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Unsupportive husband during pregnancy(18 Posts)
I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with my second child. After having my DD (now 6) DH and I debated whether to have another for a long time. DH felt it would put too much pressure on us both in terms of time and financially - we both work full time in busy jobs (DH works abroad every other week and I am often on my own) and we would have to pay for full time childcare - whereas I felt that although it would be tough for a few years we could manage and it would be worth it in the longer term. We'd been back and forth without ever coming to a final decision for about 3 years, but eventually at the beginning of this year DH finally agreed to try for a baby. I was having a few gyne problems at the time and was unsure if I would actually be able to conceive, and with hindsight I suspect that he only agreed because he thought it wouldn't happen. But it did, and here we are!
Unfortunately from the moment we found out about the pregnancy, DH has been extremely negative and has totally disengaged from me and the family. I can't get him to discuss or plan things for when the baby arrives, and he has never wanted to feel the baby kick. He gets paid significantly more then I do but won't help me save for maternity leave or buy any of the baby essentials we need. He is leaving me to do all the housework/food shopping/cooking/running around after DD while he sits on the sofa watching tv, and the only comments he makes that even acknowledge the pregnancy refer to the baby as a "screaming brat" or "f**king nuisance" or some other variation on that theme. His behaviour is quite out of character and he is generally really down about the whole thing. I would go so far as to say that the situation may have caused him to develop depression.
I keep thinking he will come around, and am still hoping that happens once the baby is born. But I have felt so alone and stressed during this pregnancy, and concerned that he won't be able to love and parent the baby. I am also starting to really worry about post- natal depression if he continues to be unsupportive after the baby is born. The final straw has come this weekend as I have been unwell, and he hasn't offered to help me with any housework, has stayed in bed until 11am both days while I've gotten up early with DD, and hasn't once asked me how I'm feeling. I'm now totally run down and feeling worse than ever, and it has been a real wake-up call as to how difficult it will be if he continues to act this way when I also have a newborn to look after. He is also starting to take it out on DD in silly ways - for example, with being ill I have lost my voice so DD asked if he could read her a story at bedtime last night instead of me, and he said no she should just go straight to sleep, which I think is just really cruel!
I can't bring myself to talk to any family or friends about this, so I need some advice on what to do. I'm thinking I should maybe talk to my midwife so she is aware and can advise me on how to get help if I need it, but maybe I am just being overly hormonal and dramatic and should just ride it out and see what happens after the birth?
I can't see him changing anytime soon. Hes been an utter bastard to you and dd and bump. I'd be concerned about it escalating further. Id also be considering life without him. That's unforgivable the way hes treating you. That would be it for me. If he didn't want anymore he should have had the balls to say so instead of just crossing his fingers and hoping. You def need to let family/friends know what's happening. Why should you hide his shitty behaviour?? And you need the support.
Thanks for your comment. I've made him sound like an awful person, and he is being completely horrible at the moment, but he isn't usually like this. We've been together almost 20 years and have generally been happy, and although he found the baby stage tough going he has been a good dad to DD. I definitely have moments where I think about leaving, but I can still look at the bigger picture and see positives so I don't think we're at that stage - at least not yet. I know his job is stressful and it has been getting him down recently so I do think it is a combination of things - but being a typical man he won't talk about it and is taking it all out on me. I've tried to help him but can never say the right thing, and it is all just becoming a lot to cope with. I think it is time to prioritise myself, DD and the baby and make sure that, if he doesn't come round after it is born, I have a plan in place so I know I have support if I need it. You're probably right about telling someone - I just find it really hard to ask for help.
OP..could you bring in the big guns and get some couples counselling? It sounds like he has some deep seated anxiety issues and it might really help. I suspect he is making himself miserable too so it may we'll be a lifeline for both of you. Relate is good or pay for a few private sessions?
I’m really sorry Op. This may be an unpopular opinion but the lack of help he is giving you in your current child and the way he is referring to your unborn child...I wouldn’t be able to accept that.
You say he isn’t helping anyway and you are alone every other week and he is doing next to nothing with the house and your 6 year old. You’re better off alone.
