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Read Letter

My Husband Is Infertile

My dear Jil, there’s such a thing as loyalty in marriage. Couples must be loyal to each other. You cover your husband’s shame in marriage. You don’t expose him to ridicule in difficult times. You don’t offer him to derision. That’s not wise.

When you offer your husband to ridicule, the man feels betrayed. You’re eroding his manliness in the estimation of right thinking people in society. When you expose your husband to ridicule and make society think less of him, you make people think less of you too. After all, you married the half man! You don’t go to your family talking your husband down because he’s at a point in his life in which he’s striving. It’s a stage in life. Everyone goes through it except those born into wealth. But even they have their cross. You ought to keep the facts in your marriage confidential. You don’t go about blabbing about how your husband can’t do what your friend’s husband can do. You don’t have the full facts of that marriage. What goes on in your marriage is confidential stuff.

Now, please don’t interpret what I said to imply you should keep quiet if there’s domestic abuse. That’s not what I’m saying. If there’s domestic abuse you ought to cry out. God forbid you’re carried out of your marriage in a coffin. So I’m not talking about domestic abuse. That’s beyond the purview of this letter. You don’t keep that a secret.

Fertility challenge is a very confidential stuff. It’s not something you go talking about in family circles. You don’t go around telling people your husband is infertile. What do you aim to achieve? Perhaps you’re seeking to deflect the blame about lack of conception in your marriage. I’m aware traditional African society holds the woman responsible for non-conception. But how’s your conception anyone’s problem? If the tables were turned, he has no business telling people you’re struggling with conception too. That’s disloyal. Conception or no conception, your marriage subsists. Conception is not a condition precedent to the sustainability of a marriage. Children are a blessing.

There are many solutions to the challenge of conception, and that includes adoption. You don’t run your marriage to please people. Whether you have children of your own or not is not anybody’s issue. Everyone should mind their business. You have to understand society will rather celebrate your marriage in the breach. Which means they’ll take glee in your divorce. You ought to be wise. Those members of your supporters club who join you in ridiculing your husband’s fertility don’t love you. They’re working to destroy your marriage. You have false support. And they’ve been wrecking marriages since 1847 and all the way back. Marriage wreckers exist in every generation.

If you have a good marriage do your utmost to protect it. A marriage is invaluable. You don’t want life to teach you the value of marriage with your wrecked marriage as course material.  You don’t want to learn about the value of marriage from wrecking yours. If you go about town telling people your husband is infertile, you’re working hard to wreck your marriage. Telling you hard truth.

Since he’s unaware you’re revealing such facts about him, he’ll be a laughing stock at social functions. People will be sniggering behind his back. Imagine if that was you. The equivalence of that from a female dimension is your husband having a mistress and everyone knows except you. Imagine the mistress at the same party you’re attending. That’s the equivalence. Of course you won’t see it that way. But even a direct equivalence is equally horrible. Imagine people calling you infertile behind your back and the information was supplied by your husband. You’re essentially imploding your marriage from within. That’s what you’re doing. You don’t play with grenades in marriage.

I know you’re frustrated about the issue of kids. You badly want to get pregnant. But telling everyone your husband has fertility issues is not the way to get pregnant. If at all, you’re working AGAINST conception. So what happens if after rubbishing him all over town you now conceive? You can’t take those words back. You unwittingly raise doubts about the paternity of your child having told everyone your husband is infertile. The natural question will be, who’s the father? Are you then going to go round and tell everyone it’s your husband? You’ve created a PR nightmare that will haunt you and haunt your child. You’ve created a secret history for your child in such circumstances. Any man who’s friendly with you becomes suspect. And because the imagination of society is rich you’ll be shocked the stories that will emerge about how you got pregnant. Society is very good at fiction about other people’s lives. For the most these fictions are ill wishes and spurious fill-ins full of precious biases.

You guard your marriage jealously. One critical way to guard your marriage is to guard the data in the marriage. The facts and realities of your marriage must be sacrosanct. If you don’t protect your marriage by keeping your mouth shut the wreckers will wreck it with their mouth. It’s more heinous when the information used is supplied by you. Never assume all those who came to your wedding celebrated with you. Who knows why anyone goes to a wedding! Some attend weddings because they’re serial wedding ceremony attendees. Some attend out of dutiful obligation. Some for business purposes. Some to show relevance. Some for gossip. And some are just bored with their lives on Saturdays.

The sign of maturity is the ability of you and your husband to keep your secrets secret. If you must vent about your fertility issues vent to someone with a fiduciary obligation to you… Someone like your doctor. There’s client-patient confidentiality. You can also vent to God. He values character and confidentiality. He seemed to commend Joseph for trying to divorce Mary quietly, given the circumstances of Jesus’ birth. Imagine someone sharing your medical record online. That’s exactly what you’re doing when you splash the fertility details of your husband to your friends and relatives. It’s important you present a united front with your husband.

Don’t let conception delay put a wedge in your marriage. Of course when there’s a conception delay, you’ll get all sorts of well-meaning and not so well-meaning advice. That happens a lot in society. Just deflect those enquiries and gazes. Don’t entertain those “well-meaning” enquiries about your fertility. They’re going after gossip. And if your husband’s family pressurises you, ask them to talk to their son. Whatever you say becomes authoritative confirmation of prurient gossip. Keep your mouth shut and just smile. The details of your marriage are not for public consumption.

What I expect you and your husband to do is seek medical advice. A gynaecologist will help you see things with clarity. What we don’t know creates room for wild speculation. For all you know, there’s nothing to worry about. The solution may be as simple as your husband needing to change underwear. Some underwear are not conducive to fertility. And it may just be about your sex calendar, matching it to your ovulation calendar. Sometimes what we deem infertility is just about little things. And there’s IVF treatment and other advanced medical science treatments to consider. Don’t let the frustration of delayed conception take a blow torch to your marriage. I believe I’ve said enough.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

If you have a good marriage do your utmost to protect it. A marriage is invaluable. Click To Tweet
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