How can I stop myself from feeling resentment for my wife being infertile.

Report post

18 replies. Join the discussion

Tough question, tough answers...
I cannot bring you a male perspective, but I can bring you the perspective of a wife who's hubby has no sperm.
I don't know when you found out about her fertility issues. If it was recently, you first need time to grieve the loss of fertility. I also don't know her situation, so I cannot say how difficult the road to a child will be. What I can speak of is personal experience. I have a wonderful husband. And I married him for who he was and for what the two of us had together. No where in the "for better or worse" speech was there anything about the guarantee of children. We both want children, and the pain that we have endured with the news of our infertility has stunned us both. We are in this together though. It's our burden to share. I could have never foreshadowed how our lives would be impacted by our infertility, but I wouldn't want anyone else here with me. Please remember to talk honestly, and openly about it. But bare in mind that she is grieving too. She is also grieving for you. She wanted to have your babies. She wanted to be pregnant. She wanted to share this experience with you. And in time together, you two can start to plan how you'll build your family. Most likely it's not going to be the traditional way. But you two will take the journey together wherever that may lead you.

Report post

Remember that infertility is a medical condition, not some decision that she made or personal failing. Would you resent her from getting the flu, or cancer? Trust me, she doesn't want to be infertile any more than you want her to be infertile.

My take on it is this: SHE is not infertile. You two, as a couple, are infertile. Part of marriage is the binding together of your reproductive faculties, such that there is no problem of hers that is not equally a problem of yours, and vice versa. Remember that your relationship is the most valuable thing you have, and the reason you developed this relationship with her in the first place was not because you envisioned her having lots of babies (I hope!), but because she was funny and kind and smart and beautiful. She still is. Appreciate everything, resent nothing, and the two of you will get through this together.

Report post

Therapy. Single and couples. And time.

Report post

go and sort yourself out in therapy, fast, she's already going through hell, she does not need your resentment... if you're not up for the job, walk away... she's probably better off with somebody who is ready and strong enough to stand by her side and find a solution together...

Report post

I think what your feeling is normal, but how you deal with it and work on overcoming that is a different issue. My husband resents me and it has turned to the point where he has became bitter. Yes it is very hard when you are trying and the other spouse resents you, however, the underline issue is that you are hurting and you need to address that so that you may grow together in this journey. Dont give up on your spouse. From the other side, we hurt just as much as you do. Walk through it together and believe that God will see you both through.

Report post

Please understand that she is hurting; we are born and brought up to believe that birthing children is a "birth right". To be told you can't acheive that "right" is devastating.

You need to greive. Together. Nothing should be placed solely on any one persons shoulders.

Seek couseling and know that now is the time to invest in cultivating that relationship. She needs you now more than ever. And you need her.

Report post

I second all of the responses before mine and just want to add that I think it's great that you sought advice here; that alone takes courage! Best of luck with your IF journey and know that you're not alone!

Report post

I agree with the recommendation of therapy and to also keep in mind infertility is a medical condition. Imagine how you'd feel if you had testicular cancer and could not provide the sperm to create a baby with your wife and she was resentful of you. It would probably hurt you deeply.

I can guarantee you your wife is devastated, maybe even more so than you, with her diagnosis. Not only does she have to deal with her own feelings of loss and inadequacy, I'd be willing to bet loads of cash she's feeling like she let you down and is feeling guilty as hell.

I'm glad you've reached out for support. I hope you can also support your wife during this difficult time and together you can both find what you need to move forward.

Report post

It's something you're going thru as a couple. I agree with the other posters and seek some counseling with someone specializing in infertility. Good luck!

Report post

I wish you and my husband would talk!

For my husband, infertilty is hard for him to talk about. He is 6 years younger than me (I am 39) and all of his friends are having babies. He understands our situation but doesn't like the situation and he is angry about it. I believe men and women show our anger differently.

Like you I assume, he is not thinking anything from a malicious standpoint , he is just being real to his feelings. I think it is very important to communicate our true feelings to each other during this journey (and all journeys!) Luckily, we have very open, honest communication.

