Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Are you grieving over your lack of children?

As many of us know, not having children can be painful. A terrific article in today's Contra Costa Times talks about this and describes some of the agencies that are helping childless women deal with their grief through therapy. The piece, called "Childless by Fate, Choice," was written by Jessica Yadegaran. It includes a forum to answer the question "Have you come to terms with not having children?" I would love to have people answer that question here, too.
I'm currently working on the chapter about grief in my Childless by Marriage book, and it is interesting how one's feelings change over time. It's also hard not to project my feelings onto other people.
So how do you feel about it? Do you regret your choice? Are you still trying to decide what to do? What advice would you give someone like the 35-year-old woman I interviewed this weekend who is dating a man who doesn't want any more children?

224 comments:

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Anonymous said...

No I dont regret marrying a man who can't have children.
Marriage is a covenant and it would be incredibly shallow of me to leave my husband just so I could have children...

It hurts all the same, it cuts like a knife. Especially because my husband already has children and i dont. Im young, 23, and i keep telling myself theres still so much time..maybe God will perform a miracle....and maybe He will, but whether he does or not i would still marry my husband all over again.

Suelick said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for sharing this. I know it's hard. You love the man, but you grieve for the kids you might never have-and you hope for a miracle.
Hang in there.
Sue

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a bit late on leaving comments, but I've only recently discovered your site.

I fell in love with and married a man 14 years older than me with two adult children, vasectomy and he didn't want more. I don't regret him or my life with him.

I regret not having children and it haunts me every day - unless I keep myself frantically busy and don't leave a minute to think about it.

I don't know how to reconcile giving up something I wanted so so much for the man who means everything to me.

To be honest, I think my (hindsight) advice to others would be don't compromise if it means that much to you. And if I had my time again, with my recent 'sudden revelation' on how far the consequences of my decision actually extend (the : OMG - who am I going to leave all my treasures to? Who will care/appreciate my 'things' when I die? Who will organise my funeral? Who do I leave my great grandmother's wedding ring to? etc), I love my husband and I'm not going to leave him, but I have to say that I don't think I would take the same path.

And yes, I still wait in hope for a miracle. Every time my period is late I hope, and then grieve when it arrives. And I now face the reality that age is working against me too. I'm 39.

Suelick said...

You said it, sister. That's exactly how it is, and it hurts like crazy. Hang in there. It will get easier as you get older. I promise.

I agree totally with your advice. Don't compromise if having a baby is essential to your happiness. I also wouldn't recommend marrying a much older man. Mine is in poor health now, so instead of caring for a baby, I get to take care of him.

Anonymous said...

I have this yearning, I am jealous of others who have kids and take it for granted and then ask me, why havent you had any?
I feel like some sort of failure.....I wish life presented me with a nice marriage, 2 kids and I would be happy....alas it hasnt, but god I wish it did. I cant live in the past but just hope for the future.
Its a subject more women need to talk about, we hide behind the whole, oh not yet, not for me, no who wants kids etc stuff....its bravado for me.
No one sees my pain.

Suelick said...

I see your pain. I share it. But as a yoga teacher said in a class recently, "This is the life we have. No other. Embrace it."

Holly W. said...

Are you still working on that book?

I'm glad that the pain of childlessness has gotten easier for you over time, and I hope that proves true for me as well.

I don't quite fit your demographic -- I was the one who told my husband that we weren't going to have any kids, and he agreed to marry me anyway. I had a miserable childhood and still suffer from recurrent depression, and just didn't want to risk duplicating that for anyone.

When I turned 42, though, and realized that my potential childbearing days were probably really and truly over, I felt a wave of remorse such as you wouldn't believe (well, OK, maybe you would :-). My husband and I started trying to have children then, and are still trying 2-1/2 years later, but I can't really see it coming to fruition at this point. He would have been willing to go to a fertility clinic; I said no, since it seems ridiculous to me to waste medical resources on a decision I made myself. So now I just hope for a miracle, while realizing that I need somehow to get back to believing that being childless is something I want. The kid-craving door has proven harder to close than it was to open, though.

I don't know if these comments are any use at all for your book, but I do feel better (momentarily) for having put them down. Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Any advice for a 43 old man who has been married for 17 years and no children yet? When my wife and I married we deicded not to have children right away but now I wish we had. When she stopped having her period about 10 years ago, I silently grieved over the fact that I would not become a father. Now, it hurts more than ever. I love my wife and would never leaver her. Somehow, I don't beleive she feels as strongly about not having children as I do. No miracle is going to happen here and adoption is out of the question as my wife is 53 and finds the subjuct distateful when i bring it up. Sigh. :-(.

Suelick said...

Oh, anon, it's good to hear the male point of view, and I wish I could offer something that will cheer you up. Clearly, it's too late to have a child biologically, and many adoption agencies will not give a child to someone over 50. Plus, if your wife really doesn't even want to talk about it, it looks like it's not going to happen with her. All I can advise is to bring children into your life somehow. Get close to nieces and nephews or volunteer in some way that brings you in contact with kids. It's not the same, but it may be your only option at this point.

gotmy health said...

Ok Better late than never...I guess. I just am having one of those days were the regret is tearing me and the dream of having children is so far away.Why do some of us long for children from the core of our existance and yet others have no sadness at all. Is it about the control? Are those who are not so affected the very ones that "decided" not to have children? I was only a teenager when the desire became overwhelming to have children. Logically I knew the better choice and life had already delt me a hand that was made for an adult but I wanted a child despratly. I kept myself busy, and after high school became a nanny. I kept motherhood at bay and gave my love to other's children. Now creeping up on the age of no turning back. I worry, wish, pray and bargin with God. I want children. But logic once again wins. These days,I am not married, have a job that has me away from home 3 nights a week, a mother that is disabled and aging. I worry about the future and how I will do it all. The sadness fills me often and there are days when it's extreemly, overwhelmingly hard to be with a man I love...also 14 years my senior who has 2 children and knows and cares about me and my pain but just can't understand the sadness.

Anonymous said...

I am 60. For the first time, I married to a childless man when I was in my late 40's.

For me, the pain of childlessness is quite intense whenever I meet a new mother or have to go through yet another agonizing Mother's Day.

I did not have children due to the (erroneous) idea that I would not be a good enough mother, and, later, because I was seeing someone who did not want to marry me and I felt unable to be a single parent and support a child all alone. By my mid 30's, I was desperate to have a child and it never stopped till I reached menopause. But I didn't have that support system that I needed. I am not a strong person emotionally, in some ways, and needed to have a man to help me get through the financial and emotional issues. I now realize that I would have been an extremely devoted and loving mother.

My dear husband appreciates fully how much it hurts for me not to have children. We were too old to adopt and so we have been helping a low income family of children for several years, and they and their parents love us we love them and will be close till death, but it is surprisingly very little comfort when I see someone with their baby or small child. It has not gotten better! It has gotten to be a sorrow on my shoulder and I know now it cannot be eliminated. I cannot "embrace" this deep loss: Why should I? It is not "good" for me: It is sad sad sad.

I have a good life outside of this grief and fill my days trying to help others. At least I am not alone. But I am not "adjusted".

Anonymous said...

I guess I was hoping to find some wonderful words or wisdom out here to help in coping with that fact that as bad as I want kids, it will never happen, and not by my choice. I married a wonderful man who had been married and had 2 small children. We had talked about having children and I knew up front that he had had surgery and although he said he would have a reversal, we would adopt or whatever....20 years later at 47, I never got to have kids of my own.

We had some horrible times with his "ex" and while I loved being married to him and helping him care for his kids, the hurt of not having my own has never gone away. I cry, I get mad etc etc.

He did go through a reversal but he would never follow throught with it, long and short of it, he did a couple of things right after surgery that I believe messed up the surgery and he would never go back to the DR to see if it worked or not.

The women in our family have always had a hard time in conceiving and I knew we were probably going to have to seek help but he would never go, he just didnt care or so it seemed to me.

20 years later at 47 its killing me to know I compromised what I had always wanted, I wanted to have a family of my own. I would have probably dealt better with the fact of being told I couldnt have children rather than not ever knowing.

Its such a long story, but today, its killing me, and I cant get him to listen or even talk to me about it, he respond is just to get over it, I cant, I keep thinking to myself that as nasty as his ex was, why was she ok to have kids with but I not, its to late now but how do you make the hurt go away....

sorry so long, so much to say, so many feelings, thanks for listenins

Anonymous said...

So this is where we end up, when we type in the google search: childless, grief. Its a night when I don't know how to cope with my feelings of pain. So I write to you, my internet sisters. 40 and a half (the passing months begin to be urgently noted). Married to a man who is my greatest joy and also sorrow. His own unresolved feelings about his dead father make him unable to think/act consistently so we have played an off and on again game about becoming parents. I lose hope that he will ever make fatherhood a priority and at this point we need that active initiative. My pain and anger about this makes me contemplate leaving- although that wouldn't be a road to motherhood either. My grandmother died today and my grieving turns to this question of loss on both ends of the spectrum. Of no new lives entering my life as I lose the giants who came before me.
Of the end of the cloth that wove me and that I weave. Of my fading beauty. Of all the choices I've made and the lives I didn't live.
This is my statement of grief.

Suelick said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for sharing this. It is so beautifully written, and I'm sure many of us can identify with your situation. I wish you all the best.
Sue

Lori said...

I am almost 39 and for the first time in my life, I have a healthy relationship with a man who loves me and who I love. However, He is almost 46, has had a vasectomy and has been divorced only for about 2 years. He told me right away that he had had the surgery, but he said one tiny thing that made me think there might be a possibility. I was so happy to have finally met someone after years of meeting men I'd not like to have dinner with again, let alone consider having a family with. We have been dating a little over a year and I agonize over this. It scares me to death to see those of you on here saying it will never go away. I can't talk to him about it either, because when we have, he feels terribly guilty. He loves me and says his not having children will never be because he doesn't love me enough. He said he simply can't. I believe him and at the same time, I ask myself why, if he loved me as much as I love him, why he isn't willing to. I feel like it would be so fun! I don't know what to do. I certainly have been told that there is a chance I could find someone else and live happily ever after, but it feels I would be going double or nothing, and that I would feel disgusting about throwing a great guy and hurting him deeply. I am not an easy match, and I truly feel my chances of "getting it all" at this point are awfully small. I have a lot to be grateful for, but I am grieving.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite fit I think. But I was married 11 years and put off having kids as "not the right time yet." Then at age 33 I decided that my husband and I should try. I went to have a prenatal physical and I was given a prescription for prenatal vitamins and then the doctor came back and said that I had diabetes and that I would have to get that under control first. My husband left me about 8 months later and I never met anyone new and I never really perfected getting the blood sugar under control either. I went to college, though, and got a better job so that consumed me for awhile. But now here I am 46 years of age and grieving the loss of my children and my grandchildren as if they were real people. It hurts so much and my loneliness in life overwhelms me. So that's my sad little story. I would that I could find a way to let this grief go. How I wish I could. I just need some peace and love to flow back into my life.

Suelick said...

July 2010 Anonymous,
I am so sorry for your pain. You really got a double whammy. It will get easier with time. I really hope you find someone who will give you everything you want. Take care.
Sue

moley said...

hello
like the wonderful woman who wrote so beautifully about googling 'childless and grief' i also find myself here. and i am so glad you are still there! i am really sad just these last few days having decided i think once and for all to not have children. when I was 25 i dedicated my life to a spiritual movement which included celibacy and not having children. That is where I met my husband and we fell in love and 'left' the group a year ago. I guess I had already decided that I would not have children from age 25, but I guess the decision was easy then because my whole framework supported the not having children. Now that I am back in the real world all the options are open to me again. So I made a decision to try for a baby, which meant coming off medication for Multiple Sclerosis. I am relatively well but I do get very fatigued and so I guess at times I have worried how having a child would affect me but doctors have been very encouraging about me having a child. i am 38 and I did decide just 6 months ago to try for a baby but after a miscarriage I have decided that I dont think I have the emotional strength to commit myself to a life of worry and responsibility for another human being. The anxiety at the thought of having a child is huge, I worry that it may be ill or disabled or it may come to some harm etc. And that is what makes me feel really tearful, admitting to myself somehow that I don't think I can manage it. That makes me feel inadequate, and as though maybe I lack courage. But the simple truth is that I don't think I do have the courage. My husband says he would support me either way but admits that he has worried in the past that I would perhaps struggle. I hope I dont sound pathetic here. I have had to leave my beloved job as a therapist due to fatigue etc. So I feel so many losses at the moment. I guess having a child would make me feel as though I had a purpose. Deciding not to have a child is not something you can celebrate or be congratulated for. Having a child would be smiles and praise...
So that is what my grief is about..that I don't think I want to have a child, it is a sort of loss in itself...

Suelick said...

Moley,
It is a loss, and you must allow yourself to grieve. But it does take courage to make that decision. Know that you are not alone.
Sue

Elena said...

mh... i couldn't open that link...
it's interesting that it turned up when clicking on "therapy".
I'm wondering at the moment wether to go on with my therapist or not. My boyfriend and i went to a marriage counsellor/therapist for a long time. At the moment i feel that was just a complete waste of time and money. I have no child and we split up, after 10 years ... at one point my boyfriend stop all talk about conceiving and fertility clinics and so on, at the same time questioning our relationship entirely. We then spent 3-4 counselling sessions talking about what he saw as the problem in our relationship which seemed really "peanuts" to me, nothing we couldn't find any compromise or solution. The therapist then asked "what would have to change in your relationship for you to feel ok again" and I broke into tears and said that i would not feel ok again if i wouldn't soon know wethere we were going to have a baby (or keep trying) or not soon.
I feel like the therapist was overwhelmed with this, he had no reaction or answer to that.
I started seeing a woman therapist on my own a short time after that. Again i talked about my grief for my wish for a baby.... but as well about the relationship problems and the split up, since that was what was happening at the time... and again she just doesn't seem to understand what my feelings are about, telling me that i am young and wishing for a family and why don't i "open myself up to new possiblities"...i don't think she understands that i was so close to having children and wished for that so much, that there is real grief involved here, i can't really think about dating new men or anything right now... i'm really not sure if she'll ever be able to help me if she doesn't understand...

megan said...

I'm right in the middle of going through some of the most intense grief. I hope you write your book. I hope it helps other people. I can't help you with it right now because I don't even have words to express myself well right now.

Suelick said...

Megan,
My heart aches for you. The book is coming. Keep watching the blog. I hope you find peace. Know that you are not alone.
Sue

Anonymous said...

I hope this is still an active post. I am 31 years old. I married a divorced father of a beautiful daughter. I got pregnant earlier in life, before I was married. I was not ready for any of it and did not go through with it. Since that time I have been positive that I have not wanted children. Being with my husband and being a stepmother to his daughter have drastically changed my mind. Am I out of my mind? My husband and I are actively trying to conceive but I am fairly certain he does not 100% share my wish to become a parent (again for him.) He takes the approach that he has already "gone through all of it" and describes it much of a "hassle". It hurts me that the one thing I want, that I am constantly patronized for, he doesn't really want. This is difficult to accept, in the middle of "trying." Please help!

Suelick said...

Anon,
We're still here. I'm sorry you're in this fix. I guess you have to decide how much you want a child and be very honest with your husband. What would he do if you did become pregnant? Would he support you even though he's not thrilled about doing fatherhood again or is it a marriage-breakers? I hate that any of us have to be in this position, and I wish you all the best.

Deborah said...

