You Found Out You Can’t Have Children. Now What?

Couple on benchIt’s the big question women and men who experience infertility or secondary infertility (infertility after the loss of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth) ask: “I can’t have kids, so now what?”

Common questions and fears people have when they learn they can’t have kids include:

I always expected to have children and all my life plans included them. What do I do now?

Who am I if I don’t get to be a parent?

Who am I if I don’t get to raise a living child?

How do I live a fulfilled, happy life when the one I had planned was taken away from me?

Learning you can’t have kids, either for medical reasons or because you just aren’t willing to risk the death of another baby, can create a crisis of identity in even the most balanced and self-assured people.

So when your plans for life drop out from under your feet and you lose your sense of self, what do you do?

Allow Yourself to Grieve

First and foremost, you need to grieve. Allow yourself to grieve for all the various aspects of this loss. Grieve for:

  • The children you always dreamed of raising and will never know.
  • The life you had always planned to live.
  • The mother or father you expected to be.
  • The loss of the certainty and innocence of life.

When children are strongly desired and you learn you can’t have them, it is a deep and profound loss. It requires the process of grieving every bit as much as the death of a loved one does.

Remind Yourself Healing Is a Process, Not an Event

The loss of the dream to have children is big. It leaves an emptiness that feels enormous and endless. Pretending that feeling of emptiness isn’t there would be counterproductive. Lying to oneself never helps matters. Trying to fill that massive expanse in your life left by the children you will never know can feel daunting and overwhelming.

When children are strongly desired and you learn you can’t have them, it is a deep and profound loss. It requires the process of grieving every bit as much as the death of a loved one does.

Be gentle with yourself and don’t pressure yourself to fill that gap immediately. As counterintuitive as it seems, befriend that empty space in your heart. Feel into the spaciousness and find the edges of it. Explore what that loss and emptiness feels like in your body.

This empty feeling is not your enemy. It’s a natural response to this deep and profound loss. This emptiness is a necessary part of healing.

Healing from this loss and creating a life that feels fulfilling and happy won’t happen overnight. It may take years of work and intention. It will be a process of grieving and redefining your life and creating a new identity, but it can and will slowly start to lighten over time.

Find Comfort in the Little Things

True healing is an intentional process. You have to choose to want to heal and take steps toward that. Seek comfort and healing in the little things in life.

Consider starting a gratitude jar and writing down one thing each day that you are grateful for. These don’t have to be big or insightful things; they can be as simple as being grateful for your coffee in the morning or the sunshine on your face.

Allow yourself to notice and appreciate the things about your life that perhaps you wouldn’t be able to enjoy if you had been able to have children. This doesn’t dismiss your longing or love for your children who died or never were. As humans, we are powerful beings, and we have space to both miss what could have been and be appreciative for what is.

Buy yourself flowers.

Sip and enjoy a good cup of coffee or hot cocoa.

Go for a walk in the woods.

Watch your favorite movie or read your favorite book.

Engage in activities that bring even a small amount of light and beauty into your life.

Give Yourself the Gift of Support

If you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who “get” this kind of loss and can be supportive, lean on them. Allow them to be there for you and to love you.

Seek out support groups, women’s groups, or men’s groups to surround yourself with others who can support and encourage you on your journey.

Find a counselor or mentor who will help you walk this rocky, painful path of recreating your sense of self and expectation for life.

Sometimes, finding the right support takes work. You deserve, however, to be supported and loved as you grieve.

Making Meaning Out of Your Life

It’s not about finding a reason why this may have happened. The cliché “there’s a reason for everything” isn’t really all that helpful to many people.

However, choosing to make meaning out of the events of our lives is empowering and healing. Decide what you want to make this loss mean in your life. Decide how you want to use it to create a new life going forward.

Life isn’t what you expected it to be. You may not get to be the person you wanted and planned to be. Choose to make this unexpected and unplanned life meaningful and fulfilling anyway.

You can’t bear children. That is painful and heartbreaking, but it is still possible to live a meaningful, fulfilling, and happy life.

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The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Cheryl

    April 21st, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    This happened to me almost thirty years ago, and at the time I thought that I had made my peace with it… but there are still times even now when I question why we didn’t adopt or foster to have someone else in our lives to care for other than each other. I guess they say that hindsight is 20/20 and you just never know the things that you are going to miss until you get a little older and have a better perspective on life. Things can’t be changes now and I am so grateful for the family that I have but there are still times when I think that I grieve a little for that which we were never allowed to have.

