You Just Don’t Understand

Our journey to becoming parents has been much different for Colby than it has for me. Just like no one who has walked through infertility will understand the journey, I don’t feel like he does either.

Most of my mom friends will agree that not much changed for their husband during their pregnancy. If you have children of your own, you would probably agree that the wife is the one who had to carry the baby, go to all the appointments, handle all the symptoms, change the wardrobe, take care of her body, etc etc. The journey to becoming parents (for me) has been very similar. I don’t expect this to be the case for everyone, but this is how I feel. In no way is this a bash to Colby, but these are the feelings that I have had over the past 3.5 years:

You just don’t get it. You don’t know what is like to have a dream since you were little be put on hold. You don’t have to deal with a period every month. On top of that you don’t have the cramps and pain that comes with it. You don’t have to pee on a stick and receive another not yet. You don’t have to be the recipient of the pregnancy announcements. You don’t have to receive another phone call and hear, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but we are pregnant… again.” You don’t have to feel like the elephant in the room when you are the only one who isn’t a parent. You don’t have to feel like you are given special treatment because others who are pregnant don’t know how to handle your situation. You don’t have to feel like you are a burden to your friends. You don’t have to lose friends. You don’t have to buy baby presents. You don’t make baby gifts. You don’t have to host or attend baby showers. You don’t have to take meals to families when babies are born. You don’t have to deal with the same up and down emotions and hormones that I do. You just don’t get it. You don’t understand. I don’t expect you to either.

Again, hear me out – this doesn’t mean Colby is a bad husband. He is anything BUT that. It also doesn’t mean he doesn’t desire babies, because he wants them just as much as I do. But, I feel like I carry the weight of infertility. It’s not a game or about whose heart hurts more. We are on the same team, with the same desire in mind.

I wish I could express how hard it is when your very best friend, the one person you want to understand, doesn’t. He doesn’t get it. He isn’t supposed to. In some ways I wish he did, but in some ways I am so thankful he doesn’t have to endure the same pain. Even though he will never fully understand what it is like to be in my shoes, I am so thankful that he has stuck by my side. I am so thankful that he has dealt with all my ups and downs. I am so thankful that he continues to encourage me and love me and I am so thankful that he makes our marriage a priority even though it’s not where we thought we would be 4.5 years in. I am thankful for my amazing husband even though he just doesn’t understand.

You Just Don't Understand - In Due Time Blog

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38 Comments
  • Kelly @ Southern Komfort Blog
    Posted at 07:58h, 18 November Reply

    This is so true and I’ve never thought about it that way! Women really do (IMO) endure the burden of infertility. Of course, the husband can be frustrated and upset, but like you said, we feel the physical pains and frustrations.

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 09:10h, 18 November Reply

    I think part of the problem, is that deep down we completely blame ourselves. It’s hard because we feel like, as a woman, it’s our job and right to bear children…and when we have a hard time doing the one thing we feel we are supposed to be able to, it weighs on us. I think our husband’s suffer in different ways, and have a hard time expressing their feelings, as they never thought this would be an issue either. But, as women we carry the majority of the burden. Praying for you <3

  • Rebecca Jo (@RebeccaJoKnits)
    Posted at 09:12h, 18 November Reply

    Every time you do a post on the issue, I sit & shake my head & even weep with you because I do get it.
    My husband has 3 children from previous marriages so he REALLLLYYYYY didnt get it with me. He’s had the experiences in life that I’ll never get. That’s so hard.

  • Erica Mackenzie
    Posted at 09:19h, 18 November Reply

    Yes! I could have written this myself…it just adds to the feeling of loneliness even when they are right by your side. <3

  • Belinda
    Posted at 09:43h, 18 November Reply

    Again, you nailed it. I feel the same way. Dave is wonderful in so many ways, but there is no physical way he can truly understand what I go through every month, so intensely feeling every phase of my cycle. I wouldn’t want him to. It hurts too much. Thank you for your blatant honesty and openness.

  • Jojo
    Posted at 10:18h, 18 November Reply

    This is so spot on. Thanks for being so honest. Sometimes I wish they would understand exactly how we feel but their pain is different than our pain.

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy}
    Posted at 10:32h, 18 November Reply

    I can totally relate to this. And he just doesn’t get why the cramps mean much more than the physical pain. But God had a plan when he made the women the ones who would birth children.

  • Gina
    Posted at 11:13h, 18 November Reply

    I totally understand where you come from in your posts. Will there maybe come a time that you will go through fertility treatments to help your dream comes true?

  • Samantha W.
    Posted at 11:51h, 18 November Reply

    I completely understand this. Even though we have different stories, I know all the feelings you described in this post. Were women, isn’t it our job to have and raise babies? And when it doesn’t happen, it’s heart breaking. Hang in there, Caroline! Our miracles and just yet to come!

  • Lily Ayala (Beauty With Lily)
    Posted at 12:00h, 18 November Reply

    I completely understand!! I think you NAILED this post.
    Love your honesty!

