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Husband says he doesn't want our baby

(34 Posts)
Financeprincess Sun 21-Apr-13 22:48:19

Hello, I'm new, be gentle with me!

I'm 41 and around 4 weeks pregnant with my first, and longed for, baby.

I married my husband 4 years ago. He was divorced when we met, and had 2 children, now 18 and 16, from his first marriage. He's 48. We both have good careers and no money worries. I'd have said that we were happily married, although he can be quite selfish.

Before we were engaged, he told me, unprompted, that he'd be open to the idea of having more children. I wouldn't have married him had he not been; it was important to me.

When I turned 40 I decided that we should start trying for a child. I'd wanted us to have some time as a couple first. My husband announced that he'd changed his mind and was no longer amenable to my having a baby because "he liked his life as it is" and "babies cause lots of arguments". (He has the life of Riley actually. Lovely house, plenty of time to ride his bike and pay his guitar, nice holidays etc). As you can imagine, this bombshell caused an argument; I told him that if he reneged on our agreement and deprived me of the chance to have a baby, then on some level I would resent him for the rest of my life and it would ultimately poison our marriage. He caved in eventually, but periodically he'd go into a sulk and tell me again that he didn't want another child because he thought it would stop him from pursuing his hobbies! I think he's selfish.

Anyway, after more than a year of hoping and trying, I got pregnant. I did the test and I can't tell you how pleased I was when it was positive. I told my husband and his reaction was,"well, congratulations I suppose". It can't have been a shock. He knows about the birds and the bees.

Since then, he's barely mentioned it. He said, "don't tell anyone, there's a good chance you'll lose it". Last week he was pretty grumpy, and he said, "sorry if I've been a bit grumpy, I'm under a lot of stress because I'm worried about....." I waited for him to say,"....you", but oh no! The thing he was worried about was a work project.

He must have noticed I was upset, and asked me what was wrong. I told him that he didn't seem interested in the fact that we were having a baby. He told me, rather coldly I thought, that he didn't want the baby, that he thinks it will ruin our lives and that he thought I was being selfish for expecting him to be pleased about it! I was in tears and said that I didn't want to be carrying a little unwanted baby. He said that I was being unfair for not considering his feelings more. He said that he "might come around to the idea" and I should "ask him what he thinks in 9 months' time".

I mentally told the baby not to listen, sorry if that sounds a bit bonkers.

I've got my first GP appointment tomorrow and he won't come with me because he thinks he'd be "hanging around like a spare part".

As you can probably tell, I'm really upset. I feel really unsupported, although I'm lucky to have a lovely family.

Has anybody been through something similar? What did you do and how did you cope? Would really appreciate any advice. Thanks.

honey86 Tue 23-Apr-13 20:55:08

err its abit strange how he waited til you were married til he dropped that bombshell. so you were legally tied to him. he prob thinks that marriage makes him immune from being left.

if that was me id walk out on him. hed soon be moaning when hes old and bald and no-one wants him.

clearly he only thinks about himself, so only right you should think about you and the baby only x

chipmonkey Tue 23-Apr-13 20:25:33

Of course he's allowed to change his mind but surely if you are with a woman approaching 40 who wants children, it's only fair not to mess her about and keep changing your mind? And still more unfair to ruin what should be a lovely time by being a sulky-arse?

I think it is unfair to point out that you said "I" and "me" a lot in your post.
Your husband already has children, obviously the desire to have a child with you isn't as high a priority as your own desire as someone who is 40 and does not yet have children (though I'm so pleased that you have fallen pregnant! Congratulations!). The time ticks away rapidly for women so time is of the essence.

Good for you for being honest about it and giving him the opportunity to have his say. Nobody FORCED him to stay with you and have unprotected sex with you. He's not a child who can't make his own decisions or say how he feels! He's clearly done that and carried on having unprotected sex with you anyway. Now, like anyone else, he has to take responsibility for his actions.

If he doesn't come around in 9 months time then it'll be his loss. Your baby will have plenty of love from you and, coming from someone who didn't grow up with their dad in their life, that will be more than enough. If he does come around then he'll hopefully realise how unreasonable he has been and how much he missed out on when you were pregnant. It's such a magical time, don't let someone ruin that for you.

badguider Mon 22-Apr-13 22:45:12

You need to spend the next few months talking talking talking about how life will be when the baby comes.

I personally don't see why you'd want him at your first appt with the doctor. I have only had my DH at scans as other appts are largely about me rather than the baby and certainly there hasn't been a role or expectation that i'd have my husband at the other appts. He will come to the parenting/birth classes though.