  • LMC

    February 22nd, 2017 at 8:36 PM

    Ms. Cheryl, I’m sorry for your loss. Please take this well, as that is the intent of my next statement. Knowing that you still love and miss your “child” makes it easier for me to accept my grief only 2 years after my late miscarriage. So many have told me to move on but knowing that there are others like me, makes it a wee easier to handle the sorrow.

  • Mara

    January 29th, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Hello! I.m 37 years old, and I lost my baby boy at 17 weeks and my uterus recently. I feel I lost myself, I don.t know who am I anymore, all my life I wanted to be a mother and wife, and in 2 weeks before the wedding I lost everything. My boyfriend still loves me but…. wa
    what if he wants a child in 5 years?? I.m very sad and I can.t believe my life is like this ….

  • Addie

    April 21st, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    I know that at first it might be hard to even consider but adoption can be a wonderful thing for a child and a family who can give him or her a new home. It might not have been how you had always planned to create your family, but for many people this is the only viable option. Why not take a child in need and give them the home that they deserve while creating the home that you have always wanted? It is a win win situation for everyone.

  • Lainy

    May 3rd, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    I so wish i could do this. i had a miscarriage and then a hysterectomy. There will never be a rainbow baby in my life. But in my state adoption is too expensive. I’m a nurse and my husband is a veteran and we still can’t afford it.

  • Francesca

    May 8th, 2020 at 8:24 AM

    Adopting is not easy. It is a luxury as it is almost an impossible.

  • Francesca

    May 8th, 2020 at 8:25 AM

    Adopting is not easy. It is a luxury as it is almost an impossible. Health reason, status , money age,,,,

  • Emily Long

    April 21st, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Cheryl – Yes, there are so many elements to this kind of loss and grief. It can definitely be a life-long process, at varying levels.

    Addie – Yes, adoption can be a wonderful option for many people. Whether or not this is a choice a couple makes, however, it’s still important to acknowledge and grieve the loss of not being able to have biological children.

  • Pat

    April 22nd, 2015 at 12:43 AM

    Nice post Emily. Another alternative to consider is mentoring. There are many kids who desperately need positive role models and it’s amazing to see their eyes light up when they interact with people who want to give them encouragement. Just because you might not be able to have your own children doesn’t mean you cannot play a vital role in another child’s life.

  • nyc

    April 22nd, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    I have a lot of friends who have waited and waited to have kids for so long and now they are unable to get pregnant once they decide that having a child is something that they want to do. It is sad when you think about how much they have given up for a certain lifestyle and career and now can’t have a child just when they have decided that they are ready. I see a little bit of unfairness to it all, when there are people out there who so desperately want a child and can’t have one and then there are all of these people who don’t want them and continue to have them.

  • Rick

    February 13th, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    I agree with you. The fact that some uncaring, irresponsible people reproduce so easily, and then other well meaning, productive citizens struggle, or are unable to procreate is so heartwrenching. Life is so unfair sometimes.

  • Stenhouse

    April 22nd, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    As hard as it may be you have to allow yourself to go through that process of grief. There isn’t anything that will ever lessen that pain than to actually experience it and let yourself feel it to the fullest.
    Once you can do that and go through that process, it is after all of that that you will then be able to heal and come to a place where you can then make some decisions about how you might have to look forward.
    It may look dark for right now, but there is always going to be hope for light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Miranda

    April 22nd, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    I am in this place now, time is running out and I see that life will have to take a different direction. What can be really difficult is those questions and judgments that others make, constantly being asked if you have children and it being assumed that I am somehow different. We all have our own story, our own hurt, our own journey. Acceptance can be hard and that will have to come, I expect that the grieving will always be there on some level, but trying to look at the wider perspective and life am hoping the intensity will lessen

  • gwen

    April 23rd, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Then look at it as a new way to connect with your significant other and think about the other things that you two will now be able to enjoy together.

    This will not take away the sadness that you are feeling, but it can be the start of something new and hopefully, eventually, exciting and meaningful for the two of you.

  • Anson

    April 24th, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    All of us will go through these times when life throws us for a loop and things don’t go according to plan.

    that’s something that has happened to each of us and we can either use it as an experience to learn from or we can use it as a huge stumbling block that we will not work to overcome.

    I know that it has to be hard when you have always seen yourself becoming a parent one day and I would suspect that there are many failed relationships because that plan has to change for whatever reason. But just because things change it doesn’t always mean it will be for the worse and it doesn’t mean that another door won’t be revealed to you soon.

  • Pauline

    April 24th, 2015 at 10:08 PM

    My husband and I did not have children, but I do not regret it, we have a good life, we have had a lot of children in our lives through his job, and children gravitate to us, but I thought I would regret it, but I do not I have had time to develop myself, and so has my husband and somebody needs not to have children, and they are plenty to help out babysit, get involved with your neighbourhood…I see children as small people and they are wonderful but finding myself has been good as well, I am sorry for someone who really would have loved them, but you know some of my friends do not get on with the children and that’s a fact.

