How to be Happy When You Can’t Have Kids

If you haven’t chosen a childfree life, you have to learn how to be happy without having kids. These tips on accepting life without children are from me – a woman who has accepted infertility.

How to be Happy When You Can’t Have KidsUnsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility by Janet Jaffe, David Diamond, and Martha Diamond is a valuable resource for women and men who are childless. Sometimes it’s the little things, like knowing you’re not alone, that can make a big difference. If you feel like you’ll never be happy without a baby, reading books for childless couples can help you accept and even be happy with your life.

Accepting a childfree life is easier said than done – but here’s something that really helped me: “The willingness to win OR lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness,” writes Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen in Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal. “From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life.” That’s one of the ways I made peace with infertility. Below, I share what also works for me…





How to be Happy Without Having Children

Kitchen Table Wisdom is one of my favorite books because it’s all about accepting both the bitter and the sweet parts of life. Dr Remen is an oncologist who never had children. She struggled with Crohn’s Disease for most her life, and when she was in her 20s had surgery to remove most of her intestines. Remen knows failure and heartache…and she teaches people how to bounce back to live full, passionate lives.

Be willing to let go of how your life “should” be

Do you associate not having children with feelings of failure, being a “loser”, or feeling less worthy or fulfilled than the mom next door? The first step to accepting a childfree life is express your feelings of pain and loss. Admit that it’s painful to not have children.

Second, you have to be open to your life as it is. Instead of hating your body or wrestling with the fact that you can’t have kids, try opening your heart and mind to a life without children. You don’t have to love or be cheerful about your childfree life, but being open to your life as it is will help you accept the hand you’ve been dealt.

You might also read 5 Ideas for Women Who Are Coping With Childlessness, which I wrote for a reader who needed encouragement.

Remember that everyone deals with something

How to be Happy Without Having Children

How to be Happy Without Having Children

Everybody has problems; they just look different. My friend’s 19 year old son was recently killed in a car crash. I have ulcerative colitis; my husband and I are coping with male infertility (azoospermia). One of my writing colleagues recently had a stroke, and can’t think clearly enough to write anymore.

If want to be happy without having children, remember that infertility is a condition that you’re unfortunate enough to hav…and we all have stuff. Knowing that I’m not alone in the pain that life brings helps me accept a childfree life. All God’s children got their crosses.

Surround yourself with childfree couples

We spend time with friends who have kids – but I most enjoy my friends who don’t have children, or who have grown children! I especially like my friends who have chosen never to have children. If it hurts you to spend time with pregnant friends or big families, then reduce those visits. I wouldn’t advise avoiding families altogether, but I think accepting a childfree life is easier when you’re with people in the same situation.

Another thing that helped me be happy without children is my dog. We adopted Georgie from the SPCA, and she adds so much love and happiness to our lives – and frustration too – that it helps take our minds off not having kids.

You might also consider joining a group for women who aren’t parents.

Accept that you may experience sadness or disappointment every day

Accepting a Childfree Life

Accepting a Childfree Life – How to be Happy When You Can’t Have Kids

Getting and staying emotionally healthy is a daily choice. Accepting your childfree life and being happy without having children is something you have to decide to do — perhaps every hour! Being okay with your life doesn’t happen overnight. And, feelings of acceptance don’t last forever. It’s like showering or eating; you have to do it every day. Sometimes three times a day!

To be happy without having children, you have to remember that happiness is a daily choice.

If you don’t know what to do to be happy, read How to Be Happy Without Kids – Inspiration From Lesley.

Are you accepting a childfree life? Can you be happy without children? I welcome your comments below.






