Today is Mothers day in North America, and that fact can cause discomfort to many people, including men and women alike. The reason that today can cause pain to many is because despite best efforts, my wife and I have been married for almost a decade and we have yet to have kids. I know this hurts my wife terribly, and it pains me that she has not been able to conceive.
There are many reasons why this may be occurring. Timing, the multitude of medications I am on, general anatomical irregularities that could be occurring on either of our parts. The reasons for not being able to have children can fill this page, and hundreds more just like it.
Not being able to provide my wife with a child does fill me with guilt though. When I worked as a career EMS professional and we didn’t have kids, I rationalized it away that that there will be time for kids later. After my mental health issues flared up significantly and kicked me in the ass, I was scared of the prospects of children. In the five years since I left EMS and started my journey of mental illness recovery I have spent an undue amount of time working on myself, pushing children to the back of my mind.
Adding in a therapist who informed me that I “shouldn’t have kids, and don’t bother even applying to adopt as you will never get one” did wonders for the self-confidence as well. Throw in the pharmacy worth of meds I take regularly to maintain, each of which can have reproductive side effects, and I start seeing the deck firmly stacked against the both of us.
And all of this leads me back to the guilt I feel. L just turned 40 last year, and I am approaching the big 4-0 myself. Our window for having children is slamming closed quickly. With the issues I have battled, especially over the last 5 years, I feel like it’s all on me as the reason that children have not been in the cards.
Where does it leave me? I would be lying if I said there wasn’t still days where I feel like I am the worst thing that could have happened to my wife. Through it all, I have begun my process of healing. Despite the guilt, I love my wife with all my heart. We have a beautiful home, and two pets that are our world.
I don’t know whether children will ever be in the cards for our future. With my history I still feel a huge fear of having kids, and passing on my genetic issues to them. I don’t know if the guilt of not having kids will ever subside. All I can do for the moment is continue my journey of recovery, and be the best husband to my wife I can possibly be.