Pregnancy can change a relationship in several ways. If you’re the one carrying the child, you’re probably on a hormonal roller coaster, especially if the pregnancy was a surprise.
Unexpected pregnancies are linked to a higher chance of postpartum depression. But it turns out that how involved a father is in a child’s life can also depend on whether or not they plan for a new baby.
A woman’s partner decided the solution to an unplanned pregnancy was to pretend it wasn’t happening. In a viral post shared on Mumsnet, user Numallgoff shared how her partner’s reaction to their unplanned pregnancy is making her miserable.
She wrote: “I’m 25 and he is 10 years older than me, we each have a son from previous relationships and our family gets along well. His son stays alone in the summer and my son is away with his father on weekends.
“We wanted children together, but this baby was unplanned (contraceptive failure) and we were in shock.”
The woman explained that until the surprise pregnancy, she, her partner and their children from previous relationships seemed settled.
At first, her partner did not take the news of the pregnancy well, but after a week, he seemed to “come up” with the idea. Still, he refuses to help Numallgoff around the house or get involved in the pregnancy.
She continued: “I understand he may not be happy because he is currently unemployed (job lost due to covid) and looking for work so he is worried about money but it really frustrates me that he can’t come in the house help out.
“I do all the cleaning and cooking, he expects me to make coffee for him all day, do the shopping on my own, do the school career. I’m 10 weeks, but I’m absolutely shattered this time.
“If I say I feel tired or sore, he ignores me. He hasn’t mentioned the pregnancy since we had a conversation two weeks ago and agreed to support each other.
“It feels so awkward to talk about the pregnancy while pretending it’s not happening. He’s even asked me to rub his back in bed often, which I thought was odd.
“I’m starting to feel like he hates the fact that he really should pay more attention to me and try to draw attention to himself.”
She also revealed that her partner had refused to share the news with his family.
She added: “We are very close to his family and he hasn’t even asked me to share the news. Again, he pretends it’s not even happening. I feel overwhelmed, alone and upset.
“Has anyone else had to deal with this odd behavior? Should I just cut through the awkwardness and still talk to them about the pregnancy? And I might reasonably want a little more help at this point.”
A 2019 study found that one in five couples broke up within the first year of having a baby, usually around six months.
A quarter of couples surveyed admitted their relationship problems started before the baby was born, but were annoyed when faced with sleepless nights and less alone time together.
The post received more than 90 responses from Mumsnet users giving Numallgoff advice and condolences, with layladomino saying, “You deserve better. Your kid deserves a better set father figure than this lazy one, and your unborn child deserves better.
“You can now start making a change. Stop running after him. You are not his servant or housekeeper. Share the chores so that you have the same free time.
“Ask him to take the lead and be a decent father while you’re pregnant and when you have a baby. Does he intend to do his part?
“His reactions may help you form an opinion, but I think he’s going to have to make some pretty quick and important changes to make sure he’s going to be a good father.”
NoSquirrels asked, “If he is currently unemployed, why are you doing all the cooking and cleaning regardless of the pregnancy? Do you work too?
“Is he usually a helpful guy (I bet not). The ten year age difference is quite a lot sometimes in attitude…”
While Luredbyapomegranate noted, “I think you should assume you’re going to do this on your own, so think about what’s realistic for you and plan from there.”
And it looks like Numallgoff took the advice to heart and posted updates in the comments.
She said: “When I read the comments it’s clear to me that I have ridiculously low standards and expectations and put up with this BS for far too long.
“I was a single mother with my first child, I’m not sure of a termination but with what everyone has said I am seriously considering accepting that I will be alone with the kids.
“Well, he spends most of the time sleeping while I’m out catching buses to take my son to school and when I get back he spends the rest of the time on the playstation playing games with his son because “it’s the only way she can bond long distance” (meaning I felt uncomfortable and I can’t tell him to cut it down).
“Sigh, I should have guessed he would go for someone my age instead of someone in their thirties.”
Numallgoff isn’t the only mom-to-be to share her relationship troubles with the internet recently.
The internet recently rallied behind a woman who banned her husband and his controlling mother from the delivery room, and backed a woman who caught her husband cheating less than a day after giving birth.
Reddit users also attacked a father who expected his wife to care for their newborn baby alone every night, reminding him that “parenting is not interchangeable.”
news week has contacted Numallgoff for comment.