Thoughts and statistics

Gentlemen, have you hidden your emotions because you felt that was what men do?

Number of responses: 139

Gentlemen, if you have/had a partner have you hidden your emotions in order to stay strong for your wife/partner?

Number of responses: 137

What I care about above all-else is how my wife feels, and I know she struggles and hurts inside more than she will mention.

It is hard to see the pain my wife experiences in wanting a child. She is my everything. Hearing comments from others hurts us both. It is especially difficult when all of my closest friends had the chance to become fathers (either again or for the first time) within the last year. It's easy to feel left on the bench.

At first I did not understand most of my wife's emotional pain of not having children. I did not understand why she felt ostracized by friends and family. Until it happened to me. And it opened my eyes. Oftentimes men are not as involved in discussions of their children's lives as women are and therefore I did not notice it right away.

Gentlemen, have you been at the receiving end of insensitive comments?

Number of responses: 137

I'm tired of being lectured about being 'spared of problems', especially regarding bringing up teenagers.

Sometimes it makes you feel worthless. Other Men ask you isn't it about time you had kids. You don't need to have Christmas off as holidays as you have no children. Feel like you don't fit in within society.

Gentlemen, do you feel like others do not understand your pain (grief)?

Number of responses: 133

A husband's grief is absolutely no less than their wife's when told their dreams of making a family (children) will not come true. It is devastating and traumatic to a man. This grief will never go away, because when I see children with their parents, and more so men, I know personally, talking about or being with their children, that all reminds me of what I will never have and brings the grief to the forefront of my mind.

My wife and I have unexplained fertility issues. When going through IVF, I felt actively marginalised by the doctor that we were both seeing. I knew that my role was relatively small - but I felt that I was looked at as a sperm donor, and not a part of the team.

Gentlemen, have you faced your grief or buried it?

Number of responses: 133

I have faced my grief and happy to talk about it now only because I have undergone 5 years worth of therapy with counselling and a 12 month course with Jody Day. Prior to this I hid at home, buried my grief as I didn't feel it justified as my grief was invisible and didn't speak out about it. The couple of times I had I was swarmed with the normal solution to bandage the problem, i.e. Adopt, IVF etc.

My greif is a magic pocket - it is always there, others sometimes see it, it can be tiny or it can be overwhelming but it always is.

Nobody knows what it feels like until they've been through it.

Gentlemen, are you comfortable to openly say you are childless?

Number of responses: 134

Gentlemen, do you feel ostracized by other men because you are not a parent?

Number of responses: 133

Judged as Unworthy. Untrustworthy. Less of a person... even with SUSPICION !!...some sort of wierdo... People seem uncomfortable with it ... People are " FUNNY "...about people who have not had children.

I feel like an outcast in my own family because all of my siblings have kids and now their children are starting to have kids. It's very uncomfortable being around them. It's like the big elephant in the room that no one ever wants to talk about.

Being left out of events because we don't have kids. Constant talk about kids when with friends.

The feeling of awkwardness when you're the only one in the group of friends that doesn't have children when they're sharing stories about their children, or wives being pregnant or wanting more children.

The infuriation about looking at the process of adoption and being judged/having to jump through hoops to prove you can be a good parent, and then look at what natural parents have to do in comparison - makes you feel so inadequate. Not being accepted/invited to some friend’s gatherings because you don't have children - feeling left out.

Gentlemen, have you considered or would you consider joining a support group?

Number of responses: 131

14 - Yes, but I’ve not actively looked

11 - Yes, but I haven’t joined because I am not sure I am comfortable to express my feelings

1 - Yes I have joined a group but not found it beneficial

5 - Yes I have joined a group and found it beneficial

60 - No, it’s not something that interests me

39 - No, I wouldn’t feel comfortable to express my feelings

4 - Other

Men have deep feelings. I LOVE to have my own children. I love children and children love me very much. Many children love me more than they love their own parents. It is very hard to be a man and childless. There are not support groups. There is not one I can talk to, it is considered a women’s subject.

There are support groups that accept male members.

Please take a look at the Support Groups under the Community page of the World Childless Week website