  • Beck

    April 25th, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    This is not meant to sound callous, but I guess that once you find out that you can’t have children you decide if this is going to break you and define who you are as a person. I don’t personally think that it has to. Yes, it is sad and in many cases there things you can try to have children, like IVF or adoption. There are all sorts of ways that you can create this family that you have dreamed of.
    Or you could create a new vision for what your future will look like without children. I promise that you can be happy in some way no matter which decision you reach.

  • Jake

    February 10th, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    My name is Jake im a 27 single father. I fell in love with a girl. She was pregnant and all I wanted was to help her. She was a foster child with many emotional problems. I loved her unconditionally and always tried harder for her. I had nothing when we met. But I wanted to help her and be a father so badly in my heart that I changed everything about life. We had a house and I became a daddy to a fatherless beautiful little girl. Then we had a little boy. She changed after our son was born. She pushed us away. She left with our little girl. She left and made decisions that would prevent us from ever being together again. My son is one now. I’ve raised him alone. A single mother will always have the opportunity to find a husband and father. But who would want to become a wife and mother. I’ve met none. I want more than anything to spiol sumone who only has to ask sweetly. And my son is so adorable I’m afraid to take him in public for fear of him being baby napped. That was a joke but he is very adorable and very charming. All I have to say is don’t lose hope. This day and age single father’s are becoming less rare of an occurrence! Have hope because I’m searching for someone just like you! And there are others just like me that pray to have someone just like you!!

  • Natasha

    September 4th, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    I just do not understand like, why do guys fall in love with me and want me? Even after I tell them that I may not be able to carry their children. They go on I guess thinking that they accept me, but after of being married to divorce, engaged again to lose my number, let’s move in-to different living arrangements now. All because every last one of these guys in every situation had children outside of our home. This is of course, after we have agreed to do the IVF and or adopt. Like I find it such a smack in the face that the men I’ve loved go and have children with other women, but refuse to let me go at the same time! Like literally they want me to accept their so called “mistakes”, but clearly they can’t accept me for whom and what the heck I am. My question is, why bother me when they could just spare me the time & pain? I love me for me and I totally accept me, which is why I make it very clear what I cannot have up front. To be honest, I prefer to adopt as a single parent. There are so many kids and lost people having children out here I do not need to go through agencies, or clinics to get a baby when I can get one for free. I thank God that I don’t look to others expectations or validations. I am beautiful, awesome, cool, and make a damn good mother with or without having children!

  • Natasha

    September 4th, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    sorry I didnt meant to reply my last post towards yours. I do find your post very nice and hopeful by the way.

  • Dianna

    September 7th, 2017 at 2:57 PM

    Jake- I hope that you’ve already met a woman who loves you and your son. If you haven’t, just keep living life the fullest that you can. I chose my (now) husband and got an 18 month old daughter as a bonus … now my daughter is going on 9 years old. At the time I didn’t know I would never have my own biological child. It’s been a painful experience that I’m still working through, but I am so eternally grateful for my husband and step-daughter. If your heart stays open, and your words are honest … well, I hope that you and your son are discovered by an amazing woman who will love you both.

  • Ashley O

    February 21st, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Jake that was absolutely beautiful and well said!

  • debbie

    August 14th, 2019 at 1:55 PM

    there are many women seeking partners and relationships– be the man she would want and i hope they stop and see what they may be missing.

  • Lura

    March 16th, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    My fiancé and i just found out that our chances of being able to have a child are slim. Our wedding is 6 weeks away. This is supposed to be the happiest time of our life, and this news has left me in a complete panic and so much emptiness. I don’t know how to be happy to celebrate our wedding knowing the problems we will encounter trying to grow a family. I know there are options (adoption, IVF), and I’m sure there is much more research out there i just haven’t found, partly because i’m afraid to look at this point. The problem is on his end.. and I don’t want him to feel like any lesser of a man. I’m completely falling apart.. and he is very calm and reassuring that something, when we are ready, will work. I don’t think he understands the pain i am feeling, or he is trying to be strong for me and not show his own pain, or this isn’t as much of an issue for him.. The wedding this close puts so much more pressure on the situation. We are fortunate that we know the problems in advance, but it just casts a dark shadow over everything. Anyone have a similar situation?