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31 Responses

  1. Elaine says:

    I’m not sure I’m ready to accept it yet, but this article have me a few things to think about. I married a man who had been married previously and has two kids already. The youngest is still in the house but 14. I adopted her when we got married almost three years ago. But it didn’t fill the need in the slightest. In fact it just makes me feel like a fake. I didn’t carry her, I didn’t nurse her, and I only met her when she was 10 years old, three, almost four years ago. Her biological mother is not dead. A court order gave my husband full custody of her and no visitation to the mother because she was an addict and neglecting the baby. Also the reason my husband left her. Now imagine that… an addict is more woman than I am and apparently more worthy of children than me (she has like 4 total, lost custody of every one dye to her addictions). 3 years is how long we’ve been trying to get pregnant. Even the IUI treatments failed and no one can tell us what’s wrong with us. I feel like it must be me somehow though all the tests show I’m fine, just a little low on hormones which they had me on pills for when we were trying IUI. I’m 34 now, my husband is 42. the next step would be IVF, which we cannot afford. I’m falling to pieces, and my husband thinks our marriage is falling apart just because I can’t be comforted. I feel alone because he has his own kids, he doesn’t understand what I’m going through. He thinks I’m blaming him. In addition I don’t know anyone else who wasn’t able to have kids or who choose not to. one friend had trouble, they could afford the ivf and she got triplets. She may understand what I’m going through but she’s too busy with her kids to take time for me. I know no one else who understands what I’m going through. My sister griped when she didn’t get pregnant the first two months they tried… she has two boys now and mostly only complains about how much they drive her crazy and tells me things like, are you sure you want one of these? They drive you mad. She has much less patience than I do. She was the Tom boy growing up. She always wanted boys but she was never as maternal as I was. It hurts to watch her stressed out over the very thing I wanted most. She takes it for granted. She doesn’t appreciate the gift… or it feels that way. All my friends have multiple kids, every, single, one. How do you even meet people in the same boat as you anyway? It’s kinda rude to ask new people you meet. Envy, jealousy, hurt, pain…. unbearable pain. Every mention of children, parenting, in any context, cuts my heart. Even though I know I’m not the only one I still feel alone. Not even that knowledge helps at all.it actually makes the pain greater to know too many women suffer with this.

  2. Delores says:

    This article was great I had 4 miscarriages in 4 years and it’s been 5 years since I’ve been pregnant. I’m 30 yrs old and people ask me all the time when I’m I having a baby it just makes me so sad, I cry everyday thinking about my situation and I’m just always unhappy. I see so many friends and family having children and deep down inside I feel a bit jealous but then I pray because I know it’s just the devil making me feel that way. I try to deal with my issues by spending lots of time with my neices and nephews whom I love so much and being around family helps too. I still hope someday that God will bless me with children 🙁

  3. Laurie says:

    Dear Martha,

    It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot of frustration and disappointment, and those deep feelings of loss aren’t remedied by my little list of tips on how to be happy when you can’t have kids. I wish I could be more helpful, but some of our feelings of grief and pain just have to be experienced.

    Sometimes it’s best to let go of what we wanted, and instead focus on something new in our lives. This is painful – it involves grieving the death of your dream of being a mother. Learning how to be happy when you can’t have kids is an ongoing process that is painful, but it is a valuable endeavor!

    Here’s an article I recently wrote, to encourage women to move forward.

    5 Ideas for Creating a Better Life – And So She Blossoms
    http://theadventurouswriter.com/she/how-to-create-a-better-life-she-blossoms/

    I hope it helps, and I will keep you in my prayers. May you find hope and healing, peace and joy.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  4. Martha says:

    Thank you for your article. I can relate. I’m very frustrated. My husband and I have tried to have children of our own for over ten years. We’ve been to infertility specialists and have tried adoption and nothing is working. I have friends that say “when you want something bad enough you’ll make it happen” , but they don’t understand how frustrating and disappointing it is to spend a lot of money and more than that get your hopes up and think “oh I must be pregnant” or “maybe this time…” just to be disappointed all over again. Or to make plans to adopt, just to have the pregnant woman change her mind after you’ve gotten your hopes up. Or to have adoption agencies act so much like they want to find homes for children and then tell you, “oh you’ll need to foster first and then maybe you can adopt, if they don’t go back to their biological parents” or balk because you’re older, even though you said you’re willing to adopt an older child and it doesn’t have to be a baby. Or not even call you back at all, or not even respond to your inquiries or applications. Or get turned down for a loan, on your 40th birthday, the money you were hoping to get to use for expensive international adoption.
    I appreciate this article very much. Thank you.

