Love and Marriage, Waiting for Baby Bird

A Letter to My Husband During Infertility

Hey, there handsome,

As we stood in our kitchen last week and I started crying, feeling alone in this battle, I asked you…no screamed at you for sleeping through our crisis. I am so ashamed. And I am so sorry. I know you are in this fight with me, but there are so many days when I feel like we are in the same boat, but I am doing all of the rowing while you are enjoying the scenery. Or I am the one on the front lines taking all of the hits, and when I turn around to look for you, I see you standing there, just hanging back, cleaning your gun, and not worrying about all of the bullets flying through the air.

Why do you never seem to focus on the heartache and longing for children like I do?

Why don’t I ever see you worry about our future of becoming parents?

How come you are never frustrated, doubtful, or angry? And if you are, you don’t talk about it, let alone show it. You always seem to be so calm, cool and collected.

It is as if we are in a burning house together, and the two of us are running in different directions, bumping and tripping into each other. I’m screaming to hurry and get out while you stop to make a sandwich and sip on a tall glass of tea.

Your sense of peace and nonchalant attitude drives me crazy and sends me into a panic that my faith isn’t where it needs to be. I want to sit and enjoy a sandwich with you, but I can’t. I can’t just “relax” all of the time as you can. I can’t always push the doubtful thoughts out of my mind when they enter. I can’t always ignore the pregnant woman walking through the mall or the perfect family of four sitting at the table across from us at dinner. I can’t.

I can’t because I know our inability to have children rests solely on my body’s inability to function correctly. And so I do harbor all of the guilt of depriving you, the man I love, a family. It’s always in the back of my mind how naive we were eight years ago when we talked about when we would start our family and how many children we would have, and if they would be involved in this activity or that activity.

I sometimes think back to those conversations and wonder how many of your dreams have been put on hold because of me. Because every day you come home from work, I think about how much you might long to hear “Daddy’s home!” as little feet come running to the door to greet you. And it breaks my heart.

It also stresses me out because what if I am not doing something that could help our odds of conceiving? What if it’s the foods I am eating, the drinks I am drinking, or the cosmetics and nail polishes I am using? I know all of these are irrational thoughts, but I’m not always the best at fighting them off. And so that’s when I need you.

I need you to whisper to me the “sweet nothings” that affirm we are in this together.

I need you to hold me and say, “I love you no matter what” or “I’m sorry we are going through this, but it’s not your fault.”

I also need you to hold me on those days when I’m too tired and too worn out to fight anymore. But it’s also on those tough days that I really need you to make it known that you are in this fight as well.

I need you to not only pray for my womb but tell me when you do. There is just something about knowing that your spouse is fighting not just physically but spiritually for your family, making your own hope and faith arise.

I also need you to give my hand an extra squeeze as we pass by children on the playground or a pregnant woman walks into the room glowing while rubbing her beautiful belly. It may not phase you, but I need you to let me know you understand that for me, it might hurt my heart at that moment.

As simple as it sounds, a gentle squeeze of my hand not only lets me know you are in this with me, but it wakes me up from the trance that I fall into while thinking about all the negative thoughts that will automatically start racing through my mind. I wish these reminders didn’t bother me, and I didn’t even notice them like you, but I can’t.

And so, while I can’t always be the stronger, calmer, relaxed, and more patient one, I know that you can. And deep down, I know that you aren’t sleeping during this stormy season that we are caught up in. How could you when I know that your desire to have children is just as strong as mine, you just don’t show it as I do? And honestly? I’m thankful you don’t.

Because when the wind starts blowing and the trees start swaying from side to side, I know that you will still be standing tall. You will still be unshakable. And that is what I need, even if it drives me crazy. Because on the days I can’t remain solid in my faith and calm during the storms, I need you there.

I need you there when I am paralyzed with fear and unable to open my umbrella for protection.

I need you there with yours, shielding me from the downpour of this rain, this struggle, and this fight to build our family.

And I need you to let me know through your words and even in your silence that you are there. And you are ready.

I can’t tell you enough how much I love you and how thankful I am that God gave me someone who can when I can’t. You truly are my rock, and I wouldn’t want anyone else holding my umbrella but you.