Wow, can't believe I never came across this site before, to read comments from other women with similar situations is so comforting. I never felt the desire for children of my own until recently, my husband has three grown children from his first marriage and had a vasectomy, he is not open to adoption. We have discussed vasectomy reversal and in vitro but at this late stage (I'm 40, he is 53) I wonder if it is a wise thing to intentionally do. It is unlikely to result in pregnancy but what if it did? My childhood involved a lot of abuse and I struggle with depression. I sometimes think a child would take that away, give me my purpose but my husband thinks otherwise and I have to admit, he is probably right. We may go the reversal route just so I'll have the peace of feeling as though I gave God a chance for us to conceive if he so wanted as opposed to waking up at 50 and wondering "what if?". I know I'd rather have my husband without kids than be without him as he has loved me in a way I didn't know was possible. But just as I didn't predict 10 years ago that I would desire kids as my childbearing years end, maybe I'll realize in my senior years that having children of my own was more important than this man, guess it's hard to say. Just keep wondering why I can't get this desire out of my mind lately. Is it biological? Sorry for rambling, look forward to reading your book.

Suelick said...

Deborah,
Welcome. I can definitely sympathize with your situation. A lot of it is similar to mine. Just know that you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

I am now 54 and although I had one child with my first husband, I desperately wanted another. I wasted seven good (the years when i could easily have got pregnant) years of my life with a man who really didn't love me very much and I was too desperate to have someone to love and who loved me to see it. When I met my current husband I still could have had children but he didn't want any. He wouldn't even talk about it with me and was not interested in my needs or desires. Why I am still with him I have no idea, security most likely. I just want to say that it doesn't get easier with time. If you're in a relationship where your partner doesn't want children and you do, I would advise you to get out of it before you lose the opportunity to have children.

Suelick said...

Amen!

birdie said...

I have a 55 year old partner with three kids and two bitter ex-wives. Although I desperately want a child, he has "been there, done that" and is gun shy based on his experiences with his exes. I feel like they got the best of him and I get what is left over. To top it off, they are always creating drama. I feel like their presence invades our relationship too much. After he deals with the kids, the exes, and the legal stuff, then he has time for me. But supposedly I am the love of his life. It particularly hurts that his youngest is only five. It wasn't that long ago, so it's hard to use the age argument for him not to have kids. I am so depressed. I get this second hand, broken family whose values I did not instill, who I do not have a biologic bond with, but who I seem expected to support. Where is my support? How do I get over having nothing of my own? I can't find any good answers. I am afraid this will be a horrible, lifelong pain. How do you find meaning in your life when your life is all about someone else and not you? And no, massages and pedicures do not fill the void. I can't even have a cat because he is highly allergic. I can't find a way to feel good about not having my own children. I feel my life is wasted.

moley said...

Dear Birdie
Pleae think about yourself and your needs. Unless this man can begin to listen to you and at leadt understand your side of things then you are going to become so bitter and depressed. It could become physically and mentally very destructive. If you really want to have a go at moving things forward then perhaps couple therapy wod be an idea. At least you would both have a chance to express yourselves clearly and honestly. I can't see how you suffering in this way will be beneficial for you. I'm only saying this because you sound so very clear about the fact that you are not getting your needs met at all. Perhaps you could see a therapist- have somewhere to really explore these issues and gather your strengths- I feel you're being really treated badly here. Then you can make a clear decision, if he was good to you then perhaps he'd be worth making a sacrifice for but this sounds very unhealthy as a relationship- nevermind the fact that you're struggling with the dilemma about children. You must come first now.

Suelick said...

Dear Birdie, I am so sorry for what you're going through. Please listen to what Moley says. I totally agree with her. You have to ask yourself, "Is this guy worth it?"

Anonymous said...

I'm Carina and I am feeling like I am dying a little everyday and no one understands that I get angry when they play the lullaby at the hospital everytime a baby is born. I am terrified not having or adopting. I am 35 my hubby is 42 and he could care less either way. We went thru infertility, I got pg and miscarried. The drugs affected my heart and can't do more infertility. It is RIDICULOUSLY expensive to adopt. I cry or am on the verge of tears most days about it. I cannot be truly happy for my friends when they get pg and being with their kids cuz I am sooo jealous. It is just so hard and I feel so ripped off. Especially when there are so many abortions and people sho beat and kill their own children and I can't even have 1.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to just about everyone on here. My husband is the love of my life. He loves me in a way I've never been loved before. He is 37 I'm 32. I have two children from a previous marriage and he has two boys who are older from a previous marriage as well. He had a vasectomy years ago and I knew marrying him we likely wouldn't have a child together. We've been married 2 years and I have been aching for a child with him since then. It's gotten particularly bad now, when I try to share with him how I'm feeling he gets angry and ignores me or tells me I'm pushing him away. I feel so jealous and angry over his ex that she was good enough to have kids with and I'm not. I'm an excellent mom and devoted to my family in every way. I feel though like I got the leftovers... His first son wasn't planned, he was 18 and married her because it was the right thing to do... He comes from a large family abs a mom who was married multiple times and he has many half siblings. I feel like he's gun-shy coming from that type of childhood, but I can't help but feel like I'm not good enough to have his children. It hurts me so much. I'm going to seek out a counselor tomorrow because I guess I'm just expecting him to understand and If he loves me as much as he says, then why won't he give me what my heart craves so much. Thanks for listening, it's nice to know I'm not alone.

Randy said...

I'm a 47 year old male who has just painfully decided not to pursue adoption. I always thought my life would revolve around the children I'd eventually have...someday. I've wanted to be a father my entire life, but I think it would be too hard on my wife (45) and I later on in life to have a teenager in our senior years. It would be unfair to the child to not have parents who could run around & play with them. I think of the finacial burden it would put on us later on when we're older & have a lot less money coming in. It will be hard enough to support ourselves ten or twelve years from now, how would we afford a child? I'd be a balding, grey haired old man when the child graduated. I just have to get it through my head that the time to have a child has passed me by. I just hope I can get past the wanting & painfull feelings when I see others with kids. I cry like a baby most nights, and knowing this desicion is the right one doesn't make it hurt any less. I hurt so badly as if I have lost a living child.

Suelick said...

Randy,
I am so sorry for your pain. To me 45 seems young, but each of us has to decide what's going to work for our lives. I pray you find comfort soon.
Sue

Anonymous said...

After 18 years of a miserable marriage followed by a terrible divorce, God blessed me with a loving and caring man. We have been married for 6 years, out of those, 4 have been trying everything we can to have a baby but only 3 miscarriages. It is hard, heartbreaking, we all hope we will be the exception, that infertility will not happen to us, but I feel like I need to count my blessings, name them one by one and see what wonderful things God has done.I have a great husband and family, we look for opportunities to help people in distress and by helping others we find joy and comfort in our sorrow. May God provide a miracle for those of you still trying. I finally had to move on, to keep my sanity but love when I have baby dreams. Hang in there you all!Love...

Suelick said...

Anon, thank you for your beautiful comment. I'm so glad you have found peace.
Sue

Hattie said...

I hope this is still live as it's given me hope to know it's not just me. I'm 29, my boyfriend is 43 and he has a wonderful daughter. He's very close friends with his ex wife and I have to admit I'm finding it increasingly difficult. I love my boyfriend to pieces but i find myself increasingly preoccupied by the fact that he doesn't wa t more children. He tells me I am the love of his life, that there's nothing he won't do for me; but he won't have children with me.
I am increasingly sad and frequently upset by this fact and I too feel like I'm not good enough for him to want to have children with me. Life all feels very one sided.

I am stuck at a fork in the road-one way I don't have my boyfriend, the other I don't have children. Right now either way feels like a losing path. So I'm standing here, lost and uncertain what to do-how can I choose something I never had over someone I love do much? But equally, how can I ache to hold my child so much when I don't yet know them.

He won't change his mind but I cling to the small possibility he might, or that if it's meant to be, it will be. Perhaps it I'd this human nature-to cling to hope- that is causing me to procrastinate. It's affecting me emotionally, and it's also forcing changes in our relationship. I know I need to make a choice but to be honest, I dont know how to make it. The consequences are do far reaching that I am just confused.

We cannot talk about this anymore as he feels guilty and I feel awful for making him feel guilty. So I'm grieving on my own and it's increasingly overwhelming.

Suelick said...

We are still alive and here for you, Hattie. It's such a tough decision. I wish I could tell you what to do. I was two years older than you when I hooked up with my husband. I thought something might change and I would have children, but I never did. Does your boyfriend know this could be a deal-breaker?
I wish you all the best.
Sue

Anonymous said...

I don't technically fit the description of "childless by marriage," but I certainly relate to many of the postings. I am 39 years old, married for 8 years and together a total of 10. We went into our marriage with both of us wanting children. We've cared for an ailing elderly parent which took time away from focusing on each other. I've remained in a marriage absent of intimacy for quite a long time due to self esteem issues related to body image. I've recently come to the realization that my husband and I will not be having a child together (even with the assistance of a fertility clinic, the idea of bringing an innocent child into a broken marriage is in my eyes, the makings of a disaster). I'm also attempting to prepare myself for what seems to me to be the imminent ending of my marriage. We're currently in therapy together and we have agreed to give it more time but I am heart broken and in a state of depression on multiple levels that I'm not certain how much more of this I can take.

Suelick said...

Anonymous, I am so sorry. I pray that you find peace.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a really hard time with this right now. I got married at 21, my husband is 8 years older than me. Before we got married we had a brief conversation about kids that went something along the lines of me saying, "I don't want them now but will probably want them later." and him saying, "Ok."
Now here we are 14 years later, I'm 35 and he's 43 and my clock is ticking big time. For a long time I felt that I didn't want kids at all, ever. When I was about 28 the clock started ticking. Now my husband is saying he absolutely doesn't want kids, period. I didn't even want to wait this long, and I don't want to be having a kid at 40. I'm having a really hard time seeing other people with their babies or kids. Facebook is especially difficult with all the photos of people's kids.
The odd thing is I'm still somewhat undecided myself, in that I don't know that I want kids badly enough to leave my husband.
It's really rough right now. I feel like I don't get to decide my own life.

Anonymous said...

I too will admit I wish there was some "great news" here for people who are realizing children will not come into their lives. I just got married in April (we've been together for 4 years) and we are both 44. I always assumed I'd have a child. I was never nuts about it, I just assumed it would happen. So work and travel took most of my 20's and 30's. I now have a 13 yr old stepson. When I first met my husband, he was 99% sure he didn't want more kids. I thought, "well, I'll have a stepson so that is the same, right?". WRONG. I mean, I care about his son and I know, although he will never say or act like it, he likes me. But it isn't that same. I am now kicking myself or being so flippant and not realizing how I would end up feeling. On top of it, my sister who is 43 just remarried (again!) and after not wanting children with her other husbands they are having a baby. We are close but I find myself not wanting to talk to her or see her at all. That makes me sad. It all makes me sad and I feel like a total failure. But when I think about it. It really is no one's fault but my own. Not sure how I will ever come to terms with all this. I was hoping these posts would make me feel better. :( Hang in there fellow childless ladies and gentlemen.

Suelick said...

Anons,
I know how hard it is to be in that position. If I could go back and change anything about my life, I would have children. But to not have had my husband? I can't imagine that. He was the best man I ever met. The hard thing is that when it was too late, he said he probably would have given in if I had pushed harder for children.

I can imagine how hard it must be when people around you are having children and you're not. All I can suggest is to try to be happy for them and enjoy as much time as possible with their kids.

Hang in there, my friends.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that I found this site. I feel alone and miserable and guilty for having these feelings. I am almost 41 and have no children. I had an abortion in my early 20's and have felt like god has been punishing for it ever since. It took me 20 years to finally get a husband and we tried to get pregnant and it hasn't worked and now my husband says that I'm getting too old and that it probably just isn't going to work out. I have been in agony ever since that comment. Of course, I'm in a bad mood every day which is leading to arguments with my husband which is making him think even more that we shouldn't have kids. I am pretty much convinced that he is going to leave me any day. Since he is only 30, he has plenty of time to go find a young wife to have a baby with. I hate feeling this way but I really have no idea how to move on without having a family. What am I supposed to do with all of my time and energy?

Suelick said...

Anonymous, I am so sorry for your pain. It hurts that your husband would say that to you. As for what to do with your time and energy, look at what you've been doing up until now. Maybe you can find the key there to what to do next. It might be that you've been living a good life all along and it can still be good, even if you never have children.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same as so many of you. My husband can't have the surgery that would allow us to have children naturally. I am 33 and it's tearing me up inside. We adopted but want another baby. I can't see them giving one to us, as we are not rich. When we last adopted it was not too good. I now have to decide whether to take a hail mary with an agency and my bank account or live with only one child. It hrts when some people ask me, "You have a child and husband. Isn't that enough?" No. Iwant a child that I can feel kick inside me, and can raise from infancy. We adopted our last when he was eight. I don't want to have a social worker judge us to see if we are good enough for a second child. I really am so depressed I can't do much right now.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I too had no idea so many people were struggling painfully for not having children. Here's my story: I'm 58 & my husband is 67. We have been married 27 years. We put off having a family but when I was 37 had a miscarriage...It was so painful emotionally and he really struggled with being able to afford it anyway... I was determined to be a success & then have a baby. I came from a very disfunctional family and questioned if I would be a good mother...well God took that choice from me because a few years later after a lot of female problems... I had a hysterectomy. I became very depressed but submerged myself in my career...thank God. Husband did not want o adopt... These past couple of years due to the economy, business has slowed down and now there is so much time...My friends talk of their grandchildren...And I feel pain in my heart that we missed out. I feel jeolous and envious of others..I feel angry with my husband for wanting us to wait to have a famiy until we were financially ready and then it was too late. I am filled with regret. My huband says I am thinking if we had children they would be perfect...(maybe I am). I pray for God to take this pain away and give me Peace and help me find my purpose and restore the joy in my soul.

Suelick said...

Anonymous,
I can really identify with your pain. We're in the same age group, and yes, all of our friends are enjoying their grandchildren, and we . . . not.
I pray that you and all of us find peace with this loss in our lives.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am grieving. I have been grieving for 1.5 years, since my boyfriend left me. I grieve that this grief may just be who I am now, and that I will always feel how I do now - wondering what am I missing, will I ever really know what it is to live if I don't know what it is to have loved my own child. If I should take the terribly hard step to do it alone, which seems financially impossible,since there is still a tiny window of time. I worry that my grief will never crest, and age into a loss that I can live with. That this will be a lifelong grief I can never get away from, when everywhere I look, society is telling me how beautiful motherhood is. And I hate how society tells me that this is somehow my fault, and that therefore I struggle hard to keep this grief secret - and fool no one who loves me - while feeling deeply ashamed of my sadness.

Suelick said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I pray that you find peace with this issue as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue, I'm the anon from oct 30th same age group wanted to thank you for this site and for your encouraging words. Wanted to share something that may help others. Tonight I was starting to feel depressed and anxiety (after hearing about a friends children) decided to speak with my husband about my feelings. He shared that he feels bad sometimes for us not having chlldren or grandchildren but he chooses not to dwell on it. He doesn't want to dwell on what we don't have but what we do have. takes a piece of paper and lists everything he can think of to be thankful for. Count your blessings. So I did the same. Then worked out for an hour to rid myself of the negative energy. This was helpful, tonight, for me. Hoping this will help others...Thank you again for this site.

Suelick said...

Anon,
Thank you for so much for this suggestion. I'm going to post it in today's blog in the hope that more people will read it.
Sue

Anonymous said...

Sitting at home on a Saturday night with just the cat and the dog, and after googling "anger and grief at childlessness" I came across this page. I'm 43 and following 7 pregnancy losses (two late on due to fatal abnormalities) the reality that I will not have children is hitting hard. My nephew had twins two years ago, and today my sister told me excitedly that my niece is also expecting twins. I smile,I congratulate, I say,"wow, that's wonderful, amazing"..and yes, I mean it. But inside the sense of consuming emptiness is overwhelmingly painful. A failed marriage behind me and 7 years with someone five years younger who wasn't ready for children straight away and still doesn't seem to be interested in anything but his career..and I feel like Ive woken up at 43 with nothing of any value. Now I'm left questioning what my purpose is in this life.
Thank you for this page. It has been a strangely comforting find.

