How could my husband possibly ever love me as much as he loved his last wife?
That’s right, I said it.
She brought his children into the world. He witnessed her strength and beauty in its most raw form. His life was forever changed the moment each pregnancy test read “positive.”
I’m sure he looked at her like she was the most spectacular, amazing human on the planet each time a new pregnancy was revealed and subsequently, each time she gave birth.
I’m sure he joyously cut the cord each time, kissed the babies’ gross little fresh-out-the-womb faces, and thought to himself “Wow… this is my whole world, right here.”
Knowing them now, it’s hard to imagine a time where they could have ever been this happy… but I’d be naïve to think it was not the case.
Insecurities in Infertility: Adopting a Mindset of Perseverance
Undoubtedly, the days his kids were born were the best two days of his life. Probably all of his favorite days revolve around things he accomplished with his first wife. I’m not even sure our wedding would make his Top 5 list of best days ever.
While he was witnessing the miracle of childbirth, who knows what I was doing. I can tell you where I worked and who I was dating, but that’s about it. I can guarantee those were not two of the best days of my life. My Top 5 best days ever all revolve around my husband and his kids… in comparison, is that sad or what?!
This is not about resentment… I truly understand that he and his ex were not meant to last, and that he and I are.
This is not about jealousy… I respect and appreciate her role in the girls’ lives, and understand that we are not competition to one another.
The simple question remains… how can he ever love me as much as he loved her, if we never bring a child into this world together?
I exemplify strength in other ways… but it’s not the same.
I treat his daughters like they’re my own… but it’s not the same.
He will never see me as the matriarch of the family, because truthfully, I’m not. It doesn’t matter how neat I keep the house or how well I cook dinner… I will never be the resilient, strong mother of the house.
We are a family… but in reality, I am living with his family. No matter how integrated we are, they share something that I do not.
He will never witness a miracle from me in any form. He is lucky to see me feed the dog at the same time every day.
At my best, I feel like it is all okay. I feel content settling for this life. I believe that I don’t deserve to have “it all” … people like me aren’t supposed to have “it all,” anyway. So I remind myself to count my blessings, and to carry on.
At my worst, I feel like a waste of a female body. I feel like a live-in girlfriend… like I’m perpetually 20 years old, thinking that I’m an adult, but in reality, I’m just a child. I feel like I will never be taken seriously… and like I will never take myself seriously either.
So what does one do? How does one overcome such insecurities surrounding infertility? What do you do when your husband has experienced the miracle of childbirth with another woman, but will never experience it with you?
You cry, you get angry, and you shut down.
The “See Fewer Posts Like This” feature on Instagram becomes your best friend, as you select that option for every picture involving babies on the Explore tab… weeks on end of using this feature, and your account is finally baby-free… until you accidentally “like” a picture of your friend’s 8 year old… then BAM… your Explore tab is all pregnancy announcements all over again… you’re back at square one.
You feel especially worthless when you see women celebrating their accidental pregnancies, or their 100th pregnancy.
You disengage for a while with everyone… including your husband and stepchildren…
… but then, you bounce back. Because you have to.
Do you understand? You do not have an option other than bouncing back.
These insecurities have got to go.
So what if your husband will always have these special, life-changing moments with another woman, but never with you?! (*barf*) You’ve obviously impressed him in other ways, or he wouldn’t have married you.
This is the reality of the situation you are in. If your marriage is strong in all other aspects, then you have to find a way to move forward. You have to recreate what your happily ever after looks like. You really, brutally, have to get over it.
The reality of it is that my husband will never have the same love for me that he had for his ex. It’s up to me to battle my insecurities, and to persevere. I must believe that the love he has for me is intentionally different, and I must recognize the many blessings we share as husband and wife.
PS: Interested in hearing more of my story when I’m at my best? Here are the 5 Stages of Grieving your Husband’s Vasectomy.
PPS: Still struggling, and unable to move forward at this time? We get it. Stepmom infertility is like salt in the wound.