  5. Flora says:

    I am 37 years old and trying to decide if I am ready to give up the idea of having a baby. I have PCOS and have a great fertility specialist, but the monthly disappointment is difficult. Most of my friends have children, but I am no longer invited to birthdays, christenings, I think because the assumption is that I don’t have kids because I don’t like them. It leaves me feeling very isolated. My husband is 10 years older than I, and I do worry about ending up truly alone someday. I could try IVF but given the success rate I feel the emotional toll will be great, and I don’t know if physically I can handle it – I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and am having a lot of physical challenges with my balance, ability to walk, eyesight, among others. How can I put myself through IVF or even pregnancy, shifting my centre of gravity??? It is so much to figure out but I fear given my age and fertility challenges I can’t afford the time I really need to work through everything. All this makes it difficult for me to have any sort of vision around how I want my life to pan out and what my options are.

  6. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Mary! That’s awesome that you’re starting the adoption process. How exciting! My friend adopted two boys almost 11 years ago, and she loves them like they’re her own. She would say the same thing to any couple who wonders how to be happy when they can’t have kids.

    My husband and I talked about adoption, but I didn’t really want kids that strongly. I’d be happy to get pregnant and I would love my kid dearly, but I didn’t want to do in vitro fertilization or even adoption. We even talked about fostering kids, but we really didn’t feel parenthood pulling us that strongly.

    Adoption is a wonderful way to start a family, though. you’re right: there are so many kids who desperately need parents to love and care for them!

  7. Mary says:

    With some many children out there praying every night to have a mommy or a daddy… why have you guys never thought about adoption? I have infertility, but I will not miss the opportunity to be a mother, I am starting the adoption process.

  8. Laurie says:

    Dear Melanie,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your struggles with having a child. It’s so heartbreaking, isn’t it? The sad thing is that it’s the type of pain that never goes away….I suppose all grief is like that. We carry it with us forever. I’m sorry you have to experience this.

    Yes, you’re right that finding the pathway to accepting a childfree life will free you to be healthy and happy. Finding your passion and purpose will help you move forward, will give you a reason to love your life and get up in the morning. Finding your reason for being won’t take the place of a baby, but it will add depth, richness, joy, and meaning to your life.

    May you find peace and healing. May you accept your life as it unfolds, and may you always be inspired and open to trying different ways to blossom. May joy and love fill your life, and may you find those little pockets of Awesome that make life worthwhile.

  9. Melanie says:

    It is a huge a relief to me to read your article and to find a place where I feel that I belong. My story is pretty much the same, having tried IVF three times and failed and reaching the age of 44 it seems clear that my husband and I are not meant to have children. I am struggling very much coming to terms with this and have suffered a breakdown over the last couple of months as this year many of my friends have had babies and now my sister in law is also pregnant and I have horrible jealous feelings running through me. I know that I am grieving at the moment and have begun my journey of coming to terms with being childless. I know that I will have to find a way to accept it, but right now I don’t know how to. My husband is being very supportive but I also know that he doesn’t know how to help me. I feel scared and alone because all our friends have children. I do feel a failure and an outsider plus I live in Germany which is not my native country or language so can’t just find a fulfilling job. I have a great husband and I know we have a wonderful life ahead of us, I just need to find the path of acceptance and a hobby, job or vocation to fulfill me. Thank you for sharing all your stories, it has helped me a lot.

  10. Laurie says:

    Dear Andrea,

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. The idea of not having children is very difficult, especially when we know that it is a possibility, but not a choice we have the power to make easily.

