Wife pregnant and devastated(187 Posts)
Last week my DW found out she was pregnant (Or at least has positive tests).
She came off the pill about a year ago as we had discussed and I thought agreed that we wanted a child, we were not stressing ourselves about what would happen as life is always busy and we are fairly laid back about things so it has just happened.
The look on her face when she told me crushed me, I could see she wasn't happy and we tried to discuss it when she said that she doesn't want a child, has no maternal instinct and doesn't want it to ruin our lives (I'm obv. paraphrasing but this was my takeaway).
We have been together over 10 years, married for a little over half of that and have had very few issues, when we first got together we talked about kids in the future and my DW opinion started as first a house and marriage and then kids, we got married and talked again about kids, my DW was less sure but said maybe in a few years. Fast forward a few years and we have bought a house and about a year later we agreed that she would stop taking the pill and well here we are....
We have had a couple of bad arguments in the last few days, somehow expertly managing to avoid the issue of pregnancy and just spiteful back and forth (Mainly my fault). I want to be able to sit down with her, have a proper conversation about what we should do.
The rather unfortunate position we have found ourselves in is that we are both doing what the other person wants, she knows I am desperate for children and will have one so I am happy but I know it will not make her happy and I do not want to lose her under any circumstances. I desperately want to sit down and talk to her about names, nursery and all that stuff but I can't. I cannot cope with how unhappy she is and just feel selfish about bringing it up.
This sounds awful I know but part of me wants her to say she just doesn't want to be pregnant and say she wants to abort or in my darkest moments that she miscarries or this is eptopic. I don't want this from selfish perspectives I just want her to be happy.
I don't know what to do and am so conflicted, I feel so selfish.
I know this is rambling but I don't know how to express this properly.
Also if I made my DW sound anything but amazing it was not my intention, she is my life!
You need to talk to her. Not about nurseries and names, at this point, but about how's she feeling and whether she wants to continue with the pregnancy. It may be that she has fears that you can work together to alleviate; or it may be that this has made her realise that she doesn't want to have children.
Sit down and talk. Be kind to each other. Remember that this may have been quite a shock; and although you are considering it a good one, it doesn't sound like her initial reaction was positive - and then she had to tell you; knowing you would find it positive. She's probably very conflicted too.
All the best
If she doesnt want to be pregnant or have a child she shouldnt have one. It is hard and permanent being a parent, and any child should be a whole heartedly wanted one.
Being pregnant is the strangest feeling ever to start off with. A human growing inside you, everything changes from that point. Could she just be in shock at the moment?
It's a HUGE shock actually getting a positive test, even when you're actively trying. Be there for her emotionally but try not to push talk of names and nurseries, she needs to know your relationship is solid and her life will still resemble what she's become accustomed to (contrary to popular belief, you can still enjoy adult time as a parent)
Difficult - I was your wife many years ago; we were happily married for over 10 years, had agreed we would remain 'child free' then my DH changed his mind, we stopped using contraception (I was early 40s - and naively thought nothing would happen) - I did get pregnant, I did have the baby and my DH is a wonderful, loving father. I work hard at giving the impression that I am happy in my life - and whilst I am not desperately unhappy - being a parent is not how I imagined my life turning out and I find being a parent incredibly challlenging. And it is nothing to do with 'losing my career or identiy', money worries or missing out on a social life - none of that is relevant just that being responsible for bringing up a child is a huge thing for me.
There is no easy answer here - just lots of honest discussion to be had.
I agree with pp you need to sit down & discuss this situation calmly.
Hope it all works out well for you both.
well that was a bit daft of her coming of the pill if she didnt want kids
Firstly, I think it's brilliant that you want your wife to be happy over anything else.
Secondly, I know you want to talk about names and nurseries etc but that's way in the future, if at all. Maybe your wife is in shock - I know several people who were utterly horrified to find out they were pregnant initially - but there is also the possibility that now it's happened she's realised she doesn't want children. Maybe she was hoping it wouldn't happen. If that's genuinely how she feels and if you don't want to lose her at any costs, that might mean giving up the idea of children.