  • Sherry
    Posted at 12:24h, 18 November Reply

    It’s like you wrote one of my journal entries! I’ve actually had a conversation with my husband about this topic. I am dealing with several things that he ‘just doesn’t get’ as we maneuver through this infertility journey. On the one hand, I’m very glad he isn’t experiencing some of these things. But to be honest, sometimes I wish he understood a little more. He’s wonderful & the best part of my life. But there are times when him ‘not understanding’ makes me feel lonelier than I already feel at times.

  • thelongestjourneyoregon
    Posted at 13:04h, 18 November Reply

    Every word you wrote is so true. It is such a different journey for us than it is them. Lately, I feel like it’s my job to carry the weight of the burden that infertility brings and let my hubby continue on with his normal life. While, my hubby does want a child, he doesn’t have the deep desire and want that I have. xo

  • suzwilliams77
    Posted at 14:13h, 18 November Reply

    This is so true. You have such a raw and beautiful relationship with your husband. I hope you know how inspiring and brave I think you are. xoxo

  • Amanda
    Posted at 16:30h, 18 November Reply

    I don’t think saying Colby doesn’t understand means you think he’s a bad husband at all, so I’m glad you feel that way too. He can’t understand exactly what you go through, but it sounds like he’s a great encouragement to you through that! God knew what he was doing putting the two of you together.

  • hilkayaker
    Posted at 18:34h, 18 November Reply

    I am so sorry it is very true though. My husband didn’t understand when we were trying either and it was very hard. He still doesn’t understand, we suffered a loss and he had no idea how to handle it either. Men just deal with things differently and it can be hard as it is completely different and they can’t be there fir us when we need them.

  • Becky
    Posted at 19:37h, 18 November Reply

    Gosh I agree so much! My husband and I have a wonderful marriage and an incredibly close connection…and yet, he just doesn’t understand. Even after all these years, all the tears, all the conversations and explanations and empathy. He still doesn’t get it. And that’s ok! I’ll never be able to fully understand his experience as a “bystander” of sorts, feeling helpless while watching your wife go through physical, emotional and hormonal hardship. Thankfully God understand each of us better than we could ever hope to understand each other. And through that, draw us closer as time goes on. xoxo

  • Charity
    Posted at 21:42h, 18 November Reply

    So true. Men will never be able to relate to what it feels like for a woman with infertility, pregnancy or child rearing. I think that’s because God gave us the helping/nurturing part of his character and men just don’t have that.

  • Shann Eva
    Posted at 09:12h, 19 November Reply

    Yes! When we were trying to have our second child, and were unsuccessful for many months, he didn’t understand why I’d get so upset each month. I’ve always had this picture in my head, and when it doesn’t happen in the time table you’ve imagined, it’s really upsetting and heartbreaking. I don’t blame my husband either, but you’re right when you say they don’t get it.

  • Jennifer Dodrill @ All-In-One-Mom
    Posted at 09:30h, 19 November Reply

    I love your honesty, even on a very tough subject.

  • tiffanyatouchofgrace
    Posted at 09:39h, 19 November Reply

    I can tell this has been weighing on you for a while. Being the woman it hits us so much harder; all of it. Men just don’t understand, you’re right, but you are doing what you can and it sounds like Colby is still a wonderful and supportive husband, when I think most would have given up by now. Both of your’s faith is something to be admired.

  • Marielle
    Posted at 12:30h, 19 November Reply

    Great post! So true that, as with everything in marriage, it can be hard at times when our spouses feel things differently. I’ve struggled with this when my husband doesn’t want to listen to me vent like my girlfriends would. It’s like I forget he isn’t a women, and yet, I am SO thankful for that. His differences are why I love him so! Thanks for the reminder to extend my husband grace, even when I wish he could understand me better at times.

  • Maria from Collecting Moments
    Posted at 12:48h, 19 November Reply

    I understand what you’re saying. Others have a harder time relating to what moms go through. I would even go far as to say that moms have a hard time relating to other moms. We can get all the help we can get, all the sympathy in the world, but at the end of the day–it’s just us and our own thoughts and our own struggles. And that’s tough to handle sometimes.

    Your strength is admirable, Caroline. Trust me, this alone will help you get through.

    Thanks so much for sharing such an honest piece with us on #SHINEbloghop today. Sending you a warm hug in return

  • dawnshivers
    Posted at 13:24h, 19 November Reply

    I’m sorry-my husband and I have the opposite problem: babies so quickly that we really never got any quality alone time with one another in our marriage…

    But I think that this is the reason that God made us so different and made us to bear different burdens in life. (I feel they carry the burden of provision and working in a way that we may never fully understand.) He gave us different burdens that neither of us could fully comprehend so that the only One that would fully understand is God himself. So, our relationship with God can be the very closest and most intimate love relationship that we have.

