How to Accept the Idea That You’ll Be Childless Forever

How do you deal with a childless marriage? These tips for coping with childlessness forever are for both married and single women. I can’t have kids; my husband and I first started dealing with infertility 10 years ago. It was a process, and it took a long time…but we’ve come to accept the idea that we’ll be childless forever.

On my article 5 Practical Ways to Cope With Childlessness, a reader said she wasn’t comforted by my advice because she’s not married. “How can I be happy as a childless woman?” she asks. She feels that single childless women have a different set of problems when it comes to learning how to be happy. I think she’s right. Married woman who can’t have children may have a built-in source of comfort in their husbands…but they may also have a built-in source of pain, disappointment, and loneliness. Here are five tips on how to be happy as a married childless couple, plus five tips for being happy as a single woman who can’t have kids.

Whether you’re single or married, it’s important to experience the grieving process of being childless forever. Infertility and childlessness is a serious loss, and the only way to cope with it is to go through the grieving process. You aren’t alone in your grief; my husband can’t have children. We’ve learned how to be happy in childlessness – and even to enjoy the many benefits of not having children 🙂

The bad news is that the sting and heartbreak of childlessness doesn’t ever fully go away. You will always experience the pain of infertility and childlessness when you see a baby or pregnant woman. But there is good news – and it’s that childless women who are Christian have a solid, unquenchable, never-ending ever-flowing source of peace, love, joy, and healing from God.

If you haven’t grieved the death of your dream to have your own biological children, read How to Survive the Grieving Process. It’s important to grieve childlessness, whether you’re single or married, young or old, Christian or atheist. The experience of infertility is heartbreaking and needs to be processed before you can learn how to be happy.

5 Ways to Be Happy in a Childless Marriage

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you feel emotionally supported or spiritually connected. In fact, experiencing emotional disconnection in marriage can be far lonelier than being single. When you’re a single woman without children, you expect to be lonely and sad. When you’re married you may expect to your husband to be there for you the way you need – but this isn’t always possible.

Which leads me to my first tip on how to be happy as a married childless woman…

1. Don’t expect your husband to give you all the emotional support you need

“We were diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility’, which sounds good in one respect,” says Cindy Margolis, actress, model, and spokesperson for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. “On the other hand, you almost want something wrong, so there’s a problem that you can fix.”

Men have the reputation of wanting to fix emotional and practical problems for their wives. Infertility is a problem that can’t be fixed; childlessness is a grief that never fully lifts its shadow. This may lead to relationship problems that become worse than the struggle  of “just” learning how to be happy as a childless couple. Many infertile couples fall into the emotional traps of blaming, confusion, and unmet expectations. Some childless women expect their husbands to support them emotionally and spiritually; some childless men don’t know how to give their wives that emotional support.

Whether you’re coping with male-factor infertility, female fertility problems, or unexplained infertility, the fact is that you and your husband may not be able to support each other the way you need. You may have to find other sources of comfort and healing – especially if one or both of you aren’t able to accept the idea of being childless forever.

2. Be prepared for the effect of childlessness on your marriage

I don’t know the statistics of divorce after infertility, but I do know that childlessness can negatively impact a marriage. Some couples get a divorce after infertility or even during fertility treatments because it’s a stressful, difficult time.

Part of learning how to be happy as a childless woman is to be prepared for anything in your relationship with your husband. After you grieve infertility, you need to be aware that your marriage may look very different in a year from now. Maybe your relationship will be stronger; maybe it’ll be weaker. Maybe you’ll have learned joy and peace; maybe your husband will have sunk deeper into pain and depression.

Don’t expect anything in particular, but be prepared for anything.

3. Learn the freedom of acceptance and surrender

My husband and I spent three years trying to have children before we realized that our infertility was insurmountable. Yes, we’re Christians – and yes, we believed with all our hearts, minds, and souls that God would give us children! In fact, I even believed I had a promise from God. I’d read a Psalm that said “God settles the barren woman in her home and makes her the happy mother of children,” a decade before we got married; I really, really believed God intended me to have biological children.

childless women how can I be hally

How to Be Happy as a Childless Woman – Single or Married

But it wasn’t to be. Now, after 12 years of marriage, I have learned how to be happy even though I’ll be childless forever. My happiness doesn’t come from my husband Bruce or from our dogs. In fact I’m not even just happy – I’m full of joy, enthusiasm, positive energy, love, and courage.

My joy comes from acceptance and surrender. I haven’t allowed myself to sink into the belief that childless women are any less worthy or valuable than women who are mothers, and I don’t believe God is withholding something from me. I trust Him with a childlike spirit, and I love Him with all my heart.

I live in acceptance and surrender to His will for my life, and I have never been happier. If you’re not ready to surrender your dream of having biological children, you may find How to Pray a Powerful Prayer for Healing helpful.

4. Be with other childless couples who have learned how to be happy

If you’ve recently discovered that you or your partner are infertile, you may want to research various infertility support groups or couples counselors. Many treatment centers have monthly support groups led by experienced therapists. Connecting with other couples coping with infertility is a great way to learn how to be happy even if you’ll be childless forever, and even to investigate alternative ways to have a family.

When I was going through the worst of my grieving process, I didn’t want to be around new moms, babies, or pregnant women. Childlessness was very painful and I didn’t know how to be happy as a woman without children. I encourage you to be aware of your grief process and the “triggers” that make your world come crashing down. While you’re going through the worst of your grief, avoid those triggers. As you start to heal and grow stronger, you will find yourself able to be with new moms, babies, and expectant mothers. You will learn how to be happy without having to be surrounded by childless women all the time! Trust me. You will heal.

5. Explore different ways to invite children into your life

I’m a Big Sister with the Big Sisters/Big Brothers mentoring organization. My husband was a Big Brother. I didn’t find this to be a painful reminder of our childlessness; in fact, volunteering with a child (who is now a 15 year old teenage girl with all sorts of emotions and hormones running through her veins) helped me embrace our childlessness.

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How else can you incorporate childishness into your life as a couple? Consider volunteering at a hospital for sick kids, or getting seriously involved in your nephews’ or nieces’ lives. There are kids all over our communities who are lonely and desperate for adult attention…and if your childless life may benefit other people’s kids in deep, meaningful ways.

If you believe you’ll never learn how to be happy because you’re a childless woman, talk to couples who have adopted, fostered, or had children in non-biological ways. Enjoying – not just tolerating – life after infertility involves opening your mind to possibilities other than traditional childbirth (or traditional fertility treatments). Ask your friends and family for examples of people who have built their families in untraditional ways. You’ll be surprised at what bubbles to the surface!

A Childfree Life After InfertilityIf you’re struggling with the idea of living childless forever, read Complete Without Kids: An Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance. Ellen Walker guides readers through the positive and negative aspects of childfree living, taking into consideration the different issues faced by men or women, couples or singles.

As a woman who is childfree by choice, Walker draws upon her personal experience while also offering the reader numerous interviews with other childfree adults, revealing behind-the-scenes factors that influenced their personal journeys.

5 Tips for Single Women Who Are Childless

These tips aren’t just for never-married women – they’re for women whose marriages failed because of the pain of infertility, and for divorced women who never had their own children.

1. Find healthy ways to grieve your childlessness

“I’ve never been married and now that I’m 49, I believe I’ll be a childless single woman for the rest of my life,” says Elsa in response to Words of Comfort When Your Heart is Broken. “I’m an only child and have no siblings, I’m truly the last of my line and it depresses me that it will all end with me. There is an ‘immortality’ about having kids that I’ll never have.”

She adds that she’s dealing with depression that childless women often face. “I know in my heart I need therapy, but I live out here in the boonies where there aren’t any counselors or support groups, so that’s not an option,” she says. “I write copiously.I have always written, both professionally and privately, have kept journals since the age of 5 (I literally have trunks of them…). It’s saved me from ‘losing it’ more than once. Writing enables me to get my thoughts clearly formed and to think things through. My diary is my ‘therapist.’ I used to write in little notebooks, which I illustrated, but now I do it on the computer and the laptop when I travel.”