You need to talk about how you're going to organise your time with a baby/child to have time for yourselves as well as together as a family. DH and I are talking a LOT about how we're going to manage childcare and also both get our hobbies/sport/fitness interests in. We believe it's important to both look after ourselves mentally and physically and not selfish to take that time.

You need to reassure him that life won't end entirely as a parent. But HE needs to understand you CANNOT tolerate him being down about the whole thing for your entire pregnancy. That would be deeply unfair.

If you don't think you can have those conversations, properly, thoroughly and honestly, just the two of you then you MUST get a counsellor involved to help facilitate these conversations now and certainly before you get anywhere near the birth.

Good luck!

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 22:36:28

chipmonkey yes I'm very clear that he agreed that, but he was allowed to change his mind, as is the fundamental human right of most free humans. And he clearly expressed this thought before TTC. This was when the conversation about the seriousness of the repercussions of pregnancy should have begun.

Fom both sides obviously. He is as an arse for having unprotected sex in the middle of the issue, and an even bigger arse for making ridiculous assumptions about being able to conceive. Without doubt.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and the op needs to deal in the here and now. I would be sitting down to agree on expectations with the baby and how they can both achieve what they want in life whilst still having a child in the picture.

Teaandflapjacks Mon 22-Apr-13 16:51:15

Finance - I am sorry you are having such a hard time here. Here is my essay - in case it helps you! I thought I would share the very recent experience of a very close friend of mine in the hope it helps. She has a 5 yr old son, and was desperate for another. When she knew we were TTC, and another one in our group fell pg, she really wanted it more and more. Well she got all of us to try and talk to her DH about it, and he was having none of it. He had changed his mind, he said, and only wanted one child. And that we should all please butt out. So we did. Then a couple of months later, we heard they were TTC, he had flushed her pills down the loo. He said he couldn't live with her resenting him, but he wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy, if it happened. She had trouble conceiving the first time, so I am sure he thought it maybe wouldn't happen... Anyway, they did get pg, fairly swiftly, and he was shocked. He carried on as before, going put boozing loads etc, leaving her at home with the little one, and just said 'you got what you wanted' all the time. He never went to any appointments with her (he is his own boss so would have been no issue for time off work etc), and they are very wealthy.

My DH is his best friend, so after a time we got a bit worried, and I would drive my DH to the pub and drop him off and pick him up (like his Mum!) and see if there was anything going on. We even thought maybe he is having an affair etc. He wasn't - he just didn't want his life to change, and was a bit scared we thought. They had got into a good routine with number 1, he just didn't want to do it all over again - the sleepless nights, the nappies, the vomit, the shit, they would have to change cars, they would have to eventually move house as their place would be too small (guest bedroom now nursery) etc etc, they would be 5 years older before they were 'done'. The cost was not an issue for him - they have a lot of money. He told my DH he didn't want to be there for the birth (was with number 1) and said thats what doctors are for etc etc. He was boozing till term in her pg, then she went overdue. Suddenly we saw a major change, she had to go in and be induced in the end, he was there for all of it, including the midwife saying 'get round hear and get a load of this - she is crowing!! you don't want to miss it!' and strong arming him round shock. He says he was glad in the end, and is like dad of the year now. She is FF so he can assist and bond too - and it has worked wonders this. A genius move on her part TBH. He dotes on him, and says he can't imagine life without him.

It was a gamble - as huge one on her part - but paid off. You say he is 48 - well he will be 66 when the baby goes to Uni or leaves home - this must freak him out a bit, I am certain he must think about that, and all this entails. You rather tellingly said he was stressed about a work project - well it sounds to me like he probably worries about working into his late 60's now, and the cost of it all, and his pension, and on and on. I think if I were you I would put my feelings right out of it - sometimes there is not enough space in a heart to heart for both of your worries- he listened to yours and you got what you wanted out of it. Now you should afford him the same in return. I would go to him and say talk to me about your work problems, tell me about your worries, even if it hurts me, I want to be there and listen, like you did to me, we are a team. He may open up to you and you can find a way through. I would try and do all of this first before counselling TBH - this may send him running for the hills if you haven't at least gone to him and tried to walk in his shoes for a bit and understand his POV. The baby is there now, and obviously you wont terminate, so you need to find a way back to him - and sharing his burdens, so he doesn't feel alone, is the way to do that. Just thinking 'what an arse' wont get you through this - you need to dig deep for him, if you feel like there is something worth saving. And often men go to extremes when they are afraid, and say the absolute tail end worst of their emotions, in my experience.

