My partner left me right before we started fertility treatment | Relationships

Dilemma I’m in my 30s now, have been with someone I love for 10 years, and think I’ll grow old with me. We recently started medically assisted IUI with donor sperm (we are lesbian) and then my partner left me two days before our first insemination.I Found out that she was having an affair with a mutual friend. She has come back althoughwe had a lot of love and intimacy, but she left again.

I always came to our clinic for three weeks, I feel so sad as if I can’t let go of what I think will be our child. It feels like there is no language that can be used as a lesbian fertility treatment not really “speak” in society, so I’m struggling even say what happened to me.

I also Knowing that transactions are a symptom of a wider problem, I want to take my own responsibility in the crash – Our communication is completely cut off because my partner is now saying she really doesn’t want our kids.

I realize now that my partner has been slowly withdrawing from the 2 year program (We chose a name, school, place to live, saved money, Talking about how and when we had our second child) Although I tried to talk to her at first, she rejected me so much that in the end I just got mad And need some kind of connection, even if it’s negative – like a toddler I guess.

How on earth am I going to handle and accept this, and how can I move on and stay in good shape?I can’t get rid of the feeling like I’m a loser and badly out of order, it doesn’t make sense, I know, but I feel very depressed.I’m also not sure if I should pursue motherhood alone. Am I enough for my child? Feeling punished. and so lonely.

Philippa’s answer I am glad you wrote. You need to listen. It looks like your partner loves you, but her body is telling her she doesn’t want kids. You love each other but want different things. You want a baby so badly that you don’t want to interpret her withdrawal as a sign that she doesn’t. You’re right: affairs are often problems in a person’s primary relationship. Her affair sounds like it’s not necessarily you that she’s trying to escape, it’s her parents.

Of course, you are destroyed. You lost her and your dream of parenting with her. It looks like you are right in many ways, it’s just that you dream differently about the future. She finds it hard to tell you, maybe she finds it hard to tell herself – well, she’s telling you now. She may be afraid of conflict, which can make it difficult for her to bring up difficult topics. You have a lot of insight into what happened and why, but that doesn’t stop the pain you’re going through right now, which sounds like it’s exacerbated by shame.

You know cognitively that you have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not a failure, it’s something that happens to you, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling it. It’s like bereavement. You are experiencing loss. When a person leaves us due to divorce or death, we feel that we have also lost the part of us we were together. That huge gap within us feels like a raw wound. You’re thinking, this is so painful, how can I recover? Over time, the vibrations will feel less raw. You’ll grow around it, the process won’t speed up, but within a year or two, build relationships with your friends, your work, your interests, and the wound will heal.

You feel punished, you’re enduring extreme shame, but that doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. you have not. It sounds like your ex doesn’t know it’s definitely not what she wants until she’s about to get fertilized, so don’t expect you to guess what she doesn’t know herself.

If possible, take some compassionate time off with someone who knows and loves you best, perhaps your parents or siblings. Let them take care of you and maybe let someone linger for a while when you get home so you won’t be alone until you’re ready.

And the other person who leaves you is your dream baby, babies and people they will develop into. How do you keep going?

Your child alone is enough. You need the support of friends and family, but you have enough. Research shows that the happiest families are not necessarily two-parent families, and children thrive in one, especially in a supportive community. Socioeconomic factors are more influential than how many parents a child has.

If you have any questions please send a short email to askphilippa@observer.co.uk