with a final answer of “kids aren’t for you in this life, that’s not what is planned for you.”

Yup, what a crappy answer to have! And you know what? It’s perfectly OK for you to call it a crappy answer – because that is exactly what it is.
I just want to impart some words of advice to you husbands and longing fathers to be.

If you want to blame God for this, then that’s OK. It is kind of His fault for giving us these trials. What I would say though, is to be careful that you don’t fall into the rut of constantly appointing blame to Him (even when you made a bad choice). I got into this rut and it is a tough rut to come out from.

What you must never, ever do is blame each other. It is neither persons fault. It is just a trial that you have to go through.

If your wife is having a down day because of it, that’s perfectly fine. Be there to comfort her (a little chocolate does wonders too). Make her burden light. Bear it with her. I have seen, in my wife, how heavy her heart is with this burden. You may not notice that her burden is lightened – that’s OK – you still need to bear it with her. It is your responsibility as her partner.

What you must strive to do – for your own sanity if noting else – is to try and find comfort in each other, knowing that this is just the path that was chosen for you.

Life isn’t fair – it truly isn’t. You will find yourselves wondering why some people who seem to be unfit, can have children and you can’t. It’s a legitimate concern and one that you need to deal with. Just please don’t get into the habit of saying life isn’t fair. If you get into the rut of “life’s not fair”, you’ll find that it becomes harder and harder to get out of it. I was in that rut. It is so tough to get out of it and be happy with what life has in store for you. You must try your hardest to avoid that.

I know that coming to terms and accepting the fact that this is never going to happen is tough. It really is. You need to grieve that lost part of your life. Sometimes the grieving process will take longer for others. It has taken me about 5 years to come to terms with it. I am there now and it is wonderful to see all the opportunities that you have. You will be able to do things that would just be impossible if you had children.

Barring our jobs, and money of course, my wife and I can just up sticks and go for a holiday if we want. No need to look for sitters, no need to worry about school. It is one side of not being able to have our own family that I am truly grateful for. Not grateful because we can’t have a family, but grateful that we get to experience other parts of life that would be almost inaccessible if you had a family. Don’t get me wrong, it would be lovely to be able to have both.

My words of wisdom would be to:

  • apportion blame (it will help you grieve)
  • grieve your loss
  • comfort each other
  • don’t blame each other
  • overcome your loss
  • be grateful for opportunities that come your way that may not have otherwise presented themselves.

~ From a husband of a childless woman

Being childless is tough.  If I had to offer some words of advice, comfort, and/or counsel, they would include some of the following thoughts.

– It’s okay to mourn.  There were times I felt as though I needed to offer consolation to my wife, or that I needed to appear to be standing strong.  But the emotional turmoil accompanying the struggles of being childless are real.  Find ways to connect with those feelings, to validate them, and to come to terms with your life.
– You’re not alone.  I think that’s one of Satan’s biggest lies.  There are others around you who are hurting, if not in exactly the same way, at least in a way that will resonate with your pain.  Sometimes you have to reach out to connect, other times you just need to listen.
– Some of the pains of this life won’t be relieved.  That was shared by an institute teacher a few months ago, and hit pretty hard.  In some of the scriptural passages about the day of resurrection, they describe the Savior wiping away tears as he welcomes us.  From the institute teacher, he said that it means that there are those who will still be crying even then.  I take that to mean, similar to the first item, that the mourning is okay.  And that it’s okay if we find ourselves feeling those emotions, as the years move us onward.

~ From a husband of a childless woman