husband is extremely depressed about unplanned pregnancy...and I am not sure what to do - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-09-2012, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm brand new to this site, but my best friend just recommended it to me, and as I am trying to deal with an issue I have no experience with (but many of you might) I thought I would throw out a question that I am really struggling with (and I apologize ahead of time for the very long post). I had a positive pregnancy test last Tuesday (5 days ago) after two weeks of feeling quite horrible. I suspected I might be pregnant, but it wouldn't be the first pregnancy scare this year even, so I didn't mention my suspicion to my husband. He and I were about equally stunned at the positive test. this was completely and entirely unplanned--I was on an oral contraceptive--but I want to keep the baby (I've been taking women's vitamins for months, haven't been drinking for the past month b/c the nausea, so I'm hoping it's set up OK). We've been together for 8 years, and one of the things we agreed upon when we started our relationship (we had been friends for two years first), was that neither of us wanted kids. This changed completely for me when I fell in love with him (180 degrees) and has intensified over the past few years to where I think about having children 10-20 times a day on any given day. He is aware of this. My husband has recently softened on the subject, and over the past year has started mentioning having kids (he, unfortunately, seems to be incapable of having serious conversations about serious topics, so we have only been able to talk about the subject indirectly). However, he made it clear on Wednesday, when we sat down and talked, that he wanted me to terminate the pregnancy (but "wouldn't ask me to do so unless I wanted to"). His reasons: money, being selfish (his word) of his personal time, that it would 'destroy' our lives and my career, the schools around us aren't very good, and that he doesn't want kids. We are in a very stable relationship, have a high household income, live within our means and save, have good job security and I expressed these things to him (I would also rather have a kid than be in the top rank in my field (I'm an academic) and I think I can still do a good job at what I do with a child (I just want one)). I'm 30, he's 32. I don't want to terminate. I can't imagine doing that in my situation and I don't want to. However, his reaction since Wednesday is killing me. He's extremely depressed (like three hours lying in bed, not moving, staring at the ceiling), refusing to talk about anything but what's for dinner, etc. It's like living with a zombie. I don't know what to do or when (if) he is going to come around. Has any one had a similar experience? We have a great relationship, and it is one of the most important things in my life. I do not want to destroy it. I don't know what to do.

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#2 of 15 Old 09-10-2012, 08:21 AM
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My heart goes out to you, jasprann.  It sounds like a really tough situation to be in. The only advice I can give you is time and talking.  Time for the news to settle in for him, and talking together to work out both of your feelings about the pregnancy.  I hope you have others around you to give you support right now too.

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#3 of 15 Old 09-10-2012, 08:38 AM
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I've never been in your situation- actively TRYING to conceive my first (of several, hopefully) but I just wanted to let you know that I read your post. *hugs* sounds like a tough situation.


Although you know you want this baby and won't terminate, I think getting angry or taking a stand will make things worse. I maybe wouldn't really bring it up for a little while. Not months, but maybe a week or two. Let him get used to the idea before really discussing the reality of this child. It does sound like you guys are in a good place (age, career, education, financially) to raise a child (compared to so many others).


Take care of yourself and go see your HCP. Get an ultrasound when you can. Invite him to the ultrasound- hearing/seeing baby's heartbeat might change his mind completely. I hope.


Babies are a blessing and I hope he realizes that soon.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-10-2012, 09:49 AM
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I would suggest therapy for him and/or both of you.  His reaction sounds quite extreme.  It's totally normal to be freaked out when you find out you are going to be a parent, but there might be more to it.  Perhaps he will snap out of it, but I don't know.  I'm sorry you are going through such a tough time.  I hope you are both feeling better soon.  hug2.gif

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#5 of 15 Old 09-10-2012, 12:32 PM
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Hmm, I made it clear to my fellow before we were married that babies are sometimes the result of having a regular sex life. And I would never terminate a healthy fetus.

Listen to your heart. If the baby makes you happy, great. If the thought of being a single mom fills you with fear and dread, listen to that,too.