Suelick said...

Anonymous,
I can't imagine the pain you must have experienced with so many losses. I'm glad this page helped you some. Know that you are not alone.
Sue

mick said...

I too am thankful to hear of others experiences and so sad that the grief remains for all of us. I have always wanted a family. It has never been a question for me. After a marriage at 25 that ended with his infidelity, I was sure I would marry agin shortly and have my family. Instead, at 33, I met what I thought was the love of my life and although he said he wanted a family from the get-go, after five years and an engagement he shared that he would not have kids until he was a successful actor. I knew I could not stay with him and not have kids, I would be so resentful, so we endured a very painful break up while still in love. I then went into high gear trying to find my man and family and tried to force many a relationship. (I had lost my mom, dad and brother to sudden death in different circumstances, so the need to crete a family of my own became even that much stronger.) I finally decided to try IVF with donor sperm at 41. After two attempts, I gave up. A week later I met the man who is now my fiance. A beautiful man with two kids - 12 and 14. And, it was my hope as well, that they would fill that need. But, it doesn't. They have a very engaged mom (lucky for them) so I am definitely Dad's girlfriend/fiance. My fiance said he would have a baby with me through egg donor, but after he made that decision he was so internally miserable (for months) that I eventually told him it was not worth it and that I would let go of hopes for motherhood. He tried not to show his excitement but I could see the relief all over him. What makes it worse is that we live in a community where everyone has 2.4 kids. There is seemingly no one like me. Dinners with friends are all about their kids. It feels like pure torture. And he gets upset when I am sad afterwards. I guess I will have to "eat" the pain. I can only hope that enjoying future grandkids and filling my life with travel, love, friends and helping kids in some fashion will relieve, or at least distract, from the pain. Good luck to you all!

Suelick said...

Mick,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It isn't easy, but know that you're not alone.

Martha said...

I am grieving deeply over not having children. I am childless by marriage. I got married for the first time, at age 40, to a man I had dated for 7 years. He was also a first-time groom, and neither of us had children from the few prior relationships we'd been in. I knew he didn't want children. However, I felt that if I married him, I'd at least have companionship until my golden years. Our marriage lasted 4 years...and ended with his sudden death from a heart attack at age 48, in August 2010. I was 6 weeks from my 45th birthday. I chose companionship over motherhood; now I have neither. My spouse's death caused me to re-evaluate my priorities...and arrive at the realization that I don't have much time left in my childbearing years, if any. That epiphany sent me into a tailspin, and I still haven't emerged from it.

My grief over the loss of my husband, and the family that might have been, is compounded by the fact that I'm from a small family, and I'm watching the few relatives I have fade away. My father died 30 years ago, and I had no contact with him (my parents went through a bitter divorce starting when Mom was pregnant with me). I was an only child, and so was my husband, so I have no nieces or nephews. My mother is seriously ill, and has been hospitalized for nearly 2 months. I don't expect her to be with us much longer. My aunt (Mom's only sibling) is also in declining health. There is a very real possibility that, barring a miracle, I will be the last surviving member of my family.

I don't anticipate remarriage anytime soon. I haven't been on even one date in the 15 months since my husband's death. I have yet to meet any marriageable men, let alone ones who want a family. Quite literally, all my male friends are already taken.

I considered single parenting by either adoption or donor insemination, but all of the above factors make it practically impossible to achieve, plus the horrendous cost has to be factored in. I don't have any friends who have indicated a willingness to help with child care, no family healthy enough to help, and my job as a chain retail pharmacist involves working rotating shifts (thus, an irregular schedule). More than likely, I won't even qualify to adopt due to my lack of child care resources. Pregnancy, even with aggressive medical treatment, is only a remote possibility.

I've prayed for the past year for God to open doors to allow me to have a family either with or without a new spouse. So far, all the barriers I've tried to find a way around are still in place, and God's answer is a resounding "NO!" I have to find a way to accept this as my lot in life.

I am sad not only for myself, but for my mother, because I know long before I ever even met my husband, she eagerly anticipated being a grandma. Her state of health precludes her ever fully knowing the joy of grandchildren. As much as not having a family of my own breaks my heart, my soul aches even more for her.

A pastor friend of mine told me "It's good that you're trying to accept and grieve your losses...but I hope you'll be open to the possibilities of God's future." Of course, there have always been possibilities in my life, but they mean nothing unless they become reality. Otherwise, they're just dreams...and maybe even false hope.

Suelick said...

Oh Martha, I am so sorry for your multiple losses. We take such a risk when we commit to spend our lives with a person who doesn't want children. I don't know if you know, but my husband died earlier this year, so I do know how it feels to without husband or kids. My family is also shrinking, but my dad is still going, and I am blessed with a brother who has two kids.
I hardly know what to say. I hope you can find some way to reach out and build a family of love and friendship that will help fill the emptiness left by the deaths of so many family members.
You are in my prayers. Know that you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Hello Martha, I'm sorry to hear what you are going through.
Take care of yourself, spend time with your mother (and aunt too if that's possible) but most importantly take care of yourself. Stay busy busy busy, make more friends, join new social clubs, keep fit and put some pretty lipstick on. You are not old at all. I have a friend that met and married the love of her life recently and she is 52. She did not have children either but her new husband does have two adult children and a grandchild and she is enjoying that. She went out lots and met tons of people before she found him. I think it's like job hunting, you have to go out a lot and search! Good luck to you and even if you don't fall in love I hope you make some great connections that will make you feel happier - and know that people do care. I care and I want the best for you.

Liz said...

Hello. I have only just worked up the guts to start researching this subject. It has been hovering at the edge of my awareness all year now. I'm so terrified it's going to overwhelm me, that I won't be able to cope.
I'm 36 and have just come out of a relationship. I'm in therapy and have so much work to do on intimate relationships I doubt I'll be able to sort myself out in time, get into another relationship that actually works and then have a child.
I've been terrified of this happening since my late 20s, and now it seems like it's coming true.
I feel so angry that this is happening. It's not what I wanted AT ALL. I try to envisage a life without kids, and all the things this means I'll be able to do, but the older I get I think the harder it will become to deal with. Right now I still think I have a chance but my therapist has been urging me to really accept not being a mother. She's been right about a lot of stuff that I've ignored to my peril.
Anyway, I'm so scared about this. I really wanted to make my own family and now it looks like I won't be able to.
I'm in so much pain right now. I hate it.

Suelick said...

Hi Liz,
Thank you for sharing this. Know that you're not the only one in this situation. I'm glad you're working on this with a therapist, and I hope you find peace. At 36, it is not too late. None of us knows what will happen in the future, but we will be happier if we can accept the way things are right now. All the best.

Liz said...

Thanks so much for responding Suelick. You're right about living in the moment - not much else I have much control over right now! Love, light and many many hugs to you all, wonderful people :)

Anonymous said...

This topic has been weighing very heavily on my mind. I always desperately wanted children. I am 35 and have been married for 12 years. We got pregnant with twins 6 years ago, and lost them to complications at 5 months. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. We told ourselves that we would still have plenty of time to try again. Well, here it is 6 years later and we have not been able to get pregnant again. My doctor told me that 35 was basically the cut off year for my fertility and that after that we would need to see a specialist (especially after 6 years with no luck). We decided a long time ago that we would not pursue fertility treatments as it greatly increases your chances for multiples (and losses). We cant go through that again. So, it has really hit me that it is very unlikely that we will have children now. We are not in a financial position to adopt, so that is not an option. I am quite depressed about it. I am jealous of others who have children. It hurts that my parents will not become grandparents, and the future seems quite empty and lonely for us. I hope that it gets easier with time.

Suelick said...

Anonymous, I can't imagine how painful it must have been losing your twins. I do know what it's like facing a future without children. I pray that you find peace and maybe a miracle someday soon.

Anonymous said...

The same sad story, 47 and having been raised around a loving large family, I went to L.A. and got lost in the shuffle of the quick pace of life. Never having meant a 'husband' type until four years ago. My career always came first because I never felt I could be as good a parent as my older siblings were. Now, I think I would have been a great mother. The loss is so exceptional and I dread going to my husband's family and my family to see young people with children. Some of my nieces and nephews have had the tragedy of divorce, but what got them through and laughing were the children they have had. People may say on the outside, wow you have accomplished so much in your life, and you are such a fun Aunt, but I would not do my life like this. I would have focused on having children when I was in my mid-thirties. Seeing my high school mates on facebook, proudly bragging about grand babies and their own babies makes me feel like a failure. Sorry, but if you have are 'deciding' in your thirties if now is a good time for you; you should do it if you are married or wanting to have a child with a significant other. That's what they didn't tell us women in our forties...you can't have it all. You do have to stop and plan and sacrifice during the child bearing years, then you can go out and re-invent yourselves. I did it backwards and it turned out all wrong!

Suelick said...

Anonymous, thank you for posting this. I can feel your pain. It will get better, I promise. And yes, you are right, women in their 20s and 30s needs to understand that this is their chance to have children. If they decide not to, that's okay, but this is their only chance.

Anonymous said...

I am now 64 and I am a man who always wanted children but was unable to.

My first wife didn't want to adopt or use AID. She could cope with having no children but I couldn't.

I spent my life as a teacher teaching other people's 10 year olds and feeling sad at the end of every school year.

My new wife has grown up children with kids of their own we see occasionally - so I am now a 'step' granddad but I still grieve for the children I never had.

My wife has a single mum as a friend with a (now ten) daughter we see occasionally who I've taught in the last couple of years to tie her shoe laces, swim and ride a bike. I'm the nearest thing she has to a dad and I love her dearly - but am afraid people will think I'm a paedophile if I say that.

Anonymous said...

I was very grateful to find all of your comments. To feel connected to others with similar feelings. I too have had three pregnancy losses this year two IVF and one natural and I'm having trouble accepting the loss of the pregnancies and my fertility. I am 41 years old in a loving relationship. I, like you Martha have no siblings-my brother and my father passed away when I was young. My greatest fear is my old age and of being alone. I try to remind myself that there are no guarantees even if you do have children as I see friends who are estranged from their children. I feel like a big part fo me is missing out. I recognise that I am focusing on what is missing rather than what I have got. It is a sad time. I feel really guilty because I don't want anyone close to me to get pregnant, it accentuates the pain for me. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with shame, it's like an announcement to the world that it's true I really am defective.I hope time will help me to get back in life. I feel stuck in the "what might have been" and it takes me out of the now and I am missing the joyful moments.

Suelick said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am so sorry for your losses. That's a lot to happen in one year. You are allowed to feel all the phases of grief, including anger, jealousy, resentment, hopelessness and all that. Sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time, trying to find some little thing that makes you feel better, whether it's something to eat, the smile on a loved one's face or just the promise that tomorrow is a new day. Hang in there. You are not alone. And know that it's okay to talk about it with the people in your life.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I having been trying to have kids for the last 8 years.

It wasn't happening naturally, so we went down the IVF route. After 3 failed attempts at IUI and 1 failed IVF, we finally gave up on having children of our own.

We started looking into foreign adoption and started filling out forms. It was like a weight had been lifted from us both.

Nearly a year ago now, my wife's period was a few days late and we decided to do a pregnancy test. It was positive. We were delighted.

We went for our first check up and our baby was about 4 weeks in size and the doctor couldn't find a heart beat. We were told that this is not uncommon. We waited another week before seeing our specialist, all the while trying to stay hopeful. Sadly we lost our baby. We were/are heartbroken.

A year later and we are still not over it. And to add insult to injury, every month comes new hope that maybe this might be the month, only to have our hopes kicked in the gut. My wife and I are now trying to come to terms with not having a child of our own all over again.

Thank you for letting me share.

Suelick said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. If it's any consolation, at least, unlike most of the people at this blog, you are in this together. Take care.

C said...

Hello to all who find comfort here.

I am three weeks away from being forty. For the first time in my life I am in a relationship I believe will be lasting. We live apart just now and see each other as much as possible. We plan to be living together within the year. The reality is, we will never have children together.

The man I love is 16 years older than me. He has 1 natural child, 4 adopted children and many foster children from a previous marriage. He has become a grandad for the 7th time today. I am delighted for him and have the seen his look of pride. I had to hide my tears.

I have Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome, I found out about 6 years ago and began the journey of realisation that bearing children may not my fate. Throughout my adult life, when people have asked me the dreaded question "How come you never had kids, you'd make a great mum". I simply answered "I always said to myself, if it happens, it happens, if it doesn't it doesn't."

From the beginning of the year, I realised this was going to the year I turn 40 and I finally admitted to myself that the answer I had given all these years was a lie, both to the people who cared enough to ask it, but also to myself.

For the first time ever this year, I mourned (I chose the word particularly) mourned for the realisation that no-one will ever say the words and mean the sentiment "Happy mother's day" to me.

I can count my blessings in life, I can be proud of things I have achieved I can love my two godsons, but I can also feel like a failure. I couldn't even achieve one of the most fundamental roles of being a woman.

I hope my period of grief doesn't stay with me for long and I wish you all peace with the people we are today. :-)

Suelick said...

Oh C, I'm sorry for your loss. You have every right to mourn. I hope in time you can find peace with your lack of biological children and treasure all those kids and grandkids that come with your man.

Anonymous said...

Hi I found this link by chance, I googled how to cope with not having children. These heartfelt posts are so comforting to read. Realising I'm not the only one that is going through this is a help. I am 37 and I do have a 10yr old son from a previous marriage who is just a joy. I know how lucky I am to have him but when the marriage to his dad broke down and we divorced 7 years ago I didn't think I wanted anymore children. If you had asked me then I'd have said never.
Then I met the most amazing man who had been married before he is 56 now. We had a bumpy ride but finally married a year ago in May this year. he had two
grown up sons now in their late 20's and had a vasectomy 25 years ago. And as you guessed it I have this ache in my heart for us to make a baby, I have never felt this need before it's all consuming. I was fully aware of the situation when we met and at that time I just accepted it as he is the man I've always dreamed I'd marry... Seems there is a price to pay though, I have tried to talk to him but at his age he just doesn't want to go through a reversal that has such a slim chance of working. I try to understand and I can see how he feels but I Just can't turn these feelings off, I just can't seem to except that I won't hold a child we had made from our
love. I too hope for a miracle that will change his mind I don't want to love my life with the regret that we didn't even try. Very sad right now.
Thank you for listening

Suelick said...

Dear Anonymous, my heart goes out to you. Why can't we have the man of our dreams AND children? Phooey. As you can see, this post has more comments than any other one on the site. We grieve, and then we grieve again. At least we're not alone.

Anonymous said...

I feel so alone all my friends have got kids i am now 48 and according to my partner I am too old now to have kids. he has two children from a previous marriage. He thinks i should have got over this by now.

Suelick said...

Anonymous, you are not alone. There are lots of us in the same situation. I'm so sorry for your pain. I wish more people understood that we never get over the loss of the children we might have had. If your partner won't give you kids, he could try to understand how you feel. I wish you peace.

Anonymous said...

My husband of seven years always said we would have kids. But about a year ago, after several years of him putting it off and then a miscarriage after a period of trying, he said he didn't want to have them. I now know that he is suffering from an anxiety disorder and he can't contemplate such a huge life change while he is so unwell. He has finally agreed to seek treatment, which is a positive step. However, I am 36 and feel I don't have too many years to wait. I know now that his well being is paramount, but I can't help feeling terrified at the prospect of missing the opportunity. I am hopeful that he will improve with treatment, but still, he may not change his mind about kids. Another complicator is that many of the best medications for anxiety have a high risk of infertility. I feel I am trapped in a situation I don't deserve and at the same time I feel guilty for considering leaving him. I cannot imagine a life without a family and resenting him always for that, but neither can I imagine abandoning the love of my life. What to do?

Suelick said...

