My husband needs me


…but I’m just not emotionally able to be there for him right now. We are almost at five years of marriage (in just a couple weeks :D), but that will also mark our fifth year of being infertile. :frowning: Now please stop and read before you continue: we don’t want you to “fix” our infertility. We financially can’t adopt so that is not an option either. I need advice for my marriage, not our fertility.

I know he’s jealous that the children we don’t have get more thought and attention in my mind (I have OCD so tend to obsess, yes I’m in counseling and on meds) than he does. I often get so sad that I can’t even talk normally to him most of the time. Or sometimes I’m upset about other things too. (Usually whatever my OCD latched on to at the time.) It’s really getting to him. He says he misses being able to spend time with me. I’m physically present, but mentally absent. He would never dream of divorce or even separation, but I know he’s not getting all he wants out of this marriage. He feels so very bad that he cannot give me children physically, or financially (we can’t afford adoption). But he doesn’t want our infertility to ruin the rest of our lives as husband and wife, but I just can’t seem to get over it. He’s trying to make the best of what we have been given by God (a Christian Marriage), but I can’t seem to pull through for him because I’m stuck at ground zero with me, myself and I (and of course the children that don’t exist in our marriage.) What should I do? I want to be the wife he needs and wants me to be, but how? I am already in counseling and on medications, but they do very little to help. Please help me if you can! Thanks.


If your counseling isn’t helping I would find another counselor. I know OCD is tough but surely you shouldn’t just accept a counselor who isn’t helping you? Somehow you have to find a way to switch gears and not shut your husband out of your life, leaving him with no one as a partner.

I have heard that adoptions from China are not as expensive.

And, can you meet your need to be around children in some other way? Teaching them, doing RE, being a youth minister? It may not be much but it might fulfill at least a little part of wanting to be a parent.



I’ve been to so many counselors. I have a very severe form of OCD and I just can’t get over it. It’s something I will have for a lifetime, but I do have periods of time where I am better off than others. Unfortunately this isn’t one of them. This counselor is Catholic and one of the best I’ve had. I really want to be what my husband needs me to be, I’m trying, it just doesn’t seem to work.


That’s a tough thing to advise anyone on.

If you’ve been diagnosed with OCD, then all you can really do is try your best to do better and work with your counselor to the best of your ability.

It would be very difficult to live with somoene when you feel like you need to walk on egg shells.

The only thing other that I can really suggest is praying. Pray with your husband too, perhaps God will answer your prayers.


I won't try to hijack the threada as the OP does not want adoption/fertility advise but:

My wife's best friend is into the 6th year of attemptiing to adopt from China and is $25k into it, so I wouldn't call it cheap or easier.


I am so sorry to hear that. I know it cannot be easy. I have chronic depression and I’m sure it’s been hard on my husband. I will add you to my prayers. Will your husband pray with you? I love praying the rosary and I get a lot of peace from it.



Wow. That’s shocking, and sad. I had heard from other sources that it’s not as difficult but no, 6 years and 25K does not sound easy.


It is very sad, I have sympathy for you both. The Cathechism even has sympathy in it:

2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. “What will you give me,” asks Abraham of God, “for I continue childless?” And Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”

2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others.


Hi Pro…

DH and I struggled through infertility.

I know the frustration, I took 7 years for us. and we still didn’t go things the “right” way. So you are to be commended for keeping strong in your faith. I truly know how painful this is.

The thing is, when you are for the most part raised to have children, and you actually want them… and THEN one of your bodies or both does not cooperate, it’s a HUGE betrayl. Just on so many levels. So, I won’t try to determine where you hurt the most…

But realize that you are mourning. You have a huge sense of loss. OCD aside, I PROMISE you, you would easily be in the same exact boat. You can’t go to a baby shower for your best friend without bursting into tears. You can’t walk by a park. You analyze why in the world child abusers are granted children… Seriously, OCD aside, you would be just as irrational. I know, I’ve been there, and I KNOW many many women who have been there too.

And mourning takes a lot out of you. Have you lost a person dear to you? It takes a long time to get back into the swing of things. And you might say, yeah, but I rebounded. And I would say… yeah, because there is NO WAY that person is coming back. When you’re dealing with infertility… unless your uterus is gone, or DH or you have physcially lost your testicles or ovaries, there’s a chance… there’s a chance, and you want it… And that is something to obsess about. And people without OCD will get freakishly obsessed. Again, I can’t imagine where your brain is… it must be so very hard.

I would compare this loss of feritility and the pain you endure, somewhat like losing a child to abduction. (My family has been through this too.) . And NO I don’t equate it…because losing a child you have is far more excruiating that not getting a child you want. but for the sake of analogy… You are hysterical, and you have hope, and when the reality of the situation starts to sit in, you mourn. But you truly will retain a pc. of hope that somehow, someday you will get back what was yours. It’s been nearly 15 or so years the person in my family is gone… and you still HOPE that somehow, she is ok, and she will return. Did this not JUST happen with a family in the STATES? There’s a sadness there, that may never go away…

I suspect you still have hope, and this conflicts with just allowing it to go.

The thing is, you won’t be financially strapped for life, there are ways to become a parent. Be it foster, adoption, or truly by the Grace of God… and the fact that want to be there for DH is great. Just keep letting him know where YOU are. You will get a place where you can retrain your focus. There’s no reason that as some point your marriage isn’t your object of focus. But you are in a very natural status, with an added hardship. And well, sometimes, you might just have to fake it. Not at a park, or baby birthday parties… but when it’s just the two of you… You can always take a moment from your baby focus to DH focus. And over time, those minutes… well, DH will be your focus.

