It doesn’t get “Easier”

Since I learned I was diagnosed as being infertility three and a half years ago I’ve learned there were many myths society has with infertility. The first being that infertility can almost always be cured. The second is that infertility is mostly in women. The third is that once you become a parent you stop hurting. For me what I’ve learned personally through my experience is that ending up childless doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.

I’ll be honest one of the things that made me stubborn to give in and work towards recovery from depression was admitting to others that you can end up childless and be happy. I’ve seen many inside and outside the infertility community with children tell others they can be happy without having kids. That bothers me because I feel it ignores the challenges that comes with ending up childless (as I’m sure Parents after Infertility face). It ignores how hard it is to get to that point where you can be happy living life a again. Also if ending up childless is so great then why didn’t that person choose it? I felt I’d be doing those who end up childless after infertility a disservice by admitting that I could be happy.  

Getting through this has been like running. Distance Running isn’t easy. You have to build up your strength and endurance to be able to run the distances you are training to run. There are challenges and road blocks along the way with injuries you have to work through. Same thing with living childless after infertility. You work hard to build up endurance to live life childless after infertility. Living that life doesn’t get easier you just get stronger through continuing to work at it.  

I don’t look at ending up childless after infertility living a happy life as a choice. The reality for me was there wasn’t a choice it was either Adapt or Die. I maybe happy right now but it’s still challenging each day and I still have to work at it.  I’ve had to change how I think and approach life.  I’ve had to go from being structured and planning out life to being less structured being present and not looking too far ahead.   Being someone with ADD who had to be structured to get through life that was and still is challenging.

I hope that in writing this piece others can recognize that being happy and childless doesn’t mean that we still don’t hurt or that it’s an easy life. It may seem like it got easier on the surface but what it is us getting stronger on the inside.

18 thoughts on “It doesn’t get “Easier”

  1. Dipitie

    I think being happy is always a choice. 10% of life is what happens to us, and 90% is how we react to it. Of course it is still painful, and of course we are getting stronger, but time heals most wounds, even if only to 90%. I have come to peace with childlessness. My biggest issue is how society responds to the situation, regardless to the circumstances or choices that led to that situation. Once we can fix that part, the times I feel hurt will likely dwindle to next to nothing! Hang in there

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’m not sure what happy is. I’m not sure it’s a choice or that it’s a matter of circumstance. At this point I’m just going with the moment.

      Thank you for the feedback.

  2. ohjustrelax

    I think about this a lot. If all this treatment I’m going through doesn’t work, people keep telling me that we can lead a wonderful life without children, which I don’t at all doubt. I have no idea how I’ll cope if we end up childfree NOT by choice, but I’m sure we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and it will be awful.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      See this annoys me when those with children tell us we can lead fulfilling lives without children. It’s as if our loss gets dismissed and that its no big deal. Despite things improving in my life I would never tell anyone that they will live a happy life. What I would tell them that it’s a process and that they need to take as much time as they need to work through everything. Telling people how their lives will be when we don’t know is misleading that person. No one knows what the future holds both good and bad.

  3. clwalchevill

    Coming from a place of resolving after infertility by parenting, I’m sure I’ll get some push back. But here goes.

    Everyone who takes the path to expanding their family wants that outcome. So it is traumatic when we find ourselves with a diagnosis of infertility (or RPL) and not expanding our families the usual way. Instead we are faced with finding ways to resolve.

    The thing is, even those who are parenting after infertility will find themselves facing similar emotions. Yes, it is a different path. There will be moments that those who are not parenting will it experience. But happiness is not a given in one path over the other. I agree with Dipite about choosing how we will respond to the shit we’ve been dealt. There are so many people who are very unhappy despite the fact they resolved by giving birth (and how they struggle) and there are also many examples of those who are living as a family of two and living full, happy lives.

    I’m glad you’re making a conscious choice on how you want to live your life. It isn’t easy, regardless of the outcome of trauma. Yet I do believe there is so much more fulfillment with this chosen path. Of reclaiming the parts that we assumed were taken from us. For choosing to seek the sunshine despite the rain.