Anonymous, what a tough situation. I didn't know the anxiety medications could cause infertility, although I do know they can make it difficult to perform sexually. This is hard for both of you. I pray you can stick together and find a way through this with a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have found this link. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you. Reading all the posts above is heartbreaking.I wish somehow that we could all just meet in person, have wine or beer or coffee and offer each other strenght to get thru this loss. This is a deeply isolating loss.

I have never written a comment or posting before. Here is my first: I just turned 37. My mother was 37 when she killed herself. I was four years old at that time and she did it infront of me. My dad died when I was 14 of heart attack. I have no brothers and sisters or extended family. Being an Orphan is a core part of my identity.I have been an orphan for as long as I remember. It is neither good or bad. It is both good and bad, just like everything else in life. You get to feel freedom and live the interesting part of being a vagabond, the bad part is that I carry a strong sense of loss with me all day everyday. I got over most of the other negative feelings as a result of childhood either due to just part of growing up process or becuase I chose to face my life headon and deal with things by learning, knowing, exploring and understanding. Ofcourse find a job that is also my passion helped tremendiously. My work life keeps kept me rooted, gave me a sense of purpose and belonging.

I met a man, obviously, the love of my life, who was 14 years older than me at 30. He was 44. I have just become acutely aware that he will not have kids with me. He never got off his ass and did anything about it though he keeps talking about. He will turn 50 this year. I went to the doctor and received a clean bill of health but he won't go. For the first three years of our dating life, I heard him frequently talk about how bad he feels that he never tried hard enough to have kids with his first wife, while I kept losing my chance at having kids.

For the last year, I have been taking care of his 15 year old dog which he brought when she was a puppy with his first wife soon after they got married. She left the dog with him when she left him 7 years ago and took everything else. Now the dog needs round the clock care. I met the dog when she was 11 years old and have been her full time caregiver for the last year and half.I am just pissed off that at 37 my life and the things in it are as a consequence of somebody elses bad decisions. I lived my crappy childhood because of the stupid decisions made by my parents and now I lost my chance at having a family because the guy I happened to fall in love has an exwife and an old dog.

I feel like I am losing the things in life I could probably have had. I felt pain because of the crap that happened in the past and survived it. Now I am feeling pain for the future that I will never have. Tonight I am finding it hard to accept life for the way it is. I hate the fact that there is nothing I can do to make the dog feel better, I am going to lose my first pet, but it is not MY dog, even if I was the one who spent 24/7 with her and put all things in my life on hold. He treats this as if it is his dog and he is losing his dog. But barely spend anytime taking care of her.

Do I love him, I mean, truly love the man, unconditionally? Absolfreakingultly! I am sure I will find things in life worth living for, and I am aware that life isn't fair. I understand that grief, suffering and pain are a part of life. But gez! I didn't realize loving someone comes at such a tremendous personal sacrifice. And tonight I doubt if the sacrifice is worth the heartache.

Suelick said...

Whew! What a story. It could be a movie, but I hope a happy ending comes along for you. To have so many losses as a child and then not have the chance to have your own children . . . I don't even know what to say, but we're here for you. I too wish we could all meet in person. Hang in there, Anonymous.

freeinJesus said...

I'm in my fifties and am grieving over not having grandchildren. I married someone years ago who couldn't and didn't want children. He finally gave in and we decided to adopt, only we couldn't find healthy children of our race. So I went to college thinking I'd have a brilliant career. That failed. I thought, since we couldn't have children, we'd travel. Well, my hubby doesn't like to travel. Great. I was miserable for years and have finally given it all to God and am finding peace and happiness in my faith.

Anonymous said...

I married at a young age knowing my hubby couldn't have children. He agreed to adopt. We were unable to find healthy children of our race, so I went to college hoping for a career and thought we could travel. Well, none of my dreams came to pass. I was brokenhearted and took up alcohol for comfort. Years later, I allowed God to heal my heart and am finding my happiness in Him.

Liz said...

Hi - I am 51 and I don't have any children. I was married 4 years ago for the first time, to a man who has 2 children from a previous marriage. We have been together for 8 years.

When we were together for 2 years, I told him that I wanted to try and have a child. He was adamantly against it. I was 44 at the time and felt I didn't want to walk away from a good relationship for something that most likely wouldn't be a sure thing. Anyway, 4 years later I am still grieving. It has gotten easier, but when I see friends with their children it pains me deeply. My very dearest friend is 45 and just had a baby. She was my only childless friend. I want to be happy for her -- but it pains me so much. She is coming to visit from Nairobi in a few days, and I don't know how I will stand to meet her baby. I am angry at myself for feeling this way, but it is hard for me to control.

Meanwhile my husbands daughter (who is now 15) is horrible to me. I had thought that we might be able to become close, not in a mother-daughter way, but as friends. It really hasn't worked out and has put such a strain on my marriage. So not only do I not have children of my own, but my husband's daughter (who lives with us), has been rejecting me for the past 8 years. It really has been horrible.

I try to take it one day at a time, and I do my best to stay busy and make a happy life for myself. I never thought I would be in this position.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Welcome, Liz. I hope you can find some comfort here. Someone asked me yesterday how this happens. Your story is exactly how it happens in many cases. I know it's terribly painful. I was a bit younger, but I share some of your experiences. It's really two problems that make each other worse: not having our own children and having to deal with someone else's teenage children. It's a tough situation, and I hope things get better for you soon.

Anonymous said...

I am a 34 yr old man who feel in love with a 36 yr old woman with 3 children (15, 12 and 7). When we first met Julie was very clear she did not want children then as we feel in love she began to romantize the idea that she wanted to create a baby with me. Julie would have moments where she switched between "I want a baby" or "I can't it's not realistic." I made a conscious decision that I choose love and being with my best friend and risk never having any offspring and disappointing my family OR breaking up with my soulmate to find someone to mate with who might be my best friend.

So we got married about 6 weeks ago and we were on the track to having a baby then last week Reality hit Julie and she realized to her own disappointment that having a baby is NOT what she wants and I am realizing that I really want a baby.

So now I feel sick because I feel the loyalty conflict between the woman I love and the idea of having offspring and pleasing my family. I hate this feeling but I will never leave Julie and I have already made my mind up because I want to grow old with her and live beside her the rest of my life BUT I also want someone to continue the lineage of my family and me.

This is tough stuff. Here are a few of my solutions to this tough situation:
1) The buddhist principle of not having Attachment to outcome or what you perceive you want but simply staying present with what is in front of you seems like a key mindset.
2) Focusing on the positives of not having a child and all the time, energy, money it will open up for me and find a way to help others through my sadness and work through my grief to come to a place of acceptance through counseling is my goal.
3) Begin to explore the origins of my desire for baby and I think that if my parents already had grandchildren then the pressure would be less and to be honest with you I don't really love babies but love the idea of having someone who has my DNA who will carry on my name.

There is still a lot of grieving I need to do but at the end of the day I create my own reality and my situations by the choices I have made and so there is noone to resent but just sadness to acknowledge as I come to grips with this and slowly let my parents know....

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Anonymous, Thank you so much for sharing this and proving that it's not just women who grieve this loss of children. It sounds like you're working hard to deal with this. I wish you all the best in your marriage and life.

Anonymous said...

I am a 34 year old woman that recently divorced theove of my life. He was 20 years older and had 2 older kids from his previous mariage. We were together for 12 years, married for 3 and a half. We were each other soulmate and best friends. We wre together trough hallenging times and loss of family members. Inalways stood by him and gave my all. He had a vasectomy before we met but had said he would do anything when we were ready to have kids (or just one kid). Before we were engaged he said he decided he didn't want kids but then changed his mind again. So we married and it was part of our life plan. Then one day he lost his job and his new job became demanding and had him traveling most days. Eventually it moved him away and we were working on my joining him so we would continue our life. During this time his older kids lived with us/me and they had problems. Serious problems that got in the way of us. Our life began to unravel

My shriek and Fiona "not perfect" fairy tale began to crumble.

Then many friends an family were having kids and my clock was ringing. I had snoozed it several times but felt it was time. So I asked him to make us the priority and tell me when we could work on having a baby. He ten told me he was not ready and wasn't sure if he would be. He was 52 an I understand that but we discussed it before we said I do.

So it led to a divorce. I gave up the man of my life for a baby I haven't met yet.

I got back together with an old boyfriend that never let go of me and doesn't have kids and wants kids. I am excited over the prospect of someone ready to be on the same page as me. But I also worry-am I ever going to get over my ex? He was perfect for me but didn't want more kids. That was the let down. He changed his mind. He's allowed. It just hurts.

Heavy sigh.

(note the old bf and I didn't work before because the timing was not right then , not because we were done. It's similar to my ex husband and I-we are still in love but have to move forward because we are no longer aligned. He has a Gf as well. It's just hard. )

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anon,
Wow, you did what many of us think about doing but don't have the courage. I wish you lots of luck and love.
Sue

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to find this site. While I am sad that so many out there feel exactly what I am going through, the grieving of a loss never experienced but felt so deeply, it comforts me to know I am not alone. I have searched so many times "I want a baby, husband doesn't" but for the first time, I searched "how to cope with not having children", which lead me to this site.

Growing up I never wanted children. I just never felt that pull or longing, at all. I was blessed with a great childhood, so I certainly had the model for why people create families, why it's fun, why and how it gives such meaning to one's/couple's life. But I just didn't feel the pull.

I married a wonderful man, 10 years older than I. We talked about the children issue before marriage and neither of us genuinely wanted kids. I married him at 34.

BANG. One year later, the longing for a child, for the creation of a family with my husband, for something MORE than just the two of us, hit me so hard I was almost left breathless. Where before I never even thought about having children, I could think of little else. The problem was that when I told my husband of my feelings and desire for a child, his position had not changed. This lead to a very lonely few years, where day to day, I debated leaving him (and he probably debated the same thing). Years ticked by, and while the majority of my life held good things (wonderful family, nephews, nieces, great friends, travel, overall great husband, my wonderful pets), I would go back and forth on whether to leave. By then I was in my late 30s and really thought hard about what it would mean to up and leave an otherwise solid, loving, safe, stable marriage. I saw a therapist who ironically was childfree by choice who helped me to see a lot of good reasons to stay. I decided to stay, but wrestle still, years later, wondering if I made the wrong decision. To top it off, I had to have a hysterectomy last year, which clearly and irrefutably ended my chance of ever becoming a biological mother. As for adoption, I had leaned toward that, and philosophically my husband did too, but he just couldn't make the leap.

Lately I feel so sad. I can't believe I missed out on something so incredibly basic to the rest of the human population. I see friends with children in college and have friends who are becoming first time mothers. I have a friend who is on baby watch for yet another grandchild.

I am not a kid person per se. I still think that I would not enjoy a lot of things about having children. I am not patient and have never related easily to small children. I am better with older kids. But I mourn the loss of giving my life more meaning through having my own child or adopting a child. I feel like my life, no matter how full it is in other ways, is empty. I don't see how it's ever going to feel more than that, especially as I get older and see everyone enjoying their grandkids, taking vacations with their families. I literally cannot understand how I did not want these same things, and that when I did, I stayed with a man who didn't. It's hard not to feel resentful toward my husband, even though he really tried to understand where I was coming from but just did not want to make the leap with me. To be fair, I changed after we married, he did not.

Sigh. I'm sorry to go on so long. Thank you for creating a space for people like us. Wishing all of us comfort and happier days ahead.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous June 19, I'm sorry it took so long to post your comment. It got lost for a bit. But I'm so glad you found us. What a tough situation, isn't it? I hope you can find some comfort here.
Sue

Anonymous said...

Wow I have defiantly felt a lot of connections here. I just turned 28, I've been married for 2years but have been with my husband for 9yr and he is 10yrs older than me. w
hen I met him I was young and didn't want children. I couldn't even imagine being a mother but now 9yrs later he still does not want children and my heart hurts everyday.
I cannot blame him for not wanting them but am having serious problems coping I secretly cry a few times a week knowing that i am the one who has changed in this. aspect. we have two dogs together and they filled my void when they were puppies but now they are grown and don't need the same care. I treat them like children but they course cannot replace what a real child could give me. I just need advice on ways to cope with this as I am finding it harder day by day. I have talked to my husband but he doesn't understand since his stance hasn't changed.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous June 23, I'm sorry you're in this situation. There doesn't seem to be any good way out. You're forced to chose between your husband and the children you wish you had. I hope you can peace somehow.

Gisele Mosier said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE! I can just "ditto" most of your comments and reasons. It's very helpful to know other people have/are experiencing the same situation and struggles. Can't wait to get the book!

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Welcome, Gisele. Believe me, you're not alone. I should have paperback copies of the book next week, and it's already online at Amazon as a Kindle e-book. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

So I'm sitting at work teary, and Google has saved my day. Thank goodness no one in the office today. Struggling with pain of the realization that I will not have children. I thought I was coping but this week with my 43rd birthday looming it has all come back and hit me in the face. It took me a while to find the right love of my life and when I did at 40, I was thrilled. Unfortunately he had 2 children to a previous marriage and had a vasectomy too long ago to have a reversal. We did try IVF but at my age this just wasn't working. I could fall pregnant but 6 weeks seemed to be as far as it would go. They told me too old. We ran out of money to keep trying as well and this has just broken my heart. I try so hard to be brave I smile with sadness in my heart, everyone seems to think I am fine and no family or friends seem to want to bring it up so I am left feeling so totally alone in my grief. I always wanted children and as I am adopted myself the need to have my own real family has been burning in me. So like a lot of these beautiful women here I too have filled my void with my beautiful furry family, dogs, goats, horses and even my chooks get way to smothered, but nothing seems to be shrinking this gaping wound. I love my husband he is a beautiful soul but he finds it hard to see me sad and just keeps telling me to get over it there is something else out there for us! but everywhere I look the whole world seems to revolve around having children. I feel less of a women, I feel insignificant. It feels like everyone has a family except me. But this site does make me realize there are a lot of us out there. I am trying to remember, how many people have massive struggles and challenges to deal with and I just need to put it in perspective and appreciate what I have. I know I'm blessed in so many ways, and luckier than most, I just need to somehow stop being woe is me, but oh its so so hard. Thank you for this site and apologies for the long post!

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, I'm so sorry all this has happened to you. I hope this site can help you feel less alone and give you a place to express your feelings. I know it's hard, but try to focus on the positive things in your life. And keep coming back.

Anonymous said...

To the last Anonymous, I'm sorry you are feeling so bad. I wonder, since you were adopted, do you think adopting a child might heal your heart? It might be a good fit for you, having experienced it yourself as a child? If not, I hope you will find other ways to help you feel better soon. x

Anonymous said...

When I tried to go to a counselor to help me with the grieving in my heart, she only advised me to keep a gratitude journal. With a picture of her two beautiful children in aa frame on her mahognay bookshelf behind her desk....She has no idea. I am so grateful everyday for so many things. I give my life in so many directions. But the sound of someone's child breaks my heart, everytime. I am now 45. It never, ever goes away. The only solace I can find is that this life is only temporary and one day it will no longer hurt. Every happy thing experienced is never fully enjoyed. Because my heart is not full. I just continue to lean on God and trust Him. I don't know why He gave me a heart so full of love for children, and yet no matter what I cannot give it to them. I had to leave teaching to take care of my dying parents, I cannot adopt, and my husband has his two children from a previous marriage and then had a vasectomy at the age of 20. Now here we are at ages 45, and the only sounds I hear is the agony of my parents who loved me so much. Who taught me how to be a great parent. Who made me believe that there was nothing more important in this life than family. When they are gone, I will have no one from my life. I will have my husband. My headstone will read simply my name and the words loving wife. I am so sad. As much as I love God, I can't even go to church, the families are everywhere. I think that is why I hurt so much. Just imaging what it must feel like to hold child in your arms....my arms are always heavy carrying nothing, so empty, yet so heavy. it's just to difficult beyond words to live day to day. so i just ignore it and get older and wait for the day when it no longer hurts. i can't talk about it with my husband, it only hurts him. and my parents don't hardly know me anymore. So i am soon to be an orphan....that's how it feels.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh, Anonymous July 29 2;22, I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. You have a lot of painful things going on right now. I wonder if might not be worth trying another counselor. Surely there's someone out there who understands. I believe it will get easier with time. Meanwhile, hang in there. You're not alone.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that part of the feminist legacy is guilt over not having children (and wanting to have a career as well). My mum had me at 19 and my brother 8 years later although my dad did not want another child - they divorced when my brother was 1 year old. Fast forward - I gained a degree, good job etc married at 26 but first husband did not want children. At 35 I divorced him amicably (but angry for lost time). I remarried at 37 and 3 years later naturally fell pregnant but m/c. We finally resorted to ivf this year at 44 but after two attempts we are both in despair. Despair seems to be a common thread but I am strangely relieved to be among kindred folk.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

We're over 100 comments on this post now. Clearly the subject of grief strikes a nerve. I'm hearing the old Sonny and Cher song "And the beat goes on," except I hear "And the grief goes on."

