Woman shamed for having fertility treatments, baby at 50 years old with her affair partner who leaves her

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

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I used to work with a woman named Marnie who I always thought would have been the best mother a child could ask for. She had always wanted children, but while she was married had no luck getting pregnant on her own, and she and her husband could not afford fertility treatments.

Marnie was fine with adopting, she just wanted to be a mother, but her husband didn’t want to adopt. It was enough to break their relationship to pieces, that’s how much Marnie wanted a baby, so she left her husband and divorced him at 45, still determined at that advanced maternal age to have a child with someone.

Marnie started dating, but against her better judgement she started dating a married man.

I thought things would go well for her though, because this man was already separated from his wife for a while and seemed to be totally in love with Marnie. He was a sweet man, despite being a cheater I suppose, and I liked him a lot and hoped things would work out for them.

After almost a year of seeing this man, Marnie told me something shocking - she was taking fertility treatments in the hopes of getting pregnant - and the man she was having an affair with didn’t know this.

Marnie explained that he didn’t want to have a baby, that at almost 50 he thought they were too old, but she thought this might be her last chance at getting pregnant, so without his consent or knowledge she began treatments to boost her fertility.

Within a few months Marnie got what she wanted. She’d spent pretty much all her life savings on fertility treatments, but she’d finally gotten pregnant. Then it was time to tell the baby’s father.

Well, what do you think her affair partner did when he found out Marnie was pregnant? He left her, of course. High and dry, he flew the coop and disappeared from her life, leaving her to take care of her child alone.

Personally, I was thrilled for Marnie. She was so happy to be pregnant and to be getting what she always wanted, how could I not be happy for her, even under the shady circumstances?

Unfortunately, not everyone was so happy for Marnie.

I threw her a baby shower at work and it was poorly attended, and when I asked around why so many people who were invited and could have shown up but chose not to, I was told it was because they just didn’t agree with Marnie’s decisions.

It wasn’t even that she had had a child with a married man who then left her, it was that she was “selfish” for having a child at fifty. Because, some people thought, how could a woman in her fifties and sixties possibly care for a small child on their ow

People said she was selfish for bringing a child into the world with such an old single parent who might not be around long. People shamed her for having a child out of wedlock with a married man. People shamed her just because she had the gall to go after what she wanted and not care about what anyone else thought of it.

Ten years on, Marnie is a happy single mom to a beautiful young girl who is thriving.

Would you shame someone for that?

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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