  • The Team

    March 16th, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Dear Lura,

    If you would like to talk about this or any other concern with a qualified mental health professional, feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Rosey

    October 14th, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    This morning I also have learned that there is no hope that I can have my own kid. My issue is a bit different. Since I got married to my husband, his mom created all kind of issues for me and between me and my husband. He is taking his mom’s side of course. She spread all over, and to everyone that I have infertility issue and I cannot have kids. I stopped seeing people she knows or being around. It’s been two years now since I isolated myself from her community. I was hoping today to that I would hear a positive answer from my doctor. What I felt today, is that the world is collapsing.
    My mother-in-law, has been advising my husband to divorce me and what happened today, will help in his decision. I am not just grieving that I cannot have kids, I am grieving my whole life.

  • Adrienne

    August 21st, 2018 at 8:22 PM

    I hope everything has worked out for your best interests.
    My husband and I got married in 2016. He waited to tell me that he has Kleinfelters and has a sperm count of ZERO. He will never be able to give me biological children. Instead of helping me cope with this information he went behind my back earlier this year and told his parents. He claims they’ll help pay for whatever we choose.. however they’re all ignorant of the costs of adoption (which I’m 100% against) and ivf, etc.
    Being a married woman without children has created issues at work. I work for a company that’s family owned and they’re culture is big on creating personal bonds
    I was told I’m too focused on business and not people. I can only relate to a handful of people because 1 is an older divorcee who never had kids due to infertility & the other 2 are a married lesbian with no kids yet & a single guy in his early 20s. That’s out of almost 1100 employees. I’ve told my bosses why I focus on business only at work.. they all have kids and can’t relate at all. It’s crazy how I’m the odd one out because I dont have kids and dont talk about myself because its apparently a crime to focus solely on work while on the clock. SMH.

  • Ran

    January 26th, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    I have no one els to talk to, please pass over this if you do not want to feel sad.

    After my boyfriend and I had been trying to get pregnant I had started getting odd symptoms like sore breasts morning sickness and mood swings. But every time I took a test it came up negative. I was having allot of pain and one day my cramps got so bad I blacked out at my job in a body shop. After my boss and boyfriend called an ambulance I went to the hospital. First thing they did was a bunch of blood tests. About an hour later they tell me I’m pregnant. The guy had a smile on his face and I was so excited. I told them I can handle the pain. Thinking it was from the baby. But then another dr came in explaining that this extreme pain and passing out are red flags and that they need to find out what is happening. As it would turn out I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and was bleeding internally. My abdomen was full of blood and I fall in and out of consciousness. The dr made it clear that if they did not operate I would die, but that the pregnancy would be terminated. On the outside I said I understood and swallowed hard as my mind was screaming let me die! My boyfriend called my mother and brother and they came to see me. We had a good visit. I told my mom I loved her and that she was the best mother in the world. And apologized for hard times in the past. As I went under I prayed to not wake up. I know I had made all these plans with my boyfriend, who already had two daughters of his own. But I dint want to lose the baby we had tried and prayed for. When I work up I was sad but I smiled and tried to be nice to the nurse and dr who explained that I now had only one ovarie and that I would need to have a few fallow up exams. Swollen and in pain I went home, I didn’t cry. My boyfriend reassured me that we could try again and if it didn’t work out we still had his daughters. I smiled and agreed, I didn’t want to fall apart. I tried to be optimistic. About a month later after more tests, the dr told me my uterus was deformed and that I would not be able to carry to full term. He gave me the number of a specialist, the first visit was $300 upfront before she would even see me. I could get a very evasive surgery to try and help my chances… that’s all. Chances. The emergency room bills had already started to pile up. And we were hardly making it month to month. After a wile I began to really break down inside, I questioned everything from my existence to my motivations from childhood. I had this plan from a little girl to be a mom. I lived a sheltered life amongst a life of chaos. Meaning while everyone around me was on drugs pregnant or both I stare quite in the corner with my nose in a book. My life was nothing but one relationship after another looking for mr right. The home my boyfriend and I had was a monument to our dreams of parenthood. At least my dreams. My thoughts have been getting darker. I look into the faces of his daughters and my heart breaks. I know it’s not their fault, but I can’t move past these thoughts of guilt and regret. And on top of it all I just want to get away. To start a new life where I’m not surrounded by reminders and sad memories. i just want to leave but his girls mother died when they were young, it used to feel like we were meant to be together but I just have this void that is eating me alive and it’s starting to hurt my boyfriend. It’s only a matter of time before it affects his girls. I need help I don’t know what the right thing to do is. I till wish I would have died that day in the hospital.