2. Learn how other single women found happiness

I believe that it’s impossible to go through the challenge of infertility and not be changed by the process,” says entrepreneur Lesley Pyne How to Be Happy Without Kids. “I’ve used those changes to create meaning in my life. There’s no doubt that I’m different now. I’m stronger than I thought, I know myself a lot better and I’m a lot more empathic. I’ve learned so many new skills and have reclaimed my creativity.”

Lesley also says that time will only partially heal the pain of infertility for single childless women. She encourages women to take positive action to heal the grief and sadness. “It is hard to do this on your own,” says Lesley. “Working with someone who has been where you are and knows the way out makes the journey so much easier.”

3. Own and rewrite your story

You don’t get the life you planned. You never thought you’d have to cope with the idea of being childless forever.

How to Be Happy as a Childless Woman Single or Married

How to Be Happy as a Childless Woman – Single or Married

It’s heartbreaking, and I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry for my loss, and my heart goes out to all the childless women who are in deep pain because they will never have their own biological children.

But I refuse to let my childlessness and infertility be the end of my story.

Author Brené Brown says this about owning your story: “When you deny your story, it defines you. When you own your story, you get to write a brave new ending. You get to say it was horrible and I was in lots of pain …… and then I got help and this is how the story ends.”

Learning how to be happy even if you’re childless forever doesn’t have to involve figuring out what your purpose is or what you’re passionate about! I know more women who don’t know what their purpose is than women who know why they’re here and what their “mission” is.

4. Focus on your emotional and spiritual health

Connect with God, or whatever makes you feel fully alive and energized. Explore activities that you haven’t yet tried. Talk to people you’ve never met. Take a risk, for you are dying. We are all dying, whether we’re childless women or single or married or the mother of quintuplets or a grandma of a one.

You know that feeling of abundant joy, peace, and freedom? Like you’re walking on clouds and in love with the Universe? That’s God. He is speaking to you all the time, wanting to fill you with peace, joy, love, healing, and grace. Accept what He offers, for no child or husband or activity will give you God’s spirit.

5. Be willing to accept your life as it is – without ‘winning’ or ‘losing’

how can I be happy childless womenKitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal is one of my favorite books because it’s all about accepting both the bitter and the sweet parts of life. Dr Rachel Naomi Remen is an oncologist who never had children. She struggled with Crohn’s Disease for most her life, and when she was in her 20s had surgery to remove most of her intestines. Dr Remen is one of those childless women who knows failure and heartache – and I think she was single when she wrote Kitchen Table Wisdom. Maybe she’s still single, I don’t know. It doesn’t even matter! She teaches people how to bounce back from pain, loss, depression, and suffering to live full, passionate lives.

“The willingness to win OR lose moves us out of an adversarial relationship to life and into a powerful kind of openness,” writes Dr. Remen in Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal. “From such a position, we can make a greater commitment to life.”

Learning how to be happy as a single childless woman will involve being grateful for the benefits of your life. You can’t be happy without gratitude. When you feel grateful, you have no room in your heart, spirit, or soul for depression, angst, anxiety, or pain. Live in gratitude. Learn how to be happy with what you have, where you are, and who you are becoming. You will always feel the heartache of not having a baby, but it’s much easier to bear when you focus on the good parts of your life.

How do you feel? How are you coping with the idea of being childless forever? I welcome your big and little thoughts below. Feel free to share your story, or a little comment.


Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.

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41 thoughts on “How to Accept the Idea That You’ll Be Childless Forever

  • Laurie Post author

    Thanks for your thoughts on childless versus childfree, Jaclyn! I choose to call myself childless not out of ignorance, but because I don’t see myself as “free” from children. To me, childfree is a choice. Childless is something I didn’t choose and I had to learn how to accept.

    How about you — are you childfree?

  • Jaclyn Handerhan

    I’d be happy if people stopped being so ignorant as to call women childless. Child free is the acceptable term. Learn it. Use it.

  • Corinne McDonald

    Being childless is painful but it is not the end of the world. I found out I couldn’t have kids when I was 28, and I was devastated….until my little sister was brutally attacked. She lived through it, but she has so many health issues, emotional and physical.