~With Love

Spring Break just me

I know many other women feel as though their husbands are sleeping through the storm, but chances are, they aren’t sleeping, just dealing with it differently. Give them grace and communicate with them what you need. Do you need words of encouragement? Tell him. Do you need hugs? Tell him. Do you need the occasional squeeze on the hand? Tell him, because your husband won’t know what you need until you tell him. For more on marriage and infertility, visit the following posts:

Preserving Your Marriage While Building Your Family

To My Fellow Infertility Wives (An Open Letter)

Men are Like Waffles {And why this matters to women dealing with infertility)

Q & A: The Infertility Husband Tells All

If Not For Me, Do It For Him

I would love to connect with you personally, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!

If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who “get it,” then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, enter into exclusive giveaways, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

89 thoughts on “A Letter to My Husband During Infertility”

  1. Oh how I needed this today!! I sent my hubby a text letting him know that no, we aren’t pregnant this cycle and that it was most likely anovulatory and that my next appointment is in April because that’s as soon as I could get in… The response I got?


    I could have killed him!

    1. bahaha! Been there! Dan is just so confident that nothing ruffles His feathers. He know we will have a child, and I do to, but I need Him on some days. He’s too rock solid! haha! Which is a good thing but still! grr

  2. This is awesome, Elisha. I was suffering for many months last year feeling so alone in my journey and wishing I could somehow show my husband what I was feeling. Writing a letter to your husband to tell him what you need is such a great idea.

      1. I should also add, my husband is the same way, never doubting God. He always responds, “God will give us a baby someday.” The other week, I said confidently that God was going to give us a child and he responded, “I know! That’s what I’ve always said!” Well, sorrrry Mr. that I struggled to believe it for so long. LOL it really used to drive me nuts!

  3. Thank you for sharing. As I read your entry, all I could hear in my head is “Yeah!” and “That’s how my hubby is”. I know they handle things differently. My husband sounds a lot like yours. Very calm, very patient, and is utterly positive that we will have a family. I believe a lot of it can be in my head. I know God is watching over us and has a plan. Again, thank you for sharing, especially because I’ve felt the same way too…..

    1. The enemy attacks my mind A LOT more than he goes after my husbands because he knows I will let him inside. My hubby is too “calm” that’s why I need him…

  4. Reblogged this on Amber Under Construction and commented:
    Go check out Elisha’s letter to her husband. Raise your hand if it ever feels like your the only person in the marriage freaking out about infertility (BOTH HANDS RAISED!!!) I think we all need to read this because infertility is a tough burden on a married couple and we have to FIGHT for the one we love. We’ve all been through so much, we deserve to have a happy marriage, and I believe with hard work, prayer, and dedication we can all not only survive this time but live through it abundantly.

    1. thanks girl! I just read your post! My hubby’s SA a couple of years ago was “perfect” as well…we got some perfect swimmys!

      1. Bahaha. We know how to pick them.

        But in response to your letter, this makes the guilt heavier bc you know they can – it’s us with the problem. Then the what if’s start flowing. What if you had married someone else? What if it was you and not me? How would I feel then?

      2. exactly! That’s why I put in there the phrase…”I love you no matter what” and “It’s not your fault”. I need to hear those words

  5. This is very brave, and I think it is SO important to acknowledge that men and women handle infertility differently. I know I don’t know your hubby “in real life” but I DO know that he loves you very much and he hurts when you hurt. Guys just handle their emotions differently, you know? You two have a solid marriage (even though we all have our rough days) and I know that foundation is built on God. I was wanting to have some kind of “how to support your husband through infertility” series in my blog (especially since my thoughts lately on where I feel it is being led) and this post fits the bill. Guest post sometime?

    1. oh of course! I love guest posting! Just give me some time in advance and a topic or else I might get writers block from the pressure. bahahaha

    2. Men definitely handle infertility differently. One thing I have learned recently is that I need to ask my husband questions about how he is doing with infertility. While I have a blog, girlfriends, and him to vent to, he doesn’t have an outlet. Men don’t often ask each other how they are feeling. He might not want to talk about it often, but it’s important to give him an opportunity. I have found that he is more concerned about supporting me than in vocalizing his own suffering.