  • Rick

    February 13th, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    ……………….so sad. Saying a prayer for you now

  • Dianna

    September 7th, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    I’m hoping that you’ve already begun feeling some of the light in the world again? I cannot have children either. I have a step-daughter that I’ve known and been with since she was 18 months old (now she is almost 9 years old). During the most painful times of my depression, I could not be around my beloved daughter, her school, or other children. But time does allow healing. Even as the tears stream down my face, I can tell you that we are strong women, and we can find strength to love children even when we will never become biological mothers ourselves. I hope you’re finding peace and also comfort with your husband and daughters.

  • Nick

    May 9th, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    I seem to find a lot of resources and books tailored to women who can’t have children, but I can’t find any for men. Does anyone know of any book specifically that are for men dealing with not having children?

  • April

    August 11th, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Some people say they can only imagine how it feels to not be able to have children… and the truth is they can’t even imagine it not really !!!!! truth is they want to understand… but unless you’ve gone through miscarriages you can not have any idea of the 50,000 emotions you go through and how it affects you physically and emotionally. You feel defective and a failure . you feel like you let your family down. you feel like you are damaged empty ,Hollow and you can try to move on and just accept it as it is and you try but honestly you can never accept something like that. you just try to reason why but that doesn’t really help because what possibly could be the the reason. then there’s people who are trying to be spportive and helpful and they say stuff so insensitive like maybe it’s for the best how’s that for the best? you hear from people it’s okay you can just adopt ! And although they think they’re helping or being supportive they’re actually being insensitive or some people say Maybe God has other plans for you what other plans could God possibly have by putting me through this kind of pain it’s hard when you have a family who has alot of kids I have a lot of cousins who have kids and and my brother has four of his own, sometimes it’s hard when we all get together for birthday or holidays. you see all your family with their kids and there you are kidless ! and you see the joy they bring your family and all you can think of is God I want that that so bad because for me I love children and I have so much love to give I love my brother’s kids and my cousin’s kids because truthfully I love my family but it wasn’t in the cards for me so I buried myself in other things to get over it…… the truth is I never really got over it I just moved on but I didn’t deal with it not really I just have so much love to give a child so I have so much extra love this big heart of mine that I want to give to a child I thought I was okay ….because at least my brother had his children and they are great kids and I love them so much and I thought that would be enough but they’re not my children and I may have overstepped sometimes not intentionally I just love them so much and I didn’t realize that I can be a little smothering at times or go overboard with my feelings and for that I am deeply deeply sorry so yeah I guess I have to deal with this and I will this time the right way it’s hard cuz you see your friends and your family posting pictures of graduations and first birthday and accomplishments or photos their child’s wedding day and I’m never going to have any of that I’m not going to be able to be a proud mom watch my child graduate see my child eat birthday cake for the first time see my child walk down the aisle one of the happiest days of their life their wedding I’m not going to be a grandmother and although I’m glad to see the pictures and I’m happy for my friends and family sometimes seeing it just makes me sad because it reminds me that will never be my life and because I want to be able to do that stuff too but I won’t it’s also hard because I don’t have children so my lifestyle is different than most of my friends and my family they all have families they all do stuff families do. And I don’t so on the weekends when I’m off and want to get together most of my friends and family are spending time with their families as they should. anyway I just decided I wanted to be real for a little bit I’ve been holding all this from far too long and felt I needed to get a little bit of it out in the open and also maybe I was hoping it would shed some light on why I am way I am sometimes. so anybody who decided to take the time and read this thanks for listening it means the world to me. Good night

  • Lainy

    August 12th, 2017 at 5:14 PM

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this. No woman deserves to feel the way we do. I’m a nurse and I’ve worked in nursing homes and see ppl coming to visit their parents and grandparents and I wonder who will come to see me? I’ll have no children and no grandchildren to watch grow. I’ve always felt my purpose was to be a wife a mother and a nurse. And now Idk what my purpose is. I have friends say oh you don’t understand bc you’re not a parent. Like it’s a choice. I too often get the comment about adopting. It’s easy for ppl to say when they have little mini me’s running around. What I wouldn’t give to have a baby that was a mix of my husband and myself. You’re not alone and I’m glad you found this place to let some feelings out. I’ve started keeping a journal bc I feel like nobody else will ever understand. You’re in my thoughts and prayers

