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Anyone out there?

I'm feeling so low and don't know anyone I can talk to who really understands the impact of facing life without children.

I've tried on and off since getting married 7 yrs ago and had one round of IVF which we self funded. It didn't work and my marriage is in tatters.

Really need some friends to help support me and let me know I'm not the only one :(

I'm turning 40 in February and feel like it's the end of every hope. Totally depressed.

Anyone else?


17 Replies

Dear Min Min

So so sorry to hear how you feel, we can understand where you are right now,

I shall respond properly as soon as possible, I'm out a lot of the day today, however you're not alone and I believe there is some sort of hope in the pain.

Take care


Thank you so much x


Ah MinMin, I'm so sorry it feels like that at the moment. I remember feeling like my only chance of happiness was having children, and railing against the universe about the unfairness of not being able to. It felt like I was doomed to a 'less than' future, and I hated that thought.

As I carried on (because we do, don't we - we carry on) I found is that my happiness wasn't dependent on having children, and although it seems like it at the moment, neither is yours. I know it might seem hopeless right now, but I also know that even if you don't have the children you wanted, you have as much right to happiness and joy as anyone else.

I found it really helpful to see that my feelings were following my thinking - when I was caught up in thoughts of doom and sadness, that's what I felt. When my thinking changed (as it always does - we get distracted or a new thought just suddenly appears) my feelings would change. It kind of helped me separate 'the situation' from what I was feeling.

Is there someone you trust (a counsellor or therapist) who could help you out of the thought storm you're in at the moment?

Take care, sending love



Thanks for taking time out to reply x

I have seen a counceller on and off and am having talking therapies through the nhs. It does help but I still wake in a panic everyday that my life is all wrong and it's too late to fix it.

I gave up work last year to focus on the ivf and when I've tried to get back into it this year I've not succeeded. I think my confidence is crushed and it's coming across in interviews.

I feel like I've got a massive 'failure' sign in neon over my head. No job. No kids. Crappy marriage. I used to have things on track and it's all slowly come off the rails!

I'm yet to leave the house this weekend and do the worst thing possible by looking at everyone on their summer holidays on Facebook! One of my friends posted a picture of her and hubby tanning themselves, captioned 'child free hour' ...i know it wasn't aimed at me but really?!!@ she has 4 kids but can't imagine the reality of a child free life that I'm stuck with.

I am interested to know from the group on here as to how you validate your worth and purpose after the devastation?

This seems to be my main issue :(


This is a big one for a lot of people it seems MinMin.

I went through a time of thinking that if I wasn't going to have children I would have to do something AMAZING in my life to 'make up for it' and make sure my life would mean something. That was fed from the ideas I took to be true, that one life has more worth than any other (i.e. that being a parent is a more worthy life than not being one - it's not). Seeing that my value and worth are not tied up with whether or not I have children was hugely liberating. They have nothing to do with each other.

When I realised there's nothing to prove and nothing to validate or justify, I could just get on with doing stuff and being with people I enjoyed, and not getting caught up in whether I was fulfilling some kind of 'purpose' - that's a road to self-judgement and self-doubt if I ever saw one.

I know it seems really real at the moment, but if you're able to take a break from judging yourself for not meeting the (imaginary) standards you've set for worthiness, you might just find you're already worthy.

I'm sure you didn't have concerns about worthiness before you started trying to have children (I'm making an assumption there, obviously) but your value as a human being hasn't suddenly been removed as some kind of penalty for not having children. You're just the same as you were before, with a whole bunch of thinking going on.

lots of love to you x


hi minmin,

Your not alone out there. It sounds like you are seeing a counsellor, I hope it is a fertility counsellor, they too will know understand what you are going through.

I know it's harder for men but maybe your husband needs to see one too. At least try and talk to him and listen to him, he is going through stuff too. Remember you got married because you love each other not to necessarily have children, despite what the church says. - sorry been to church wedding last weekend and service needs to be changed!

If you feel you need to work go for a part time, low stress, easy job just to get back into it.

Think small steps, and don't be so hard on yourself. give it time.

take care x



Thanks. Just so nice to speak to people who actually understand! It's different to just the sympathy of others. What you guys say actually means much more.

I know there are supposed to be thousands in the infertile clan but why don't I know any in real life?

Thanks for the reassurance. I wonder when I'll make it out the other side xx


Thanks for replying. I definitely am my own worst judge!

My husband definitely needs help but they weren't good enough to give him free counselling and he was being stupid about paying out for private. Decided to drown himself with beer for months on end and now has to see a specialist next week for potential liver damage - great!! More problems.

I guess I thought if people didn't have kids then they'd throw themselves into a career, make loads of money and travel etc. I am way to sensitive though and just lost confidence. definately need to get something somehow to ease me back in.

Shame there aren't more ways to meet face to face with others in the same place. Keep researching online but not found as yet x

Enjoy the rest of your weekend - you've been a lot of help x


Hi Minmin and other lovely ladies.

Thanks for your honest thoughts you have shared and for your kind advice. I needed to hear some of this tonight as I'm having a tough wkend.

To answer your last question about meeting up with other people who understand...A recent survey on here showed that's what most of us would appreciate most.

I am in Stockport and found a 'gateway' women 'meetup' group that has been helpful. Gateway women is for childfree women, many of whom have similar experiences. (Meetup is an app to meet up with like minded people).

