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Both my marriages have collapsed because I am unable to conceive

The issue: I am a professional woman from Kenya and in my early 40s. I have been married for the past 15 years without a child. My first marriage broke down after just 2 years, because I wasn’t able to conceive. I am now in my second marriage, with its ups and downs. The pressure from my in-laws is also too much for me to bear. At one point, just recently, my husband married another woman and I don’t know whether the marriage is still on, because we both live in different cities. I want to thank the good Lord for having come across nonparents.com. It’s such an inspiration. I have tried all means to conceive. From conventional medicine to sorcerers. All in vain. I stay all alone. You can imagine how lonely my heart is. I hope you will hold my hand through this tough journey.

Nina’s answer: Your story deeply saddens me. To be rejected in this way must be terrible. As a person of African descent (I am originally from the Ivory Coast), I am too aware of this type of treatment of childless women. Have you and your husband had some tests done to determine without any shadow of a doubt that you are the one with the fertility issues? The reason I ask this, is because there is an automatic assumption in Africa that when a couple cannot conceive, it is the fault of the woman, when studies show that in actual fact, 50% of the time, it is because the man is infertile. I know too well about male infertility. My husband and I have no children because he is infertile.

What I would also like you to understand, is that nothing in life happens by chance. There is a reason for everything. I am one of 7 children on my mother’s side and my husband is one of 3 children. We are the only ones in both our families without children. The first reaction is generally to ask, why me? And I often asked myself that question in the years when we were still trying to conceive. Gradually however, I realised that the only way for me to be happy, was to accept my path. Yes it may not be the one that I had planned, but that is the path that God has chosen for me, and who am I to go against God’s wishes?

I do understand that it must be twice as hard to be childless in Africa than it is here in the West. However, only if people start to accept their lives as childless people in places like Africa and Asia, and start showing people around them that you can achieve happiness without children, can mentalities start to change on this issue. Only you and others in your situation can do that. Courage is what you need, and I hope that you possess enough of it, to help you see that there is more to life than having children. Just remember that you never walk alone. God is by your side and has always been there. Just ask him to provide you with the courage that you need to live your life as a childless woman, in peace.

I set up this website as a support network for people like yourself. Please know that you are not alone in your struggles. There are millions of women just like you around the world.

Nina Steele is nonparents.com agony aunt. Send any dilemma you may have to: [email protected]

Childless black woman

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