    If you decide to stay with your husband, know that a childless or childfree life doesn’t get easier. That is, you may always feel the pain and grief of not having children even though you’re choosing it. I’m fine with not having children, but even so I feel the sorrow and the yearning fairly often! It actually surprises me, that I feel sad as often as I do. It’s a primal, instinctive, innate urge to have children. It’s very difficult to “overcome.”

    If you want to be happy in your marriage, I encourage you to keep reminding yourself why you love your husband. Focus on the rightness of the choice you made. Don’t let those nagging doubts and fears sway you, or lead you astray.

    Remind yourself every day – and often throughout the day – why you chose this life. Don’t give in to the pain of wishing you had children. You’ll destroy your relationship and yourself if you allow yourself to follow those thoughts.

    Choose, once and for all. And then do everything you can to set yourself up for success and happiness in the life you’ve chosen.

  11. andrea says:

    when I married my husband, it was very clear to me that we’re not going have kids as he had a vasectomy already. he has 2 beautiful daughters which i was thinking that they will be good enough for me to love and take care of them and treated them as my own. but as times goes by receiving disrespectful act from one of them, i am now getting this thought that what if my husband and I will have new baby of our own? will I be treated well by my own daughter? will it be more happier that i have my own child? i love kids so much but i was not ready to have one until i live with my husband with his kids. is this normal to feel? will i get over it? i don’t know. i love my husband so much and leaving him for not giving a baby is very unfair to him as I was aware of it in the first place. there are some what if’s but hopefully i will get over this and always feel happy with just my husband and I.. i am grieving yes for not having the baby that i am imagining to have a baby girl or a baby boy who will have my eyes or my lips..or the way i look into life..to all my unborn babies i will love you in silence and maybe in my next life I can have one who knows..to all of us who can’t have any.. lets’ just happiness in other things and enjoy life at all times.

  12. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how difficult it can be to accept a childfree life. It’s bittersweet, isn’t it?

    If I had the choice, I would have had children. But sometimes life doesn’t give us a choice. The secret to being happy without having children is to not just accept but embrace your life for what it is.

    Actually, the real secret to being happy is turning to God. He loves us deeply! He may not give us everything we ask for, but He cares for us and is protecting us. He knows what we need – not just what we want – and He ensures we have everything we need.

    May you accept and surrender to your life. May you know that for some reason this is the way it’s supposed to be for you…and if you feel that this ISN’T the way your life is supposed to unfold, may you find strength, courage, and energy to make the changes you need to make.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  13. jane says:

    I sometimes feel sad that life did not give me the opportunity to have children. I am now 53 and menopausal. But I enjoy the freedom and solitude.

  14. jennifer says:

    hello
    Sorry in advance for my English. This is not my native language (:
    I found you, after searching for people who are coping with the same situation I’m dealing with.
    I enjoyed reading your articles that show life can be good even without children. and its ok not to have children no matter why.
    My husband and I (around age 40) are trying to get pregnant for several years without success, when adoption or egg donation is unacceptable. perhaps a dog in the future (:
    for me, people is the more difficult part of this situation. I live in a society, that most of it, encourages birth no matter what. I can not stand statements or questions or any invasion of privacy. but anyhow I learn to deal with this.
    l’m lucky to have a great relationship that help me and also a virtual space where I can share and read other experiences, learn to cope and be supported and inspired…
    Thank u for yr inspiration. I will continue to follow and write