Anon July 30, welcome. I think despair is not quite so bad when you are among people who understand. Take care.

Anonymous said...

The pain never goes.
Im 35, was married for 10, but this pain becomes a losing battle/obsession and caused the relationship to break down, when he decided to cheat. I started menopause when I was 26, so have been 'grieving' for what seem like forever. Up until now my family have been supportive, but now my 19 year old sister has fallen pregnant and they all expect me to 'get over it' and be happy for her.. the pain cuts to deep, so the only thing I can do is distance myself from them all. My current boyfriend also sprung on me that he cant have kids either, so even IVF would be a pointless venture, even if they could do something.
Knowing the situation, and accepting it are two very different things - I dont think i'll ever accept it - The pain will always be there and i'll always feel incomplete.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh Anon, menopause at 26! I feel for you. I hope you can somehow peace with this and that your family becomes a little, no a lot, more sympathetic.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

That's "find" peace. My brain isn't awake yet.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I found this site last night and read all the post and can't believe there are women like me in this world. I have been haunted by what I read all day today and decided I must right something tonight.

I am 43 (almost 44) married to a wonderful man who is 47. I am his second wife, He has three children by his first wife who couldn't raise them. When we married, I was 36, I became and instant mother to three children. The youngest at the time 7. I love those children and have treated them as their birth mother. Their birth mother has nothing to do with them except call them every 6 months for money.

I have wanted to have a child for several years but thought raising them would be enough. I have had several "mini blessings" but never a full term pregnancy. As the older I get the harder it is on my life. I want to give birth to a child so bad, words cannot describe my feelings. I can't even began to start on what I am typing because I am so filled with emotions, I am breaking down.

I suffer from horrible depressionbcause I can't deal with not being able to concieve. My husband does not want another child but said, he would welcome a blessing if it happened and love child. He is more afraid of my health mental and phsyical than anything else. I am at the point in my life that I don't care, I am willing to risk it all to become mother.

I spoke to my medical doctor who gave me a strict "talk" about my age and becoming pregnant. I didn't appreicate it and it has made me harden towards doctors. I have not been on any birth control and have still not be able to conceive. I am at the point that I feel my life is worthly of living because I can't be a birth mother.

I know whoever reads this will think I'm crazy and think I should be happy to be a step mother to three children but if you have ever been in that situation you will realize it is not the same as giving birth to a child.

I am going to be honest and say (since this is anonymous) that I can't think of my life going on without a child. I crave to be mother. I cry everyday and don't know where to turn. Doctors are not helping me and I have no friends to talk too. I can't even talk to my husband anymore about this.

I am slowing dying.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Anomymous 8/18, My heart breaks for you. No, stepchildren are not the same, but they are something. I often thanked my husband for giving me his family. I'm worried about your depression. I know you have had bad experiences with medical doctors, but counseling might help you a lot. If you can find a woman who has experience with this sort of thing, you'd be surprised how good it feels to talk about it. If you lived here on the Oregon coast, I'd recommend you to mine. She has brought me a long way from the soggy mess I was a couple of years ago. Please try to find someone to talk to. Meanwhile, take one moment at a time and look for the blessings in it. I know it sounds corny, but it really does help. You're in my prayers.

Anita said...

I'm so glad that we are not alone. I only found out that my fiance had a child (who I've never met) after his grandfather's funeral (his aunt told me, in front of him). Even after we were married he always said 'lets discuss children later'. I'm now 51 and going through menopause. I love him to bits, but - if I had known that loving him would stop me from having children, I wouldn't have married him. He's not cruel, but he really doesn't have any empathy with this one.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anita,
That's a tough situation. Hang onto that love for him. It's tough for someone who has children to understand what it's like not being able to have them.

CB said...

Hi, I recently found this site in while searching for an answer on wanting children. I married a man raising his 2 children and made it clear he didn't want more. I'm over 40. So, I knew my chances for getting married & having children was slimming down. Although, I love love children & always dreamed of having my own I married him thinking I need kids and his kids need a mother. Within the 1st yr. I realized it's not the same as having your own. And I soon after realized he was not willing to give me full "mother rights" When he doesn't agree w/a decision he pulls rank. 2 yrs into the marriage my heart aches. I want a child so bad. I just don't know what to do. I want it bad enough to leave him. But, again I'm over 40. Leaving my husband doesn't guarantee a child. I keep saying maybe this is Gods will. But, how does someone who loves children & is loved by every child she encounters ends up with out children. How does that happen???

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

CB, it just happens. I'm so sorry your stepchildren didn't turn out to be the answer to your prayers. Step-parenting is tough. My steps didn't fulfill my mothering dreams either--most of the time. There were definitely times when it was wonderful. Try to hang on to the good moments as you figure out what to do next.

Rebecca said...

I am in the same position as all of you,at 42 I am childless. I also have a background of 2 breakdowns and long term use of antidepressants. I am an only adopted child,and that in itself feels like the pain is so much deeper.

My last partner,after promising me we would try,despite him already having children,cheated,lied and subsequently had a child with another woman,he even suggested one of my friends 'knock me up'-very callous and cruel. That just about broke me but I survived. Now I am seeing another man,one who treats me the way I have always deserved to be treated,but he already has a son. He knows I find it hard not having children but he finds it equally hard to talk about it. He gets very little time with his son due to his job so I can understand why he does not want to have any more. I do not want to destroy a great relationship with a good man,knowing deep inside that having a child at my age is highly against the odds.

Having a child is something I thought would always happen but now I see too many obstacles and not enough time. I cannot afford IVF,I have insufficient income to adopt,I am not financially independent,so really my options are out.

I cannot bear to go to family functions being the only female without children and I turn down invitations to children's birthday parties because it is too emotional,I cannot be someone's 'aunty' or 'friend' if you know what I mean. I know avoiding is not the best way to cope,but it is the only way I can at this point in time.

The social stigma of being childless is very disheartening,we are treated with pity,as if we are failures for not conforming to an ideal. If only they knew the pain we were going through.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Welcome, Rebecca. It sounds like you've had a rough time. If you have a good man now, hang on to him. Together, you can make it through the grief of childlessness. It will get easier.

Anonymous said...

The pain of not being able to have children is extreme, I am not able to have them due to ill health, I am 37 and thought that I would always have them. My husband doesn't want children as he is worried about my health , and has apparently not ever wanted them, the pain is at the moment so unbearable , when I talk to my husband he says he doesn't understand as he is not that bothered,I wish the pain would go away . esn't

Anonymous said...

i know i might not be right to say this but 42 is not too late to have a child. i guess it just feels that compared to some of the stories i read on here i still see a possibility for you. especially if your husband does not see his son very much, it may be that he would value having a family. i hope i am not speaking out of turn as i know that it is also about accepting what we do not have but still there is something about your story which feels different. with love

Sue Fagalde Lick said...


Anonymous, I'm so sorry. I hope you can find a way past your pain. I suspect men don't feel it the same way we do, and that makes it harder for them to understand.

Anonymous said...

I am 50 years old and am with the man of my dreams. He is really the love of my life, and I am the love of his life too. He is 57 and already has 2 children. I am so sad because we will never have children together. I had been in relationships before and I deliberately did not have children because I knew that the relationship with the man was not "right". Now that I meet the right man, I can't have children. The pain is so deep and hits me so hard sometimes. I am so grateful for what we have and I do love him so much. I wish this pain would go away.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, I hear you. I'm having a hard time with it myself today. Like most losses, it will not go away, but it will get easier--most of the time. Love that man and be glad you found him.

Anonymous said...

I was older when I married and infertility runs in my family. My husband and I agreed to start trying right away, but right away started delaying me with wanting to have a month just for us. That turned into 2 months until finally after a couple of years he admitted that he doesn't want children. I am crushed. I have wanted to be a mother since I was a small child. He can't understand my grief. I feel betrayed by his breaking promise to try to have children right away. Now it is too late for me. He is completely against the idea of adoption too. How do you get over losing your lifetime dream?

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh, Anonymous Sept. 2, 7:31, you don't get over it; you learn to live with it. But why did he do such a complete turn? It seems like some more talking needs to be done. I wish you the best.

Nicole said...

I feel sad that I am 40 and it seems to have crept up on me. I really pine for a child and think I would make a good mother. I did not realise how strong this would get. My partner has 2 children so he is laid back about it. I am already sensing it to be one of the biggest regrets I will have

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Nicole,
Unfortunately, that's how it happens for a lot of us. It sneaks up on us, and suddenly we're 40. When your partner has children and you don't, it makes it harder. It will be a big regret, but please let it ruin your life.

Anonymous said...

I am 27 and have been married for 4 years to my wounderful husband (28). After not conciving for 3 years we went to a infertility doctor, everything was ok with me but when my husband did a sperm analise they did not find any sperm, not one :-( he was reffered to a urologist who gave him testosterone pills but a year later and still no baby. I love my husband so much but am begining to come to the relization that we my not be able to have a child of our own and that breaks my heart. Every day that passes gets a little bit harder to bear. Every few months one of our friends is finding out they are going to have a baby, Its so hard to be at other peoples baby showers It really makes me depressed. But I can't get away from people having babies they are everywhere! Its seems like when you want something really badly is when it surrounds you, invading your every thought so close yet so so far from reach

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

No sperm at all? Yikes. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. The good news is that you're young enough to try some other options, such as donor sperm or adoption, but that doesn't negate the loss of having children who are biologically yours. It hurts. Know that you're not alone in this. We're here for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog. It has helped my heart to know that there are others out there. Thank you ladies (and men) for sharing your stories. I married a man 21 years my senior, he has a son from his first marriage and raised her kids from her first marriage. He had a vasectomy immediately following his divorce from her. While dating we discussed a reversal to have a kid and agreed to try. He changed his mind, which I can understand but at the same time broke my heart (and continues to.) I hope that the pain becomes less, but I fear it won't. My husband is a good man and hates seeing me so sad. Which makes me feel guilty for wanting something that would so obviously make him unhappy. I don't regret marrying him, but I'm very sad for what I had (have) to give up to be with him.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Welcome, Anonymous. You've hit the heart of this blog. You and your husband love each other, but being together means no kids for you. I'm glad we can be here for you and I hope it gets easier with time.

Anonymous said...

i just turned 25, and i have been married for 5 years.. my husband has kids from a previous marriage. its hard alot because i have always wanted kids of my own and he cant have anymore. my step kids mean the world to me nut his ex makes it very hard on me and constantly rubs it in my face that i dont have my own.. My husband does not want more but says he would adopt a kid for me. I will never leave him to have a baby of my own, i love him very much but its very hard to watch all my friends and sisters het to have that relationship with their own.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, that sounds like a hard situation and I feel for you. At least your husband is willing to adopt. I think I'd take him up on it. Meanwhile, love those stepchildren and do your best to ignore their mother.

Anonymous said...

I am 35. I have one daughter who is 14 from a previous relationship. I have been with my husband for 15 years and he has always known that I wanted to have 1 more baby. He agreed and wanted to have kids too. Well, last May he finally decided we could start trying to conceive. I became pregnant in Nov. and had a miscarriage at 13 weeks in Feb. He promised me that we could continue to try to have a baby, this hope kept me sane (miscarriage and my father died the same weekend) but after a few months noticed we weren't "doing it" at the right time and he kept rejecting me. So recently I approached him about this and he said that he doesn't want a baby and the only reason he told me he wanted to keep trying after the miscarriage was because other people kept telling him to agree to whatever I wanted. So now, I am devastated to know that my future and hopes and dreams I had have come crashing down. He says that I am being selfish for wanting a baby and not taking his feelings into consideration. I'm so lost I don't even know what to do.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate everyone's situation on this site. I've been with my husband almost 17 years and we were both staunchly in the "no kids ever" camp until last year. Good friends had a baby and it was the first time in my life I'd ever considered being a mother. My husband and I discussed the situation at length and I told him that a no for one means a no for both - I can't make him do something he desperately does not want as much as I desperately want it. I am trying to figure out how to get over it, but it's hard. It is so strange to mourn the loss of something I never had and something I, until recently never wanted. I'll keep visiting for any coping tips. God bless everyone.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, Thanks for sharing this. It's just proof you can't control what your heart wants. I'm glad you were able to talk about it and make a decision as a team, even if it's painful for you. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading more of your comments.

Anonymous said...

I married my wife 16 years ago. We both agreed to have several kids, but Fate had different plans. After battling infertility for several years, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a full hysterectomy. I know that being with her means that I will never have children of my own. This is something that I still deal with. Since I am still under 40, all of my friends are always sharing their paternal experiences with me. The grief and depression are intense and it has impacted our relationship in a number of ways. The life that I life today is far different from what I wanted. While we live a comfortable life, nothing can replace the dreams of fatherhood.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous Oct. 26,
What a tough situation. It's good to hear from the male viewpoint. I hope you can both find peace with this.

Anonymous said...

It was heartening to read the comments made by others about their own situations on not having children. It has made me feel like I am not weird for the way I feel.
I am 42 and haven't had children. I have been in a relationship for the past 17 years, we always talked about having kids, but never really tried, then its too late. My partner gets very sensitive when the subject comes up, we have never had medical assistance. Can't afford IVF and don't earn enough to be eligible for adoption.
All of my friends have kids, and I love being an Aunty, but there is a big hole in my heart where my kids should have been held. I only hope that that space will start shrinking soon, because lately it is massive!!

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, Thank you for sharing this. I'm sure you're not alone in how you feel. I can't promise that the hole in your heart will go away, but it will get easier with time. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I hurt so much that I turned to the internet to see what I could do to get the empty feeling to go away. Reading the stories I realize that it probably never will.

When I was 30, I married the perfect man for me. I was 30. He was 33. He has three children from a previous marriage and has had a vasectomy but I, being naive, thought that we could save up enough to have a reversal and boom, we could have kids. Well I managed to get some funds this year but not without a lot of trouble in between.

First we needed to see if I was fertile before we went through the trouble since I had polycystic ovarian syndrome but I didn't think it was a big deal since my mom had it and she had four kids. Turns out it was worse than they thought. They wanted to make sure my Fallopian tubes were open so I had an HSG test (which hurt like hell I might add). Turns out that the flow isn't good on the right side, and on the left, one of my tubes has turned up and is facing north. This was devastating news but it's fixable with surgery.

Then my husband was to be evaluated to see his level of sperm. We found out that his level of testosterone is low so he is taking pills to raise it.

All of this to say, I have thousands of dollars in medical bills because my insurance pays for none of this. And I feel like I'm no closer to my goal than I was when I started.

I cry in the middle of the night. Sobs wrack my body as I try to be as silent as I can so my husband won't hear. He's incredibly supportive and has been there when I needed to cry but every time that happens, he feels guilt which makes me feel even worse so I try to hold it in. He says he understands and he is sad too but he already has three kids. He can't possibly understand what I feel.