      1. That’s the thing…my hubby is so confident that we will have children that he doesn’t have bad thoughts regarding our infertility. I joke around that he has super hero powers to avoid all the discouragement and negative thoughts. That’s why he didn’t even realize I needed those things because he doesn’t. He knows now 🙂 hehehe

  6. So beautiful, Elisha. Perfect. So important for both of us to remember we are on the same team. My hubs is quiet about it,,, but I am a little too. We really don’t talk about it a lot unless it’s the week to bd or after the tww or if we have an appointment. Don’t know if it’s good or bad… But I think it’s ok bc it doesn’t really consume our lives (most days). We’re both pretty busy so if it’s not a forefront issue, it’s pretty quiet. But communication is key!! Love it!

    1. I know we are on the same team but there are some days where I just wanna slap his arm and say, “WAKE UP!” lol! He is so calm and rock solid all of the time. lol! It’s a difference in our personalities and I know that which is why he doesn’t know what I need. That’s why I thought I would tell him…he gets it now 😉

  7. Yes!!! This is exactly what I was talking about in my last post about my hubby and I waiting differently.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this. It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in having these kinda of thoughts and feelings.

    1. yes i read your post! I loved it! He does buy stuff for Josiah and talk about Josiah, he just doesn’t do the other little things like what I mentioned in the post. We have some sweet hubby’s though! We both are so lucky fo’sho! xo

  8. Oh Elisha! I would love to hear His reply! Aren’t you glad we are so different in the way we handle things? It would be hard if we reacted the same! I know that this is what so many of your readers needs to hear! Thanks for being transparent and honest! I love how God brought you two together and has you perfectly woven, even in this hard time!

    1. His reply? He started crying and said ” how could you think I was sleeping when I buy stuff for him now and calm him by his name?” Then he realized I was talking about helping me with the battles I have every day in my mind. He still wasn’t getting it so a letter was needed. 🙂 He doesn’t have the same mind struggles as I do so it is hard for him to relate or know I needed something. He knows now:) lol

  9. Thank you for sharing Elisha! I read once that infertility for women is comparable to if a man was disabled and couldn’t work. I think a lot of the time men feel helpless in this area because they can’t “fix” the problem so sometimes they come off as uncaring. I agree with you that we’ve got to let them know what we need and what they can do to help us! I am always asking for prayers and hugs:-)

    1. His personality is to always remain calm and I am convinced he has on the strongest armor to keep the devil off him cause he never battles anything in his head. So when I start to have a slight panic moment of crying he looks at me like “what’s your deal?” Drives. Me. Nuts. He says he sees me as strong and didn’t know I needed an Ezra “umph” of encouragement. He knows now. Lol

  10. wow!! This is EXACTLY how I feel. thank you for sharing. I have found myself getting so frustrated with my husband as I lay in bed bawling over infertility. I know it isn’t his fault, and I know he cares… but sometimes I need a little extra love!

    1. Thanks for reading. I never want my blog to be all airy and fluffy all the time… Life isn’t like that. Readers need to know they aren’t alone in their feelings. I love your blogs by the way!

  11. This is a beautiful letter and really spoke to me. So much of it rang true for me. Thank you for sharing such a personal letter.

  12. This is great and so true. Men and women deal with things so differently on all levels. Wonderful that you all are communicating and on the same page. You have each other….and that’s half the battle…always in my prayers friend…xoxo

    1. Thanks girl! You are also in my prayers every morning during my quiet time. God hears us. Keep praying and keep asking. Never give up 🙂

  13. Definitely needed this right now. I have those thoughts too of, “what if he’d married someone else? Would he have the family that he’s always wanted?” It can be difficult to fight off those thoughts. And some days are just more tough than others… Today happens to be one of those days for me. So thank you for this. 🙂

    1. I am so glad it helped you today! Don’t have those thoughts….they are just from the enemy trying to destroy EVERYTHING we have. He doesn’t just want us to not have kids but He wants to steal everything…our faith, our marriages, our happiness…everything. Your husband loves you no matter what 🙂

  14. That was beautiful. My husband looks sleepy too but then every now and then gives me signs that he’s well in the storm with me. Then I feel like I prefer when he sleeps because he it hurts so much to see him in pain. It’s great to step back and realize you are lucky to have him! xxx

  15. So brave of you to post this, and it so spot on. This is something I struggled with SO MUCH when we were going through treatments, and it’s something that Satan could so easily use to separate a couple, and make them feel isolated from one another. My husband is incredibly laid back… frustratingly so sometimes, but it sure is a quality I admire! Praying for both of you!

