Accepting Infertility – A Man’s View #1

posted in: A Man's View | 2

Nicci keeps asking me “what do you think about this?”, as she is writing her blog posts.  So, after quite a lot of discussion, we’ve decided that I need to take a more active part.  NEWSFLASH: from now on I’m going to write A Man’s View of some of the subjects that come up.  I would like to put the proviso that I am just one man and that not all men will have the same reactions as mine; that said I hope this will put a different perspective into the mix.

A Man's View AndrewSetting the scene

So that you don’t have to read through the “About Nicci & Andrew” page here’s some background to my situation.  I have had a son, with my first wife, who had a medical condition and died aged 7 1/4 (I was his primary carer for his last 5 years).  My second wife died of a brain tumour and now I am married to Nicci.

Over the last week or so Nicci has done a couple of posts about grief and infertility [“Infertility – a different type of Bereavement” and “Infertility and the 5 stages of grief”].  Then yesterday Nicci read an article about someone (a widow) who had been told that losing a child was worse than losing a spouse.  That cause a long discussion.  Here’s my Man’s View …

Which grief is worse the loss of child or spouse?

To me the answer is neither just that they are/were different. With my son I had more time and worry invested, however, life was not easy and so there were mixed emotions including relief when he died.  I knew my second wife had a brain tumour before I had even met her.  I knew the prognosis and possible degenerative effects over time that might develop; “I had been through a lot worse with my son”.  Did this make her loss less than my sons?  No just different.  I was more prepared because I’d been there and done it before so knew what to expect.  I believe it also helped some of the grief for my son to be expunged.

A Man’s View of grief and infertility

Is grief an aspect of infertility?  Yes, it is but probably in a different way for men than women.  I look at it as more of what could have happened.  An example is if we had thought about having children earlier then we would have got onto the IVF route earlier which may have improved our chances.  Do I regret the fact that we don’t have children?  Yes of course I do.  Is there anything we could have done differently which might have given us children?  Maybe but that is using hindsight which can be a very dangerous thing.

So grief is grief.  It doesn’t matter who it is for.  No grief is worse than any other.  Does it get easier?  Yes, and no.   The fact is, as with most things in life, the first time is always the worst/most difficult.  We don’t really know what’s happening, thus making the next time “easier”.  Just accept it is going to happen and don’t fight it, because if you do it comes back to be finished off when you least expect it.

Thanks for reading.


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Raising awareness about infertility


2 Responses

  1. Kevin

    Great post Andrew and thanks for sharing, I think you nail it when you say ‘its different’ We love our children differently to the way we love a partner that doesnt mean that love is any weaker just different so logic would dictate that the grief process is still strong but different.

    • Andrew Fletcher

      Thanks Kevin for the encouragement. I hope to start putting the man’s perspective on things more frequently because it’s not just women that are affected by infertility, men are as well be it directly or indirectly.