Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hubs – Love Him, but GRRRRR!!!!

I had a long talk with my therapist last night about the Hubs. I’ve been reading all these posts and such about all these girls’ fabulous husbands, and how supportive they are, and how sweet they are with IF stuff, and blah blah blah… My Hubs is not like that. He wants children, he understands that we have to do infertility treatments, and he was even the one to push us to do IUI with injections instead of trying Clomid for a few months first. He looked at me after hearing the success rates for each, and said, “When have we ever done something half-assed?” And he’s right, usually when we do something, we jump in and do it completely, whole-heartedly, and ask questions later. Which has generally worked for us. I am very happy to have him around to help make decisions. He is pragmatic, and reasonable, and is great to have around in a crisis. But nobody would ever accuse the Hubs of being supportive…

Hubs won’t go to any doctor’s appointment unless I tell him I really need him there. My clinic does 2 IUI’s for each cycle – Hubs only went to one. Even for that one, he did his business in the cup at home, and I was the one that rushed to the clinic an hour away in rush hour, dropped it off, and hung out for a few hours by myself. He only showed up for the 15 minute procedure. He works absolutely crazy hours, and during the last cycle, he wasn’t there for most of the shots or anything. Even the times when he was home, and we were watching TV or something, I would get up to go give myself a shot and he would just stay there watching TV. And when it comes to handling my emotions, don’t even get me started – he’s a disaster. He doesn’t know what to say, which is fine, but I have to beg him to just hold me if I’m crying or something. But most of the time he gets so uncomfortable that I usually just hide in the bathroom or something if I’m upset. And don’t tell him that you’re upset about someone getting pregnant – he’ll say, “It’s not a race.” Or “Calm down.” Or “Relax.” That’s my favorite.

Yes, I know I’m just bitching right now, and he has a ton of very good qualities, and there’s a lot of reasons why I married him, and I’ve always known that he’s not the most emotional guy, but I just find him so darn frustrating! I talked all about this with my therapist last night, and she identified certain characteristics in him as an adult child of an alcoholic. I’m supposed to understand that he doesn’t like things to be out of his control because he never knew what to expect when his mom was drinking, and that’s why he hates it and is so uncomfortable when I’m upset. And that’s why he won’t commit to doing anything unless he really has to, which results in me begging. She said I was to go home last night and tell him that we should talk about the things we want to do different with this IUI cycle. So I did. I told him I would like it if he was more supportive, and examples of this would be that he would be there for my shots, even if I don’t need him to do anything. And that I would like some pampering, because what I'm going through is really tough, and it would help if he would try to be more supportive. He just rolled his eyes, and said grumpily “OK…” after complaining about how much he works. I reminded him that he told me earlier that work wasn’t our highest priority and we need to put these treatments as our highest priority right now… I asked him if he wanted anything different from me during this IUI cycle, and he just asked me to help him with his work. Which I said yes to, and then proceeded to help him with his work. I wonder if anything will be different this cycle...


  1. i've had this same kind of talk with my sisters. hubby really wants kids, but not with the frantic desperation that i want them. "if, in the end, no kids" dh would be sad but life would go on. NOT for me. my world would be OVER. so, with that ... to say that hubbs isn't emotional would be an understatement. he's approaching this whole "getting pregnant thing" in a very strategic, calm manner and that drives me crazee as well. i, too, hear "you gotta relax" and "this is not a race" way more often than i would like. of course it's a race, and i can't relax. ivf and relax do not belong in the same sentence for me.

    but there are upsides to this approach. i know dh has to be the strong one throughout this and his highs and lows aren't/can't be extreme as mine, but i'd feel less lonely if he had a few hysterical freakouts. i know this'll never happen, but when can dream, right? but then on the otherhand, if he were getting as emotional and having as many freakouts as i've had, then i'd probably think less of him as a man ... *sigh*. they can't win.

    i had a good cry with my bff last week bc i wasn't getting the level of support some girls get from their hubby's throughout this whole experience.i ended up quoting adele's "about me" portion of her page, where she says that her hubby has supported her and "sometimes carried her" through this. that's what I WANT, the 'carrying' part. i want him to carry me through this. i'm slowly working on getting dh to support me in the way that i need. it's hard when they work crazy hours like yours and mine seem to do, but they can show their support in other ways. i'm glad you're talking this through with him and let's just remember that they're trying in their own ways. let's just hope *their* ways start to align more with ours :o)

  2. I think it's tough for me to feel as though they're really part of infertility treatments, if that makes sense. Some men feel as though, um, their deposit is their responsibility and that's that. It could be how he copes as well.

