I have been married for 18 years, I am now 41. When my husband and I first married we were starting careers and he was attending school. We both wanted one child, maybe 4 or 5 years after we got married. Well things progressed slower than planned and life kept passing by. Finally he finished his mba at 32, we had been married 9 years.
A few months after he graduated I asked him about having a child and his answer was "wait another 2 years, so his career could be established", I also received a big promotion at this time so I was distracted enough to not push the issue. So after patiently waiting 2 years I again brought up the issue and was told "not ready for another 2 or 3 years". I pushed back with "ok so you really want me to wait until I'm 36 or 37?" At this point I again backed off and we both started to drink too much. Drinking was the easy way to deal with the unhappiness and tension.
A year later I asked yet again and he couldn't look me in the eye but replied "I don't think we need to have a child to be a family". At this point I almost had a nervous breakdown. I was driving a very long daily commute that was becoming unbearable. I was able to hide it at work but it was hard. I was lucky enough that a kindred spirit that managed an office closer to my home had me transferred there to help with his new trainees. This lifted my spirits and distracted me. We were still drinking too much at home but things were tolerable. We never talked about having a child, it was the ghost in the attic.
Fast forward two years and I finally get promoted to the office nearest to my home and my husband's best friend and his wife have a baby. (we are now 38) All of the sudden my husband decides we should have a baby. I stop drinking, take my temperature every morning, pee on sticks. He doesn't cut back enough on his drinking (in my opinion). We try for 2 years but nothing works and fertility treatments are too expensive for the very low success rates quoted. So at 40 I give up.
My husband did suggest adoption but I told him my nerves were shot and I could not take any more disappointments. The big reason I wouldn't even consider adoption (my husband and best friend both being adopted) is because my husband's decisions prevented us from trying when we were fairly young and probably more fertile. I also blamed him for us not getting pregnant as he had a preexisting condition coupled with too much drinking causing him to have bad *****. I just felt I shouldn't have to be humiliated with adoption people and prospective birth mother's judging me, the doctors made me feel bad enough. "How dare I come to them at 38 trying to have a baby".
The worst parts of all of this is that my husband and I are only children and have no family and that shortly after my decision to stop trying to get pregnant he finally took control of his alcohol problem and drinks very rarely. I am proud of him for that but sad he couldn't have done it when I needed him to the most.
So this secret is very hard to put down in writing. I have had no counseling for this though I am secretly suffering in silence and it's unbearable at times. I put on a good happy face most of the time so as to not burden others.