  15. Marie says:

    Hello all
    I’m a 42 yr old woman engaged to a 45 yr old father of 2. We have gone in circles with the decision to have/not have children. Him not wanting anymore & me running in circles:( we were getting close to considering it after getting engaged ,
    he lost his job & X filed for more money. Money is not an issue for us what so ever even with us both unemployed. After this happened he clammed up & had no interest as if that was the plan all along . Although we started to have unpretetected sex prior to all this happening he still stands his ground & says he wasn’t really there !! BS !!!
    I care for his children like a mother. I am involved with all their care. His x is totally comfortable with me taking care of her children more than her self. A lot is expectpted of me & the children lean on my a lot . A lot of stress but I love them dearly as well as their father, But I am having the hardest time. My fiancé wants me to b a mother to his children but he doesn’t want to “deal ” with anymore. I feel I’m out of time & totally bitter. Don’t think I would b able to ever forgive him for not at least trying. I’ve been to the Dr & seem to think I can still have a child . I can’t find a good place & I feel so much pressure being 42. Everything I read tells me to leave but I don’t want to make a wrong decision !!!! Thanks for reading
    M

  16. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Laura,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing the pain you’ve experienced. Perhaps the only pain worse than being childless is having children and losing them…or experiencing stillborn births. It’s important to honor your pain and process the grief of what you’ve lost. I can only imagine how hard it was to lose the children and husband you loved.

    But, life has given you a new love! That’s amazing. A miracle – some women never find ONE man to love, much less two 🙂 What a blessing, to have met a single dad.

    My prayer is that you find peace with the decisions that lay before you. May you find a wise counselor to talk to, who can help guide you towards the answers that are right for you. I pray for strength, healing, and a spirit of joy and hope about your future! Maybe you don’t have to find ways to be happy without having children, maybe you don’t have to accept a childfree life!

    Be honest with your partner. Tell him how you feel. Maybe before you do that, you could write everything down in your journal. Writing is a valuable way to figure out what we really think, feel, and want. When we go ’round and ’round in our heads or even in conversation with others, we tend to keep going ’round and ’round. But writing has a way of offering clarity, insight, wisdom.

    Your past losses aren’t necessarily indicative of your future. It might be good to talk to a fertility doctor about what happened, to get a medical perspective. I suspect there won’t be any “real” answers – often, these things are a mystery.

    I pray that you find courage to open up and talk to your partner, strength to say the things that are in your heart, and faith that you can heal from the brokenness and feelings of abandonment that arise when you are alone. I pray that you connect with God, who is the only source of lasting love, security, comfort, peace, and joy. May you find resources that help you make decisions in your life that bring you happiness, health, and authenticity.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  17. Laura says:

    Hi
    been reading your article. I’m finding things hard as 4 years ago my first born (from 3rd round of IVF after 3years no natural success) was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition and passed away at 6 months, another round of IVF with testing for the condition at 11 weeks then my second child had massive heart complications and was still born at 25 weeks. My husband left me soon after we buried my second child as he had hot another woman pregnant instead. I have struggled massively to come to terms with my childlessness, however have in the past 2 years met a single dad. We have become close but I really struggle with spending too much time with him and his son. I get very attached and then when they leave I feel abandoned. I know the little boy (who lives with his other on a daily basis) doesn’t need another mum and will never love me in the same way. I get jealous and insecure. I turned 40 in march, and still don’t know if there is a chance to try for a child with this man as my infertility reason isn’t 100% certain, having mine blocked tube but unsure about the second. I don’t know how to broach the subject if he would try IVF with me even if uncould even afford it.
    Butbthen I wonder if the two losses I suffered are suposed to tell me that I’m not suposed to be a mum :”-(. So torn, even thought about adopting as a single mum but I’m scared

  18. Laurie says:

    Dear Elly,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for showing us we’re not alone. It’s painful and sad, but…it is what it is, and we have no choice but to live with not having kids. We might as well be happy, right? It’s a choice we can make. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  19. Elly says:

    Thanks everyone for your stories on here. I thought I was alone being childless. But I see I am not alone many of us are out there and trying to cope with a loss we never had!

  20. Laurie says:

    Dear Rea,

    It’s such a difficult decision to make! I agree that this is the right time to figure out if you should have kids or not…because at 30, you still have lots of time to have kids. You still have at least 5 more years before you really have to make this decision.

    The problem is that you don’t know what you’re deciding FOR! That is, you don’t know what your kids would be like, or if you’d regret it afterward. That’s the tough part about trying to decide if you should have kids. Other life decisions seem to have more “known” qualities to them.

    I don’t think you’ll ever get over the emotional part of a childfree life. It’ll always be a bit sad for you, that you never had kids. There will always be some grief and regret, I think.

    Maybe that’s the key…you need to accept the pain that will accompany either decision. Either way, it’s a sacrifice. Either way – kids or not – you have to give up something, don’t you?

    Stay true to you,
    Laurie

  21. Rea says:

    I am in a bit of a different situation that I am finding hard to handle.

    While I do not have fertility issues, my partner who is 20 years my senior had a vasectomy. We have been together for 5 years, and at first he wanted to have kids, and I did not. As time rolled on we seemed to have switch positions. He decided he did not want to have anymore kids (he has grown teenagers with his ex). Finding this out made me re-think whether I actually wanted to have kids, now that the option has been eradicated. I love him so much, but I always wonder whether that is going to be enough – for the rest of my life. As a child I always thought I would have kids. As I got older, the idea went out the window with an ex who did not want to have kids, which I thought I was ok with, but then again I was in my early 20s and the thought of children seemed so far away.

    There are times I feel guilty because I will not be giving my parents grandchildren. I feel guilty at times because I (as far as I know) can have children and there are couples out there that would trade me in a heart beat. Watching my childhood friends have their children, makes me overjoyed for them, genuinely, but I wonder if there is something I am missing out on. There are times that I feel like my life is incomplete, but after reading your article, perhaps its because I need more in my life to fulfill other aspects in my life. The thought of dying alone scares me.

    At the age of 30, I feel like I am questioning this at the right time, before it is too late. The biggest issue is debating whether or not having children will be worth giving up the man I love for having children, with perhaps a man I don’t love as much, or on my own. When I think of it that way, I know I don’t want to have children. Maybe planning our stress-free life together is a start. I just don’t know how to get over the emotional part of it. Especially when he already has kids. I now realize that it is an feeling I will have to deal with everyday.

    I just don’t know how to start my child-free life.

  22. Laurie says:

    Dear Lois,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing how you feel about not having children. It’s not an easy thing to get used to – the idea that you won’t have kids. I think most women grow up thinking they’ll have kids someday, and it’s sad and difficult to change that plan.

    Yes, I 100% believe you can grieve something you never had! You’re grieving the end of an expectation, a dream, a plan for your life. I grieved the end of my dream of being a published writer. That was a loss of something I never had – a writing career in the traditional sense – and I was very sad about it.

    I encourage you to grieve your loss. Maybe your husband can’t share the grief of transitioning to a childfree life — but that doesn’t mean you can’t honor your own feelings and thoughts.

    Also, remember that grieving the end of this expectation (having kids) isn’t a one-time thing. I finally accepted that we won’t have children a year ago, but my sadness still crops up sometimes. I’m always partly sad when friends and neighbors announce a pregnancy…and it would make me feel sad if someone talked nonstop about her pregnancy. That’s a very difficult position to be in.

    Please feel free to come back and write about your feelings anytime, okay? Expressing how you feel is very important – even if your husband doesn’t agree!

    Stay true to you,
    Laurie

  23. Lois says:

    I am married without children. We have recently arrived at the decision not to have children due to my age and our financial situaiton – I have only told 2 of my friends, who have both said it was a brave decision! I don’t feel very brave at all.

    I feel like I am going through a period of mourning, which my husband doesn’t understand. How can you mourn something you have never had?! But I had a dream of having a family, which now isn’t to be. I am scared it will tear me and my husband apart.

    I am trying to look forward to the future and be grateful for all I do have in my life and for all the opportunities being childfree will bring. But it is also heartbreakingly sad at times. I have a close family member who is pregnant and talks about her baby non-stop, it is hard to listen to.