The only thing you can do is sit down and talk to her and listen. IMO you can't have a child you don't want and you perhaps need to steel yourself to the idea that she won't want the baby.
Whatever happens there's been a conflict between what each of you want - unfortunately with kids, it's 100% one way or the other, there's no compromise or middle ground - and some sort of relationship counselling might be an option to stop any resentment growing.
Good luck x
You need to support her and accept that fairly or unfairly, the decision to have (bear) children is 100% hers.
After that though, sad as it is, you need to think about what is more important, a family with someone else or a marriage with her but without children.
Being pregnant, even when planned, is frightening. Deciding to have an abortion even when both partners are in 100% agreement is frightening. I've been in both of these situations.
When DH and I are stressed and worried we definitely argue about unrelated things.
Something we do occasionally (and this would be one of those occasions) is make a list of points before we sit down to discuss them. Because of emotions (not simply anger or stress or worry) it's easy to forget what you wanted to say or tell or ask. The last time we did it was when I was offered a job which required moving to the other side of the country. It works well when you both have conflicting opinions.
Would or could you forgive her if she ended the pregnancy?
It could be that she really really doesn’t want a child, or it could be that she’s terrified and in shock and reacting badly.
I think you have to find a way to sit down and talk without judgement and see if you can together work out which it is... and then take it from there.
Good luck. It must be dreadfully hard for you as well.
Getting a positive is a huge shock. We were trying for two years and started the referral for IVF when I fell pregnant and it was still a huge shock and there have been many times when I have thought that it is a huge mistake.
Everything is going to change, especially for the mum and she will have many fears from childbirth, breastfeeding, maternity leave/giving up work, money and just the general fear of the unknown. You need to have a chat and listen to her fears and be understanding. Leave the names/nursery chat for later.
Good luck I hope everything works out for you both.
I'm not sure if this will help but I never wanted children ever, I am not maternal and Im pretty selfish tbh!
After very stupidly getting drink one night with my ex I ended up pregnant. Huge shock and completely changed all my life plans. I just couldn't face an abortion though. I have nothing against them and if I found myself pregnant now it would more than likely be the route I take (I'm single and old so unlikely to happen).
I was your wife and it is an awful feeling to have. However, my ex wanted the baby and was supportive (unlike now!). I had to give up my dream of being a nursing officer in the RAF because it would have been very difficult with both parents in 2 different forces.
I have very resentful at times, I'm not very good at the play side of parenting and I'm still not maternal. I do however, love my son and I don't think parenting has to be all the fluffy stuff that maternal parents seem to be good at. However, what I've done is try to carry on doing all the things I loved camping, theatre, festivals and just taken my son along. They have had to be different from before I had him but they are still fun. I'd find out what it is that she feels would ruin your lives?
I've struggled with the change to my career and felt very resentful about that but I am very glad I did not give it up totally or even go part -time because it has kept me going. So although ti had to change I'm now moving to a different more positive role. Ask her what her career ambitions are and see if she is worried about how having a baby will affect them. Don't let her be the one to give everything up. If i'd given up my job like my ex wanted me to I would definitely have ended up having a total breakdown.
I would get her to write down her main worries. Its a big thing to have a baby both physically and mentally. I think television has given us a warped view of what motherhood is - all crafts and baking cakes and singing songs etc not all of us mum are capable of being like that all the time. So not being maternal doesn't mean she won't make a good mum.
She sounds very cruel to have kept saying she wanted children knowing you did. There was a massive thread about men doing this- stealing women best years with the promise of children and then backing out once they were too old to start again.
She was an idiot to stop the pill if she doesn't actually want children.
Well she is probably worrying about getting the baby out of her at the moment.
Fear of pregnancy is physical and real.
Step back and let her make the decision about her body and autonomy. She is your partner in life.
There is a lot to get through before you get anywhere near names and nurseries. Sex, pregnancy, childbirth, babies, children, teens, adult children etc are an entirely unconnected series of event you have no control over, when you have not gone through it before. You are getting too far ahead.
You both need to take responsibility for your own lives and decisions. What you have at the moment sounds like an incredibly passive-aggressive dynamic where neither of you is really stepping up and making a decision, but both are blaming the other for potential future unhappiness.