    The world is full of suffering. Infertility is painful, I get it. But it’s not the worst thing that could ever happen to you – and you CAN learn how to be happy as a childless woman.

    It’s your choice: depression because of infertility or happiness because you don’t want to live in a black pit. What will you choose?

    Corinne McDonald

    • Yolanda

      We don’t have to exist in a black pit but neither do we exist in a vacuum…it’s an extreme challenge to live in contemporary society and not be deluged with “mommy mania,” obsession over baby bumps, etc. All day long, we are bombarded with media messages of “well, as a *mom*, my view is….” OR ” …as a busy *mom*, I rely on this…” ….blah, blah, blah. Many contemporary mothers are absolutely moms first and persons second. And they don’t miss a single chance to bleat and blare their reproductive accomplishments at every turn, celebrating their own momhood individually and with likeminded women as a group. And it’s absolutely horrible to have to listen to and endure. When I grew up, parents had their identities straight as *people* first. But by the time the ’80s and ’90s rolled in, the mommy mania was in full force. I even recall one TV host (of a mom-oriented show) simpering at the start of every episode “*every* day is Mother’s Day”.” My point is that some women may prefer the black pit as a peaceful retreat from the often cold and selfish attitudes of many of today’s “oh so busy (and self-congratulatory) moms.”

  • Laurie Post author

    Hi Jen,

    Good question! I suspect there are more faith-based articles on coping as a childless woman than non faith-based. I wonder why?

    There must be articles that help women cope with infertility that don’t encourage a connection with God.

    Have you tried searching for terms such as:

    Dealing with infertility pain without God
    Coping with childlessness no faith in God
    Being happy as a childless woman atheist
    Don’t believe in God can’t have children

    Searching for “how to be happy as a childless woman” might also work if you do the negative search thing. I’m not sure how it works, you’d have to Google it, but it’s something like using the minus (-) sign and “God” or “faith” when you search for “coping with infertility” or “dealing with childlessness.”

    I hope this helps! I wish you all the best as you look for inspiration on healing.

    Oh yeah, I just remembered Pamela T’s blog – Silent Sorority! She also wrote a book. I’m not sure if she references God or faith, but her infertility blog is very popular and supportive.

    Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos

    May you find peace and healing, joy and love, acceptance and freedom. And may your life Blossom in ways you never expect.


  • Jen

    I would love it if someone could write about infertility and grief, and not reference God. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m not religious one bit, so relying on faith gets me nowhere. I’m not going to change in this respect. Where can I look for inspiration on healing?

    • janet womack

      Life without baby has a support group and gateway women dot com also has a support group. I’m 10 years out of Ivf and my grief journey. I have a retreat/getaway for childless women in the Hill country of Texas in May 2018.

  • Laurie

    Dear Roo,

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. My husband and I dealt with infertility and years of trying to conceive, and it is heartbreaking. It’s not easy, especially when you see pregnant women or babies. Even now, when there is no possible way for me to get pregnant (unless a miracle happens!), I still feel sad that I am a childless woman.

    I wrote this for you:

    How to Deal With Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant

    I hope it helps a little. May you find peace and healing, surrender and acceptance no matter what happens in your life. May you find life and joy, light and hope…and may you learn how to be happy as a childless woman.

    Joy and happiness are possible! Trust me. But first you need to go through the dark bits…and expect shadows to fall every now and then…


  • Roo

    I don’t want to learn how to be happy as a childless woman because I just want to get pregnant. My partner and I have been trying get pregnant for the best part of 7 years. He has four kids from two previous relationships so I know its not him. He’s 31, I’m 33. I’m falling apart more every day and he’s just angry at me. He doesn’t know why I can’t just snap out of it.

    I have all of the symptoms of depression and I just want to get pregnant. I don’t have much feeling for anyone or anything anymore. I feel so all alone. Even the smallest things are difficult and require so much energy. Even writing this comment is exhausting. I just wanted to write to say I understand and truly know how heartbreaking it is to be woman and not be able to perform your basic and primary purpose for being. To create, nurture and give birth to another human being. I hate myself for not being able to get pregnant and I can’t understand why this is happening…

  • Laurie

    You’re right, Gabriella. It can be more difficult to be happy as a childless woman if you’re single….but it really depends on your marriage. Some marriages make childlessness worse, because of guilt and condemnation and lack of understanding.