  • Jessica

    September 17th, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    I met the man I believed I was always supposed to be with 5 years ago, we have now been married for 4. When I met my husband he had a 12 year old son. I adored him and we got along well. Before we married my husband and I talked about the idea of having more children. He indicated that although he really didn’t have a desire for more kids, if it was important to me then we could. We decided after we married we would give our marriage a year to settle things in and then decide about more children. Our year deadline kept getting pushed back because of life and the fact that our son had turned into a typical teenager and was driving us crazy. not to mention I believed if I had enough time I could convenience my husband that I was a good mother and that maybe he would change his mind and actually want to have kids with me. I had a hard time with the concept that he would have more children if I wanted them, but he didn’t really have the same feelings. I guess I wanted to want him to have children with me, not just settle on it. A few months ago he talked about the idea of a vasectomy since now that our son is 17, he didn’t want to start over again. So in essence I guess I waited too long and now he doesn’t want to have kids with me. He got the vasectomy a few month ago and our lives have turned upside down since them. I’m angry and sad and depressed all the time. I found myself blaming him, our son and myself for getting to the point we are now. I read lots of things, but never really find anything specific to my situation; it’s not like I can’t physically have children, I can’t have children because my husband doesn’t want to have kids with me. I feel used, taken advantage of, lied to…and then in another thought I feel incredibly guilty for feeling that way. We fight all the time now and it hurts when my husband tells me that he wishes that he and my son were enough for me. I think it hurts because on some level it is true. I feel like if I can’t get myself together soon I could lose out on something great, but at the same time I’m not happy and don’t know how to get over this. I have already gone to two counsellors, it doesn’t seem to help to just have people listen and agree with me that my feelings are valid. I need help to decide what I should do, what actions are required. Any help anyone could offer would be appreciated.

  • Jon

    October 22nd, 2020 at 9:01 PM

    Honestly those of you who cannot have kids think yourselves lucky. The best possible gift in life is never having children, the worst thing that can happen to you is having kids. Trust me, I know no man who is happy being a parent. They all lie to their wives or other women because they dont want to be judged for it, but to each other we hate it. There is no joy in life anymore and its almost not even with living.

  • Jamie

    December 15th, 2020 at 3:36 AM

    Jon, I’m sure you mean well but your comment is not helpful. I’m sorry for what you are going through, but you have children so this not the place for you.

  • Marcy

    December 24th, 2020 at 12:30 AM

    I’m 34 and have been with my husband since we were 19, I’ve known him since we were 12. We waited so long to try to have a child, because we wanted to somehow feel ‘ready’. Four years ago we both finally had great jobs and felt it was time, when I was diagnosed with a autoimmune disease that forced me to get on medication that could not be taken while pregnant. I took the medication while I hoped to get my disease in remission, but it just got worse and now I have moderate/severe chronic kidney disease in addition to the autoimmune disease. I spoke to a perinatologist that didn’t recommend I try to get pregnant as I would be too high risk. My doctors really didn’t want me to get pregnant that I had to get an IUD, which is just a horrible reminder. I keep on doing research online to see if there are articles out there that show positive pregnancy outcomes for someone in my position, but there aren’t many. I know pregnancy is hard on the female body regardless of medical condition or not, but when you see the statistics showing death rates for mother and child it just saddens and scares me. I have this constant struggle between the desire to have a child and trying to stay healthy. There are days when I want to risk it all, but I’m scared. Scared of miscarriage and the emotional pain that it comes with, scared of dying.

  • Melinda

    May 25th, 2021 at 3:47 AM

    I found out in my 20’s that I cannot have due to mostly my rape at 10 but I have dealt with it. Now I am a pet mom and that I was also deprived off as my 2 died 2 weeks apart due to negligence on the Vet’s part. But my question is, God took that from me, what is my purpose now in life? Be alone? I am really down and out, maybe join a support group.

  • Vaso

    May 25th, 2021 at 8:54 AM

    I.m sorry Melinda for your pain. I am asking myself “what is my purpose în life?” I,m 39 now but at 37 I lost my pregancy and my uterus. Since then my life is horrible. Sorry for you all!😪

  • Susan

    April 30th, 2022 at 7:31 PM

    I just found out that my husband and I can’t make healthy embryos. Two days later, he left me, claiming he’s been unhappy for a long time, despite evidence to the contrary.
    I am completely devastated, and I’m alone. My family lives far away and I don’t have any close friends.

