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Dealing with Partner Disconnect

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Good morning,

 

This was a rough weekend for my husband and I. We fought a lot and I think he's having a really hard time coming to terms with the pregnancy. He's mourning his youth a lot (we're having our first later in life; he's going to be 37 in May) and dreading the sacrifices that we'll have to make for a child. I think he's also resenting me for being so tired all the time and not wanting to go out much. I also have next to no libido and he's sexually frustrated.

 

All this is making me feel really alone in this and intensely guilty for being so exhausted all the time. It's not like this was a surprise, we've been trying for a year and he's been on board the whole time. Now, all of a sudden it feels like this is a big burden to him and while intellectually, I know that partners have a harder time connecting, emotionally, it's really been hard for me.

 

I've tried to keep him involved in everything. He goes to my doctor's appointments with me and he even went to a cloth diapering class last weekend! He said it wasn't nearly as boring as he expected! But there's still this tension between us and it's really starting to stress me out. Does anyone have any advice on how to get him more involved or help him deal with the pregnancy better?

post #2 of 9

I'm so sorry Momma!! I don't really have any good advice.  My DH will complain here and there and I just remind him that this is HIS baby and that HE is pregnant too.  For my DH it is all about sex and when he's not getting any he is miserable.  I try to satisfy DH sexually even if I'm not in the mood myself... That helps a bit cause he can see that I'm sensitive to his needs as well.  Also, remember you should be feeling a lot better in a few weeks and you may want to go out :)

 

Hopefully, someone else will have some better advice, but I wanted to say this is pretty normal for guys.  They don't really connect with the baby until he/she is born.  It's just different for them.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Icy. I've been doing my part to help him out sexually whether or not I'm into it, but he also recently lost a bunch of weight so I think his libido has actually increased while mine has gone away. I'm lucky that I haven't had nausea so that's not an issue, but I have had intensely sore breasts. I think he feels rejected because I don't want him touching them at all. He loves my boobs and right now they're even bigger and I'm telling him he can't play! LOL I keep telling him that there's a good chance that this will all even out in the second trimester but I'm worried about the resentment he's building up. Maybe his attitude will change then, too.

post #4 of 9
Once I got pregnant the first time, my breasts have been off limits... Poor DH, but I remind him the breasts were made for the baby not for him. It is the one thing I'm not willing to budge on. I'm only nursing DS2 at bedtime and I still don't want my breasts man-handled...
post #5 of 9

I'm so sorry that your having problems!! I have horrid nausea, and am really tired, going to bed 3 hours earlier than normal, and don't even think of coming near my breasts!!!!  I don't even want to take off my bra at night (and already need to get a bigger size, but am trying to put that off as they are just going to keep growing.)  DH and I have the same problems with sex. 

 

I gently remind DH that I'm growing a person that is doubling in size every week.  This means I've got crazy hormones running through my body which I'm having trouble regulating.  The purpose of breasts are for feeding babies, that is why women have them and men don't.  I can not help they are too sore to touch.  When DH was upset,  I told him to think of someone kicking him in the junk and then me expecting him to have sex right then while he is in a lot of pain.  i then remind him that I love him very much, and this is only temparary!  I find that trying to stay calm and tell DH how I feel works really well for us, and trying to make him understand what I'm feeling helps.  I'm not sure if this helps you, but it has helped us work through this.  I hope things get better soon!

post #6 of 9

I'm sorry you and your DH have been having a hard time, femmeknitzi. I can relate: I'm the non-gestational partner in my relationship (for now). I too have been frustrated at times because my wife is so tired all the time and would rather sleep than socialize. In general, I'm trying to look forward to the good things ahead rather than be sad about the things we'll be missing out on. It's been somewhat helpful for me to read up on the changes that are happening in her body week by week, and to remember that in a couple months (hopefully) she'll have more energy! I also started working on a baby quilt, and have been trying to remember to take weekly photos of DW; maybe there's some sort of baby-related project your husband can work on, to give him something more tangible to look forward to completing?

post #7 of 9

Interesting convo. I always wondered how others partners feel/react in this first trimester. I'm sorry femmeknitzi that you and your DH are having such a strong disconnect! 

 

Maybe it's just a guy thing though...although maybe I'm just thinking of my guy. lol The first trimester is always like...the time period where he just doesn't GET it. lol I think it's because there's no obvious sign of the baby...and that it's pretty easy to think of me as non-pregnant. you know? Like, we have the same sex issues. I just DON'T want it...and I sympathize that he DOES, but I also remember that we're talking about less than three months here...lol...he'll survive! Mostly, our issues are more in the line of he expects me to continue doing all the things I was doing before...so for this pregnancy, he expects me to handle driving us around on our road trip, take care of the laundry, keep ds entertained, line up things for us to do when we're stopped over in a particular city, AND he'd certainly like some sex on top of all of that...or at the very least, me up cuddling with him late into the evening as we ordinarily would. But, I just can't at this stage in the pregnancy. I used to feel more guilty about it, but now I just do what I need to do for me and this baby and tell DH when I just can't comfortably DO something and need him to pick up the slack.  

 

I know we have a wonderful relationship ordinarily. And, I know it just seems to take DH a lot longer than me to catch onto what a pregnancy entails for us. And, I know he can handle it...and will handle it without me noticing so much once this pregnancy gets more talked about, and my belly grows larger. lol

post #8 of 9

I don't have much helpful except to say that soon you will have more energy and your breasts will probably hurt less. For a guy, it's this whole new weird responsibility thing that they maybe thought they could handle smoothly and are now freaking out. Kind of how we all picture that we will be that cute, perky pg lady & we end up laying on the couch, hair uncombed, dirty sweatpants, eating olives from the jar. My husband did not react negatively during any of my pregnancies, but I know that, at least at first, he just did not get it. At all. Well, sometimes I know he was a little peeved at having to do more b/c I would be so nauseated or tired, but it was just a mood & would pass. I can tell you that by pg #3, he completely understands that this is all normal and temporary. Neither of us likes the dirty house or hours and hours of tv for the kids, but we both know it will pass soon & we are making a little baby!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. It's good to know that we're not alone. Things have been a bit better and I'm inching closer and closer to my libido returning every day. We also went to my second MW appointment this week and we heard the heartbeat. I think that's changed a lot for him and he's been a bit more understanding.

 

Preg, we're the same way. He's usually so understanding that this has been an unexpected change but I realize that he's dealing with his own fears and issues right now, too.

 

Esme, I love the comparison of kicking him in the junk. I think he'll actually relate to that and be able to better understand why I just don't want to be messed with right now!

 

Elsbeth, thank you for your perspective. Getting him involved in a baby-related project is a great idea! We have some furniture that needs to be sanded and painted, maybe I can get him excited about that!

 

Dog, it's good to know that if we have more children, he'll be more prepared. We can also talk about it when we start planning to try again and I can get him ready for the concept that once I'm pregnant, the sex may not be so great for awhile.

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