    The only true source of peace, love, and joy is God. It doesn’t matter if we have children, husbands, homes, cars, jobs, interesting hobbies, beautiful vacations…the only way to be truly peaceful and joyful is to have a relationship with He who created us. Everything else pales in comparison!

  • gabriella

    You know what is salt in the wound? The bit about having a husband at midlife has more effect on a woman’s well being. Does no good for those of us who are childless thru the circumstance of not having ANYONE.

    • Michelle

      Hi Gabriella Gateway Women is a great resource and just the support you may find useful. If you do an internet search you will find it. Also, ‘Living the life unexpected’ is a book you will also find a great support.

  • Brenda Reeves

    I know of so many people who chose not to have children. The one big positive is they have a very nice lifestyle. I find that even those who made a conscious decision to remain childless do a little mourning once they reach midlife. I became a mother at 19 years of age and enjoyed every moment of it. I think our desire to reproduce is instinctive. Biology programmed us that way. Now that my children are grown with families of their own and I rarely see them, I sometimes ask myself why did I have children? I told one of my sons and his wife who choose to remain childless to invest time and energy on their nieces and nephews. They may need them someday.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Jacquie, I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you find peace and joy in your life, despite the pain and heartbreak of not having biological children.

    It’s a hard idea to live with, but it does get easier. And then you see a baby or a pregnant woman, and it’s hard again. And then it gets easier….it’s not possible to be 100% happy with a childless or childfree life after infertility, but the difficult times do become shorter and less painful.


  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for your thoughts, Rachel! God IS so good, and He is the key to peace and joy no matter what suffering we’re facing. Whatever is true and good and right and pure, think of those things.

    Let yourself be used by God, to be the woman He created you to be.

  • Rachel

    Thank you for this post! I have recently reached the point in the grieving process of acceptance, I want to enjoy the life God has planned for us. Thank you for this encouragement :). God is good.

  • Jacquie

    Thanks for putting this blog out there. It is helpful for me to know that someone else has struggled with infertility too and has found peace in her life even in the midst of heartbreak.

  • Laurie

    Hmmm….now I’m looking at my quote “you can’t be both depressed and grateful”….and I’m rethinking it. You CAN be physiologically or hormonally depressed, and still be grateful for what you have!

  • Laurie

    I’m very sorry I missed your comments! Sometimes life gets so busy, I can’t keep up. If you’re still around – if you see this – please stop by and let me know how you’re doing.


  • nataly

    Hi! My name is nataly I’m 16 yrs old and I’m about to b17. I’m really sad and worried about my future bc I had two stds and probably have p.I.d and Im scare it may damage my reproductive organs and lead to infertility. :'( I’m soo scared help me plz

  • clairey

    Hi message for jane
    i too am in the situation that my husband has children from a previous relationship although he does try it is very hard as aside from all the pain from what is going on i feel very sad and lonely that he will not be able to understand the feelings i am dealing with at all, we can not share the joy of having a child together and now we cannot share the pain of not being able to(to make it worse it now appears the problem is his side now so i dont want to get to emotionally messed up in front of him and him to feel terrible…. also his last girlfriend aborted his child!). so i am very much by myself, you could say i am lucky as i have children in my life but they are teenagers and so obviously not mine -there is no unquestioning love that i see between father and child all the time and i am not expected to care for them or rather am expected not to care-it is not my place. im sorry i started hoping i could be supportive and show you you were not alone but it has turned into a bit of a whinge. one thing i do know is that sometimes pretending to be someone that can deal with it all is the only way to deal with day to day and advenually it will become a little easier i hope! i count my lucky starts everyday for the good luck in life that i do have- this is much more than some people have in the world i know.
    with understanding and every best wish. x