  24. Laurie says:

    Kristi,

    Thanks for your comment! The Hannah’s prayer website sounds really good – I think there’s a book with a similar name, for women coping with fertility issues.

    I’d love to check Content as Two out! It sounds inspiring and hopeful. But I like to think of me and Bruce as “Very Happy as Two” (as opposed to being content, which to me has an element of disappointment and resignation).

    I think it’s a bit easier for us, because I was never consumed with the idea of having kids. I wanted to get pregnant, but could also see myself being happy without children. I still wish we had kids, but am very grateful for the benefits of being childless.

  25. Kristi says:

    Thank you for writing this. I am a part of a Christian ministry called Hannah’s Prayer (www.hannah.org) for women dealing with fertility challenges, both infertility and pregnancy loss. One of the forums there is called “Content As Two” and it is for those who have come to a place of accepting that their family will remain the size that it was when began on their wedding day as husband and wife. There are some amazing women there whose lives are full and joyful, in spite of not having the children that they once dreamed of. They are honest about the sting of infertility that never quite goes away, but also about the joy that fills their lives. I have been very encouraged by their stories, as I am by yours as well!

  26. Laurie says:

    Thanks for being here, Jennifer.

    What is your passion? What could you spend hours or even days doing, and totally lose track of time? What have you always dreamed of doing?

    I think it’s easier to accept a childfree life if we find and pursue our passions.

    What will you do with the one wild and precious life you have?

  27. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this article and for the comments left by women. I also cannot have children due to make infertility (azoospermia), and there are times…most times…where I feel my life has zero meaning. I am not happy in my career…never really was “career driven”, as I always wanted to be a mom. I dread hearing about the latest baby born into the family, and I avoid almost all family gatherings. I have no friends anymore unless they also are childless. I get SO tired of hearing how women are not fulfilled until they have children…and am equally tired of hearing “why don’t you just adopt”…it’s so nice to hear I’m not alone, and just knowing other women can feel my pain helps…I don’t know why we have to go through this, but maybe someday God will explain it to us.

  28. Laurie says:

    Dear n,

    It sounds like you are very unhappy with life right now, and that you’re stressed as well. I’ve learned that stress and painful emotions can trigger negative coping behaviours – which is what bulimia is.

    I can’t give you the help you need, I’m sorry to say. You need to talk to someone in person about your feelings about your ex-boyfriend, not having children, and your broken dreams.

    It’s very important to get the help you need as soon as possible. Please don’t put it off, because you’re just prolonging the pain.

    Do you have a counsellor or someone you trust, who you can talk to?

  29. n says:

    For a long time I stayed away from my friends with kids. I felt not on the same page. I felt isolated an outsider and a failure.what was it about me that put me in this place? The guy I hoped to marry and raise a family with decided to get someone else pregnant. I was devastated. I saw my dreams collapse. My bulimia from years back escalated. I travelled, had adventures I felt ltollow..my life felt not worth living. I still feel a failure I still feel unfullfilled. I felt in supported and outside of society…. I am bitter I want to shout and scream at those people around me child rearing…not noticing my pain. I feel stupid. I spend time with my friends with kids now. I feel the pain. I feel detached from life. I am depressed

  30. Cate says:

    Where do I begin? I was super fertile, but my husband wasn’t and nothing worked. It is too late now for me. All my adult life I have worked with children, mostly as a teacher and people assume that because I am so good with them, I must also have children. Sometimes it is just too difficult to say that I don’t have any so I make them up. Pitiful, eh? The hardest time is on Mother’s Day when everyone (including complete strangers) wishes you “happy mother’s day”. Why does everyone assume that if you wear a wedding ring, you must have children? The ache never goes away and there is no escape.

  31. Jennifer says:

    This is perfect and it’s nice to read about someone else that has dealt with the same thing

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