Will my boyfriend stop being attracted to me if he learns I am infertile, even though he doesn't want to have more children?
March 14, 2012 7:25 AM Subscribe
I'm in a relationship with someone and it's getting pretty serious. He has two kids from a previous marriage who I love (and they seem to love me, too). It's all quite great. However, I have what seems like an irrational fear that I can't seem to get out of my head and wanted some input.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total)
Our relationship is great. The kids are great. He has an amicable relationship with his ex and I get along decently well with her, too. We've started to talk marriage. It's all exciting!
Here's the thing: I am unable to have kids of my own. I have had several benign ovarian cysts over the years, and it's been determined that I just...don't...ovulate. At all. I'm on the pill to keep my periods coming regularly, but in terms of actual birth control...don't really need it, apparently. Because there ain't no eggs coming down. Sigh.
When I learned this I didn't freak out too much - I figured that if I ever wanted to have kids, there were other avenues I could pursue to have them. Or maybe I just wouldn't have kids at all. I came to peace with this a long time ago and it doesn't bother me at all now - and now that it looks like I might become a stepmother to two awesome kids I feel like hey, this is great. It won't be the same as having biological kids, but I think I could be a really good stepmom, and I'll get to experience a version of motherhood, in a sense. And I love the kids. And of course, I love their dad. This feels right to me.
But...I have never outright told my boyfriend this detail about me not being able to have kids. I've been with him four years now and I just can't bring myself to do it for some reason. One of the things that he made clear to me very early on in our relationship (or even before that, when we were just friends) is that given his age (mid-late 40s) he wouldn't want to have another child. And in my mind, I filed that away as "OH THANK GOD we won't have this complication to deal with!" In my mind, I figured hey, if that's how he feels, then the fact that I am infertile is a good thing. So I don't think telling him this fact about me would be a dealbreaker in any sense. I just feel like he ought to know because, well, in my conception of a healthy relationship, people should be able to share these painful parts of themselves with each other, and people shouldn't keep inconsequential details secret for no reason.
My fear, though, is that this isn't inconsequential. My fear is that if I tell him this, he'll stop being attracted to me.
No seriously. That's my fear. And I know it doesn't really make logical sense in any way shape or form, but I just can't shake the feeling that if I tell him "Hey, I can't have kids because my ovaries are busted," he will not find me attractive anymore.
WHY do I feel this way? I have never, ever felt that my reproductive issues impeded my ability to feel feminine, and take joy and pleasure in my sexuality. I've never felt Not A Woman because of this fact about myself (and I've known this since I was 19). But why am I worried that this is somehow going to mean something to him? Especially since he's stated in the past that he doesn't want to be a new dad again when he's pushing fifty. So it's not like he'd be all sad that he can't procreate with me - procreating with me (or anyone) is off the table for him. So I should be able to tell him.
But I can't, because I'm just so scared that he'll be turned off by this for some reason.
Does this make any sense? Is this something to worry about? If not, then how do I get myself to get beyond this and move forward?
For the men of AskMefi, would you stop being attracted to your SO if you found out she was infertile (even if you didn't want kids)?
I guess I'm just looking to hear if anyone has experienced anything like this. Or just some perspectives/ways to reframe this (read: ways to stop freaking out that my boyfriend of 4 years who wants to marry me and have me help raise his young children would run screaming for the hills if he found out I am infertile). Unless it's true that men don't find infertile women attractive. But that's such an inflammatory statement that I cringe looking at it. But is it true? ARGH GAH HELP.