Also if you post on here where you are based it may be worth seeing who is in your area to meet up. We need each other especially on those shitty days

Love x


Glad you manages to find a group in Stockport. I'm based near Reading, Berkshire so will keep looking!

Sorry you're having a rough weekend. Did anything in particular trigger it or have you been feeling low generally?



Hey minmin I'm based in Farnborough Hampshire, I haven't found a gateway group near me and I'm going through same as you. It's so difficult when all your friends are moving on having children and you feel alone and left behind, my marriage almost broke up in January as well. I had 2 ivf rounds a year ago, neither worked. I went to ivf counselling in February and it helped a lot, they helped me see I was grieving for a life I can't have and I didn't see it until I went, she told me a step to help move on was to get all my paperwork associated with the ivf I was holding on to and have a ceremonial 'burial' of it all with my husband. One evening we lit the BBQ and watched it all burn crying and holding each other then had a lovely meal together as a sort of wake. No one else was there but us and after we did that a few days on I started to feel a bit better. It's a very difficult time and we r still coming to terms but we decided that every year on the anniversary we would each have a present so I booked a holiday for us to look forward to and he bought a car. It's no consolation for it all but it helps us realise we can still have something to look forward to. I hope this helps you anyway honey. Thinking of you x


Thanks for sharing your experience. I wondered did you both agree on stopping the treatment etc.?

I wanted to have a second round of ivf and my mum had offered to help financially. My husband didn't want to go through it again and I feel angry about that. It feels like unfinished business but I can't do it without him! People say oh why don't you adopt...which is really annoying coming from someone with 3 kids and no experience of fertility problems.

I constantly think, we could have tried harder, eaten cleaner, exercised more, had sex more etc. and so can't settle that regret.

I think perhaps burning the paperwork is good if you have agreed on the subject maybe?

Let me know xx


We did both agree that stopping treatment was best for us, we r both only 34 we've been told unlikely to happen for us, I'm the problem not him. We gave it our best shot and for us to move on and be happy together, this was our best way forward. We didn't want to spend hundreds of thousands straining our relationship financially, we agreed we'd give it a go and if it didn't work that was our fate. We talked about adoption but it's not for us. We have 2 beautiful sausage dogs they r our world and they bring us lots of joy and happiness, we chose not to spend our time with anyone with children and we surround ourselves with happiness in other ways. It's taken us a good year and we have our moments but we have gone through it together and come out the other side with a strong bond. You must never beat yourself up about what you think you could have done or it will drive you crazy. We decided on the ritual burning for our own self mind preservation and to try and move on, we were in limbo and I was in self destruction. You gave to find what helps you get through it at the end of the day. Keep us updated and don't forget- you are never alone x


You've both done amazingly to get through the other side together and strong. Really admirable how brave you've been. I hope to get there too.

I now have nine nieces and nephews, another on the way, two God children but as much as I love them it also kills me.

I love that you love your dogs. We have two cats (Maisie & Minnie) and we love them like children. I am also really scared about getting old with no children to look after me. My Dad died suddenly 10 days after we were married and I've seen how us kids have kept my mum afloat. Terrified for my future ( I know that's not why you have kids but it's just another thing I panic about!)

You've done so brilliantly - I wish you all the very best sincerely xx

P.s love to your lovely sausages xx

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Hi minmin I know what you mean about not finding people in " real life" to talk to about our issues. I hope you can begin to feel that talking on here is a part of real life because we are all real and our experiences are definitely real. I've come on here to find people just like yourselves that I can relate to because I was feeling very isolated in our village full of families and yummy mummies. I'm looking at joining gateway women too and noticed there are meet ups in Reading every first Saturday of the month and Oxford every last Tuesday. (I think I've got that right). I'm near Reading too. It's easy to feel like everything is going wrong and a bit of a failure but life will get better. Just before I turned 40 my long term boyfriend and I split up and I truly thought it was the end for me. Single again and robbed of my chance to become a mum. 8 months later I unexpectedly found the man I'm now married to. Despite our fertility treatment not ending happily I at least feel we had the chance to try.

You are not a failure. It's a difficult time right now but I know you'll find a way to your purpose and worth. It's something many of us struggle with. I was terrified going through fertility treatment coz I was terrified both of having children, if it worked, and of not knowing what I was going to do with my life, if I didn't work. It's about 5 years since we ended our treatment and slowly I've been redesigning my life. Little steps is what its taking. Doing jobs where I feel in control and not stressed at all and only working with people I like. Looking after my puppy who is now 6. Seeing more of the people who mean a lot to me. Helping others out. Really thinking about things I'd like to do or achieve or places to visit. Giving myself a break and being kind to myself (not v good at that!)

Keep talking to us minmin and I really hope it gives you the support you need. Xx


Thanks for replying - really means a lot x

I have applied to the Gateway meet-up but havent been accepted yet. I saw they had a Reading one on Saturday mornings each month. Maybe we should do our own one!!

I had a better weekend and that's helped me be more productive today. I'm slowly coming out of the depression but not really sure I've faced childlessness. I think I still hope for something even though it's pretty unrealistic. Not sure when that will pass.



I agree there must be more women near us that we can get together I'd love that it helps to talk with people who have been through it. I'm guess we could put a post on here for women near us? X


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