Even if we are able to get his testosterone up and my tubes fixed, it's still too much money. A reversal is 7K and in vitro is 12K. I feel hopeless. Money might not buy you happiness but it sure can pave the way there.

I don't feel total joy for people who get pregnant anymore. I hate seeing babies and I see them all the time. My best friend had three (three!!) abortions in her late teens. And then proceeded to have two more. I'm pro-choice but I couldn't help but feel bitter and a little selfish. It's so easy for some people that they don't even think about it.

I hurt and I don't think I'll ever stop hurting. Most people want to win the lottery so they can go on vacations, quit their jobs, or buy a bigger house. I want to win the lottery so I can have a baby.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, I'm so sorry. It doesn't seem fair, does it. I wish I could do something to take away the pain. I could say something easy like try adoption or counseling, but all of us here know it isn't that easy. I hope and pray you find peace with this soon.

Anonymous said...

Twelve years ago I met a man. He had been married before and has one child from that marriage. Before we got married he told me he wanted children with me. I have always dreamed of having children since I was a teenager. After we got married my husband changed his mind about having children or else he just wasn't being honest when he told me his did. Anyways, every time I would try and talk to him about wanting children he would either ignore me or get in my face and yell at me saying I don't want any children with you. He obviously still loves his w wife. His daughter is grown up now, but she had done everything in her power to break up our marriage. And now she has three children and my husband is so happy for her. He was never happy for me when I wanted children. My husband did finally go to the doctor to get his sperm count checked after months of begging him. They said he had no sperm. So I decided to see a fertility doctor and was inceminated from a donor. I had to beg my husband to go with me to all my appointments. When his daughter got pregnant at 17 he told me he was going to be there for her. I wish he would of been there for me. My heart breaks every single day. I know I will never have children. My donor attempts failed. I live with a man who makes me feel unwanted. I'm not allowed to touch any of his things. I can't plant any flowers on our property. I'm not allowed to step foot in his garage. I'm to keep my hands off of his van. He never wants my name on anything. He x wife calls me and screams at me for no reason and my husband sticks up for her. I have always believed in marriage. I don't want a divorce. The bible says a lot about this. But I don't know how I can be happy in this marriage. I just wish that he loved me and could see my pain

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh Anonymous,
A voice in my head keeps screaming, "Leave him!" There are many forms of abuse besides physically hitting someone, and your husband may be an abuser. Please, talk to somebody about this, family, friends, your pastor, a counselor, someone relatively impartial and see if you can find an acceptable resolution. I'm so sorry your donor pregnancies failed. That must be so hard. Know that you are not alone here. Keep coming back.
Hugs. ((()))
Sue

Anonymous said...

I am 56 years old and only now realizing that I gave up a lot when I decided not to have children. Next year is our 30th anniversary, and I have always felt that something was missing from our marriage. I love my husband and he loves me. However, I've never felt that I love him unconditionally. I have always felt like I had much more unused capacity to love. We have cats, and while I do love them a lot, it's not the same as having a speaking person/child to love fully.

When my husband and I first got together, he said early on that he did not want children. I was struggling on and of with depression and wasn't so sure I'd be a good mother or wanted children either. My drive to have kids was pretty minimal during my primary childbearing years. Yet, in my early-mid thirties I decided that I did want children. I was able to talk to my husband about this, and while he wasn't gung ho, he said OK, let's try. Unfortunately, after trying for a year or so, I did not get pregnant. I then did try a fertility drug, but again no success. I still had some mixed feelings, so took the approach that I did not want to try IVF, or other heroic means, to conceive, nor did I want to adopt. I read other posts in this column, and clearly some of the women (and men) are VERY driven to conceive. That was not my situation. My husband did agree to get his sperm count tested, but it was fine. I had a good career, and life went along with out me feeling too bereft without kids. In my mid-late 40's I had some female issues and learned that I had blocked fallopian tubes. The surgeon simply removed one damaged tube, and told me the other one was quite scarred. The removal without asking made me feel very cheated and sad that maybe I could have gotten pregnant if I had tried a bit harder. Mostly I have dealt with these feelings ok, but it seems like lately it's all come crashing down on me with the realization of what I missed out on. Yes, we don't have the large expenses of children so I am able to work part time and not worry about money. But, while I have some good friends, I would love to be able to spend this time off with children/ grandchildren.

Recently my niece became a mother and she is ecstatically happy. I am not jealous of her, but I do look back on my past decisions about level of effort to get pregnant and wish I had tried harder. I am caring for aging parents and 3 other relatives, which I do find somewhat rewarding, but it doesn't bring the joy that being around children does. Christmas was yesterday, and we were around lots of family. Many of these repressed feelings of sadness were brought to the surface when I saw the close bonds between the parents and children, and the large loving family unit they form. It's just not enough with only my husband. Consequently, I sometimes unfairly take these child related feelings out on my husband. It isn't his fault that I never got pregnant, especially since he was willing to go along with me if I had. Yet....I still have feelings of sadness and opportunities lost. Where do I put these feelings? I feel like my life is winding down, but at 56 and still basically healthy, I want to give more of myself in a way that comes back to me. I just want to find peace and be happy. Thanks for having a place for me to share these feelings. I feel (slightly) better already.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, Thank you for sharing your story. I think it's helpful for the younger women to read how it turned out for those of us beyond childbearing age. I think we need to hang on to what's good in our lives because we can't change our childless situation now. But we can look for ways to share our love.
(Please don't anybody say, "Oh, just adopt." It's not the same and it's not that easy.)
I hope you do find peace and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it helps to read these comments because I'm 34 and feeling really sad and depressed because my husband and I have been trying to have children for over 7 years and we've had tests upon tests. Nothing came up and there doesn't seem to be a reason why we can't conceive. I'm starting to think maybe we won't. It really hurts because both my brothers have started their families and so have cousins. I feel left out.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Welcome, Anonymous Jan. 29. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I hope your situation changes for the better soon. Meanwhile, we are here for you. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered your blog. I married a man who had 3 kids from a prior marriage and a vasectomy. At the time we met and discussed it, he was (or seemed) open to the idea of adoption or a vasectomy reversal. He had only had the vasectomy about 2 years before we met. We dated for 2 years then got married. We've been married 9 years and about a year after our wedding, he explained he absolutely did not want more and this was nonnegotiable.

I've grieved ever since. However, for years I still had hope for a miracle. I recently turned 34 and I think I'm having a midlife crisis. I know that my fertility is certainly declining at this point. I've quit facebook and then come back, all over the baby boom amongst my friends. Motherhood truly is a club. I can't take it sometimes - the conversations between coworkers that I cannot take part in, the baby showers, the pride, the pictures, the instant meaning in their lives.

It makes me angry to note my increased sex drive every month when I'm ovulating - knowing that my body is 'trying' to get pregnant. And I grieve every month when my period arrives.

I want to move past the anger but I can't seem to let go of this dream. It is a drive that I can't get away from. I believe meaning for my life exists outside of motherhood, but right now, I feel I can never get past it.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous,
I can really identify with your story. The only difference is that my husband told me BEFORE the wedding, not a year later. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. It doesn't seem fair. But if you stay with him, you'll have to find a way to deal with it. I know about that increased sex drive, too. So frustrating. Know that it does get easier with age and you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I’ve always wanted children, even from a very young age it was my main goal in life. I got married when I was 27 to a man who was alcoholic, used drugs and was physically and verbally abusive to me. In the 2 years that I stayed with him, he constantly begged me to have a child with him, which I refused to do, as I couldn’t bring a child into a situation like that. After I finally found the courage to leave him, I spent 5 years alone as I needed time to heal. I then met the wonderful man who became my second husband, and who I’ve now been married to for 5 years. I knew before we married that he had a medical condition that would make it impossible for us to conceive naturally, but I was honest with him about my desire to have children and he agreed we could look at fertility treatment. But since we got married he has made excuse after excuse to delay seeking help with fertility, and has finally now admitted 5 years in, when I am 41, that he doesn’t want to have children (I think because he comes from a dysfunctional family he’s afraid he’ll be a bad father, although I know he’d be wonderful). He hasn’t completely taken the possibility of fertility treatment or adoption off the table, but neither will he take any positive action to achieve it either, and I can’t do it by myself. It’s a terrible thing to say but I almost feel as though he’s ‘stolen’ the last of my fertile years, and he’s done it so casually, without any comprehension of the pain and grief his actions have caused me. All he can say is that our relationship is enough for him, so why isn’t it enough for me? My sister is also childless (presumably by choice – we’ve never discussed it) so I don’t have any nephews or nieces and my husband is estranged from his family. Both my parents were only children so there is no wider extended family either. I feel like I'm doomed to a life with no children in it. My best friend has two beautiful boys and I used to get such pleasure from buying them little gifts for their birthdays and Christmas – nothing extravagant – but she asked me to stop buying them presents as she said they had too much stuff. I rarely see her or her children now. It was such a relief to read the posts on here (I have read them all, while crying) and to know that other people feel the same way as me. Thank you so much.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, What a tough situation. My heart aches for you. All I can suggest is to keep talking with your husband about this and make him understand that while you do love him, it's breaking your heart to think you'll never have kids.
You might want to download Beth Follini's Baby or Not? book from Amazon.com. The chapter on what to do if your partner doesn't want kids and how to have a constructive discussion about this is very helpful. You can read the Kindle version on any computer if you don't have a Kindle or a tablet.
I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I am the anonymous from yesterday and just wanted to add that it's so kind of you to take the time and trouble to respond personally to everyone who has left a post, even when you are dealing with the pain of childlessness yourself.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anon, We're all in this together. Sometimes I don't write a respond, mainly because I don't think anything needs to be said, but mostly I try to acknowledge your comments.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you will one day comment on my post. I'm a 37 year old man. My wife is 2 years older. We have done all sorts to have a baby in our 2 and half years of marriage. But we are still childless. My wife now is not helping matters in the sense that she has a distate for sex. If I dont make a move she never moves. Even during her fetile days I will still be the one to tell her its sex o'clock. And immediately after her nubile season she switches off completely. I'm beginning to regret marrying someone older than me. I don't want extramarital affairs. You are a woman perhaps you can understand better.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Mr. Anonymous, this is a tough situation. Actually I understand your side of the story better than your wife's because I have experience with a partner who kept turning me down. Even if you're not trying to have a baby, this is hard to take. It makes one feel frustrated and unwanted.
If your wife is only 39, the problem is not her age. You need to try to discuss this as gently as possible to find out why she does not seem interested. Is there a physical reason? Is she worn out from work? Is something you do turning her off? Be honest about how you feel and may be you can work this out. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not alone.
I turned 38 this year. I'm currently in a relationship with someone 6 years younger than I. He has made it very clear that he doesn't want children. It wasn't a problem for me for a long time, because I have some health issues and having a child could be dangerous for myself and for the child, so I had to make the decision that having children wasn't in my future.
But as my peers continue to share the news of children, birthdays, mother's day gifts, etc... something inside me is starting to feel hollow and sad. I feel like I'm missing out on the special bond I have had with my mother.
I feel like I'm missing out on a huge part of being a woman. I've also started to feel isolated from friends with children, like I'm not part of the "group". Along with this is the pressure, maybe caused by myself, of not being married, not having a career, not owning a home... etc. I don't know. It's a confusing time for me and I feel a little lost. I'm not sure what to do...

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous, I feel for you. It is hard to feel like you're not doing what everyone else gets to do. At 38, the pressure is building because you're running out of years when you could have a baby. I suspect if you hang in there, it will get easier. Try to enjoy the things you do have in your life rather than dwelling on what you don't have. I know that's easier said than done, but give it a shot. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful to find this site and to hear all your heartfelt stories. I too am facing the loss of childlessness. I have tried so hard to create a life conducive to raising a child, but have fallen short. I am now 36 years old and frantically trying to make it all happen. My first husband wanted to be a father so much but unfortunately passed away when I was 28. The grief was hard and I thought my life was over. I gave up on the idea of having a baby, and entered into a relationship with a man who has three grown kids. I thought I was ok with this until his oldest had his own baby 2 years ago. My grief hit like a tidal wave. My husband is now willing to have a child as he sees my longing. The barrier is that I have been the primary income earner. His own Kids still need so much and are stuggling with poverty. They all need support to develop into successful adults. How can I ethically have a child which would force my husband to support me with his limited income when his kids need it so badly. I know I should try to be happy with the kids I do have in my life but I barely can even talk with them. They like me and respect me but I have very little connection. I have worked and helped raised them financially but have no real relationship. I cry every time I think about facing childlessness. My own mother passed away when I was young - she was such a beautiful and dedicated mother. She left me a hope chest with all kinds of memories - included is a bag of my baby toys - labeled for me "when I am a mommy". I am back at school part-time so I can get a Monday to Friday job (I currently work shift work) so I can still work and maybe have a baby - but this is not how I wanted it to be - I wanted to raise a baby myself, like my mother. The grief is so heavy - how in the world I am going to deal with this loss?

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Anonymous, wow, another tough situation. But you are lucky in that your husband is willing. I really think you should go ahead and have a child. You'll have however long it takes to conceive plus nine months to figure out the financial part of the story. There has to be a way to make it work. I'm so sorry about your first husband. That must have been so awful. And I can truly relate to the situation with your stepchildren, but don't give up your own dreams for them. You'll regret it forever. At least that's my opinion.

mg said...

Oh try not to think about the practical and financial aspect regarding your step children and put yourself first for once. You sound like such a loving person but now you must give yourself what you wanr. I decided to have a child after deliberating madly and suffering with making the decision. I have a difficult medical condition and need support with childcare but I still feel like I am my child's most important carer. I came to this site when I was really trying to commit myself to not having a child. Eventually I decided to give myself the chance even though my age (39) and illness were not ideal. We are so fortunate that we can make this choice. If you really want a child and you can then please allow yourself x

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Yes, yes, MG. Thanks for posting this.

Cerys Hughes said...

Hi,
I'm so happy to have found this blog, and also relieved that people are still posting.
I'm 31 in June and come from a variety of relationships, mostly bad, the last one ended when my partner sexually abused me. I went into a deep depression and lost all meaning in life until I found my current partner a year ago who is 37 and has a daughter aged 10.
My future has always been a dream of marriage and children, and at last I have someone who loves me dearly and saved my life. Except he doesn't want any more children and had a vasectomy. Many sites tell women to move on, find someone else... But this man is so in love with me and I with him. Do I thank God that I have love in my life despite no children, or risk losing the love and adoration I have now by leaving? Do I want children more than the love I share with my partner? Such decisions are blowing my mind. Is it better to mourn fit something that you have never had than to mourn for something you loved and gave up? Such questions. :-(

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Cerys, I'm glad you found us. You ask the big questions that none of us really know the answers to, at least not while it's happening. Do you choose the man you have or the children you might have? I don't know, but I'm leaning toward keeping the good man.
What do other people think? Let us know.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue,

Thank you for your blog and for sharing your stories; I am sorry for the loss of your husband and your hopes of having a child.

I am 42 years old, and my husband is 46. We've been together for over 20 years now, and married for 16. We had all plans of having a child, and when it didn't happened after trying for a few years, we started infertility treatments when I was 30. We tried 7 IUIs, an IVF, and a frozen embryo transfer over the course of the next 5 years, and none of it worked. My husband promised that we would become parents no matter what, but convinced me to take a break. To put my career and our relationship first for a while. I did for a couple years. Then when I revisited the subject with him nearly 5 years ago, he sprung it on me that he didn't think he wanted kids anymore. That he was too old, that they cost too much money.

