Infertility seems to short-circuit our brains somehow. We often let our biological clock, out of whack hormones, and general frustrations out on our husbands. They do not understand. They may grieve, they may want children as well, but they do not understand.
This problem is not a new one. In 1 Samuel chapter 1 we read about Hannah. She is married to Elkanah who loves her very much. However Elkanah is also married to Peninnah, whom he doesn’t love. Hannah is barren, but Peninnah has several children. As most jealous women would do Peninnah makes Hannah’s life miserable. She teases Hannah about being barren, causing Hannah to break down. Elkanah, when he notices Hannah’s distress says this very eloquent thing, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
Seriously?! Doesn’t he know she is trying every remedy known to man to get pregnant. Isn’t he the one who loves her? Yet he can’t enter into the depth of her grief. He cannot wrap his sweet XY chromosomal brain around Hannah’s grief. Ladies it is true in my life and my journey. I have the most supportive and sweetest husband in the world. I am blessed beyond measure. However, the man, to this day more than five years since I lost my ability to conceive naturally, makes comments that hurt my heart. He thinks he is being sweet or funny or even intimate and instead his words throw acid on the wound created by my empty womb.
So what are our options ladies? Do we rant and rave, throwing fits and turning blue trying to get our men to understand? We can certainly do just that, but the question is do we want to have a spouse? At the end of our trying to conceive journey will we find a husband with whom we share the rest of our lives? Or do we end up either a single parent or making dinners for one? We have to decide if the quest for a child, or the quest to have our emotions understood is worth a broken marriage. I am not saying stuff our feelings. Instead I am encouraging us to wait to respond to our husbands. I am encouraging us to give our husbands the benefit of the doubt. They love us. They don’t mean to hurt us. So the next time our sweet husbands say something ridiculously hurtful, instead of gearing up for battle or running to our rooms and slamming the door, let’s take a deep breath. Remind ourselves that they have XY chromosomal brains that do not think the same way we do. Then let’s calmly say, “I feel hurt by those words, please don’t say that.” Doing it this way will help our husbands know our pain, but without the fireworks ensuing.
What are some ways you are fighting the battle of “He just doesn’t understand?” Share with me your stories. I’d love to pray for you.
Please note that I realize that some husbands are not loving and are abusive. If you are in a situation like that please find help.