Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

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,"", 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.

lozster Sun 21-Apr-13 22:55:27

Crap. How awful for you. Not sure i have any advice but I can understand that you must be feeling very let down. Time for a heart to heart and for you to explain how you felt when he made these comments? On a very trivial point, there probably is no need for him to go to the gp with you - in fact you may not need to see the gp at all - I just went straight to the mid wife on my own which I think they may prefer as they ask about DV. On the more important point of your husband - in guess there is a chance that this is a first, bad, reaction?

ChippingInLovesSpring Sun 21-Apr-13 22:55:44

I'd end the relationship - he sounds horrible to me sad

Congratulations on your pregnancy - you should be enjoying this longed for thing, not being upset by him.

You could cope on your own, better that than having 'you wanted it, I didn't' thrown in your face all the time.

PurpleThing Sun 21-Apr-13 23:02:01

Couples counselling? Honestly having a baby is very stressful (but brilliant obviously) so you don't want to be starting off on this foot.

Congratulations btw.

Agree about the gp, they will probably just tell you to ask the receptionist to make an appointment with midwife in a few weeks. They don't do another test or anything.

NorthernLurker Sun 21-Apr-13 23:03:04

Oh dear. Well your husband has reneged on what he said when you were engaged but you've now got pregnant with a man who said he didn't want a child. Granted he could have refused to participate but I suspect he may have been betting you were too old to conceive. Git.
I think your marriage is in a lot of trouble and tbh time apart would be good for both of you to decide what's important to you.

babyradio Sun 21-Apr-13 23:07:01

I am so sorry, perhaps some time apart wouldn't be a bad idea, you don't need this negativity around you.

When he married you he knew you wanted a baby, it is cruel of him to take that back once you asked him to start trying, and very manipulative. He does sound selfish.

Please try to enjoy your pregnancy and don't let him get you down.

Financeprincess Sun 21-Apr-13 23:10:11

Thanks ladies. I'm hoping that it is an initial bad reaction. My mum and sister keep saying, "oh, he'll come round when he sees the gorgeous little baby, of course he'll love it".

I hope they are right. In the meantime maybe we do need to try couples' counselling. I realised some time ago that I've married a terribly selfish man, although I suspect that it's a common predicament.

The worst thing is, his (unfaithful, grasping) ex-wife got to have two children with (presumably) his blessing, but he doesn't seem to think that I deserve the same generosity.

rosiedays Sun 21-Apr-13 23:21:32

Hi OP,
I know this goes against the grain but you DH is probably shocked! he probably thought it would never happen. He has built a 'next 10 year plan' in his head and now has to rethink it all..... give him time.
I'm 43, when i got my very unexpected and unplaned BFP i cried for a month. i had to greive for all the dreams that had suddenly gone up in smoke and it took a long time for new nice baby dreams to replace them.
I have 2 much older DD (23 &25) and saw no reason to have another. I had told my DH during our relationship that i might try one day but as the years passed i put it out of my head.

He was ofcourse over the moon at the news and got very upset and angry with me at times for not wanting his baby.... it wasn't the baby i didn't want it was the loss of my wonderful life that hurt.

I'm now 27 weeks, and it's been an emotional rollercoster, i totally understand how he feels. I also get how you feel too. congratulations PG at 40+ is great.

chances are he will come round, best of luck thanks

syl1985 Mon 22-Apr-13 00:56:09

A baby doesn't ruin any one's hobbies or lives. A baby does take time from you and both of you. But very lucky, you said, you don't have any financial worries.

This makes it a LOT easier!!!!!!
A LOT!!!!

Pay someone to do the nasty cleaning jobs, especially when your belly is growing cleaning will get more and more difficult.
Just pay someone to do it and just do things that you like to do.

When the baby is born you can hire a babysit. Like once a week or something to go out together.

Let him do the things that he like and you do your things.

I've heard that one of the most common mistakes new parents make is that they become a parent and stop being a partner and an individual with their own personal interests and things they like to do.

Yes, a baby will require time from you both. But you can combine you being you with you being a mother and the same goes for your husband.

Maybe that's something that didn't happen last time in his marriage when the kids came. Maybe he's scared of that happening again.

Kids don't ruin your life.
But no one should stop with being yourself when you've become a parent.

A happy parent is a good parent.
You can't be a very good one, if you or both of you are unhappy and arguing.

Things will change, but for both of you keep on doing the things that you like to do.

Maybe he'll change once he notice that he still can continue to enjoy his hobbies and notice that the relationship stays the same or becomes even better then it's.


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.

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.

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.

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

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"?

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

Fairydogmother Mon 22-Apr-13 13:36:18

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

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.

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


Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: