Thursday, January 20, 2011

Emails from the Subconscious

Every once in awhile I get an email from my husband that goes something like this:


To: Wife
From: Husband
Subject: [Blank]


Great. A new school year and three women came back pregnant from summer break.

Or

To: Wife
From: Husband
Subject: [Blank]


I’m so sick of seeing people’s baby and grandbaby pictures.


It’s hard for me to believe that these emails are even coming from him. I imagine that he’s sitting in his office in some sort of trance and his subconscious starts directing his fingers to type out these little messages. His brain (or heart?) is sending me little subliminal electronic clues…”We’re hurting, Megan. We just wanted to let you know.” My husband keeps his hurt concealed. As much as I prod and ask leading questions, he has yet to tell me face to face, heart to heart, how much pain he is in.

There are other clues too. Several months ago I went to the emergency room with a gall bladder attack. I was lying on a bed in a makeshift curtained off room in agonizing pain. A nurse came in to draw some blood and left. As soon as she left I heard my husband say under his breath, “bitch”. Now my husband and I are huge potty mouths. We curse a lot in the privacy of our own home (really no reason not to), but hubby is not generally in the habit of randomly calling women offensive names. I asked him what happened and he responded, “Didn’t you see? She’s pregnant.”

Well, I’m not proud of it or anything, but I’ve certainly thought the same thing in my head as I see random pregnant women walking about or random skinny women walking about for that matter. However, I generally keep those thoughts to myself. After all, it’s not nice.

It’s almost like the pain that he works so hard to keep inside bubbles up every once in awhile and he just can’t keep it in. It bubbles up enough to remind me that I’m not in this alone. It bubbles up enough to let me know that he’s not as OK as he’d like me to believe. It bubbles up enough to make me wonder if he will ever be OK.

15 comments:

cgd said...

wow. this is such a great post. My husband, E, is like yours. He keeps things in and every now and then I get a little glimpse of what all this IF crap is doing to him. I feel terribly to know he is hurting, yet at the same time it is comforting to know that he is hurting along side with me and I am not in it alone.
thinking of both you and your husband today....

Miss Megan said...

I think the husbands feel like they have to be the strong ones and not show any emotion or feelings since "we" (the women) are having such a hard time with the IF struggle already. With the name calling, been there, done that!
There will probably be a point after you do get pregnant and have your baby that your husband will finally tell you what he was thinking and feeling during this time. I'm actually glad my husband didn't tell me until afterwards because I probably wouldn't have been able to handle his heartache on top of mine.
Hang in there hun. IF sucks balls.

unaffected said...

Big hugs. My husband rarely shares his feelings on our IF and TTC struggles. I think he thinks I'm already upset/crazy/obsessing most of the time, and he doesn't want to add to it. :/

Alena said...

My husband is the same way. He pretends with all his might that not being able to be a daddy is okay, that it really doesn't hurt him that much. But the truth is revealed in little things...

The way he smiles so wistfully when he sees a baby go by in a stroller...

The way he hugs me tight and tries to turn me away when he spots a pregnant lady before I do...

The way he whispers "happy mother's day, baby", even though our baby is only a dog (as much as we love him)...

The way his eyes glitter with tears, even as he smiles and hugs our little neice...

The way he swallows and blinks, even as he eagerly anticipates the arrival of our first nephew...

Our husbands have tender, fatherly hearts. As sad as I feel some days, I try hard to remember that I am not the only one hurting. That my broken mommy heart has a kindred spirit in a broken daddy heart, adn that together, we can get through this, somehow.

Alex said...

What a sweet post. What is it about our guy's pain that just hurts so much more than ours?

Princess Wahna Bea Mama said...

Wow! That was a really powerful post. I'm new to blogging and reading blogs, but I am so glad that I stumbled across yours. I can relate to everything you said in this post and I am sad for all of our partners that hurt in relative silence. I hope that you don't mind if I add your blog as a link on my blog - http://theprincessandthepeestick.blogspot.com/

Thank you again for your lovely insights.

AmyG said...

What a poignant post. It's a sweet portrait of intimacy, that he can blurt out these snippets, and you understand exactly what he's saying.

areyoukiddingme said...

I totally see your husband's point of view - I would rather never talk about anything emotional. But an email - it's a little window into his brain. I'm not sure what you can do about it, but he is sharing his emotions with you...

the misfit said...

Wow. And yet...it would probably be easier for him to carry if he shared it with you regularly, even if it doesn't seem that way to him. My husband is the same way. I know he's suffering too, and he doesn't strictly deny it, but he doesn't share it in the way that I want to, and would like him to. Except just every once in a while, and then I'm always shocked.

SLESE1014 said...

I wish I could get my hubs to share. He is very good at holding me together when I'm going to lose it, but he never shares any feelings no matter what I say or do. How wonderful to see a little peak at what is really going on with our other halves! I know he hurts, he just refuses to share it...

Thank you for sharing this.

Miss Ruby said...

The Guv has never shown any REAL emotion re our losses, I imagine he's hurting inside but he won't show that to me.

Kudos to yours for doing so.

~x~

p.s. I get his "bitch" comment totally, it's not directed at her, more the fact that she is what you wish to be - it's hard to explain to people who don't "get it" but it's never personal.

MyTwoLines said...

I was always surprised, too, when my DH would let little things out that showed how much pain he was enduring. It made me feel a little better--like we were a team in our sadness.
I hope things get easier for you. Big hugs.
MTL
formerly LastChanceIVF

nurslouisa said...

hello Megan-
I really like this idea--emails from the subconcious, definately a venue that appeals to men especially, helps them distance themselves from the pain while still letting us know they hurt. Thanks for still blogging.I think of you often and hope that you and Tony find your path to parenthood.

Alena said...

Hi there! :) I was just stopping back by to let you know I gave you a bloggy award - stop by my blog and pick it up! :)

Let There Be Sims said...

I love it when husbands open up and share their pain --- not that I like them being in pain but they are often very tough to protect us from feeling anymore hurt that we already are. And it feels good to know that we are on the same page when it comes to our feelings. I recently discovered your blog and gave you a Blog Award. Check it out on my site:
http://wishingforthegiftoflife.blogspot.com/

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