Last Tuesday we flew home from Disney World and we weren't home long until I was abruptly reminded that we're definitely not in Fantasyland anymore. Two days prior to our departure, my evil SIL contacted me to inform me that my second evil SIL was in labor. Fuck you. I knew my MIL was picking us up from the airport and surely we'd have to hear about it. Through 2 years of therapy, dh & I have worked on how to respond to people when they say things that are knowingly hurtful. He's had a conversation with his mom before that we really prefer not to hear about people's babies, even if they are our siblings, and although we understand her excitement it's just simply not possible for us to be excited and it's painful to hear so we politely request that she not mention it. Of course, that is just too difficult for her to comprehend and my dh avoids conflict the way I would avoid another term of George W as President, so he of course hasn't offered any further polite reminders to his mom that we simply don't give a fuck about anyone else's baby right now.
As predicted, we pull into into the garage and she reaches for her cell phone while saying "Do you want to see a picture of your new niece?". I remained silent, in fact, I think it was one of the short moments in my life that my brain actually rested. We had rehearsed similar scenarios in therapy and at home before and dh & I had agreed upon a certain response. Not necessarily a specific set of words, but generally the rules were that he would respond (not because I'm too shy to respond but he knows I won't play very nice) and he would be firm in saying "no" and exert some type of "what the hell are you thinking" comment and remind her that we've already talked about this and we are never interested in hearing about anyone's pregnancy or baby until we are standing in front of her with serious bags under our eyes from dozens of delightfully sleepless nights from staying up with our own baby. He didn't respond. He was silent. She showed us the picture. I was livid.
Today, after a few month hiatus from joint therapy sessions, we rejoined with Susan the therapist to discuss this incident. I am convinced that if he chose not to respond at such a critical opportunity that he must not understand the depth of my grief and the intensity of the pain his mom inflicted. The therapy appointment was relatively uneventful until I said I wanted to see him angry with his mother. If we were in a bar and someone had punched me, he wouldn't just stand by and allow it, he would be pissed! This is far worse than being punched so why the hell wasn't he mad. Susan started to ask him questions about anger and at one point he said that no one has ever made him as angry in his life as I have.
After we returned home, I was in the bathroom doing my usual crying-before-I-wash-my-face-for-the-night routine and it hit me. I always try to find the reasons behind all this bullshit that God puts me through. I'm convinced I'll have a stronger marriage, that I'll treasure my baby more, I'll be a more attentive parent, I'll have a shared empathy with millions of people, I'll gain an overwhelming sense of compassion toward other woman. I never realized what the benefit was for my dh. Why was he picked to go through all this hell with me? I realized it there, in the bathroom, mid-cry. Yes, I make him more angry than anyone ever has, but it's because I force him to deal with this. He can't avoid it and pretend it doesn't exist like he has with any other difficult time in his life. He has to acknowledge it, understand it, accept it, and learn to live it. I came running out of the bathroom with tears running down my face to explain to him my newly understood rationale for his misery. He smiled and he knew it was true. He told me that although his anger for me is more intense than anger he's ever felt before, so is his love.
I wouldn't infertility as a method to teach anyone a lesson, but, I am infertile and while I'm here I am definitely learning quite a few lessons. I'll take it. I'll take a tearful embrace with my soul mate as we both realize that there is a reason for this misery beyond our understanding, and today, God has given us enough of a taste of understanding to satisfy our appetite for now. Thank you.
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