"It makes me angry when he doesn't understand how hard it is for me to get pregnant, and he doesn't want to try," says Michelle, of her husband of one year, Eric. They both want to have children, but she hasn't been able to get
Michelle was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, making conception more difficult. "I have to go through a lot of medications, and recently my doctor was wanting me to do injectables," she explains, noting that they've spent $5,000 on fertility drugs. "Eric definitely does not want to pay for any of it. Eric's main reason for not wanting to have children at this time was to purchase a house."
"I do understand Michelle's urgency to have a child. I do not understand the rationale to go into debt for it though," Eric says. He's told Michelle to stop the procedures because he says they don't have the money. "I don't think spending $2,500 with very little chance of it working is worth that at all," he explains. "Those extra expenses make it very difficult meeting a monthly budget."
"I would keep trying until I was broke," Michelle reveals. "We argue almost on a daily basis ... Emotionally, we're both drained. Financially, we're draining."
Eric hopes to heal their relationship. "I very much wish that I had the old Michelle back," he admits. "It is a fear of mine that I will end up having some resentment toward her. The future between my wife and me is definitely up in the air."
Michelle acknowledges, "It's definitely a desperate situation."
"You have a sense of urgency here," Dr. Phil says to Michelle. "Tell me about that."
Eric agrees that he wants kids. "If I could have a child right now, it would be there," he says.
"You're objection is what?" Dr. Phil asks him.
"We can't continue to spend money on something that has a very, very low success rate," he says.
"You said you'd rather put that in an item you know you're going to get, like a house," Dr. Phil says, "because at least you'd make the investment. You'd get the item."
"If you stop now because he doesn't want to continue to spend the money on this, how are you going to feel about that?" Dr. Phil asks her.
"I think I'll regret it. I don't want to end up down the road in a divorce, and I don't want to regret my decision to marry him," she says.
Michelle has contemplated selling items on eBay or doing anything she can to obtain the money for fertility treatments. "I was ready to go behind his back and just charge it to my account, and he wouldn't know," she says.
Dr. Phil addresses Michelle. "For every thought you have, there's a physiological correlate," he tells her. "Right now, you are stressed. You are angry. You are biochemically, physiologically, setting yourself up in the least fertile state you co
"I cringe when I hear that, because with my condition I might only ovulate two to three times a year, which makes it really impossible to try to get pregnant," she says. "I can relax all I want, and it's not going to help me. I need to continue with the medications."
"I'm not saying you don't," Dr. Phil tells her, but he reiterates that it is important for her to get herself into a better mental state to help her chances of conceiving.
Turning to Eric, Dr. Phil asks, "What are you thinking about what I'm saying here?"
"I understand that investing in, or paying for the procedures would definitely help our relationship. It would create a stronger bond than what we have," he says. "But I just have a hard time understanding the point of going into debt. I understand that you can never afford a baby."
Dr. Phil says he understands Eric's logic, but he asks him, "What are you going to do if you have a baby, and it has a problem, say, at 2 years of age, and they say, â€˜We think we can fix this. The procedure is $20,000, but I don't know. It might cure him, and it might not.' What are you going to do?"
"At that point, we're living on milk crates," Eric says.
"You wouldn't deny the opportunity to try to fix the problem then, would you?" Dr. Phil asks.
"No," he says.
"You're just trying to fix the problem now," Dr. Phil points out. "You don't want to spend the money on a house that she resents every time she walks in."
"I guess we'll have to talk about this some more," Eric says.
"I definitely understand that I need to maybe understand her point and try to do my best to meet her at least halfway in this decision," he says.