I feel very supported by him and do not think he is a bad husband for acknowledging his feelings. In addition to him, I also have a very strong network of supportive family (both my family and his family) and friends. He really doesn't have anyone cuz he is uncomfortable talking about it, again a trait of many men I believe.

I am sure therapy would be helpful but additionally, I don't feel like there is good support out there for husbands going through this. There is so much for women, but I have not been able to find much for our husbands.

Good luck moving through this with your wife.

Report post

Try to remember that this is not her fault, she didn't choose to be infertile and as much as you are hurting I can guarantee you that she's hurting just as much or even more. Infertility is a harsh reality that no one pictures when you plan your life, it is def not part of anyones dreams. Just remember how much you love her and what your life would be without her. Take time to grieve and heal and remember that this is not the end of the road and there are ways that you guys can still be parents!!!
My best wishes!!!!

Report post

Do you truly resent your wife, or do you resent the situation you are in? There's a big difference!! Everyone dealing with IF resents the fact that they have to go through h*ll just to have a child. I can't imagine that you truly resent your wife for something she has no control over. Just keep working through it together, and remember she is mourning and needs you support more than ever. My best to you!

Report post

I think I resented my husband in the past for his fertility. He pasted all his tests with flying colors. I think the resentment started after we failed the 2nd IVF and the doctor started talking DE. I just kept crying and telling him he didn't understand. He responded by saying we are in this together so I don't know what you are saying. That helped to think about how we are in the same boat and basically he was telling me, "I'm not thinking of leaving you. WE are in this together." Good luck. Good question to post.

Report post

My grandma was infertile and they adopted my mom. My grandma was beautiful and strong, and my grandfather ambitious and charismatic. They were an awesome couple who loved hard and fought hard, but were amazing for eachother. "He was the gambler and she was the brakes" my mom always said...

My grandpa, while not related to me by blood, was one of the most influencial people in my is a form of immorality, and social history and upbringing in many cases has more to do with how your perpetuate your legacy than DNA.

Report post

ps my husband and I are also struggling with fertility issues...and will cross that bridge if it comes.

Report post

As a wife whose husband has had the fertility issues, I chose to step up my game. His issues became my issues. It wasn't just his problem. We faced it together because no matter what we were in it together. We have grieved, we have cried, and we have celebrated. It has helped us grow stronger as a couple and we are better parents for it.

Report post

I cant stress enough how important counseling would be for you and your wife. Not sharing your feelings about it will just cause a mountain to grow between you and as a woman struggling with infertility, I can say that the support of my spouse is something I need and cannot be replaced. It is a challenge for both parties, look into counseling and hopefully that will give you the right platform to express your needs and concerns. Going through it together may also help strengthen your bond with your wife.

Report post

Therapy would be great. Our IF appears to be MF but I've always considered it OUR IF. Not his. I also want to encourage you not to drag your feet about finding a way to address your resentment. Though normally fertile people can be completely dismissive of this - I feel like time is precious with IF. You would clearly both love to have children of your own. The more quickly you can work through the pain your experiencing right now, the more quickly the two of you can get about the business of doing what your able to do to have those children. I know this may feel like I'm lumping you in with other guys but I've heard so many stories of a baby finally coming and the DH expressing the sentiment that they should have done this sooner - while the back story involves him dragging his feet about it for awhile. Don't do that to yourself or your wife. Talk to her. Find a way to make peace with your new and unwelcome reality of IF. Congratulations for being man enough already to ask for some help here! I only wish my DH had taken so much initiative in the beginning. Keep it up. I'm sure you knew in your heart that this wasn't her fault long before your fingers ever hit the keyboard. The most pressing question is "what are you going to do about IF?"

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do


Help RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

Discussion topics


Advocacy Day 2014

Center for Infertility Justice Blog

RESOLVE's newsletter

Unplug yourself. A quarterly newsletter written just for you sent directly to your home. Subscribe today.

Infertility Information

RESOLVE's Resources

Community leaders