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 is it that 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 like 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 just 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 that makes your own hope and faith rise.
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 in that moment.
As simple as it sounds, a gentle squeeze of my hand not only let’s 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 like 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 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 up 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.
I know there are many other women who feel as though their husbands are sleeping through the storms of life, 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 this subject of marriage and infertility, visit the following posts:
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