  • C

    May 21st, 2022 at 3:07 PM

    I met my now husband when I was 19. He was 23 an 18 month old baby girl. Mom was around about once a week for a few hours for the first year and then started a push and pull cycle where she would smother her for a day or two or even a week and not let us see her and then drop her off and leave with no contact for months and repeat. I believe this caused the child to latch onto me a little tighter. I fell into a primary caregiver role, in part due to my maternal nature and in part because I wanted this child to be one of many in our family and treat them no differently then our future children, (which was something my siblings and I missed growing up as my parents both had multiple unaccepting partners). At one point the mother even said (without asking me), to the child, “this is your mom when I’m not around” pointing to me before taking off again when she was around 6. I had my first pregnancy at 22, (earlier than I wanted personally but I recognized the importance of giving her a sibling close enough in age to grow up with) and it failed. 7 miscarriages in, I found out that I have a deformed uterus, low egg count and anti phospholipid antibodies. Several appointments, surgeries, tests and dollars later, I still had nothing but miscarriage. My child’s bio mom randomly had another child and then a third a year later. In that time she started demanding the return of her daughter to her care, very abruptly. I was hesitant but wanted the best for my daughter so I didn’t fight her too much. My husbands mother used to praise me but started to devalue me as she realized it was more and more unlikely that I would be giving her grandchildren and eventually sided with bio mom in her claim that I was the reason that she didn’t have a relationship with her bio child . During this time my child was thrown into a primary caregiver role as an 8 year old. This caused extreme emotional stress for her. She had started “going to the bathroom” during class multiple times a day, to “check on” her sisters in the adjoined daycare facility. Childrens aid got involved I assume from daycares reports or the schools but I was not privy to that information and had little documentation to prove she was in my care most of her life. For the two years she started to reintegrate into her other family the mother constantly under minded us at every opportunity. For example, If I told my daughter bedtime was at 8:30 as it always was, she would say you don’t have to listen to her you can go to bed whenever you want. They aren’t the boss of you, I am. She did this without my knowledge for several years. I noticed some changes in behaviour but I rationalized it with the changes in her life such as rebuilding a relationship with her mom and getting used to having siblings. I was an active parent volunteer at her school and also worked FT as a nurse. My husband has ADD and so it made feeling supported rather challenging with everything I was trying to juggle and accomplish. By this time our arrangement was one week with mom and one week with me and my husband. I had an opportunity when she was around 11 to send her on a trip with my mother-in-law to the east coast for two weeks, so I saved enough money for her keep and arranged a schedule change with bio mom. She refused to allow it unless I agreed to let my child stay with her for three weeks after the trip, meaning I wouldn’t see my daughter for 5 weeks. It was agonizing and I tried to keep in touch by other means but I was completely shut out as was my husband. When I saw her again after the 5 weeks she refused to look at or speak to either of us. She threw a calendar at us and said I don’t love you and your not my mom. I hate your laugh and your smile and your face. The calendar had a new monthly schedule on it filled out in bio moms print, though our child said they wrote it. She then went out the door where her mom was waiting parked out front and they drive away. Mom started harassing us at work by telling anyone who would listen that I stole her child and the only reason I did is because I can’t have any of my own. I experienced so much harassment at work that I had a breakdown. I didn’t see my daughter for over a year after that because she refused to come home. She would only go to my mother-in-law’s during the new scheduled times. My husband went to see her alone during that year because she developed a new ultimatum that she would refuse to come home unless my husband divorced me. During that time I was approached by a man on social media claiming to be the new husband of a women he claimed my husband had an affair with. He said they weren’t married at the time but he was telling me the truth because it was weighing heavily on his wife who continued to be contacted by my husband after calling it quiets. I decided to leave my husband. I stayed with my sisters while he got counciling. After counciling he changed for the better. Surprisingly, I wasn’t angry with him, I was empathic. That pain of not being able to have children with him and the pain of trying to give this child a stable life with an unstable comparent was a lot, and out of fear of making my pain worse, he didn’t lean on me like we both needed, he cheated on me. We had about 6 months of productive healing before he took a job working away from home often. I was off due to my state and he needed to pay the bills so I didn’t protest. Overtime my child began to reveal what happened in small doses, filling in the blanks when she was ready to speak to me again around the age of 13. She was told that her mom “owned” her and that she wasn’t allowed to go to our house unless she could break my husband and I apart. During this time she developed an eating disorder (now better), developed difficulty socializing and anger issues among other challenges. I began to doubt my self worth and my purpose. If I didn’t start caring for my child before I knew I wouldn’t have children I would have believed her. I still believe her. At the time I got a lot of praise for being so noble and I really threw everything I had into caring for this child to the best of my ability, the way I wanted to be cared for by someone as a child, but now I wonder if I did the right thing. Our relationship still isn’t what it used to be and my child continues the rollercoaster push and pull relationship with her mother. I am still childless and growing bitter. I had very different plans for life, but here we are. What’s best is that I am 1 of 6 siblings, all of whom have several children. It’s hard not to isolate because as others have said, they can be unaware to their insensitive comments, which can be gut wrenching at times. I now live alone for the most part with my dog. My husband is home 4-6 days a month and my daughter is a teen who comes every other week now pushes and pulls too. I want to move on or be a mom but I can’t bare the guilt of walking away and sitting in silence is equally soul gutting. My friends and family live about 2 hours away so that also makes finding support difficult. Everyone’s stories help me feel like I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  • Shayani

    December 20th, 2022 at 12:02 AM

    I am unable to have babies due to my husbsnd shooting blanks, but in my culture it the woman who is blamed. Should I get pregnant by his brother Neelan who is a really sweet guy?