    1. Yes it is a wonderful quality to have…now I just need him to transmit it to me and not bottle it all up for himself. lol!! Love ya girl!!!!

  16. This is absolutely beautiful. I think you have plucked thoughts out of every woman’s brain because we have all felt like this, I’m sure. You have just put it together and worded it so beautifully. Your husband is a lucky man to have you!!!

  17. Ok. So it must be a husband thing. As I was reading this, I kept thinking, “Yep. That’s my husband. Yep. He does that too. Yep. I’ve felt that way before.” Thank you for sharing this. You are on my mind and in my prayers!

    1. Husbands are just do much more laid back. The bible also says a barren womb is never satisfied so they obviously don’t have the God given desire that we do. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. You are in mine as we’ll. xoxo

    1. Thanks for reading. I didn’t want to post it, but I also knew that there had to be other women out there who had the same thoughts and feelings as I do and I wanted them to not feel alone either. xoxo

  18. This is such a great post. I just had the same conversation with my hubby a few days ago and it was hard!! I didn’t want to hurt him, but needed him to understand how hard this is for me and how I perceive things he does. Seriously, you have no idea how comforting it is to know other people go through this relationship stuff in the same way too. Thanks.

    1. i am so glad I decided to post this! I just knew other women could relate. It’s okay to feel this way and it’s okay for them to feel the way they do…but it’s not okay for each of us to not communicate to what we need. When communication stops then so does the marriage :/ I’m determined to not let infertility put a strain on my marriage. Thanks so much for reading! hugs!!!

  19. I think we all feel that way and they all behave that way. Bill says he feels like he has to be strong for me, but it can make you crazy. Especially when you are frustrated. Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing. Sending prayers right back at you.

  20. Right there with you! Marc is always so easy going and when I am an emotional basket case, it aggravates me so much. He says he is being strong for us, but I so wish sometimes, he would just melt into emotional mush with me. Wouldn’t make me feel so alone. Thanks for sharing your heart dear.

  21. Wow, how brave of you to share this with us! You are certainly blessed with a husband who is with you and loves you through everything! You tell the enemy to back off! You’re in my prayers!

  22. Thank you for sharing this! I often feel exactly the same way and it’s exhausting feeling like your towing the line alone (even though in your heart you know they are there).

    1. yes it can feel exhausting! It’s just the enemy attacking my mind wanting to make me feel this way so that it will also destroy my marriage. I wont let it happen. Thanks so much for reading and commenting

  23. It continues to amaze me how two people, going through the same battle, can experience it so very differently. When ours first began my hubby and I were not on the same page. He felt helpless and didn’t really understand why a negative HPT was so upsetting to me. He wasn’t mean about it, he just didn’t understand. I was struggling so badly. He finally started to ask me “What do you need from me right now?” and through that we’ve come to a pretty good understanding. He’s much more intune with me now, although sometimes he still finds himself caught in the whirlwind and not understanding what upset me. It’s just so different for each person. This is a beautiful letter and your comments are insightful!

    1. thanks girl!! Men and woman are so different anyway and they NEVER really know what we need unless we tell him. My hubby is now getting it 🙂

  24. Ok, I am definitely tearing up here. Read every word, and you are right…so many women can relate. I used to feel this same way during the first maybe 1.5 years of infertility treatments. On one hand, I wanted hubby to be just as frustrated, pissed off, and sad as me. But on the other hand, what a mess that would have been if we were both such a mess! It wasn’t until my hubby started going to every RE apt. and we had a couple failed IUI’s and IVF’s that I felt my husband could truly relate to my frustrations. He so gets it now. Anyway, I want to thank you for sharing such raw and honest emotions, because most all of us have felt this way, and you worded your letter beautifully!

    1. awe thanks for reading. Normally I would have just kept this in my private journal but something told me a few days after I wrote it that I should post it….it was hard to press “publish” but thankful I did.. xoxox

  25. This really spoke to me! I have had times where I was bawling and hurting and though my husband would hold me, he seemed unaffected. I remember saying “aren’t you upset? Don’t you ever get sad? Why aren’t you more sad?” and he says he is, but he just doesn’t show it in that way. It is amazing how much it helps when you see a pregnant woman or a cute child and your husband just gives you a look that says he knows you’re hurting. Just to acknowledge it makes all the difference.