It is actually quite a clear-cut situation. If she doesn't want a child, she needs to decide that and take action. If not having a child is a dealbreaker for you, you need to end a relationship with someone who doesn't want one. She must not have a child that she subsequently 'blames' on you for causing her misery and resentment (poor child!) You must make an adult decision about how important children are to you, and decide either way and make a pact with yourself not to blame her for your choice. Both of you need to be far more grown up about this than you are being.
Names and nurseries can wait, they are not remotely important just now.
You need to sit down together and talk, not argue. Talk about feelings, that's what is important at the moment. Your DW has just had a hell of a shock. She may adjust to being pregnant or she may not. She may carry on with the pregnancy or she may not. But arguing, or getting ahead of yourself onto even more scary topics, is helping no-one.
I found being pregnant a shock and was quite unhappy in the early days. I wonder if I had pre-natal depression, looking back. I certainly wasn't happy and joyous, nor blooming. It was a difficult time and I don't know why. I loved eventually having children, so it wasn't about that.
You need to get professional help with this. It's a life changing decision and one you ultimately have to agree on if you are to save your marriage. Book an appointment with your GP together and talk it through, ask for counselling or try a pregnancy advisory service. Don't be angry with her though - at least she's being honest about how she's feeling.
@shineyshooney, that's pretty harsh.
From the OP it sounds as if the wife was open to the idea but became more reticent and "less sure" as the time in which it would be ideal to have children grew closer.
Maybe she genuinely thought a maternal instinct would kick in at some point - after all, how many women are told their biological clock will start ticking as they get older - and maybe she wanted to want a baby because that's what she knew her husband wanted (hell, I was in that situation and I was desperate for some sort of maternal instinct to start in order to keep my relationship). Maybe she thought she'd 'show willing' by coming off the pill and was hoping nothing would happen because to turn around and say "I'm sorry, I've thought about it but I just don't want a child" might risk the end of a relationship with someone she loves.
Unfortunately, and not out of malice or anything like that, we often hear what we want to hear, particularly over something as much of a deal breaker as children, and we just hope that we'll muddle through to a place where everything is alright in the end.
Thanks guys, the names and nurseries bit was tongue in cheek, its more the whole pregnancy I want to talk about. I am so excited and am feeling like when I do talk to her I have to act differently, I don't want her to do something she doesn't want because I am desperate, my concern is that she will go through with it (assuming no issues along the way) to make me happy. This is the thing I am really struggling with do I be honest and tell her how excited I am and risk her carrying on despite her not wanting it or act nonchalant (Not sure I can pull it off) and risk losing possible my only opportunity to have a child (Me being selfish)
I will not leave my wife either way, she really does mean more to me than anything else and yeah, in years to come I may resent decisions made now but will never regret a life with her.
ShinyShooney, thanks for your comment but my DW is not cruel, she may have changed her mind, she may be scared witless but she is definitely not cruel. Also definitely not an idiot, we work on the basis that a healthy relationship is sometimes making decisions as a team that may or may not be what the other person wants 100% of the time. Maybe she thought she would warm to the idea?
"we often hear what we want to hear, particularly over something as much of a deal breaker as children"
It was something I said to my wife, that maybe I tricked myself in to hearing what I wanted regarding children since we met. 10+ years ago memories are distorted though
I was also your wife. 10 years together, came off the pill because my husband wanted a child, even though I didn't really want children. I cried and cried when I found out I was pregnant, even though it was planned.
Fast forward some and our baby is now 10 months. Pregnancy was very hard, but having baby has been wonderful. I'm so glad I took that leap of faith.
What you need to do is talk to your wife. Not about baby stuff just yet, but about how she's feeling. I agree with a PP that said it's important to remind her that (contrary to how it's often portrayed), life still does go on as a parent. You parent your way, and make time for the things that are important.
I had no maternal instinct whatsoever. When my first child was born that completely changed. I think that if you give her the support she needs and make sure that she continues the pregnancy of her own volition then when the baby comes you may all find yourselves pleasantly surprised. But she rely needs a lot of emotional and psychological help from now own. You should also be prepared to be the main caregiver for your child. I hope it works out for you.
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