I’m in a bit of a hurry… hope this helps and doesn’t hinder…

Many prayers and hugs!!!


I understand where you are coming from. Although I don’t suffer from infertility, I have had major mental illnesses in the last seven years and have been basically unavailable to my husband emotionally.
A while back, I made the mental resolution to be very present for him, even if I am suffering and even if it feels that everything is going wrong. I have apologized to him for the hurt I have caused him and told him that he is Number One in my life, and that I was going to make a real effort to be there for him.
Things have really improved in our marriage since I remembered that it is he to whom I owe my allegiance.


Perhap you’re being given the opportunity to conquer severe OCD prior to raising a family. I don’t suffer from OCD, my compulsive behaviors are eating & membership on this BB :D, and outside stressors increase these compulsions.

You have to decide if your OCD would be complicated or healed by motherhood. I’m imagining there would be periods of both.

I’d suggest continued counseling and foster parenting. Some foster children become available for adoption.


I am probably not the best person to give you advice. I will therefore keep it short.

First, I recommend getting off all medication, if at all possible. This may be what a new counselor advises. If so, then great. Work on this as long as necessary.

Next, I recommend church hopping till you find a receptive place to do some great work for God. This is what we are all supposed to do anyway.

Finally, take up the practice with me of receiving the sacrament of penance on the first and third Saturday of each month. Grow in holiness and become a saint. This is what God wants you to do.


I so feel your pain. My dh and I went through infertility (and resolved it in an unideal way), but the pain of infertility was one of the deepest I felt.

I totally agree that there is a mourning period (I’m assuming you and dh have been through testing and know the cause of your infertility). My husband’s was male factor, and it was so tough for me to be there for him as well. I suffered greatly from depression and went into counseling just after the doctors confirmed our worst fear. However, I did insist that my husband go with me so that we could get our concerns out on the table.

Personally, I think it may be one of, if not, the toughest things for a marriage to endure. Our society really doesn’t have the tools/ the messages to help infertile couples.

How do you cope? Day by day, step by step. I hope you’re able to tell your dh what you’ve written here. Also, start to surround yourself by a support group that understands your needs. I heard plenty of tasteless comments when we confided to our family about dh’s infertility (a direct quote, from him no less: "Imagine how much fun you could have had in college if you’d known about this sooner).

I know the organization Resolve was helpful. There were forums for couple mourning their loss of fertility. Just to warn you, there are also forums about the different ways to resolve your infertility. However, you can steer clear of those if you like. I made may cyber friends that way, and we supported each other through our grief.

God bless you on this really tough journey. Please feel free to pm me any time. My prayers go out to you tonight.



Forgot to add, faithfully beautifully answered your post in a way that I also found to be so very true.

If you can, try to celebrate your love as a couple and keep that it your focus. Easier said than done (I have OCD tendencies as well…GAD is a little closer to what I have).


Hi Prolifewife,

I don't think this is the answer you expected but you actually sound like an extremely strong person. The way you worded you post makes you sound like such an intelligent person. I think your biggest problem is you can't see all your positive qualities.

1-) You knew exactly what you wanted - help in your marriage. Believe it or not, very few jurting people know what they want

2-) You were able to communicate your boundary - don't give me advice on fertily or mention adoption. I think communicating your needs makes it easier for me to help you (even though some people will mention those things anyway which personally would boil my blood)

3-) And this is where I think you deserve a gold star. You are extremely hurt and all you want to do is make marriage easier for your husband. He is a very lucky man to have such a giving wife

IMO you need to start praising yourself for all that you do.

On a more practical note, perhaps set aside times for your husband. Even if they are only 20 minute periods. For example, if your husband likes for you to snuggle with him on the couch, as hard as it is for you let him know in advance you will make an effort and sit with him fo 15 minutes. Hopefully, he will see the effort - not the 15 minutes.

Perhaps try to cook his favourite meal. But tell him 'I am hurting but I am doing this for you'. Maybe if he understands you are trying and he sees all the effort you go through he will feel better

God Bless


PS I really enjoyed your post


I’d suggest getting the book “The Love Dare” and following the advice it gives. It has a challenge for you to do every day and it is supposed to help.


Hi Prolifewife,

My heart goes out to you and I just wanted to share what our priest said to my husband and I on the day we were married. He said that when times get hard, and they WILL get hard at times, when you go to bed at night, fall asleep in each others arms. There is no need to say a word, or make any actions, or have any expectations other than holding your spouse and getting held in return. When life’s struggles become monumental and seems to be pushing you further and further away from your spouse, this little gesture reminds you that you two are no longer two, but one. It brings such peace at a time when there are no words to say. Perhaps this will help, and it is my hope that you find peace soon.


As simple as it sounds, listening to soothing music with my husband can help. Especially instrumental and the type that’s more like a lullaby or certain instruments are good for me, like some soothing flute music. esp. when the lights are not on and it’s relaxing, it can be easier to relax and have a conversation.


My heart goes out to you :(

If you don't mind me saying so, I don't think children would be that great of an idea at this point - I can see that you really badly want a baby, but I think right now your husband and your own mental health are the pressing issues demanding attention. I hope you find a good counsellor, and best of luck to you.


I’m not married but as someone who really wanted children herself and couldn’t have them (I never found Mr. Right and didn’t want to have a child without a father around) I also can’t afford to adopt due to financial issues…I feel your pain. I took me a long time to accept that I would never have a child but I’ve come to accept it with time. I know it’s hard especially as a women because we have a built in maternal instinct that pushes us to want children badly. It’s in our nature to care for and nurture but just not in the cards for all of us. I’ll pray for you. Just remember that you can get through it and it does get better with time. You just have to let it go.

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