    I remember one time saying to God while my husband and I were dating, “God, he doesn’t talk/like to talk very much.” And God’s response was, “Good! Then you’ll talk to Me!” I thought God would want me to have all my heart desired in a husband, but it seems that God delights in the ways that my husband does not meet all of my needs because God can rush in and fill them.

    I pray God is everything you need in this season!

    Lauren, RunHoly.com

  • catherine short
    Posted at 15:09h, 19 November Reply

    Yes, yes and yes. There was a particular evening where I remember having to be completely transparent in telling my husband it just isn’t the same for him. I can’t not think about it as I’m having to track and make myself available for appointments etc.

  • Chels (@Inspire_Indulge)
    Posted at 16:05h, 19 November Reply

    I can’t even imagine how frustrated you must feel, Caroline. He will never completely get it because he will never be a mother. <3 I'm worried about this journey when we start trying. Praying for your inner peace! xo

  • Emily, Our house now a home
    Posted at 17:34h, 19 November Reply

    I am so sorry you are going through this, and as much as he does not understand. Turning to him and leaning on him is so important. I have been fortunate enough to not deal with infertility, but I have been through times where my husband did not understand things they way that I did. It can tear apart a couple. No matter what, it should be you and him. I am so sorry this is happening to you, and you deal with this pain. I wish you all the best!

  • Coupon Diva (@RealCouponDiva)
    Posted at 17:40h, 19 November Reply

    some things that husbands will NEVER get about the things we women go through

  • Brianna George
    Posted at 20:04h, 19 November Reply

    sweet friend ((hugs)) I don’t any words that really can help…but know even though he doesn’t understand…won’t understand…can’t understand…He loves you…and I am sure if he could he would take all that pain from you and put it on himself. ((hugs))

    unveiledandrevealed.com

  • Ashley
    Posted at 22:07h, 19 November Reply

    It is very true. Everything you said hits the nail on the head. I am so sorry for your struggle. Also, always know that it is ok to distance yourself from painful situations. I had to when my brother and sister in law were pregnant and we couldn’t. She called and complained to me about being sick. No, they didn’t understand, but I needed space for my own struggle and that was ok.

  • Melanie Blignaut
    Posted at 03:44h, 20 November Reply

    This can’t have been an easy post to write. I think there are so many things about our experience as women than men just don’t get.

  • Jessica
    Posted at 05:26h, 20 November Reply

    Aw ladyI am so sorry! Praying for you and yours. I don’t understand but my heart goes out to you.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 08:14h, 20 November Reply

    We went through a time of loss. We lost three babies in a span of 4 years. Never thought we would ever have children. It was a tough time! i agree that men do not understand like we do but from my experience they do grieve and hurt but not in the same way! God Bless you and your husband:)

  • Jennifer Wilson
    Posted at 13:59h, 20 November Reply

    I’m so sorry. I’m 42 and not a mother. Just got married (for the first time) this year. All around me friends are starting to become grandparents, andI don’t have a child.My doctor says I’m not able to at this point. We’re planning on adopting. I want to see grandchildren. I didn’t plan on my life being at age 42 and no children. But it has happened that way. I just pray that our adoption process goes smoothly. I mean, at age 16 I already knew I wanted to have children, wanted to homeschool, etc. And still no children. I refuse to go to church on Mother’s Day anymore because of all the “God’s highest calling for women is being a mother”. No, God’s highest calling for each person is to serve Him in whatever situation they find themselves. (Hugs)

  • lifeofaministermom
    Posted at 03:41h, 21 November Reply

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Cris @ My Fashion Juice
    Posted at 15:27h, 21 November Reply

    <3

  • Branson
    Posted at 15:30h, 22 November Reply

    Thank you for sharing your heart in such an honest way! I know there are women who have been and will be SO encouraged and comforted by these words because just hearing you are not to only one thinking something like this can be a gift. Hugs!

  • Rhonda
    Posted at 18:19h, 23 November Reply

    I have struggled with these types of feelings, too. I find it disheartening that my [wonderful!] husband is not a fraction as excited about adopting as I am. Sometimes it feels like it is not even on his radar and I am the only one left hoping. But I’ve also learned that it breaks his – and I’m assuming all good husband’s – heart that he cannot give me the one thing that I desire most. *hugs, Caroline!*

  • Upside of IF
    Posted at 11:01h, 28 February Reply

    Oh my gosh. I know this post is from 3 months ago, but I was reading your blog and came across this– and it was perfect timing. My husband doesn’t ‘get it’ either and you’re right– he’s not necessarily supposed to. Of course we are on the same team, of course he wants us to succeed, but the level of grief and of total understanding is just not there.

    “I wish I could express how hard it is when your very best friend, the one person you want to understand, doesn’t. He doesn’t get it. He isn’t supposed to. In some ways I wish he did, but in some ways I am so thankful he doesn’t have to endure the same pain.”

    I feel I could have written that! Grateful for you today!

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