I love him, I really do. But I am growing more resentful and bitter everyday. He broke his promise to me, and now he expects me to just get over it. We are even going to counseling, and when the therapist asked him to do some research to read stories of other women with similar stories as me, he only read one where a women "got over it" and is fine now, living happily and making time doing other things that make her happy. I am not over it. And he's not even trying to understand my perspective, much less empathize. I have been so depressed all weekend, sobbing uncontrollably since Friday. I am contemplating separating from him. I feel like I have wasted 5 years of my life waiting for him to change his mind. Perhaps that is really my fault (although he did lead me to believe that he wasn't certain. Maybe 50-50 some days, 40-60 on other days, 60-40 on good days). I think that if he tried to be more sympathetic to my perspective, I might feel less alone and less likely to leave, but I'm not feeling understood or supported.

I am so grief-stricken. We had a wonderful marriage until this "revelation" of his, and now I am having a hard time reimagining my life being childless. Is it possible to find some peace in this decision? I am getting worried that we have been in counseling for 6 months now, and he still seems to be sitting on the fence . . . which to me is the same thing as saying that we are not having children. I think he is just hoping that I'll wait long enough until I am not physically able to try anymore, which I know is getting close. But then again, I am also completely open to adoption, but of course, he is not. (Interestingly enough, though, he says that he will be happy to father our child if I miraculously end up pregnant naturally, but then again, he rarely wants to have sex with me, and I think he assumes it will never happen, so this makes him look better, right?). Anyway I know you don't know us, but I am wondering what your gut is telling you about my situation in relation to other stories you have heard and your own experiences.

Thanks for reading and for the compassion you show all of your contributors.

Anonymous said...

I am 64 and finding the grief of childlessness is just as intense as it has been for the last 25+ years, if not worse. In my early 30s I rejected a lovely man who had had a vasectomy, because having children was not an option for him and it was what I wanted more than anything. I realised later that after him, I viewed any man who was interested in me, and vice versa, according to his parenting potential as much as his potential as a life partner. I even considered having a baby anyway, if a suitable father didn't come along. Then ovarian cancer intervened while I was still in my 30s, leaving me not only infertile, but unable to consider adoption because I would be rejected due to my health history. Having got through some of the pain of friends having children, now I find myself in more pain as people of my age become grandparents. It's not that I am not interested - I was a teacher - an early years specialist - and I love talking about children and being with them. But they are somebody else's children and grandchildren, not mine, and even if we get on wonderfully, I am and always will be simply an occasional nice person in their life. I have siblings with children and grandchildren, and I love my nieces and nephews and they love me. However, we are not geographically close, so we see each other rarely. They naturally choose to visit their parents before they consider visiting me (we live in different parts of the country). I don't resent this - parents should come first, but it hurts that there is no-one who has me at the top of their list for phone-calls, visits, emails etc. Also being without a partner means that I don't feel I am special to anyone. Sometimes the loneliness and pain is so overwhelming, I give in to it and feel very sorry for myself. Then I feel so guilty, because I do have a loving family - I am at least on their list, even if not at the top, and I know people who have neither parents, partner, siblings or children, so why should I complain? I also have good friends and am actively involved in a number of things like voluntary work, trying to keep contact with children and young people in other ways. I should be happy and content with my life, but I'm not because I cannot rid myself of this deep pain. I know there is no such thing as a perfect life, even with children, and friends who are parents have often been jealous of my ability to do things that they feel they are not free to do, but how can I explain that I would swap any number of holidays, late nights out and so on to have a family of my own. This blog is important - everybody has different experiences, but we share the same pain, that derives from having had expectations thwarted, often in the cruellest ways. How do we cope with the pain? Accept that what happened happened? Yes, but it still hurts. Move on? Yes, of course, we have to find other things to fill our lives, but they don't entirely. Avoid the subject - thinking about it, talking about it? Yes, but then every now and then what is buried explodes to the surface. Is it different grieving for someone we lost,having known and loved them, or grieving for children we might have had and never knew. Lots of your bloggers have asked the same. Will it ever ease? I just don't know.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous May 6, 6:59, thank you for sharing this. There is so much pain here, and I feel for you. It doesn't seem fair, does it. I think a lot of readers of all ages can identify with what you're saying. We must stick together in this because other people don't understand how it feels. I wish you all the best.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Anon May 5, 10:18 p.m., I am so sorry. My gut reaction is "Aaaaaaaaaagh! I'm glad you're in counseling, but it doesn't seem to be working--or is this just the hard part that you need to get past? I wish I knew. At 42, you really are running out of time for pregnancy or adoption, and that's a hard reality, especially when my gut tells me your husband needs a break from all of it and you don't have time. I hope and pray you can resolve this. A good life is possible without having children. Yes, that pain will come back to you time and time again, but you can move on. We're all here for you.

Anonymous said...

Any woman married to a man who broke his promise about wanting children and doing whatever it took to have them, should leave him. This is a form of unfaithfulness no different from infidelity. If you're financially independent and can support yourself, that makes it easier. If not, do whatever it takes to make it possible for you to be independent of someone who has ruined a part of your life that can never be healed. Be open with it to your friends and family, just as you would if the reason for the divorce was an affair. It doesn't matter if you are 25 or 65, if the anger and grief is eating you alive your marriage is destroyed and you need to acknowledge it and act on it. Don't be afraid of a future alone. After all, his broken promise already destined you to a future alone after he is gone. Because let's be honest, the childless will be alone in a way that no step-children, nieces or nephews can ever make up for.

Anonymous said...

Another Mother's Day has arrived and I feel saddened by the fact that most of the people I love in my life have been blessed to have children that bring joy to their lives every day.
At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with PCOS and was told that I may have difficulty having children. I was married to my first husband who I loved, we talked about having kids but shortly after we got married he was rather verbally abusive and never hit me but put fists through walls often. I thank God every day that I didn't have children with him only because it was such a horrible situation. We got divorced when I was 29 and I thought if I didn't meet someone soon I would never have kids.
I was so blessed to meet my current husband. We got married when we were both 34. He loves me, supports me and would probably do anything for me. When we met he knew I wanted kids and he told me he would be happy if he found out we were pregnant but that day has yet to come. We have seen fertility specialists but I can't see going into huge amounts of debt to go through a process that may not work (the though of this scares me).
Now, at 37 I cry inside when I see my nieces and nephews tell their parents how much they love them because I know I will never have that in my life. Don't get me wrong...my husband and I have a good life. We travel, spoil our dogs and nieces and nephews rotten and work hard but there always is this void. My husband doesn't bring it up anymore mainly because he knows I just break down in tears. So here I sit on another Mother's Day...looking for some relief to this internal pain I feel so often but have yet to find it...

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous,
I'm so sorry you've had to go through all this. I hope you can still find a solution, but if not, try to enjoy the good things in your life. Mother's Day is the worst for those of us who wish we had children and don't. Hang in there. You're not alone.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous 7:06 a.m. I totally agree with you about husbands who break their promise about children. The woman has ever right to leave him. And a lot of us do wind up alone. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Yes another Mother's Day has come and the incredible grief has overcome me again. I gave up on marriage and men around 27 after a few bad relationships. Tired of the pain I figured id just be a career women and money and freedom would fill the hole in my heart. Then a long time friend who for years I'd known liked me really questioned why i wouldnt date him. I realized I thought popularity and looks were more important. He was plain quiet and people said that's the man that sticks around. We had a lot in common, he swept me off my feet. I reopened my heart to having the life I dreamed of; doting husband and lots of kids . Little did I know.... We got married in '07 and i suffered two miscarriages then I couldn't get pregnant at all. I fell into depression. What I didn't know is that I had married a narcissist who was cheating on me from day one of our marriage. I discovered this during my depression which made me sink further. I found out that during my dnc for the second miscarriages both of my tubes got scarred and are blocked. I will not be able to have children naturally. I am currently divorcing my husband. During this whole mess my mom got diagnosed with early onset Alzeimher's. She's only 68 and stage 3 has no idea who I am and barely talks or makes sense. I feel like a fool for ever openning my heart to that heartless deceiver. I grieve the loss of my mom, my dead babies, my ability to have children, my chances of having a loving partner. There is a pain and lonliness so deep that few understand what this has done to me. I used to love being around children and now I can't bear it. I have been whispered about and shunned because other friends my age are all mothers and don't understand why just because I don't have something why I can be happy for others. They think I'm jealous. I don't think that any of us want those women to not enjoy motherhood and all the blessings that come with it, just that their blessing does evoke a pain I carry with me always. I don't know how to move beyond this. I don't have that career to fall back on and right now I'm so emotionally dead I have mo passion or purpose for the rest of my life.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh Anonymous 3:45 p.m., I'm so sorry. How awful to wait so long and then have your husband turn out to be a cheater. My first husband did that, too. I never had any miscarriages, but I do know about losing your mother and having someone you love taken away for Alzheimer's. I knew when my mom got cancer that I could not make it through without getting counseling. I just could not do it alone. I have never regretted the decision to get help. You might want to consider it to help you find the joy in life again.
Thank God Mother's Day is almost over.

Anonymous said...

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I find myself between a rock and a hard place and I feel as if it's driving me crazy. I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 25. He already had three children from a previous marriage and a vasectomy after the youngest. I was aware of this and continued the relationship anyway. As I approached my mid-twenties we discussed marriage and children and he was all for both. He proposed when I was 27 and before saying yes I explained that we can only get married if he was willing to have children and he agreed. The next year we went to the doctor to look into the reversal process. Shortly after he was laid off so we never proceeded at that time. Since then he has gotten a great job, we bought a house, and have become more than secure. His children are 22, 19, and 16. We raised the younger two full time since they were 10 and 6. Throughout the years he would flip flop on his desire to have more kids when the current ones would do something to hurt, upset, or make him proud. I finally told him he had to decide one or the other so I knew where I stood. He said he wanted to have a family with me. We went to the doctors again about 4 months ago to get started on the reversal again and I was so excited to be moving in the right direction. This past weekend he had lunch with his daughter (19) and she informed him that she was pregnant. That was the nail in my child having coffin. He informed me that he can't see himself being a grandpa and a dad at the same time and we should just focus on being grandparents. WHAT! So I get to be a 33 year old grandmother but never the opportunity to have my own children. I love my step kids more than life and am grateful for having been able to help raise them but I am feeling completely used and lied to. I am dying inside and don't know what to do. My stepdaughter just brought over pictures of her ultrasound and as much as I tried to be happy it was like someone was stabbing me in the heart and I can't stop crying. ANY advice or suggestions would mean the world.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

So he still hasn't done the reversal? Argh. I am so sorry. My gut feeling is that you need to confront him and tell him he can't go back on his promise. And that's just too bad that he doesn't want to be a dad and grandpa at the same time. I became a grandmother at 34, very similar situation. But now I don't see any of my husband's kids or grandkids, except on Facebook.
What do other people say about this?

Mel S. said...

I've commented on your post regarding forgiving your spouse for being unwilling to have children. I can feel the pain that the Anonymous commenter on May 29 is going through. We scheduled the vasectomy reversal for my husband twice and he cancelled both times. I honestly wish I had something to say that would encourage her. I am basically just existing from day to day anymore. And he constantly asks me what's wrong, why can't I just be happy, etc. I can't understand how he doesn't see how much his actions have not only devastated me, but have seriously hurt our relationship. Even though I don't believe in divorce except under certain circumstances, I honestly don't know that I can see myself with him for the rest of my life. I feel so betrayed and abandoned. I'm just hoping and praying that this anger and resentment will subside over time.
Reading the stories of all the other women who are experiencing similar situations and feelings is strangely comforting. Thank you for this website!

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Mel S.,
I'm glad you found us and thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry it's so hard. My mother would say "What's wrong with these men?" But there are two sides to every story. When he asks what's wrong, do you tell him? If not, you need to. If you tell him and he doesn't listen, I worry about your future together. I hope you can find peace with this.

Anonymous said...

I am 47 and am really having a very hard time dealing with not having children. I feel so sad and so very angry. I did not make a conscience decision not to have children. I married at 23 and decided to get pregnant a year later. We got pregnant the first try but it ended with a miscarriage. My marriage did not last long after that (not due to the miscarriage). Having children was not a priority for a while. I just assumed it would happen when it was supposed to. In 2000 I remarried. Three days before we were to get married, I found out I had Hodgkins disease. Before going through treatments, I asked my doctor if I should have eggs or embryos frozen. He said I did not need to do that. My husband and I never used any form of birth control. We were not "trying" but we were also not "trying". Unfortunately my marriage (once again) did not last. After my marriage was ended, I was in two serious relationships, during which we never used protection. I never became pregnant and began to assume that I was unable to. I came to accept the fact that I would not have a baby of my own. I am a teacher and love children and have much to give to them. I made the decision to adopt an older child from Russia. My family does mission work there and I had met a lovely girl of 10 who I fell in love with. As the process was getting close to being finalized, it fell apart due to Russian policies. I accepted the fact that not only would I not have a baby myself but I would not be adopting. Several years later, I met a wonderful man and to my utter amazement we became pregnant. I was over the moon with joy. I cannot express the amount of happiness I felt for the three short months I carried this baby. Unfortunately, once again it ended in a miscarriage. Although my doctors told us it was probably due to my age, I began to be determined to get pregnant again. I went to osteopathic therapists, did shots, went to a Chinese herbalist, went to an acupuncturist. Nothing helped. I want to have invitro with donated eggs but my husband and I live month to month financially so coming up with the $15,000 for the procedure is impossible. My father passed away 5 years ago and we have been waiting for the settlement of the estate. I was counting on it to provide the funds needed to have the procedure. We would have one shot at it. I have just found out that it will be another year before the estate is settled. I am crushed. I don't feel like I can wait another year. A baby at 48 or 49? Is that really fair to the baby? At one time I had come to terms with not having children. I was content with my live as it was. My second miscarriage awoke such a strong desire to have children in me. How do I come to terms with this once again. Why did God let me get a glimpse of the joys of having a baby only to snatch it away? My husband does not understand the agony I am feeling over not having children. I know I have gone on and on but I don't feel I have anyone to talk to who can understand.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh my gosh, Anonymous, I don't know what to say. What a sad story, so many disappointments. It doesn't seem fair. We can say God has His reasons, but sometimes they're sure hard to figure out. I ache for you, and I'm sure my other readers do, too.
The husbands never seem to understand. I wish they did. If it helps any, we do. And we offer a gigantic group hug.
I pray you can find a way to come to peace over this.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to send you lots of love. What a journey you have been on. I think that it would be fine to have a child in your late 40s. I can I only imagine how stressful it is to have to wait for finances to come through. Is the question of adoption still out? I think if you have such a desperate urge and there are possibilities then you will continue to look for ways to fulfill your dreams. I know at some point we have to come to terms with what is in our fate but it seems that until this becomes very clear we continue to strive. I really really pray for you that you are able to get what you need and desire. I definitely send you a very big hug. This is such a good place to come and express our deepest sorrow and longing x

Wendy903 said...

Anonymous..who is 47. I would highly recommend you find a nathurpathic doctor in your area. Someone who actually has the NMD behind his/her name. These type of doctors take a totally different approach than a regular medical doctor and may be able to help you without incurring all the expense of invitro.

Alison Wade said...

