Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blame Game (updated twice)

I'm mad. Mad at the world. Mad at my RE(s). Mad at my reproductive failures. Mad at Mr. Jem.

I know none of it is personal. The world isn't out to get me. My RE(s) all want the best for me. My reproductive failures are simple biology. Mr. Jem is just coping.

Except it's been 7 years of this. Of excuses. Of him needing time to "find himself, to figure out what he wants to do." Of lonely nights, lack of romance. Even when I tell him days in advance "Mr. Jem, this weekend I'll be ovulating." - NOTHING!!

Yes, we get along well most of the time. Yes, he gets me, he supports me emotionally. I'm mad it's been well over a year and he hasn't launched this business venture he's been working on and it doesn't appear he will any time soon.

My life is getting up before 6 am, taking an hour train into SF, working 8 hours, then another hour to get home, then I make dinner, then I have to beg Mr. Jem to clean up. We watch tv and then I go to bed.  I can't think of the last time we had any intimate time together. Okay, we just went through IVF and then Mr. Jem's dad died. But this is a pattern. There's often an excuse why he's not in the mood, sick, whatever. We don't even kiss anymore really. It's like I'm just there and I feel so taken for granted. Yes, he thanks me for going to work each day.

Am I just a huge door mat? Why am I in this situation where I'm supporting my husband (again - I already put him through graduate school)? I feel like such a fool.

One night last week I came home from work (a stressful day) and dinner was on the table when I got home. I cried tears of gratitude. Not that Mr. Jem had cooked dinner. Mr. Jem's mom had made dinner (she was staying with us for the week).

I'm  not sure what to do. I keep asking (nicely) for what I want, for what I need. I don't know if he can deliver. And I'm not just talking about the baby thing. I recognized that's out of our control. I'm talking about him making money, getting into shape, being good to himself, really working hard, really DOING. He's just so up in his head, over-analyzing everything. It drives me mad!
MAD! I tell you!!!

Okay, thanks for listening and letting me vent. Clearly I need to go to therapy. Only I don't want to go back to my old therapist. I feel she let me down by not really giving me the guidance I need.


Update: Just a quick clarification: Mr. Jem is in therapy. He does analysis three times a week. He's also on anti-depressants (and has been for years) and has been diagnosed with low testosterone by his doctor (haven't been able to treat the low testosterone since we were trying to produce sperm).

Counseling has helped things between us, but the essentials are just not up to snuff. I'm very frustrated and sad about it.

Update #2: And then suddenly, at 4:00 p.m. I wasn't mad anymore. I just missed him. We talked on the phone, pledged to talk more, spend time together this weekend to talk about our losses, to mourn our last IVF, to keep communicating... a good step.

I'm feeling so much better now.


Lulu said...

Find a GOOD therapist. Start the hunt now. It can take a while.

Anonymous said...

Oh hun, I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Are you talking couples counseling when you say therapist? I have no sage words of advice, but just wanted to send you a hug.

Anonymous said...

Oh Honey! I am so sorry you are having such a rough time. I think every marriage has it's tough days and let's face it IVF and infertility really take their toll on a marriage. Sending you much love and big HUGS!

Oak said...

Just reading your post made me mad. I had a relationship just like that once and there's nothing harder the working your tail off and seeing someone else reap the benefits. I hope you find an outlet (therapist, boxing lessons, anything!) soon!

Krista said...

I don't like this post at all, Jem. It's not fair that you have to go through IVF/infertility...but to have the marital stuff on top of it...no no no!! I'm deeply saddended by this....I know you deserve more and I don't even know you. I hope you will seek couples counseling and figure this out together. This is so not fair to you!

Illanare said...

This post had me nodding along in recognition of so much that is similar in my life with A.

I really hope you two can work this out together, with the help of therapist if needed.

Meanwhile, we are here to listen whenever you need to offload xx

Marissa said...


Honestly, it sounds like *he* might need therapy. That's a hard one to broach, so maybe do try some joint/couples therapy as a start. But it sounds like (and this is not an excuse) he might have depression, what with the low sex drive, the "soul searching", the lack of motivation, etc.

But take care of yourself first, sweetie!

Heather said...

I'm really sorry you are struggling. Marriage is hard enough, but add IF to the mix and well...

I guess if he isn't willing or able to give you the things you need, then it's up to you to make changes that will help you get through it. I hope you are able to find an outlet of some kind to help make things easier.

Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Throwing IF onto any relationship is going to change it and you will have your ups and downs (as you know). C and I, after our IVF failure we started going to a fertility therapist and have found it very helpful. It has allowed us to communicate more easily and showed us what we really need from one another. *hugs*

Let There Be Sims said...

Your post made me sad. No woman going through the struggles of IF deserves to have the added pressures that you are going through. That said, every marriage has its unique ups and downs. I applaud you for writing about them because that is one step toward healing. I pray that things get better all around for you.

linda said...

IF is so hard on couples and is really does make BD feel like a contrived, orchestrated chore. Quite unromantic.

OK, my unsolicited assvice which I try to not give out too often, but you seem like you're in pain Jem.