Good luck.
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#6 of 15 Old 09-10-2012, 01:49 PM
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My heart goes out to you because I've been there!hug2.gif  Although our situations are/were different, they are also very similar in a lot of ways.  I got pregnant when I was 23, right out of college to get my BA.  So yeah, DH and I were quite young and needless to say we had not nailed down careers or much in the way of "you're prepared to have a baby" stuff.  I mean, we had both just finished college for goodness sake!  DH was BEYOND shocked and not in the good way. He never talked about termination or anything even close to that though.  Right away he "accepted his responsibility" as he put it and found the first real job he could.......and it was horrible.  Now don't get me wrong, this was a good thing that he stepped up because so many don't, but it was all forced.  He was very depressed and never was able to get excited at all.  It's like his youth had been stolen from him by this tiny new little person.  He was kind of on the fence when it came to kids because of his own upbringing being the black sheep of his family.  He too claimed he felt he was just too "selfish."  I knew I always wanted children and he knew this, but both of us were not expecting them quite so soon.  Well, I just made a point of taking good care of myself and the new little baby I was carrying.  As much as I wanted us to share the same level of enthusiasm and be on the same page, I had to accept that it was going to take him a bit longer to get there.  The more time that ticked by and the bigger I got the more and more excitement he allowed himself to feel.  He just needed time for the reality of what was happening to really sink in and to see the potential of what was coming.  When he was finally able to feel the baby move, it made it real.  Even then though, it didn't REALLY become a visceral thing for him until the moment she was born.  We're a homebirth family and he actually got to catch her when she was born.  It's like, he started seeing colors he'd never seen before.  That's what the immediate flood of love felt like for him.  All this from a guy who was sucker punched by an unplanned pregnancy, went through deep pits of depression, despair, and grief in the beginning.  I'm sure you've heard of others who were so unsure when faced with becoming a parent unexpectedly, but once baby was born they would never, ever go back.  Well, that's what happened to him and a few other dad's that I've known.  I know someone before me suggested seeing a therapist and this is certainly something you could think about together and may be a good place to start for you two.  DH and I would have probably rather had root canals than see a "professional."  We're the type of people that much rather talk to other people who have actually been there done that whenever possible rather than sit there being told what we should do/try/feel by someone with a wonderful fancy degree who's been trained, but may have no way to actually relate to us and our feelings at all.  With this sort of thing, empathy is so very important.  I guess if I had to give advice......give him time and space.  You keep taking good care of yourself and baby, and let yourself feel happy about it.  Baby needs that from you.  Help DH with his feelings when you can but realize it may take the entire pregnancy before he truly comes around which I sincerely hope he does.  In the meantime you may need to enlist a good friend to help support you because you're going to need it too!  After all, you're the one who pregnant!innocent.gif  Be willing to listen and certainly take his feelings seriously while also being firm about yours.  I so hope this only a blip on the radar for you both and that as time marches on he is able to start to see and even get excited about the unbelievable joy that can fill his life with the arrival of a new child.  You hang in there and please feel you can come here for support.  There really are some wonderful mamas on here!  PM me if you need to.  Lots of hugs and support your way.       

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#7 of 15 Old 09-11-2012, 09:24 AM
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I second the PP who suggested therapy. This is a big issue, why not get someone to help you both handle it? :)


Best of luck! It's no fun when your hopes and dreams don't line up with your partner. I hope you are able to come together on this.

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#8 of 15 Old 09-11-2012, 09:54 AM
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jasprann - first of all, another hug coming your way. I can relate in some ways to what you are going through. It may help you to know that even with planned pregnancies - like my current one that took nearly a year - partners sometimes have negative reactions. And my DP is already a daddy of 4 with his ex-wife!  I don't know where you live, but there are many wonderful resources available. There are Mothering meet-up groups in some areas, La Leche League meeting, birth educators, etc where you can go to find a shoulder to cry on & an ear to listen.


I'll second the recommendations of time & space, and therapy if needed. It sounds like one of the concerns your DH has is in being selfish - which is not just about his own personal time, but about his time with you as well. If you have the energy, be extra sweet to him while he goes through his own transition. This may ensure him that he is not going to lose you if a baby comes into the picture.


Also, while this is not the mos positive thing to say, I think it's important to remember: If having this baby is important to you, and your DH decides he doesn't want to be involved at all, you wouldn't be the first single mama in the world. There are many strong women raising children on their own (I've done it myself for awhile). You have to follow your heart & know that wherever it leads you is exactly where you are meant to be.


Much love to you as your navigate this transition!