    1. exactly!! My hubby said he doesn’t even think to look over at me because he doesn’t hurt when he see’s them. And to be honest, I don’t always notice the prego lady across from me, but when I do, I need to know that he is ready to pick up the pieces later. I think he is starting to get it. Last week i was overwhelmed about a few things (non fertility related) and i busted into tears at the dinner table. He put down his fork and walked over and hugged me. I stopped crying and we went to eating. I guess my tears weren’t over because in between bites I busted into tears again. He put down his fork and came over again. It made me laugh. He is finally getting it. lol!!

  26. Yes. That is exactly how I feel, running around like crazy while he’s making a sandwich, no big deal. And I tell him and tell him, and it only works for a couple of days. All this time, and I still feel like I have to deal with this alone. Now I feel like I’m just weirdly dumping this all out on your page when we’ve just ‘met’, but thank you for sharing this post.

    1. oh dump it out girl!! That’s what I am here for!! Men react so differently and I always remember that the Bible says an empty womb is never satisfied therefore we have a stronger and burning desire for children than they do. It’s just wired in us that way. But they should also be a bit more compassionate! lol!! Don’t be afraid to come on over to my blog and “dump” away 🙂

  27. Beautiful and so glad you wrote this and shared it! It’s so true, for so many of us. It always amazes me how very differently men and women can experience the same situation. My hubby and I really had issues understanding each other at first, and finally we got to the point where we would ask “What do you need from me right now?”. It really helped us navigate each others emotions, because we deal so differently with what’s going on! Thanks so much for sharing! What a beautiful post!

    1. Thanks girl!! Yes it really is important to communicate our needs yo one another. For the longest time I just tried to “suck it up” and be more like him but I just can’t “always” do that :/ too hormonal for that! Lol

  28. I have totally thought these thoughts. The Lord really worked on me as I was waiting on my husband to tell me he was ready for start the adoption process. The Holy Spirit spoke to me the whole time, “trust him, trust him”. It all came down to… Does my husband love The Lord? Yes. Do I know he is praying? Yes. Do I trust him? Yes. He has never given me a reason to doubt him 🙂 Sorry that’s an extremely long reply 🙂

    1. Don’t apologize! I am queen of leaving long reply’s so no worries!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

  29. Girl this totally made me cry. I am already a hormonal wreck. I am so thankful for my hubby even though we are completely different and he handles it all so differently than I do. Lord knows its for the best because two crazies in the marriage and infertility journey would have done us more harm than good. Thank you for always being so honest seriously….this wrecked me today.

    1. aw girl I’m sorry it wrecked you 🙂 I’ll try to post a knock, knock joke at the end of my “serious” posts from now on. LOL!! You are totally right, two crazies in the marriage would not be good at all! 🙂 hugs to you! You have been on my mind lately and I’m praying for you 🙂

    1. As soon as I read your post today I thought of my own post. That’s when I knew I had to start following you. I know how ya feel girlie!

      1. Thanks I appreciate that! For us we have also just moved to a new state recently so I feel so isolated that it makes the emotion more painful when you can’t sit down with a good friend or family member you can only hear their voice.

  30. Wow. I am not even married to know the feeling behind the letter, and still it is beautiful that yu can talk this way with your husband…

  31. It took me two days to get through this post…..tears welled up in my eyes too much to be able to get through it all in one sitting. Thank you for sharing! I absolutely adore and love your page, and cannot wait to follow it daily!

    1. Kristina, I am so glad you have found this lil home of mine on the internet where I can share my heart and encourage others like yourself! If you ever need ANYTHING (resources, enocuragement, a whisper of hope, prayer, etc.) never hesitate to email me or message me on my waiting for baby bird Facebook page. I never want anyone to feel discouraged, defeated or as though they are traveling on this journey alone. xo

  32. I think this is perfect. I think it describes me love…I get discouraged yet he has the room planned out. I’m 38…38 and trying for years…God is of the impossible and He believe so.

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