All On Me

I wrote that post on Monday, about how well I’ve been handling all of this. And I do believe I’ve been handling it well. Not just the emotional turmoil but also the increased workload at home.

The thing is, Mi.Vida is having a hard time with all of this. He has been pretty negative about the changes in diet and gets moody when I get upset over a shitty test result. He thinks the last few months have been excessively stressful. When I try to explain how emotionally devastating our diagnoses would be for most people, he seems suspicious at best. He is unwilling to accept the difficulty of our situation or the positives of the diet and instead comments on how hard and stressful it all is.

So I’m trying to make it easier. Every day, in every way I can, I’m trying to make it easier. I’ve taken on 3/4 of the cooking responsibilities, which totally destroys are hard-one but ultimately fragile domestica equality (which was never equal but felt more equal than anything we’d had or ever would have, I was sure). So now, on top of all the laundry and picking up and cleaning and dishes (and the lion’s share of the child rearing), I’m also cooking (from scratch) 4-5 meals a week. Mi.Vida, is cooking maybe one.

I’m taking this on because Mi.Vida’s biggest concern with the diet is the time and effort it requires. The truth is it only takes so much MORE time and effort because he wasn’t doing much on the cooking front to begin with. If he had, cooking from scratch a couple of times a week wouldn’t have been such a huge undertaking.

I want to have another child and Mi.Vida is content with life the way it is. Because this is my thing (the diet especially as Mi.Vida doesn’t have much faith it will help), I am taking on the brunt of the work. My basic belief is, if I want to do this, I have to be willing to DO this. I know that if Mi.Vida were the one who felt driven to have another baby I would expect him to spear head the efforts. And so I am trying to do that.

And it helps, it does. If nothing else it has helped me to see that Mi.Vida’s negativity is about HIM and not about ME, as he so skillfully leads me to believe. The reality is he probably BELIEVES it is about me, but it’s not. These are his issues and we will be working on them in therapy soon, I’m sure.

In the meantime I’m stuck taking it all on, and getting very little support or appreciation, for my efforts. And that is hard. I’m already stuck in a career where I work my ass off for students who don’t give a shit (at best, at worst they openly resent my efforts), plus being the mother to a 2.5 year old girl is not all about recognition or even simple thank you’s. And while I do get thank you’s from Mi.Vida, I don’t think he really sees how much I’m doing, or understands the sacrifices I’m making so this can work.

And maybe he shouldn’t have to. Maybe, if I want the second child, this is just the burden I have to bear. If we do end up miraculously pregnant surely it will be worth it. But if we don’t, will I have anything left to get me through the impossibly hard work of coming to terms with my never realized dream?

I know it’s not healthy to create discrepancies like this. I know that in an ideal situation, a couple works together, they form a united front or at the very least function as partners. But this is not an ideal situation. This is pretty far from fucking ideal, actually. So I feel my best bet is to just soldier on and hope I don’t eventually break down.

Because the thing is, if I do break down, that will be all Mi.Vida sees. He’ll only see the emotional toll this journey is taking, he will point to my break down as reasons 1, 2 and 3 for why we should just stop trying to have another kid. He won’t see all the dozens of meals I made from scratch or the hundreds of dishes I washed and put away or the thousands of pieces of clothing I folded. He won’t see all I achieved. He’ll only see that one night when I cried for an hour because it was all too much. And then I’ll resent him for looking past all I was able to do and focusing only on how I failed.

It’s clear that we need to revisit all of this and I don’t think we can do it effectively without professional help. It looks like some more couples counseling is in order. I just have so little faith that he’ll ever want to enter into any of this equally. I have a feeling if I really want this, it’s all on me.

3 responses

  1. Wow, E. That is a LOT. I can’t imagine how you are dealing with all this. You are a strong & brave woman, that is for sure…but I hope that counseling can help Mi Vida understand how much you are taking on & hopefully think of some ways to support you that seem fair to him…because I’m not sure how sustainable this can be over the long term. Yes, the special diet is related to fertility…BUT having home-made, healthy food is also part of general care for the family, as is laundry, cleaning, etc… I don’t know why that should all be on you.

  2. So you know that Charlie would be done with trying for another child if he was left to his own devices, right? I don’t know if I’ve really written about it on my blog beyond to state it here and there.

    Anyway. Charlie’s desire to move on is rooted in love for me and wanting to spare us pain. But. He’s willing to tolerate treatments (for us, there’s no chance of getting pregnant with a fertility diet, etc, that’s just what we have to do). Because he knows – or at least has known – that I’m not ready to move on.

    But you need to understand, it took him YEARS to get to this place. Years. And even now, nearly 3 years into trying for our second, he STILL defaults to wanting to walk away. Because it hurts to be in this place, and he hates feeling so hopeless and stuck and in pain.

    I suspect Mi.Vida is working through his own feelings about the whole infertility thing; the definition of being infertile, the fact that perhaps some of it might be his fault. This reaction of his could be him wanting to protect himself from being hurt with the diagnosis, too. Move on and he doesn’t set himself up for Fail later on.

    I’ve learned that for me, the best I can hope for from Charlie is patience and tolerance while I work through my desire for another baby (and bumped up against the reality that it might not happen). I feel like that’s all you can ask from Mi.Vida. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask of him for his patience with you, with this desire for another baby, with this despair that it won’t happen.

    And who knows? He might feel the same way, and his comments about how stressful everything is right now is his way of communicating that he’s hurting, too.

    In times like this, all I can say is this: Be kind. Be kind to yourself, be kind to your partner, be kind to your child. This shit is SO HARD.

    Love and hugs and all the positive energy I can send your way, sweetie. Hang in there.


  3. UGH. Feeling unappreciated can suck it. My husband isn’t much for sweet nothings, or thanks for putting away all my clothes even though I wear 3 loads of laundry worth to your one, or taking out the garbage, or whatever else he expects as opposed to requests, despite the fact I am very verbally grateful for all he does for us, and it grates on me. I’m especially annoyed that it’s so much harder to deal with the week before my period. Such a cliche. But I’m currently mentally junk punching him for imaginary fights we’ve never had. *sigh* Sending excellent couples counseling results thoughts your way.

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