    May your journey of healing bring much happiness and light.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      You are so right. I’ve read so many stories of people with children after infertility who struggle in some way. It makes so much sense that the struggle is still ongoing.

  4. Mali

    I don’t really see the difference between getting stronger and life getting easier. Getting stronger is part of healing and growth, and that strength is what makes life easier. Your training analogy is apt – you train, you get stronger, and those small barriers that were too much for you at one stage become more easily conquered, and in time, unnoticeable. Sure, the process of building that strength is far from easy. It is, as you know, very hard, and harder on some days than others. I think that’s where you are at the moment. You’re building strength, and seeing some differences, but the training is still a daily challenge and struggle.

    So maybe it’s more accurate to say that it hasn’t got easier … YET. Your “It’s Time” post said that you had decided it was “time to thrive.” That’s a good first step.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I think it may feel easier but it only feels that way because we’re stronger. It’s still difficult to navigate but we’re better able to handle it. If that makes sense.

  5. Geochick

    For me personally, getting run through the infertility and adoption gauntlet forced me to be more mindful, I guess is the word. I think much of the difference is that we didn’t get to sleepwalk through the child making process like I think many people do.

    It doesn’t get easier. It gets different and eventually fades into the background. I’m only just now noticing the fade and it’s been almost 2 years since we completed all our processes

  6. differentshoresblog

    Hi, I love your writing and the male perspective. “Being happy and childless doesn’t mean that we still don’t hurt or that it’s an easy life” – I too have struggled with that, because ‘appearing happy’ means that people assume everything is absolutely OK with you, and that any internal angst has disappeared completely, you’ve moved on and it’s all forgotten about. That can feel like a step too far sometimes. Please keep writing, your posts are great.

  7. familyadvocate

    “I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor; I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to. … There is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate. You know, you can express that maternal side of you very, very clearly, very strongly. … It feels very satisfying.”

    1. gsmwc02 Post author


      I appreciate you stopping by my blog, providing feedback and advice to help. Please note there is a big difference between choosing to live a ChildFree life because you didn’t want to become a parent versus being Childless because you were unable to become a parent for whatever the reason. In the case of being childless after infertility there is a loss involved. So it’s not as simple as this is the life I’ve chosen like Kim Cattrall has. It’s more like having a disability that only a segment of the population has.

  8. Ruby

    I think what I am hearing you say is that you resent the the implication by stating one can be happy without children means that the happiness wasn’t hard won. That it took effort. And a lot of it. And that you don’t want to mislead anyone or sugar coat the process that gaining a measure of happiness has taken. It reminds me of how another kid told me that I was a “Brain” as a kid. I was indignant. I felt he was saying that it just came to me because I had some smarts. Sure, I was grateful that I had some intelligence, but I worked hard in school to get good grades. I am curious, how am I doing with my understanding of what you are describing?

    For me, living my life without children (and with PTSD), is a bit similar to working a recovery program from addiction. I have to work it every day in order to be happy. If I don’t, I slide. And it isn’t pretty.

  9. Quantum

    I am an infertile male that ran the infertility gauntlet and was blessed with IVF success. I am no longer childless, but I am still as infertile as the day my journey began. There are still, and there always shall be for me “a few pieces missing from normalcy”. I still possess the “invisible handicap”. I am still not “whole”. I know this can sound very ungrateful to some ears – but be assured, I’m very thankful for the family I have. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m still not capable of doing what just about every man on the face of the planet can. My severe depression has ebbed over the past three years into a steady, dull ache under the surface – and I think this is probably the best I can hope for. All of the healing that’s gonna happen has happened. I’m not the guy I was before. MFI wounds deeply, and it leaves a scar regardless of the outcome in my experience. It changes everything. It’s not become easier to accept over time, I’ve accommodated and integrated it into a new self-definition that I do not want to, but am forced to accept. Am I stronger? Well, it didn’t kill me. I’m still here.


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