  • Christina

    My sister and her hubby have three kids and can’t stop complaining and/or bragging about them. She boasts while she’s pregnant, then gives birth and boasts for longer for several months–until she figures out how much difficulty she’ll have with the child. Then she complains. I honestly doubt my older niece and nephew realize that she loves them–but then, my sis and I don’t have a chummy relationship and therefore I am unable to be involved in her kids’ lives. I am one who personally would rather have kids in spite of what parents say (ie. “enjoy your intimacy now,” and “kids make it worse.”). On one hand, I’m not naive enough to think having kids would “fix” things. On the other hand, even if I am changing diapers and cleaning poop, I always dreamt of becoming a mom, and infertility has robbed me of that dream. After more than 3 years of trying to get pregnant and trying to adopt, I’m at a point of giving up and looking at childfree living as our choice. Infertility treatments would be too difficult for us–emotionally and financially–and my DH doesn’t feel comfortable yet with the idea of becoming a foster parent (I’m not sure i could handle it, either, to be honest). So it is looking like childfree living is going to be our best bet, even though the thought still devastates me. I just wish people could see how it feels to live for three years waiting for that baby to come who never shows up–neither through pregnancy nor adoption–and would realize that sometimes we have to reach that dream in order to realize that it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Beauford,

    Thank you so much for your comment! I think parenthood is so difficult, and yet very few parents can honestly admit how hard it is. Thank you for your honesty.

    I included your comment in this article:

    Childlessness and Happiness – Why I’m OK With Being Childless


  • Beauford

    The grass is always greener. I love my kids but having kids makes your life suck. Enjoy your freedom. Kids have a way of zapping all the meaning out of life. You have to clean up poop all the time, your back hurts all the time, you can’t go anywhere, you lose intimacy, you go broke, they do stupid things, your house gets destroyed, they get you sick all the time, vacations are more stressful than your job…

    Enjoy your freedom. If it feels like something is missing in your relationship, examine the relationship. Kids won’t fill that void, only complete honesty can do that. Kids only make it worse. Parenting is different than people think it is before they have kids. Yes you love your children forever, but everything else in in life ends up sucking.

    I’m not a jerk, I’m just honest.

    Hope this helps.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Katie,

    Thank you for your comment! I understand exactly how you feel: there are good and bad days when thinking about a life without children.

    I, too, would much rather have kids than not have kids…but I don’t want to live in misery because I didn’t get what I want out of life. So, I too pray for happiness and acceptance no matter what happens. Children or no children.

    Never give up hope, my friend. My husband doesn’t have any sperm, so we have no chance of conceiving (unless God gives us a miracle!). But still, we hope and pray and think maybe one day….and if not, it’s okay. Like you, we didn’t want to go for treatment after treatment — I tried IUI six times, but it didn’t work. I’m 41 now.

    Anyway, thanks again – I really appreciate your comments!


  • katie

    …oh and i should have mentioned that i’m 35..almost 36, have been ttc for 3 years and was also ‘diagnosed’ with unexplained infertility and had 1 failed IUI a year ago at which point we decided we didn’t want to be a couple that went for treatment after treatment and decided not to go for any further treatments and just see what life brings us.


  • katie

    Thanks Laurie for your 7 ways to be happy with a childfree life after infertility.

    This is exactly what i’m going through right now – my aim for this year is to be happy as we are…happy with the life we have and try not focus on what we have not got.

    I had already started to think about number 1 – the benefits of not having children…it was like a light bulb moment for me when i thought about it and having worked as a nanny some years ago i realise how much time and effort kids can be and i now try to believe that perhaps in a way it is best for me to cope with infertility than to cope with being a parent if perhaps i’d find that even more difficult…..well it’s one way of looking at the whole situation anyway and in many ways it can make it easier. (i’m by no means saying i’m completely ok with it all the time, there are still good and bad days)

    Up until this year i prayed for a pregnancy… i pray for happiness in whatever life brings us.


  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Tanya,

    The only way to find out if you can have a child is to keep trying to get pregnant, and to get fertility tests from a doctor. Also, get your husband’s sperm checked (male infertility is just as common as female infertility!).

    And remember that it takes a year on average for most couples to conceive a child.


