Life After Fertility Treatments

November 13, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Dear Kathy,

My wife and I have been married for 10 years and we used to have a great relationship. Five years ago, we started trying to have a baby. When we didn’t get pregnant, we started consulting doctors. Now our entire life is centered around our fertility issues.

We have spent all of our savings and are in serious debt because we’ve done several rounds of IVF. Every month that we don’t get pregnant, my wife goes into a depression. I don’t know how to comfort her. I’m shutting down emotionally and I feel like the bad guy.

Our  life is in a tailspin and I can’t handle it anymore. I want to get back what we used to have. I don’t care whether or not we have a baby at this point, I just want us. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, I’m okay with that.

What I’m not okay with is that all we ever talk about anymore is fertility related, that she’s depressed all the time, that she doesn’t want to see any of our friends with kids, or even go outside because seeing someone pushing a stroller makes her cry. We’ve even stopped attending family parties because she can’t handle being around other people’s families.

I’m a hostage to infertility and I resent her more every day for her unwillingness to appreciate what we have together and enjoy each other. She used to be my soul mate. These days, I feel like she’s my captor. I hate myself for feeling this way, but I can’t help it.

Our doctor doesn’t think it’s a good idea for us to try another round of IVF and we can’t afford it, anyway. My wife is adamant about going forward with more fertility treatments and she’s closed to even discussing adoption. If things don’t change soon, I’m moving out. I can’t handle the constant fighting, the hopelessness of the situation. I hate who we’ve become. Do you have any advice for us?



Dear Bob,

     My heart goes out to you and your wife. Infertility can be emotionally devastating, as it clearly is in your situation. You are not alone and I advise you to break out of your social isolation as soon as possible.

     I suggest that you ask your doctor to recommend a group for couples addressing similar challenges. You can also consult the website for the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society (EGPS) for an appropriate group.

     You stated that your wife was your soul mate and that you once had a “great relationship.” Ten years is a long time. Don’t give up without a fight.

My very best,