Fertility treatment and wanting a baby are probably two of the hardest issues you will face in life. But what happens when you have made the decision to have a child and you are ready to start and then your partner decides to leave?
This is the exact scenario a Guardian reader found herself in recently.
The woman, in her mid-30s, explained she had been in a lesbian relationship for ten years; someone she loved and respected deeply.
The couple had recently begun Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with donor sperm but just two days before the first insemination her partner left the relationship.
She discovered her partner had been having an affair with a mutual friend. Despite the betrayal, the couple reconciled and were happy, for a while.
She told the Guardian’s Agony Aunt, Phillipa Perry: “I feel so sad and as though I can’t let go of what I thought was going to be our baby.
“I also understand that affairs are symptomatic of wider problems and I want to own my part in the breakdown – our communication had entirely broken down as my partner said she really did not want a baby.”
The woman asks Phillipa how she can process the situation.
She said: “How am I meant to move on and be okay? I’m also not sure whether to pursue motherhood alone? Would I be enough for my child? It feels very punishing. And so lonely.”
Phillipa said it seems obvious that the couple wanted different things.
She said: “Of course, you are devastated. You’ve lost her and your dream and parenting with her. It seems you were right for each other in so many ways, except that your dreams for the future were different.
“You are experiencing loss. When a person leaves us through divorce or death it can feel like we can lose the part of us we were when we were together. That gaping gap in us can feel like a raw wound. The shock will feel less raw over time. You will grow around it, there’s no speeding that process up, but in a year or two’s time in relationships with friends, your work, your interests, the wound will heal.
“You are enough for a child solo. You will need the support of your friends and family, but you are enough.”
What are your thoughts? Have you been through anything similar? Can you offer any advice to the reader?
Or do you have a dilemma you would like help making a decision on? We’d love to hear your story. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.