It is a strange relief to find that there are other people out there who know how I am feeling. I am 42, married to a wonderful 46 year old man, who has 2 'children' (now 20 and 22) from his first marriage - and, yes, he had a vasectomy shortly after the birth of his youngest. My first husband didn't want children, so I found the strength to leave him (I now find out that he has 2 children with the woman he met after me!) - and I was so happy to find my current husband; a man who wanted to have a family with me. We booked a vasectomy reversal (this was 7 years ago), but it got cancelled when we were moving jobs/house. Then the 2nd appointment got cancelled when sadly my father-in-law and brother-in-law died on the same day. My husband had to take over the family farm and I knew then that we would never have a child, as he would never be able to take the time off for the surgery. I had also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and I questioned whether I could cope with motherhood. Most of the time I can see that I should be glad that we did not have kids - my health has got worse, my husband has been so busy with the farm, I do not want to have kids around when we are in our 50s - BUT I am sad that we didn't meet when we were younger and that we weren't given the chance to be parents. I feel pain when I see a baby/pregnant woman. I get so jealous and resentful. I cry nearly every day. I have nearly bought a doll, just so I could get baby clothes!! I get angry when I see young 'girls' with their babies - when we could offer so much to a child and were not given that chance. AND NOW MY 20 YEAR OLD STEPDAUGHTER HAS ANNOUNCED SHE IS PREGNANT - ONLY JUST FINISHED HER 1ST YEAR IN UNIVERSITY, ONLY KNOWN THE FATHER FOR 6 MONTHS - and everyone is fussing over her. I am jealous, although I know that it is not a good time for her to be pregnant - and I am dreading having to see her pregnant/with the baby. We are definitely not ready to be grandparents!! We have a 1st Birthday Party to go to next week - and I do not want to go. I normally cry whenever I go near a baby, and I don't know how to say that I can't go. I keep hoping it will get easier as I get older, but it does not. I also get scared as I think of getting older. I have no family around me, and very few friends - and certainly no close friends. Will anyone come to my funeral?? If I didn't have my husband, then I think I could end it all now.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Alison, This is a very sad story. I'm sorry you've had to go through all this. And I worry when you say you could end it all now. Are you saying what I think you're saying? You do not have to end up alone if you reach out to other people now and make those connections that will last. I know how hard that is, but you need to try. You may also want to consider therapy to help you deal with everything. It doesn't mean you're crazy; it just means you could use somebody to talk to. You are at an age when seeing babies is especially painful. It does get easier. I have finally gotten to a place where I find babies very interesting creatures and I don't always think about how I don't get to have one. I'm still more comfortable with dogs, but I'm getting more comfortable with babies. Please hang in there. As for the upcoming party, be honest about why you don't want to go. If necessary, plead illness and stay home. I wish you peace.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman of Indian origin who had an arranged marriage that was abusive... and then had to work and find my way in a foreign country. I like my job.. have a career... and am married again to someone who loves alcohol more than me. I have waited patiently for 5 years - out of love for him and out of a sense of duty cos he was there for me when I was alone and trying to cope. I am 38 and am childless. I have friends but they talk about kids. I know my other friends in stable relationships are trying for kids.. But I may never have one.. The grief is real and for no fault of mine, I may never be a mum in this lifetime. All the money and the bonuses in the world may never matter.. But who understands that?

I have a friend who has kids and who always says that kids are a blessing. Does that mean I am not blessed? Does that mean I dont deserve anything good in my life? Why do some of us suffer so much? I am yet to find the answers...

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anonymous,
We understand. Although our circumstances may be different, we share your grief. Of course you are blessed, just in other ways, and you deserve as much happiness as anyone else. I hope you can find some of those answers you're looking for.
Sue

Anonymous said...

Hi. My name is Jennifer, and I'm forty. When my husband and I met, he told me early on that he believed he would make a good father, that I would be a good mother, and that he wanted children. I was very excited to hear this. His only stipulation at the start was that we have no morw than two. I wanted four but agreed.

We married when I was thirty-eight. Six months later, I was pregnant for the first time in my life. Shortly thereafter, while on vacation, I miscarried. He hadn't been excited or anything about the baby and refised to talk over any issues relating to planning for children.
He kept telling me to seek out friends or parenting groups online. After a year of plans (while waiting to pay down an expensive purchase, after which time we would have intimate time), he finally admitted that he likes his life just the way it is and didn't want children (for a variety of reasons).

Suffice it to say, I feel decieved, depressed, cheated, and I miss the child I lost. After the miscarriage, I also lost friends I thought were good/close. Naturally, more friends are now announcing their pregnancies or sending constant photo updates about their happy families.

I don't know what to do. Never talking about my daughter is tough, being ignored is tough, too, and acting like everything is A-OK is giving me an ulcer. Most of all, I am pissed off that he gets whatever he wants in this life (job, paycheck, friends, travel, sport) and I must start from scratch.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Nuts. I hate that things have turned out this way for you. It sure doesn't seem fair. You might still have time to have another baby if he can get past his selfish self to support you in it. Is it possible this is his way of protecting himself against the sorrow of another miscarriage? You need to have somebody to talk to. If you can't find a friend or family member, you might want to seek out a counselor who can lend an unbiased ear. Don't give up, whatever you do. We're here for you.

Grace said...

When I read Anonymous's story posted on June 13 I thought that this was the closest I'd ever seen to my own story. So I do know how it feels, knowing that no one ever experiences things exactly the same. We started trying to get pregnant the usual way, and after a year or so began to investigate. We found out that my husband is unable to produce sperm. Re-adjustment time. After a while we decided to adopt, jumped through those hoops and eventually a young woman chose us to parent her baby. We had everything ready to bring her home and she was born a little premature. We were going to see her that afternoon although she'd have to stay in the hospital for a while. Then the phone call came that the young girl's mother had found a different family. We were heartbroken but picked ourselves up and waited for another child. Before that happened I found out I have leukemia and was told that no one would adopt to us, which turned out to be the case, at least back then. I thought time would take care of this grief and to a large extent it has. But recently it's resurfaced after someone I know adopted a baby. It came at me out of nowhere and because of the position I'm now in, I can't have this surprising me and me ending up in tears at inappropriate times.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Grace, what a hard time you've had. I'm so sorry. At least you and your husband are sticking together through this. Now it sounds like you need to focus on your health. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see I'm not alone in feeling lost, confused, and torn apart. It helps to know my feelings are valid. I have always wanted children... I know I'd make a fantastic mother. I have so much love to give. My dilemma is that I am in a serious relationship with a terrific man (19 years older than myself) who DOES NOT want to have a baby, due to his age(48). He has two teen daughters from previous marriage, so when I got involved with him, I thought they would fill my urge for kids. Not the case! They are nothing like me. They are good kids... But they are not MY kids! I love my man, and don't want to leave him, but I must admit, I do think about ending the relationship over this. Then I think..." What if I leave him... And never find anyone, and spend life alone AND childless." Or " what if I leave him, and I find out later in life that I'm infertile." Then I'll have left a wonderful man for nothing!!! I'm so confused. I've been crying lots, and just want to be alone lately. I've been moody and think subconsciously I am angry at my man and his kids for being what I want, and can't have. My family is very easy to talk to, but not much help because they all want me to have a baby, and they want to be grandparents. I feel like I'm letting them down too!!! My man keeps talking about getting married...and I've always wanted that!... But not sure if I can do that, knowing I'm signing off on any possibility of kids. How the hell am I suppose to decide what to do here??? my emotions are such a mess! -TJ

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Anon Sept. 7, what a pickle. A lot of women find themselves in situations like this, and it's hard to know what to do. At least you know going in what marrying him would mean. I was in a similar situation and still fantasized we'd have kids together. Didn't happen. I'm glad you can talk to your family. And keep talking to your man. You might want to find a counselor or other unbiased person to talk to because it's a huge decision. At 29 I wouldn't give up on finding someone else, but if the man you have is the one you want to spend your life with, you'll need to find a way to deal with this. Would he be open to adoption? My husband told me long after the fact that he just didn't want to deal with a baby, but if I had already had a child, he would have been okay with it. I wish I could tell you what to do. All I can offer is a big hug and assurance that I really do understand what you're going through.

Anonymous said...

You just said almost exactly how I feel!! Except that my two stepkids I love very much. I feel like I got screwed in life. The past two nights I sat up crying over it. I am miserable. I feel I have nothing! I have nothing of my own. It makes it hard to live. Cuz what do I have to live for? I feel guilty for saying this cuz I do love and care for my stepkids. But it's different. And my husband could not care less. He has his perfect world.

Anonymous said...

So glad to find this thread. I'm in a very different position to most of you, but I feel this grief I just can't seem to get past. I'm 21 and my partner of a year is 27. We met a few months after I ended an emotionally manipulative relationship (threatening suicide and so on) that immediately prior to the breakup was apparently perfect, talking marriage and kids and so on. While in hindsight I recognise this was a toxic relationship, I do miss the "passion" and the shared goal of marriage and a family. When I met my man I didn't feel 100% ready for a relationship as I was only a few months into my self development journey but he is honestly such a catch I couldn't say no. At the time all the people in our shared community talked about how he must be "nesting" given certain behaviours. Having always felt emotionally older than my peers this was a great attractor for me. I just wanted a stable, happy, loving relationship that would lead me to be the mother I had always wanted to be. He is 100% amazing and I love him with all my heart, however he doesn't want to have kids till he is 35 (8 years away).

Anonymous said...

Since finishing Uni I have had a number of health issues which have made me rely on a sickness benefit (govt support). I am being investigated for endometriosis, the disease that caused my aunt to have a full hysterectomy; as well as IBS and having chronic debilitating back pain which is now neck back legs and pretty much my whole body. My physio can't understand why my muscles are unresponsive to treatment (literally physio helps only for 1-2 hours before stiffening up again) and asked me to get some tests done. The doc ordered these tests but unbeknownst to me tested for autoimmune diseases and I came back positive for Sjögren's syndrome; lupus and skleroderma despite having no symptoms (other than chronic fatigue). Needless to say I am pretty unemployable at the moment. I'm waiting for referrals to a gyno and rheumatologist but the flip side of having free care here is that it will take 6 months to possibly 2 years to find out if I have endo or not. The possibility of never having children is breaking me down like you wouldn't believe.

Anonymous said...

I think I am depressed but I try so hard to be positive and to maintain a healthy lifestyle which I promote on my blog and I am the bubbly positive happy one in my groups of friends so no one would know it. Every time I've tried to raise the issue I get stuck with the "you're so young don't worry about it" write-off but I have wanted a baby so bad for three years now and I'm terrified that I won't be able by the time my man is ready, or worse that his own issues (dad left when he was 5, under very negative circumstances ) or the fact that he doesn't REALLY want kids will mean I end up waiting until I miss the boat or he decides he never wants them and I'm too scared of leaving or that I will leave and then never find some. Plus my degree is worthless and i need to retrain meaning i will have $100k debt to pay off. I

Anonymous said...

I know I am young but given the timeframe to a. Find out definitively if I do have endo and what the likelihood is b. get better so I can go back to study or work c. Get a job that can pay off my debt AND save for a child; I am terrified it isn't possible. In the meantime all my friends are getting engaged, having babies or at the very least getting ready to; and I am spending most of my days looking online; making spreadsheets of how much it will cost; reading parenting articles left right and centre. I feel like I already am a mother and I am grieving for the baby boy my bf and I kind of talked about. He has a name and it hurts so bad I feel like I actually went through everything and like he died. I literally feel like I have lost a child. Anyway please excuse this super long message I just wanted to know what you think of my situation. I don't want to pressure my man into marriage or kids especially as we haven't been together long in the scheme of things; our relationship is just so mature and beautiful I know he is the one. But equally I have been having thoughts that if kids are what I need to be happy, maybe I will have to sacrifice having my perfect man to find someone who may be a little rough around the edges but at least has the same priorities as me. I am just terrified that given what I have to achieve health and finance wise that it will never be a possibility and that I will throw away (and incredibly hurt in the process) the absolute love of my life and my soul mate who I would do anything for... Except apparently not have kids. *sigh*

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh ladies, big sigh. Lots of pain in the comments today.
Anon with the possible endometriosis and other health problems, I'm so sorry for your pain, physical and otherwise. Somehow you've got to light a fire under your doctors to give you a definite diagnosis. Meanwhile, take it one day at a time and make it clear to all involved that you are anxious to have children. If they don't like it, too bad.
Anon with the guy who wants to wait until he's 35, 8 years, can you negotiate it down to 4 years? Why does he have to be 35? Explain that he'll be in his 50s when the kid is a teenager. Does he want that?
Anonymous Bubbly, you've got to get a definite answer. Does he want kids or not? Then figure out how to move on. Get counseling if needed. Is your degree really worthless? Is there some less expensive way to find a new career?
I have more questions than answers, don't I? But know that I feel for you all and that everyone here is on your side. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

broken hearted. I have had miscarriage after miscarriage. in the Spring 2013 I had a total hysterectomy and with all the health problems which all conclude to hormone and womb problems I have to come to terms with the fact with unable to have my own family. When the rest of my sisters all have had their families. everywhere I look people are having more and more children. sisters, friends pregnant just with a look at a pair of trousers. I am 32. my husband had already his family. he is the best knight in shinning armour who has looked after me through thick and thin.
Will this hurt get any easier? How can I cope with these feelings?

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

It is so hard, especially at your age. It will get easier, I promise. I,m glad your husband is there for you. Know that you are not alone and try to enjoy the other children around you.

Anonymous said...


I am glad that I found a place where I can express my feelings with women who are going through similar emotions. I am unique and strange in that I married late in life - in my 50s, to a widower who is also my first love. Won't go into a lot of detail on that, but the fact that he has grown children and that finally, finally I have settled down (made mistakes previously being with the wrong men) is bringing up very, very intense feelings of sadness and failure over not having children. Through my childbearing years I was trying, but obviously not succeeding, in meeting the right man, and did not focus on children. Now that I am surrounded by children (and grandchildren) I feel a profound sense of failure and am at a complete loss for finding meaning in my life. I know there are many ways to find meaning, but I cannot shake this feeling of profound sadness. His children are not mine, it is not the same.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Dear Anonymous Nov. 19, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. As you probably know, I married an older man who had children already, and we didn't have any together. There were times when it felt wonderful having his children and grandchildren around. I almost felt like they were mine, but they weren't. It's rarely the same as having your own. But these are the kids you've been given, so try as hard as you can to enjoy them. If you really can't shake this sadness, maybe it would help to talk to a counselor about it. These are not easy issues, and you spent a lot of years alone before finding your man. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd found your blog earlier. It's a relief to read comments from women in a similar situation to me. I have always suffered from depression and also always wanted children. I'm 34 and have been with my 4-years-younger partner for three and a half years. When we were first dating, he made a casual comment about not wanting children. I had a big talk with him about it, as didn't want a relationship that wouldn't eventually lead to children. He said he'd always been in two minds, mainly because his career prospects weren't great and he would never want a child he couldn't provide for. I was reassured as I knew that financial circumstances can change, so we stayed together. His job situation did improve and we moved in together. When I then started talking about actually having children he started thinking about it realistically rather than hypothetically for the first time and realised he in fact probably didn't want them for the forseeable future and possibly not ever, and for a variety of reasons - not just financial. I was devastated and upset that he had't thought this through before moving in with me, and we split up. We were apart for the best part of a year, during which time I dated other men but missed him terribly and eventually came to the conclusion that it was more important to be with the right person than to have children. We got back together a year ago, saying we'd just see what the future brought re whether he ended up wanting children or not. Things have been great between us except for this issue, as I've started to feel the want for a child very strongly again. We've discussed it again and he says he's tried to want children because he knows I do, but the reality is he just doesn't want them - again, definitely not for now and possibly not in the future either. I'm finding it hard to ignore my yearning for children and this coupled with my depression seems to form a vicious cycle. I don't know how much of how I feel is down to clinical depression and how much of it is just normal for a woman who's unable to have the children she always wanted, with the man she loves. I still want to be with my partner and don't want to split again. I just wish I could feel like I did when we first got back together again, when I was relaxed about the uncertainty, rather than stressed out by it. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for such a long post. Thank you.

Sue Fagalde Lick said...

Oh Anon,
Part of me just wants to grab hold of your partner and shake him for being an idiot. But you've got the classic dilemma: your man doesn't want kids, you do, and you're being forced to choose him or the children you wanted to have. Nobody wins in this situation. Might it be possible to convince him to have children even though he doesn't really want them? It sounds like that could happen. You could hope for a magical transformation once the baby is born, but there's no guarantee. I wish I knew the magic words.
If you're not already getting help for your depression, you might want to do that. A counselor could help you figure things out.
Help me out, readers. Any advice?

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