Good Luck!!

chipmonkey Mon 22-Apr-13 15:45:10

Wallys, before they got married, he told her he'd be open to the idea of having more children. If he wasn't he should have told her then! And when you're 40, that decision HAS to be made quickly, if you hang about, it might not happen.
He's being an arse.

CautionaryWhale Mon 22-Apr-13 15:16:30

'one of each' hmm

CautionaryWhale Mon 22-Apr-13 15:14:31

Congrats and good luck btw! thanks

You never said whether he has 2 dd or ds or both btw - for me and mine totally irrelevant as DH just wanted me and the kids to be healthy...but again, without condoning it, he may feel he has been there, done that with one of each [sceptical] if not, maybe that will be an inroad? Gives self a biscuit
Bottom line - your child will be loved by you and your family and hopefully its adult siblings. And it is a miraculous wonderful thing. So try to reduce your stress levels, hard i know, have a brew and put your feet up xx

CautionaryWhale Mon 22-Apr-13 15:05:44

unsurprisingly

CautionaryWhale Mon 22-Apr-13 15:02:41

I will be gentle with you OP but will also be honest. We are the same age and my DC3 is due in 6 weeks. Will be loved and is wanted but not planned - when your DH didn't use contraception he lost imho the right to whinge about conception if he knew you weren't using anything. Now needs to man up - i know, i hate that phrase too but there you go.

My DH has not been to any of my appointments - i do not need him there as i would rather he took all his time off post birth so i get 6 weeks with him then. He is ostriching a lot atm as am I because we both know that for us personally the first couple of months is bloody hard going

As I said I am trying to be gentle and obviously each couple is different and each baby is different but from my own experience your husband isn't wrong about either the loss of your 'old life' or the negative impact/toll it can take on relationships and I say this as the one who felt all that despite being happy to fight tigers for my kids.

He said he did not want to be a dad again. You countered he was being selfish and your need to be a first time mum was greater. Funnily enough I had a similar conversation with my DH before we had DC2 - he didn't want another child but asked outright would I resent him if we didn't. I found that really hard to answer as logically all his reasons were correct but biologically it was a different matter...I probably came up with the pithy cliche of it being easier to regret stuff you do
than things you never did. We had mutual consensual unprotected sex a couple of times: DC2 made an appearance. No regrets, no dithering, no doubts - we are both grown-ups albeit lackadaisical

I do not regret any of my children and am immensely grateful to have had them. I love them to bits even the one not born yet. My DH is not daft - he helped make them so he is a hands-on excellent father, more patient than I am most of the time.

However your DH knows for himself how daunting parenting can be and that it is no picnic - if he felt railroaded/emotionally blackmailed into going for DC3 he is going to be panicking and resentful as there are no rose tinted spectacles, he is going into it with eyes wide open. I am not saying that condones his bitterness or indifference particularly about keeping it quiet (comment not called for even if statistically correct).

So now the real question for you both is how much you want to make it work together or would you rather do it alone (I wouldn't but I could understand if you did).
There was an anecdote in The Bitch in the House whereby a woman's husband had agreed to father another child (had two from previous
marriage) BUT only on the grounds that he was not expected to be a hands-on father and she would do all childcare/baby related things shock She agreed to it then felt u surprisingly resentful that she was doing it all and his life hadn't changed but didn't feel she could renege on what she had agreed to. That must suck.

My point being is that in some time over the next 8 months you both need to work out what you both can realistically do. For example my DH works bloody long hours and I exclusively bf so...I do all the nights but I get lay ins at the weekend. I do DC1'S HW with her - he does DC1's ICT stuff. I sort the recycling - he takes it down.
I cover all childcare, finding nurseries etc he does emergency pick ups and party drop offs.

We still fight like cat and dog over housework but if you are affluent you could get a cleaner envy
If he still comes out with the 'i never wanted this baby' line then you have your answer - you will feel like a single mum anyway so may as well be one rather than having two babies to deal with if he is going to act like a little boy.
Nonetheless he needs to support you financially if nothing else if that is the outcome.

congrats to you

i have to say that it sounds from reading your post that your husband was fairly clear he didnt want any more children. my sister was in a similar position and ended up having a child. it was the end of their relationship.

you need to think very carefully about what you want in all of this but his feelings are just as valid as yours. i would suggest you both get some counselling help

gertrudestein Mon 22-Apr-13 13:26:29

I think it's different for men. As a woman, you can feel your whole body changing, but for a man it's still very early days and anything can happen. My DP referred to it as a 'chemical possibility' and 'just a set of legal requirements' up until the 12 wk scan! I was devastated at the time but later realised he was actually terrified of something going wrong.

