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Do all soon-to-be-Dads get the heeby-jeebys?

(10 Posts)
WheresMyWaistGone Sat 01-Sep-07 12:09:05

Hi Guys

Advice please.

I'm 32 weeks pregnant with our first baby.

My husband is excited about the baby but has decided he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore, despite the fact that he still loves me and fancies me.

We've been together 5.5 years and married for 1.5 years and he keeps saying that it all just happened - moving in, buying a house, getting married, getting pregnant - and that we didn't discuss everything.

Is he just having pre-baby nerves and being scared that he has no control over things?

Last week, I found out he had become rather too close to a female friend, though nothing has happened physically (don't ask how, but I know this to be true). He swears this is a symptom of how he is feeling about us, and not the cause. I believe him as he's been down for ages, but refused to talk about it, and this thing with the other girl is very recent.

He wants to wait until the baby is born before we make any decisions.

I feel so alone and wretched. Do all About-to-be-Dads go through a period of sheer terror and questioning, or am I about to become a single mum?


Nightynight Sat 01-Sep-07 17:29:22

congratulations on your pregnancy!
sorry to hear that you are going through this.
Reading your post, I thought, well that is a lot of things to "just happen" over a fairly long time, without discussing anything! He is an adult, isnt he??
If he still loves and fancies you, then why does he want to leave?
I think it is fair to say that most parents go through a life-changing experience when their first child is born, and your dh probably will as well.

From what you say here, I think I would be careful to make sure that he feels fully involved with the baby when it comes, and not worry about the situation too much.
I worried dreadfully and stuck in an awful marriage for years because I was afraid of being a single mother, but now I am one and my children are OK. The worst that can happen, is not actually that bad.
If you feel ok about that, then you can relax a bit and put your energies into looking after your baby, your marriage, and yourself.
hth, and good luck

EricL Sat 01-Sep-07 21:51:59

We go through a period of worry, nerve-wracking and general all-round fear of the impending responsibilties - yes. Same as you women. It's only natural to fear the unknown.

We don't all necessarily say that we are thinking of jacking it in though.

I was very close to my wife all through it - although i did think a few crazy things and was generally bricking it.

Sounds like this is a little more than the usual fatherhood concerns.

WheresMyWaistGone Tue 04-Sep-07 10:02:40


I know I could cope if the worst happened, but I just don't want to have to. I can't understand why, if he loves me etc, it really matters how we got here, as we were happy before all this.

Surely, now we know he feels a need to talk about things more, we can do that in the future and put this behind us right now...?

theSelfishMan Tue 04-Sep-07 12:10:01

Hi wmwg,

In my experience (incl. myself) to a certain degree many, many men find the upcoming baby triggers the "fight or flight" reflex - obvious normally the latter.

He may even be depressed? The good news is that the odds are pretty good that he'll feel the weight off his shoulders once the baby actually turns up - it's easier to deal with the here-and-now of a baby once it exists rather than speculate about what it might be like.

WheresMyWaistGone Tue 04-Sep-07 13:10:40

Oh, Selfish Man - thank you! I truly hope so. You've made my day!

When I managed to get him to start talking about it all, before the real horror came out, he did say he was depressed and sad, and didn't know why, so there may be a lot of truth in what you say.

I know, I know, don't get too excited, positive, hopeful etc etc. I have been trying to block it out as much as I can, except when he wants to talk, as I wouldn't get out of bed otherwise, so a little ray of hope every now and then is very welcome.

Thank you!

theSelfishMan Mon 10-Sep-07 13:38:10

Hi - My pleasure - any help and all that.

A few of things that helped me:

(1) St Johns Wort - I dont really believe in alt. medicine, but they seemed to have some positive effect on dispelling the worst of the black clouds.

(2) Avoiding dwelling on it - I have a 1 hr commute on the tube each way, nd I'd often find myself falling into a "negative mindset" - dwelling on all the bad things to come (lack of sleep/sex, finances, being really responible for another little creature, etc, etc..). I found giving myself a mental kick in the arse was good whenever that occurred.

(3) Promising that no matter what, we wouldn't separate before the baby was 2.

Part of the problem is that for men, the negatives (this is really for the first)are easier to dwell on than the positives. That and the fact that books on fatherhood are completely sh*te.

Let me know if I can help any further - it sounds a LOT like your DH is having a roughly similar experience to mine. And you can assure him that now that I'm a father, I wouldn't go back for anything.

fryalot Mon 10-Sep-07 13:48:33

congratulations on your pregnancy smile

if I could share a couple of stories with you?

xh and I tried for a while to get pg with dd1, and almost as soon as we knew we were expecting her, he started to get worried, frightened, unsure if he would cope, etc. In the end, he left me when I was 6 months pg and I brought up dd1 alone.

dp and I tried for a while to get pg and when we found out we were expecting dd2, obviously because of my past I was worried he would up and leave too.

He said that he totally understood xh's cowardly way of dealing with things, as dp himself was TERRIFIED of fatherhood and all it entailed. I think there were several times when he seriously thought about leaving, but didn't (possibly because of all the bad things he said about xh for leaving in those circumstances wink)

Dp fell totally, completely, head over heels in love with dd2 the second she was born and all his worries (well, most) disintegrated right there and then in the labour ward.

I really hope that you get through this together, I think that he has been quite mature (rare in some blokes) in talking about this with you.

Sorry I don't have any words of advice for you, but wanted to let you know that in my experience (ok, only two men, but it's a start) your dh's feelings are natural and should go away when your lo arrives.

And if the worst comes to the worst and he does leave, you know that it is HIM who will be missing out on all the fab stuff that you and your child will get up to.

Sorry for very long (possibly my longest ever) post

DaDaDa Mon 10-Sep-07 15:06:25


Sadly, I doubt that the wusses who post on Mumsnet are likely to be your best representative sample of what most men think during pregnancy! I was really excited about us becoming a family and that's carried on, but then I've never much felt like I'm missing out on more fun elsewhere (maybe I'll hit 40 and buy a Porsche but I doubt it)

It does sound like the responsibilty is weighing down on him, and that's led to his flirtation and questioning of your relationship. You haven't got far to go so the advice to wait for his reaction once the baby is here is sound. He'll likely fall instantly in love, and although this can bring it's own problems (jealousy and feeling unappreciated for yourself), it does bind you together. However rough things have got in our first year as parents (pretty rough at times) the thought of being a weekend Dad if we split-up has always pushed me to work harder on my relationship with DW.

If I were you I'd let him have his wobble, but keep a close eye on his female friend - does she know you're pregnant?

WheresMyWaistGone Tue 18-Sep-07 09:45:25


Thanks for all your positive postings - I may well get him to try the St John's Wort.

I'm also hanging onto the hope that everything will be ok as soon as the baby is born, but he says he's had some degree of feelings for this other girl for years - even before we got married - and it's his questioning our relationship that has made them stronger. And oh yes she knows I'm pregnant - we were out to dinner with her and another friend the night his feelings for her apparently really kicked in in July and she was drooling over my bump with massive cluckiness...some friend huh...???

I just feel so alone with all this - I can't tell my family as they'd go mad, and anyway they're 200 miles away, and all my friends are scattered across the country and the 4 corners of London. Now I've finished work (4 weeks to go!) it's hard to motivate myself to all the stuff that needs doing which would keep ME from dwelling on it...which is no good for me or the baby.

Ah well...speaking of jobs, Mr J Sainsbury needs a visit.

Thanks again for your support.

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