"My Infertility Is Ruining Our Marriage"

Listen in as one real-life couple works through a major crisis in their relationship with the help of a marriage therapist.
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The Couple

Didi: 37, sales rep
Mark: 35, landscape designer
Married: 3 years
Kids: none

The Counselor

Carole Moretz, Allentown, Pennsylvania

The Background

After trying to get pregnant for a year, Didi checked in with her gynecologist. It turned out that she was in premature ovarian failure; her doctor recommended using donor eggs. Didi hates that idea and wants to adopt. Mark's afraid he couldn't love a child that isn't genetically his and wants to try in vitro fertilization (IVF) with his sperm and a donor's eggs. They can't even discuss this issue without fighting.

Didi's Turn

I feel so cheated that I can't have a baby. My mom and my sister both got pregnant easily. But when I tell Mark that I feel like a failure, he doesn't even respond. It hurts so much when he says, "Let's just get an egg donor. It's no big deal." It's a huge deal for me, and I'm not comfortable with it at all. Plus, I'll feel like a double failure if we use donor eggs and it doesn't work or I miscarry. I don't get why Mark wants to put me through this.

When Mark and I try to debate IVF versus adoption he totally loses it, starts yelling and name-calling, and we end up fighting about how he's out of control. I can't be in the same room with him when he gets like that.

Mark says I'm insensitive because I don't want to try to bear his biological child. I think that he's insensitive to expect me to carry a baby that doesn't share my genes. And he won't even consider adoption. He says that he thinks he won't love an adopted child the same way he'd love his own flesh and blood. That's ridiculous! I know he'd bond with the baby once we became a family. And I know he'd be an awesome father. Though frankly, based on our fights, his temper is starting to worry me.

Last week I did some research on both egg donors and adoption. Since I'm East Indian and Mark is white, I'd want an Indian egg donor to ensure that the baby would look like both Mark and me. The fertility clinics I contacted told me that Indian egg donors are rare, and if we found one, the fee would be somewhere around $15,000. Then the IVF procedure is another $12,000. So, for around $27,000, we might have a pregnancy -- IVF doesn't always work. Adoption costs about $20,000, which is still a ton, but there's a 99 percent chance that we'd get matched with a baby. Both options are out of our price range. So if going into debt is the only way we can become parents, why not pick the almost-sure thing?

But even with all that information, Mark said he wants to "roll the dice with IVF." I think his priorities are messed up -- he's more concerned about passing on his genes than he is about raising a child.

I'm worn out from fighting and tired of crying all the time. It feels as though having a baby, or not having one, is all I think about anymore. I don't know how we'll come to a decision that will make both of us happy. Despite our problems, I love Mark and I hope counseling can help us figure this out and move forward.

Continued on page 2:  Mark's Turn

 

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