  • Nishan

    December 25th, 2022 at 10:11 AM

    Please forgive me as I have PTSD. My managers have failed to notice this which is evident from my behaviour and conduct. This is a desperate cry for help and therapy!

  • Charlotte

    December 27th, 2022 at 12:46 PM

    Dear Nishan, that sounds really difficult, and asking for help is one of the first steps!To find a therapist with experience in PTSD, please enter your city or ZIP code into the search field on this page: Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. Please reach out directly if you need help finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext 3. Kind regards, The GoodTherapy Team

  • Shayani

    December 26th, 2022 at 8:59 PM

    Pre mature ejaculations is also an issue. If I cannot have children is it worth staying married to this man. I feel like letting go so I can be free for the rest of my life.

  • Nishan

    February 7th, 2023 at 12:01 AM

    I am unhappy in my life due to inability to father a child. All my wealth are meaningless due due to this void, a huge blackhole thats makes me unhappy. I have slepless nights and am awake at 3am daily. May I find courage to face this!

  • Thad

    June 14th, 2023 at 3:07 PM

    Need someone to speak to +94773378800. Please recoment a therapist and send me link or call.

  • Charlotte

    June 15th, 2023 at 12:33 PM

    Dear Thad, thank you for commenting on our blog. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can start finding therapists in your area by entering your city or ZIP code into the search field on this page: Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are welcome to call us for personal assistance in finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext 3. Kind regards, The GoodTherapy Team

  • James

    January 24th, 2024 at 10:28 PM

    I know a bit late, but thanks for posting this. I can really relate. Bit of a warning, what I post now might have some venting in it because of very fresh feelings, since I can’t talk to anyone else, so I apologise. But I’m nearly 42. I married at 39. Not by choice, I wasn’t a player and always wished to marry earlier, but that is how it played out in my life as a late bloomer. My wife is a year younger than me and was married before when she was younger. When we married, my wife had an injury that wasn’t meant to be permanent, but was soon diagnosed it would be until operated (a long wait). So I missed out on the type of wedding I wanted (because of health condition) and honeymoon, haven’t even had a holiday as a married couple, social life backwards and even sex life very vanilla (because of injury) and me as the sole income earner. But that was alright, because I thought we’d always have kids (both of us dreamed of it) that what the life we aimed and dreamed about, not wealth or trivial things. Last year we tried. We had a traumatic loss in March, that required a surgery, then IVF with a failed embryo in September. My wife is a champion, because this is all before the surgery to fixed her very bad skeletal injury, so in both pregnancies a lot of pain. She then had her surgery in October, against the advice of the IVF doctor who said waiting longer means infertility, but we couldn’t delay. That injury had just postponed our lives too much. Then 12 weeks ago (6 weeks after surgery), my wife fell pregnant naturally. Since then we’ve seen scans with growth and a heartbeat, and all those dreams of being a parent got revived. And my wife has been amazing with the pain and depression (of both the hormones and losses and pain). But now it seems we’ve lost our most recent child. And this does really seem like our last chance. Both in terms of wife’s fertility, as well as fairness to her to actually recover from her surgery and to get a semblance of life back (friends, work, etc). Me, I’ve had to stay strong so long for my wife, I haven’t been able to grieve to anyone myself. But I am now really angry about what I’ve sacrificed in the hope we’d have kids. I’m angry that my wife had experiences with her first husband (dream wedding, honeymoon and holidays) that we haven’t had yet. I’m angry that I’ve been the sole income earner and home counseller during her depressions. I’m angry at going financially backwards because of that past two years. I’m angry at sacrificing not seeing friends and a boring sex life after waiting 39 years (while she had a better one with her first husband while young). Particularly as all of this was done “believing” that we would at least become mum and dad to a little one, knowing that we’d be great parents, and that then everything we’d been through would make sense. But now, it all just seems pointless. I struggle with what life would be life moving forward after such a beautiful taste of parenthood. I just don’t know how to accept it, and how to map out life with myself or my wife now. She still has so far to go to get well but I feel like I can’t sacrifice anymore, without wondering what type of life there is in return, now that children are no longer an option. Again a lot of this is venting and may sound harsh sorry. But it is so fresh and I can’t talk to anyone about it. I really thought I’d be a dad and it breaks my heart I won’t be. I feel robbed.

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