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#9 of 15 Old 09-11-2012, 05:41 PM
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I don't have much time to write but I wanted to share that if you were to terminate it you have to remember that that could/would have a profound effect on your relationship as well. He would feel the guilt of 'making' you 'get rid of' something(one) you wanted and you would have resentment toward him for not accepting the baby he helped create. Since you are only 6 weeks I would just let him have time and space. Let him know you are not willing to terminate but don't push the subject any further. I would just wait for him to bring it up. Maybe if he sincerely never wanted to have kids he never ever pictured how his life could possibly have a child in it. That would be a lot to wrap your mind about. I'm not saying he will turn into superdad but maybe he will be able to accept it and maybe after a while he won't think it is the end of the world and then after that he may think that some parts of having a baby/child are ok and then eventually he may even like being a father. It will just take time. Maybe remind him, too, that he isn't the first guy in the world to be thrust into having a child he doesn't necessarily want but luckily he is old enough to decide what kind of guy he wants to be.



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#10 of 15 Old 09-14-2012, 01:43 AM
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What a difficult situation. I am in a similar one, although I've made up my mind not to terminate.

You will never regret (on the whole) having a child, especially when you want one so much. Most likely, he will come around.


If you don't want to terminate, then don't. Trust yourself and your baby. He will have to work his issues out.


Sorry if this comes across as anti-man- I am totally pro choice, but I think you've made clear the choice you'd like to make.

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#11 of 15 Old 09-14-2012, 05:59 AM
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Another recommending therapy if that is an option for you and DH if he will go. And yes, give him some time for it to sink in. It sounds like he was maybe just starting to get used to the idea of maybe being a parent someday and then bam you are pregnant! That's got to be a huge shock. Anyway, good luck to you with your decision!

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#12 of 15 Old 09-14-2012, 07:20 AM
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I didn't have that situation - when we got accidentally pregnant, my husband was over the moon (even though HE was the one who didn't want kids until "later") but *I* was completely shell shocked and depressed.  I couldn't even walk into a baby section of a store without feeling dizzy and like I might throw up.  The whole thing was totally insane.  It really took until I saw the SECOND ultrasound (around 20 weeks) that it started to feel like "omg, we're going to have a cute little baby!" and I started to feel like the whole thing might be doable. 


I realize it's not the same, since I was the pregnant one, but I just thought I'd throw that out there - give it time.  If in a few weeks he's still a total zombie, consider therapy, but if he's starting to act more normally, give him more time.  Definitely invite him to come with you to appointments and things.  Hearing from a doctor about the baby growing well and everything makes it feel more real and sort of less shocking, at least in my experience.  Brings you out of your head and into reality.

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#13 of 15 Old 09-19-2012, 07:46 AM
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I am biased. I don't believe in abortion. But...


I think it is very selfish for him to act like that over and accidental pregnancy. Having sex can always lead to a baby. That's just one way that it works. So, if he 100% never ever wanted a baby... just saying. Oh and if you terminate a baby you wanted to make him happy, you just might end up hating him and possibly yourself. Maybe after the initial shock he'll get better. If he doesn't get better and the worst case happens with him, then he obviously didn't care about you enough and he's obviously only interested in himself and how he feels etc.

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#14 of 15 Old 09-19-2012, 08:15 AM
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I've been in your shoes, but it was with our second. I think therapy is a great idea and I wish we had done that. All you can do is stand your ground (especially because YOU want this child) and give him space to feel how he's going to feel. With my DH it took a couple of months for him to "come around" and then he got excited about the new addition. I say this as someone who is vehemently pro-choice... if a woman wants a baby (or not) it's her decision and hers only. All you can hope for is that your husband will change his tune and keep the lines of communication open. But if he is unable to accept his new role, make sure you are okay with having this baby in a healthy environment no matter what it takes, even if it's leaving him. I agree with segolilymama... this is first and foremost your journey. Men can "choose" to be an active parent and whereas that's not fair, it's just biology.


Hugs to you and I hope you find peace soon. And congratulations thumb.gif

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#15 of 15 Old 09-19-2012, 09:10 AM
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I agree with those who say that if you did what he wants you to do, your relationship won't ever be the same anyway.  If he knows he's "selfish", etc. then maybe he needs to accept the fact that it's time to grow up (the "incapable of having serious conversations" also is not a good thing).  As others said, intimacy can lead to having a baby.  Period.  And he knows that.

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