    Maybe you should just flat out tell him you want him there. Ask him how it could work out around his work schedule. Even though his attendance record hasn't been good, it sounds like he's behind you, which is just as important.


  3. Your therapist sounds very wise. And if there's anything I've learned in marriage, it's that I get myself into major trouble when I start focusing on the ways my husband isn't meeting me needs. He'll never meet all my needs, and it's completely unfair for me to expect that. I'll never be able to meet all his needs, either. But, the important thing is that he wants to be there for me and he wants to grow and improve as a husband--he's willing to hear loving criticism and change (and so am I). Obviously I don't know him, but your husband does sound like he's willing to make the effort and work on things, and he wants to be there, and that's what's important--not whether he does it perfectly or even very well at this point. So don't compare him to other husbands! Some men are just naturally more interested in this stuff than others. And so you know, my husband hasn't come to any appointments or anything with me either, and he's also told me to relax and slow down on occasion :).

  4. That sounds like a good talk with him after your therapist. My hubs has similar issues after having a batshit crazy mom who was always emotional. Crying doesn't get to him. He's more likely to ignore me if I yell or cry as he's seen that over and over. But, he's gotten better in the 10 years we've been together to know when he really does need to comfort me and when I'm just wallowing. Communication is really a long term process with us and we were in a good spot before IF and now we have a bit of common ground. He is wonderful, he's been to important appointments and he's held me up when I thought I couldn't go on anymore. Sure, I'd like a little more pampering, but at least he tries more than he used to. Even just telling them that you want recognition for how hard this is on you. Sometimes all you need is "I'm really proud of you doing this!" I'm proud of you for doing all this, for sure. :)

  5. Our situation has not involved IUIs as of yet, we have only been trying unsuccessfully for a few months, with one "chemical" pregnancy... but I just felt like I was reading about myself for a minute while reading your post... It is really frustrating dealing with my husband when I am emotional and need support for similar reasons. He is also the son of an alcoholic mother (and an absent, abusive father) and tells me exactly "it's not a race", calm down, relax, etc. Please feel free to email if you want to exchange gripes...

    I have more success with my husband, sometimes, when I am very explicit about my needs. This is hard at times, because sometimes I am feeling too down to order myself up some explicit support and just want him to know how alone I feel.

    Anyway, this is a long winded way of telling you that you are not alone in your feelings.

  6. I think infertility affects men differently and consequently they deal with their emotions in ways that sometimes we can't understand. I also think it's hard for them to truly understand what it's like to be a woman going through the shots, bloodwork, ultrasounds, etc. I'm sorry you feel like your hubby isn't being supportive, but I have definitely shared some of your feelings and usually chalk it up to hubs trying not to ADD stress to the situation, which sometimes comes across as apathy. Hang in there.

  7. I think you need to keep reminding yourself that your husband is on your side. There is no mystery that there is a great distinction between men and women...Ever hear of that book, Men Are From Mars & Women Are From Venus?! Men & women think and act differently. Continue to be open and honest. Have both of you ever thought of going to couple counselling during this IF process? Hang in there...

  8. It really is true that men just don't seem to deal with this the same way. My DH is SO unemotional and I'm SO emotional that our reactions are always different. Sometimes it is SO frustrating. I haven't felt like he's been too active of a participant until we've started to pull out the big guns. I hope that you two can figure out the best way to go through this together. ((hugs))

  9. Yeah, I hear you. I think men and women are bound to differ in their responses to this situation. My husband is sort of a delicate flower about it all, so I wind up carrying HIM through it. Ha! :) At least I know he cares, but basically the result is the same, of not getting carried myself. I think it is just SUPER important to not start putting the (as of yet non-existent) baby before the marriage.

  10. It took us a lot of work to get where we are with how much TH participates in the treatments, and I know I'm lucky to have him helping and contributing. Both of us being clear communicators has been what has really made the difference for us.

    If you need him at those appointments with you to feel supported, that's what you tell him. No, it's not a life or death need, but it's a need nonetheless.

    Also, some couples support each other in different ways. It might be good to have a conversation about how he feels he's supporting you while you guys go through this. He might be doing it in a way that you just don't recognize.