I know it's near to impossible, but when you're NOT in an IVF or IUI cycle, perhaps try to not bring up the fact that you're ovulating as I know it puts so much pressure on men to "perform". And pressure = no erection = no sex = more stress = angry feelings = no one wants to have sex. It's a horribly vicious cycle that's so hard to escape.

IVF was largely responsible for destroying my last relationship (of 10 years). This relationship, I try to not tell my other half ANYTHING that's going on with my cycles and although it sucks to go through a lot of it alone, it is working better than my last go at it.

I am glad that you had Mr. Jem's mom there for a week...although I know the reasons she was there were not happy ones, I think it was good for you to realize what you're missing out on (ie, someone taking care of YOU). I hope that you can find a way for you to be kind to yourself...maybe get more take out meals or something to take the stress off of your life. Or stay in SF a night or two each week and have a nice dinner with a girlfriend or even alone (and let Mr. Jem fend for himself and realize how much he should be appreciating YOU!) Little things like this can help you keep your sanity and help you remember that you deserve to enjoy your downtime however you can get it.

Also, please keep in mind that you just came off of an IVF cycle and your hormones are probably still fluctuating and causing you to feel things so much more intensely right now.

A gazillion hugs to you Jem.

WaitingVicky said...

I think everyone who is TTC longterm should be in therapy. This is far more than we can naturally handle.
Happy to hear you feel better. It always helps to talk about things, blogs are so great for ranting!

Jenni said...

I'm glad you're not mad anymore. I go through those same swings of anger with my DH. I just want to have that closeness back, and to have him take care of things for me for a while. I also usually get over it without a reason at some point and everything is back to okay.

Summastarlet said...

Happy ICLW.

I am sorry to read that you are having a bad time right now. The last thing you need with all you are going through at the moment. I agree with the other commenters-I hope you find an outlet soon whether it be a great counsellor or a hobby that you can use to de-stress.

My blog is my own cheap version of therapy...I don't know if it's quite as good...but it seems to work most of the time!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time. IF is hard enough without marriage issues. I hope you can find a therapist together who can really support you.
I went through this with my hubby, too. He was still in school when we got together, and he was happy to drift through life while I supported us. Finally, although I loved him, I almost left. Therapy saved us - and he grew up. But I had to let him. It was complicated and took time, but we made it. It wasn't until after all that was settled that we found out about the IF, though. But I'm glad we're going through it while we're strong together, and not while it was hard in our marriage.

Kakunaa said...

Have you guys talked about doing therapy together? That gives you a neutral space, with a mediator. It's a thought.

But I do understand the grievances you have. It's never easy, and I really think there is always work to be done.

I hope you guys can find a middle ground and work through this...long term.


Jacksmom said...

Hi from ICLW. I'm glad you've updated us and you guys are taking steps to renew your commitment to each other and work on things, and process this loss together. It's awful to go through, especially when one of you feels like the other isn't as affected. I hope this weekend goes well for you two.

S said...

Hugs, Jem. I'm sorry you are feeling this way.

Anonymous said...

Here from ICLW. Oh boy does this EVER sound familiar.....it's so common in the world of IF, especially, for couples to be apart and not want the intimacy. I, for one, couldn't give a crap about intimacy unless I was ovulating (past tense only because we are now very past that). It is very possible to grow back together as me and my DH did...probably closer than ever after having gone through such a gigantic traumatic experience together. I'm so glad you have this venue to vent!

Anonymous said...

Jem, I'm coming late to this post, but I'm so glad you're feeling better. I remembered you had mentioned the low testosterone thing a long time ago - we all know how hard it is to have a hormonal imbalance. Shoot, it must be that much harder for guys since they don't have the regular hormone swings that women do every single month.
Therapy sounds like a great plan. You guys have gone through so much together - it's impossible to go through IF stress, job stress, and losing family members and NOT feel beat down.
Hope things improve for you soon...

Shona said...

Hugs from me too.

IF is so hard on relationships. I hope you guys make it through.

mrs. r said...

Sending lots of love while you survive your black hole.

My husband has low testosterone and azoospermia if you ever want to chat, I am here.

ICLW #163
infertility * adoption * hope

C said...

I so get what you must be feeling. I am on the verge of going back to work so my husband can practice law. start from a scratch. I have been a sole earning member of the family before I got pregnant, am dreading doing it again..((hugs))

One Who Understands said...

I was happy to read your updates, but I can relate to just being angry with DH. Sometimes this journey seems so lonely even when we are not alone. I really hope you two can find middle ground and continue on this path to parenthood.

We have Angel Wings said...


I'm so sorry you and your H are going through so much. I truly believe that IF turns us into people we don't even recognize.

Marriage is hard without adding the extra stress of IF on top of it. But, it sounds like you're on the road to recovery and working it out.

One thing that I've learned about guys is, they want to fix things. I'm sure your H is down on himself because of his sperm quality/motility and that can't help matters at all. It's not an excuse by any means - but I'm sure he feels like a failure as a husband, a provider and as a whole.

One thing that I've found to help myself through this journey is Acupuncture. I would much rather go to Acupuncture than sit and talk to a therapist - just food for thought. However, like a therapist you have to find one you click with.

Thinking of you and sending you good thoughts.

You're tougher than you give yourself credit for, I promise!

ICLW #82

♥ T