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Family Life / Infertility/Fertility Issues


Subject:  Re: Surprise Date:  5/31/2003  12:58 AM
Author:  MainiacJoe Number:  587 of 2283

As the owner of the only Y-chromosome around here I appreciate your acceptance of me into this community. Please, for simplicity if nothing else, don't go to the trouble of saying, "and Joe" continually for fear that I will be offended if you don't explicitly acknowledge me. Bookgrrl calls me the "honorary sister" and women I've told about my involvement on this board say that's a compliment so I'll take it and others you've sent my way and be grateful at how much God has changed me from the scumbag Alethea married seven years ago last Sunday (see, I've gotten to where I remember). Yeah, I skip a few gyn threads, but what do you expect, and would you realy want my input? The emotional aspects of infertility cross gender lines, although they certainly don't affect each gender in the same way, and it is in this area I have found this board to be a singularly helpful resource. I have learned a lot from you all about how Alethea is reacting to our fertility struggles, and occasionaly see myself in you as well. I hope too that I can be a resource for you in how your husbands are responding and help you understand them.

With that in mind, let me talk about something that I've been learning again for the first time: men compartmentalize their experiences, whereas women assimilate their experiences. This means that I have a Caleb box, a infertility box, an emotional caregiver box, a relationship with this couple box, a job box, a hobby box, etc. When I move from one role to another I leave the emotions and thoughts for one role in its box and they may or may not affect the other boxes, usually not. I can literally forget what I was feeling about one thing if I get involved about another thing, until I go back to that first box and pick up where I left off. I'll say it again, this is an essential concept in interacting with your man: I go to work, and for 9 hours I'll be lucky if I even remember that I had a son die or that we might never have kids, unless I strike up a conversation with someone that brings it up, then it's like, "Oh, yeah" and I remember it, drop the job box, pick up that box, and go with it--and then I forget what job-related thing brought me to that office! So ladies, you think about this crap every 5 minutes or more often and it tears you up, and your hubby can go a whole day and never think about it once--yet he does care about it and is grieved by it too. In tech-speak, he is incapable of multi-tasking emotions, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have t