The Childless Men Who Support Us

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a man and woman swimming and holding hands with sunlight shining through the water on The Childless Men Who Support Us on Not So Mommy...

With Father’s Day approaching, I began to think about childless men . . .  For every childless couple, there is a woman and a man who couldn’t have kids.  Yet, our conversations often revolve solely around women–our emotions, our difficulties, our issues with childlessness.  Perhaps this is because men often remain stoic and do not express their emotions.  But speaking as a woman in a childless couple, I know that our infertility battle was hard on my husband…

Infertility & Childlessness are hard on men, too…

I know this because as I expressed deep emotion and angst over not being able to have a baby, my hubby responded with just as much emotion, “You aren’t the only one who couldn’t have a kid!”  And it hit me.  No, I wasn’t.  But unfortunately, before that moment, I really don’t think I ever thought about how infertility and childlessness affected my husband.  Honestly, I was pretty wrapped up in my own grief.

So, today, I want to take a moment to express what an amazingly good thing childless men are.  They love us and support us and hold us while we weep.  And they do all of this while battling their own deep emotions…

But they remain strong for us…

When I think back on our ten-year infertility battle, I truly only remember my husband crying one time.  When we got our diagnosis of severe infertility, we clung to each other while sitting in our car outside the infertility clinic.  We cried, and he said over and over, “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.”

But after that one moment of weakness, all I remember from my husband is strength.  He remained hopeful even when I had no hope, telling me that “it will happen for us.”  He took me shopping to keep my mind off the looming “p” test, sent me flowers after failed treatments, and watched me shed countless tears while holding my hand and telling me everything would be okay.  He was my rock.

For ten years (that’s 120 months), he went through the highs and lows of infertility with me.  For ten years (120 months), he stayed strong.  For ten years (120 months), he tried with me.

When I think about that…  When I think about 120 months…  One hundred and twenty hopes, one hundred and twenty disappointments…  It is no wonder that he asked me to accept a childless life with him.  How utterly exhausted he must have been.  I know I certainly was.

They support us in our childless life…

As we entered our childless life, he continued to support me and love me and hold my hand.  He reminds me often that I am Maddie’s Mom and that Bruna is our kid.  He loves our nieces and nephews just as much as me.  And he gets irritated when sales people try to push some kid-centric ad on him.  “I’m childless not by choice!” he exclaims.  “You’d have better luck selling me something about puppies!”  And we laugh and talk about Maddie and look forward to Bruna visiting over the summer…

Let’s remember to thank childless men…

So, ladies, give those childless men in your lives an extra hug today.  Tell them “thank you” for all the support they have shown.  And this weekend, do something special for them.  Because even though they don’t say it, I’ll bet Father’s Day is just as hard on them as Mother’s Day is on us…

Yes, the childless men who support us are most definitely a good thing.


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Judy Odum June 18, 2018 - 10:30 am

Yes infertility is hard on the men also they just have a better way of controlling their emotions! Thank you to so many childless men!

Sharon June 17, 2018 - 7:23 pm

This is a lovely acknowledgment of your husband, and a loving reminder to remember the CNBC men in our lives – they are walking this hard path too. There was one sentences that struck me though, “But after that one moment of weakness, all I remember from my husband is strength.” Being together, crying together in your car, doesn’t sound like a moment of weakness at all – for you or your husband. Perhaps that’s not what you meant, but expressions of grief and sadness isn’t a weakness. It is beautifully and fully human. None of us – man or woman – can be relentlessly strong. I am glad you were able to be together in that moment, and even in your sorrow.

Brandi Lytle June 18, 2018 - 1:43 pm

You make such a good point, Sharon. Thank you for reminding me that showing your sorrow is not a weakness. Actually, my husband showing his vulnerability to me required great strength and courage on his part. I suppose what I meant was he allowed himself to feel the sadness in front of me just that once. After that, he remained so strong and so hopeful… He gave me the strength to keep going. And I love him so much for that!

Sherry June 11, 2018 - 5:58 pm

Thank you Dane Lytle. ?


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