These ways to be happy as a childless couple may help you cope with infertility and childlessness. A childless life doesn’t mean unhappiness for all childless couples, even if they’re desperate to get pregnant.
A reader recently emailed me and said:
“We recently found out that we can’t have kids and have decided against fertility treatments. It hurts, but I am trying to learn to accept this. I want to be that happy, loving, cheerful wife I was before we became a “childless couple.” I’m thinking I need to read a book, but where do I start?”
One of the best ways to be happy as a childless couple is to connect with other couples who can’t have kids. My husband and I haven’t done a good job of doing this, but I always feel better when I spend time with people who are happy despite not having children!
5 Ways to Be Happy as a Childless Couple
“I need to find my happiness,” says T. “I love my husband with my whole heart, but I just cry and cry every time I think about being a childless couple. I don’t want to see a counsellor but it may come to that. I just don’t know where to begin to accept it.”
I think seeing a counsellor is a great idea. A therapist – especially one who is experienced in infertility issues and finding ways to be happy for childless couples – will give you an objective, healthy perspective on your life.
Here’s a comment from a parent who says the grass is always greener on the other side:
Here’s a whole different perspective on having kids – a reader just wrote this a few hours ago:
“The grass is always greener,” says B. on A Childfree Life After Infertility – 7 Ways to be Happy. “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…
One way to be happy as a childless couple is to focus on the positive! If it feels like something is missing in your marriage, take time to examine it. 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 life ends up sucking. I’m not a jerk, I’m just honest. Hope this helps.”
My childless friends, be careful what you wish for!
Why I’m OK With Being Childless
We can’t have kids naturally, unless God decides to miraculously create sperm in my husband’s body (he has azoospermia, which means he doesn’t produce swimmers). While I’d prefer to have kids and would love to get pregnant, I’m still okay with being a childless couple. I’m not thrilled or happy with it, but…who says life is always thrilling and happy?
Here’s how I live with both childlessness and happiness…
1. I accept I’ll always be sad that we’re a childless couple. The sadness of childlessness never, ever goes away for many women – including me. It’s like mourning my grandmother’s death or my sister’s choice to cut me out of her life – I’ll always be sad about the losses I’ve suffered. To be happy as a childless couple, you need to accept that you’ll always feel pangs of heartache, pain, sorrow, and even regret. Everyone has burdens to bear, crosses to carry. For some of us, childlessness is our biggest, heaviest burden.
“Growing up, I always dreamed of having them; being able to watch them grow and going to sport/school events,” says T.
Being a childless woman isn’t easy for anyone – and it’s especially difficult for women who yearn for kids! But, happiness in life isn’t about getting what you want; it’s about figuring out what you can give others and how you can brighten their lives.
2. I stay emotionally and physically healthy. If you’re prone to the blues or depression, you’ll have a hard time with finding ways to be happy as a childless couple. I’m one of those lucky people who is naturally happy, positive, and optimistic. But I work at it – I do yoga, pilates, strength training, and cardio almost every day. I eat healthy foods, and avoid sugar, fat, and anything that makes me feel heavy and sluggish. And, I try to get eight hours of sleep a night. You’d be amazed at how your health affects your mindset! And one benefit of childlessness is that I’m free to get as much sleep, exercise, and free time that I need.
I also focus on finding meaningful things in life to be passionate about! Read How Did You Find Your Passion?
3. I focus on the benefits of a childless couple (and there are lots!). T. says, “I’m trying to see the positives of being a childless couple, yet I break down when I do. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time around family/friends who do have kids and I wish I could experience what they talk about.”
Yes, it would be awesome to experience the joys and pains of having kids! I would love it – I am not childless by choice. But, for some reason, I can easily and happily focus on how lucky and fortunate I am to experience aspects of life that I wouldn’t get with kids. I’m free to pursue whatever goals and activities I want, I love my job, and I love my freedom. That’s the biggest way to be happy as a childless couple: keep focusing on what brings you joy.
4. I stay connected with my husband – and we have fun together. Here’s what Deneice Arthurton said in Childless Couples – Living Happily Without Children: “One of the main reasons our childless state has turned out so successfully for us has been our strong relationship. Whenever something has come up we have talked about it no matter how uncomfortable this may have been for one or other of us. We still do this from time concerning not having kids, knowing that the demons of resentment get killed off if you bring them out into the open….What counts however is whether you can move on and build from these times. We did.”
One way to be happy as a childless couple is to reconnect with your spouse. Bruce and I travel, go boating, go on hikes with our dogs, and volunteer with the Big Sisters/Big Brothers organization.
5. I accept God’s will for my life – and sometimes I think He’s protecting me. Here’s where T. and I see eye-to-eye. She says, “I need to remember that God does things for a reason. Maybe we aren’t meant to have kids; what if we did and they had medical problems, then it wouldn’t be like I dreamed it would either.”
If you believe God is watching our for you, you’ve found the most important way to be happy as a childless couple. Sometimes I think Bruce and I are a childless couple because God is saving us from something. Schizophrenia and mental illness runs in my family, so maybe we’re being protected from that? Or, maybe it’s not about God holding something back from us. Infertility has reared its ugly head in my husband’s siblings as well…so maybe childlessness isn’t something God has “given” to us.
Maybe the best way to be happy as a childless couple is to accept that our infertility is just part of living in a fallen world, and all God’s children all got their messes. What do you think?
Here’s the article I mentioned earlier – I interviewed Lesley Pyne about her way to be happy as half of a childless couple: Starting Over After Infertility – A New Beginning.
Books on Coping With Childlessness
If you have any thoughts on being happy as a childless couple, please comment below…