How much worse would it be if when the child comes and he refers to an innocent newborn baby as a fucking brat and a nuisance? I just can’t get my head around the man saying those things being anything but a wanker and a shit father to boot.
I’m sorry you are going through this.
Tell him to grow up - he agreed to the baby and happily took part in making it so what's his problem.
Being a part of a family means engaging and being involved. It is non-negotiable and if he can't do this then he needs to leave before the baby arrives.
TBH I wouldn't want a man who called my unborn child such disgusting things and refused to parent the child we already had around anyway.
I'd be packing his stuff and leaving by the front door next day hes out to work. I'd be telling him he needs a serious fucking attitude check and to get a grip and get over himself and not to come back til hes taken his head firmly back out of his arsehole and ready to be fully involved in the family.
And don't be making excuses for him. He doesn't deserve it.
His behaviour is inexcusable OP, and I think you need some time and space to work this out. Can you go and stay with family or friends so you can get some support? And don't be worried about telling people, the shame of this is on you and not him. You can't defend him, he's treating like a piece of shit and your DD. That's not a dad I'd want around my children. And yes do tell your MW so she knows what you are dealing with. He sounds horrid OP, and I'm sorry he's putting you through this .
@CL1982 I would love to do this and think it would be really beneficial for us, but at the moment he won't even talk to me or admit there is a bigger problem, so the chances of him agreeing are slim. He has his faults, and being self-absorbed and childish is certainly one of them, but he has been a good partner up until the past 5/6 months. And he does love DD and again, barring recent incidents, has been a good dad - which is one of the main things that gives me hope that his paternal instinct will kick in when the baby is born. I'm just more worried about the level of stress and anxiety I'm feeling as a result, which can't be good for me or the baby. This has outweighed my happiness and excitement about the pregnancy, and I'm worried that PND will set in. I can't control how he is behaving, but I can at least try and manage how I'm feeling and do the right things now to put me in the best position regardless of how he reacts.
I would do that, too. Pack his bags and tell him to go. It's win-win. He could see sense and come grovelling back with a change of attitude, or he could stay away and you wouldn't have to put up with his crap attitude.
Oh and thank you all for confirming that his behaviour is totally unacceptable and it is not just me over-reacting. I'm not trying to make excuses or minimise his behaviour, it's just that I know him well enough to know that this isn't the real him and he isn't a bad person, and as we've been together for so long there is a lot of goodwill that is going to keep us going for now. But obviously that won't last forever.
He won't come round. He's Abusing you, time to call it a day.
He isn't a bad person? He's behaving like. One. I can see this escalate to violence, he's already financially and verbally abusive.
You are minimising.
He's a crap dad and husband
That's disgusting behaviour from him. The way he's speaking about your unborn baby!! No way I would be able to accept that.
Op speaking to your midwife is a good idea. I would also suggest you tell a friend or family member. Also start thinking about who could be your birth partner. Will he even look after your child while you're in hospital? If not you need childcare too.
@cjh2241 I don't think packing a relationship in is the right way to go as others do but I do think his behaviour is unacceptable and many hugs coming your way.
If he won't do counselling would intervention from a family member help? He could be actually pretty unaware of how his behaviour is affecting you on a complex level....
Could speaking to a relationship counsellor on your side alone help though? They may have advice on how to tap into his empathy. Please take things easy. Please.
@2014newme he would definitely look after DD while I'm in hospital. He has been a bit bad tempered and hasn't had as much time for her as he usually would, but mostly he controls himself around her (he is currently carving a pumpkin with her - see, not all bad!). It is more the boring responsibility bits that he is shirking - getting up to take her to school, making dinner, doing homework, etc.
@CL1982 I think you are right, he is so wrapped up in his own spiral of negative thinking that he isn't thinking about the effect it is having on me. He can only focus on the bad bits of having a newborn and has totally forgotten about, or chosen to ignore, the amazing bits. I'll definitely try speaking to someone, even if they can't tell me anything particularly constructive I know I'll feel better just talking it through with them.
I do think you are minimising here OP. I'd say at the very least that it is emotional abuse. Do you think you could talk to someone at Women's Aid? 0808 2000 247. They would help you understand what he is subjecting you to, and ways that you could get help ie local counselling etc.
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