I think in fairness, I had a romantic idea in my head of how everything would be when I got pregnant. I thought we'd both be really happy, and I could skip around nesting for 9 months. In real life of course it's all a lot more prosaic than that!

Remember too that early pregnancy is a highly emotional time for the mother, so try to stay calm, relax, and don't make any assumptions based on what's happening right now. 9 months is quite a long time to get your head round everything and your relationship will naturally adjust as things change.

It sounds like you have a very supportive mum and sister - perhaps they are going to be the people who are getting all excited with you on this pregnancy?

My DP has mostly been wonderfully supportive, but he just doesn't want to do all the reading, planning, speculating stuff. It makes him feel worried and insecure, so I do that stuff on my own. Different strokes for different folks ...

Congratulations! It is wonderful news.

smartdoodle Mon 22-Apr-13 12:55:23

Oh my gosh what a horrible thing to say/do. If he didn't want a baby he should have made that very clear at the start.

He can still enjoy his hobbies, maybe not as much but life doesn't stop because you're having a baby!

Maybe he'll change his mind when the babys actually here and he can bond too?

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

HandsofaCrone Mon 22-Apr-13 10:14:51

If he didn't want the baby he shouldn't have had unprotected sex with you. End of. He is being a twat, but he might come round if he sees that babies don't necessarily ruin your life (!) especially when you've got time and money as you both seem to have.

It was not the best idea to have a baby with a man who didn't want one, but I get why you did. Good luck.

YummyMummy17 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:09:40

Men take longer to get their heads around it, DH acted quite similar to this, then after one night of going out and him speaking to a friend about it all he came home in floods of tears apologising for how he treated me and the situation and he had just been scared!

Good luck cxx

sparklysapphire Mon 22-Apr-13 10:07:59

Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope it goes smoothly. I very much hope your DH comes round soon, and it's just a shock, I know it is a miserable experience, particularly when you want you want a baby so much, and your happiness is tempered by your DH's attitude. Throughout my first pregnancy (for both), DH couldn't deal with it, despite agreeing to try, to the extent he was depressed. Everyone kept saying he'd come round - he didn't until DD was born, so I found it a very stressful time & it put me off having another for a long time. He's a brilliant dad. And now I'm pregnant again (planned) but we're in exactly the same position - this time he "doesn't want to go through it again". He wanted me to terminate, but I knew I couldn't do that, although he couldn't understand why. He hasn't even been to the scans this time, I'm just getting on with it, but there have been lots of tears and I'm sure there'll be more.
If you think your marriage is worth it, hang in there, maybe try couples counselling as others have suggested, but prepare for the fact he may not come round til your baby is born (or indeed not at all). Make sure you have plenty of support from friends and family, although it's not the same as having your DH on side. And look after yourself properly. A baby is hard work, but absolutely worth it!

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 10:06:09

Yes which is why I said I wasn't meaning to be harsh. Perhaps the way you have written you post is reflecting the fact that you are feeling slightly alone in the marriage at the mo?

The thing is, individuals are allowed to change their minds about life changing events, and unfortunately your DH did, and said this before you started trying for a child. But then when you say things like:

When I turned 40 I decided that we should start trying for a child.

I told him that if he reneged on our agreement and deprived me of the chance to have a baby, then on some level I would resent him for the rest of my life and it would ultimately poison our marriage.

I just wonder what part of the decision making he was actually allowed to contribute to in this planned pregnancy? Perhaps he feels like the entire situation is out of his control and he has no involvement in the process.

WeOnlyPlannedTheFirst Mon 22-Apr-13 10:02:01

Well my username tells you a bit about us. We wanted one child. When our much loved and took-ages-to-conceive son was only 9 months old we found out I was pregnant again. The week of his first birthday we found out it was twins. I was crying so much rhe sonographer was lost for words and my husband was just silent with shock. I wanted a termination but husband said we couldn't as there was no sensible reason to do so.
Yet he didn't make any secret of the fact he didn't really want them throughout the whole pregnancy. He didn't lovingly stroke the growing bump like last time and came to only the 12w and 20w scans while I had numerous appointments due to being high risk. The twins arrived and we've had lots of sleepless nights, crying for no reason and just the general newborn crapness. Husband has stropped out the room childishly saying he wants his old life back. He still has his old life - lots of one to one with our toddler - and still goes on his bike rides and runs. We're still planning our holiday around the Tour de France and I take the children out to give him Eurosport time! It's taken the best part of 3 months to start to like/bond with his new twins. But everyday is better and the more interactive and interesting they get the more he seems to enjoy spending time with them. But throughout all this time I've known I could cope on my own if I had to. If it really came to it I'd have 3 wonderful children. I think our marriage is fine. I'm easy going and not too demanding on hubby and he does his hobbies when he wants to - it's not pandering to him just recognising that our house is happier when he's happier so we all win by him having his alone time.
Hang in there, try not to stress too much and enjoy being pregnant.
He'll either come round or he won't but you will never regret having your baby I promise you.

Mamabear12 Mon 22-Apr-13 08:08:24

Sorry to hear your husband is not beng supportive! He could just be in shock and as rosiedays mentioned, he prob had s plan and now has to rethink this and get excited about it. Babies do put a strain on the marriage, so he might be worried how it will impact you both, ESP now that he is older. Having a baby sure is tiring!! I just turned 29 when I had my first one and boy was I in for a surprise about how tiring it can be, ESP if u have a difficult baby. Mine wanted to be held all day or she would scream. I even had to bring her into the toilet w me and hold her while using the loo! Anyway soon enough we just hired a night nanny and day help several times a week and that helped majorly. Once my princess was old enough to sleep through the night and could be put down a bit, we no longer needed the help. Maybe try suggesting to ur partner, since u r both financially comfortable, u will get a cleaner to come once or twice a week plus get help for one full day ver the weekend (so u both can enjoy together or do ur own hobbies). Plus u can get part time help during the week if u need it. I know it's expensive, but this phase is only temporary. I rarely get help now that my baby is 14 months. Now we have a second on the way and we will be doing the same thing smile

If ur husband is still not able to look on the bright side of things in a few weeks (after he has had some time to get over mourning is old life). Then I would get some distance for a while...maybe even take a little trip w friends or visit family for a week...

Most men r scared I think initially, bc they usually r the ones to take care of the family financially etc. my husband looked a little nervous the first time we found out I was pregnant and second time he was def nervous! Lol. But of course he said good news etc etc. even though I could tell he was thinking omg! How will we cope w two? Etc etc.

Good luck! Enjoy this special time. Dnt let him drag u down.

Financeprincess Mon 22-Apr-13 08:00:16

Thanks ladies, although, WallyBantersYoniBox, did you read the bit that said, "I'm new, be gentle with me"?

quickdowntonson Mon 22-Apr-13 07:41:51

I really feel for you. You are bound to be feeling very emotional and hormonal anyway due to all the changes that are happening in your body. His behaviour is childish and unfair, he really needs to 'man up' about this.
I do remember my DH being a little 'put out' when we had our first. After Henry was born, DH even said he wished it was just the two of us again! I was upset about thus at the time of course. I'm generalising here, but I think men like to feel that they need to be emotionally looked after, and want you all to themselves! Hang in there, I'm sure he will come round. It sounds strange, but he may be literally jealous that he will not be no. 1 in your life any more!
By the way, Henry is now 15, and he and DH have a brilliant relationship, and DH wouldn't change him for the world.

Good luck xxxx

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 03:06:06

PS I don't mean to be harsh at this difficult time, but he isn't the only one who is coming across as selfish. Look how many times you've used the word "I" in your post.

Hope you can sort it out anyhow, and congrats on the pregnancy.

WallyBantersYoniBox Mon 22-Apr-13 03:02:18

Perhaps he had a bad experience with child rearing in his previous marriage if his wife was an unreasonable character (my dh used to do everything, ex-w was very lazy)? Perhaps he's had some snide comments about becoming an old dad? Maybe he had difficulties with the kids and feels too old to start the sleep depravation, and stress at this time in life.

My DH wasn't over the moon when I got pregnant, but that's because his ex wife said she'd stop all contact with his kids if she ever found out he got another woman pregnant and was totally unreasonable - telling them we were replacing them etc. It totally messed with his head. Also his life stopped when he had kids with the ex, but with our DS we have travelled the world, save time for hobbies, and do lots of activities together.

Ask him what his main concerns are and point by point see how you can reach a positive agreement.

Snazzynewyear Mon 22-Apr-13 02:25:17

Well the bad news is that his selfishness has caused this problem and actually having the baby won't help since it will be even harder for him to make life All About Him. The good news is, you have - fingers crossed - the thing you really longed for flowers so congrats! Selfish men are ten a penny so I would give up trying to please him all the time - presumably that's what you have done till now, and look how he's repaid you! If the marriage continues, tell him it will be on your terms. Babies at 41 are less easy to come by. Cherish yours and let your husband decide what he wants to do. Leave him to it and don't pander to him. I know which I would keep if push came to shove.

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