  • Tanya

    Hi There,

    I am married for a year and i am 27 years old. I have regular cycle (34 days cycle). Now i am trying to conceive last 1 year with no success. I do ovulate last month as i gave up & checked using OPK. I also using pre-seed. Is it possible for me to have child? What can do next? Thank You.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks so much for your comment! It seems like I rarely hear from people who are finding ways to be happy with a childfree life after infertility, and I’m glad to hear from you 🙂

    I hope you don’t mind — used some of your comments in a blog post, and linked to your facebook page.

    Can Your Marriage Survive Infertility?

    I like your Facebook idea, and will become a fan!

    Blessings — and best of luck with the fostering.


  • Josie

    Thanks for your article Laurie – I really enjoyed it.

    We are currently waiting to be placed with long-term foster children (waiting nearly a year), after 13 unsuccessful IVFs and 6 years in total TTC.

    I absolutely know it is possible to be happy after infertility – for us, we have even found value, meaning and purpose out of our deep suffering (we feel blessed that we will provide a loving and stable home to kiddies who have had a rocky start to life).

    That doesn’t mean to say that we don’t feel loss or sadness sometimes because we do. It has taken a huge committment on our behalf – years of couples and individual psychotherapy to work through our anger, loss and longing. Being part of a support group has also been instrumental to my healing – helping and supporting others through their infertility journey. I started a facebook page to support others. Looking at the benefits of a child free life – all of these things have helped us to heal.

  • Compassionate

    While I have started to accept infertility in my life, I can imagine how painful it must be for Cindy to deal with it. We all go through the grieving process in our own way, and at our own pace, and I remember when I felt the way Cindy is feeling now.

    TO CINDY: I am sorry to hear that it continues to be difficult for you to deal with a “childfree life” — my heart goes out to you. Please continue to give yourself the necessary time and space to grieve and process your current life situation. In the meantime, I wish you much peace and comfort during this very challenging time…

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Jane,

    I’m really sorry to hear that you can’t have kids of your own, and your husband has kids from a previous marriage…that’s really difficult to cope with.

    I don’t have any easy answers for you — probably because there AREN’T any easy answers for anyone! Coping with a childfree or childless life is difficult no matter what the situation. Maybe it’s harder when you see how happy your husband’s kids make him…I’d never thought of that situation.

    Have you thought of other ways to have a family? Many couples find adoption or fostering children just as fulfilling as having biological children. I know it’s not the same; but in some ways, it can be even more fulfilling because you’re opening your home to children who don’t have families.

    I wish you all the best.


  • Jane

    So how do you cope when you find out you can’t have kids of your own because your husband has become infertile but he already has kids from a previous marriage?

    I live every day with a step son. See the joy in my husbands face and know I will never have kids of my own.


  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks, Nicole. I really appreciate your feedback, and hope Cindy reads your thoughtful message.

    I know that many women who can’t have kids are heartbroken beyond belief. It’s difficult to live in pain like that…and choosing to find happiness in other parts of life isn’t easy.

  • Nicole


    I appreciate the measured response you had the grace to write to Cindy. You recognized that she was coming from a place of pain where she couldn’t even see what was obvious to me when I read your article – that you too have struggled with infertility. Like you said, “I’d rather have kids, but I’m happy.”

    I hope that you can take a moment to reflect that there are many of us other there who experience exactly what you are going through but we don’t judge and warp what people say just to make ourselves feel better. Laurie never said that she “found happiness in the fact that she can’t have children.” She said she is finding it DESPITE it. You might have too also. I did. Good luck to you but either way – be happy!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, I appreciate it.

    I wrote this article, and have been struggling with infertility for three years now. My husband and I have been “forced into a childfree life”, but we don’t choose to look at it that way.

    It’s hard, and I’d rather we had kids, but we’re happy!


  • Cindy

    Whoever wrote this nonsense article has never struggled with infertility nor do they have any concept of what it means to be forced into a child free life.

  • Cindy

    If you think that any of the suggestions listed above are ways to find “happiness” in the fact that you cannot have your own children, you are sadly mistaken.