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Question
Posted by: Estee | 2011-03-04

Pregnant and neglected

Hi
I am extremely unhappy. I am in my 39th week of pregnancy and my husband does not seem to care. He has kept up his life style with me having to cater up to 3 times per weekend for his (single) friends. We have a social obligation at least 3 out the 5 week nights and since I am on maternity leave he is using the time to send me around the city doing all sorts of errands which mostly involves standing in extremely long queues for hours on end and driving around in a steaming hot car in traffic.

I have been working very hard to get everytihing baby ready, but there is only so much I can do. I have asked him to think of things he can baby-proof and things that need to be finalised before baby comes (for instance the bathroom needs a paint for 2 years now since the paint is pealing off).

he hasn''t done anything except bore four holes in the wall to put up racks after I bought everything, fetched the tools and asked him to come and help me.

I have asked that he prepare a blessing to give to our baby once he is born but he hasn''t worked on that either. I have even pointed out a few Bible texts that I thought is appropriated but still he ignores it.

I have not confronted him, only talked really nicely and openly and asked him directly to help with this or that. I have communicated my needs (which are not sexual at the moment since I am so uncomfortable!) and have really tried not to mope and keep my feelings to myself. The only way he seems to know to pay attention to me though is through sex. He seems to think that he has done me a big favour if we had sex and that everything is sorted out and fine for the next week.

I feel so unfulfilled! My husband is excited about the baby but he just does not seem to realise that it is his as much as it is mine and that he is going to be a father and has a tremendously big role to play - I think in ways even bigger than mine.

I do not want to be a nagging wife, but when I think of the situation I am in an how hard I have tried to be diplomatic I feel like bursting out in tears and being really harsh and lay down some rules. But that would also not help because how sad would it be to have to force your husband into being involved and paying attention to you?

I can understand why some women indulge in the attentions of other men and why they get a kick out of making their husbands jealous. To me it seems at the moment that will be the only thing that will wake my husband up!

What should I do? I can not be the good wife anymore but neither do I have any other options. How can Ibring a baby into the world if I do not feel confident, nurtured, supported and loved?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Frankly, I think it selfish and uncaring in the extreme for any husband to expect his wife, let alone a significantly pregnant wife, to cater for his single friends several times a week. And to expect you to do his chores and stand in queues, shows not merely selfish callousness but not caring to risk the safety of yourself and your pregnancy. Companies don't provide maternity leave to enable pregnant women to slave for a foolish husband.
Maybe youve been too diplomatic and you should indeed lay down some rules. Refuse to do ANY chores whatever for him, immediately, and make it clear what support and help you need. Does he have a mother or father he would listen to, and do they know how disgracefully he is behaving ? Don't be so scared of seeming to be nasty - it doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Immediately stop catering for his friends - any real man would not accept allowing a male friend to treat his pregnant wife in that way. If he invites them round, they are HIS guests, not yours. Take to your bed or at least your room, reminding him that for the baby's sake as well as your own, you must rest and cannot take on this unnecessary extra work.
Don't you love the image of Purple's husband sitting in the birthing room, playing on the games console ? And yes, disuss this with your gynae, too, and if he offers to call your husband and teach him some basic biology and etiquette, invite him to go right ahead.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2011-03-06

Anon, I get emotional about it too, but this is my second baby and I''m in my thirties now and I''m a bit more sure of myself and hard-assed than \i was in my early twenties with my first pregnancy.

Hang in there, babies mature a man - no t much, but a little.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-03-05

Frankly, I think it selfish and uncaring in the extreme for any husband to expect his wife, let alone a significantly pregnant wife, to cater for his single friends several times a week. And to expect you to do his chores and stand in queues, shows not merely selfish callousness but not caring to risk the safety of yourself and your pregnancy. Companies don't provide maternity leave to enable pregnant women to slave for a foolish husband.
Maybe youve been too diplomatic and you should indeed lay down some rules. Refuse to do ANY chores whatever for him, immediately, and make it clear what support and help you need. Does he have a mother or father he would listen to, and do they know how disgracefully he is behaving ? Don't be so scared of seeming to be nasty - it doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Immediately stop catering for his friends - any real man would not accept allowing a male friend to treat his pregnant wife in that way. If he invites them round, they are HIS guests, not yours. Take to your bed or at least your room, reminding him that for the baby's sake as well as your own, you must rest and cannot take on this unnecessary extra work.
Don't you love the image of Purple's husband sitting in the birthing room, playing on the games console ? And yes, disuss this with your gynae, too, and if he offers to call your husband and teach him some basic biology and etiquette, invite him to go right ahead.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Estee | 2011-03-04

Thanks for the comments. I think I''ll be firmer - I just don''t want to push him away. It does sound like a common problem though. I know part of it is my fault but I just don''t know how to be firm without being nasty and labeled as " the difficult pregnant lady" .

Reply to Estee
Posted by: Anon | 2011-03-04

Wow Purple how do you do it, I just get sad and emotional when hubby is so well I dont know the word, pig maybe... How do you become strong?

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Purple | 2011-03-04

My husband was very similar to yours in my last pregnancy. My gynae offered to phone him and speak to him but I didn''t take up the offer as it would have upset my husband more - now I rather wish I had.

Firstly, don''t cater for his friends, tell him that they are his friends and if he invited them over he can care for them and that you are going to watch TV or read as you need to rest.
Secondly, stop driving around everywhere. When he asks, tell him you are 39 weeks pregnant and you are resting.
Thirdly, hire someone else to do the jobs you need him to do around the house. They will get done properly then.

Don''t expect him to be of any help during the birth, and if you can afford a doula hire one, as you really do need help in labour and a husband who didn''t pay attention in ante natal classes is of no help at all.

I''ve hired a doula for my next babies birth and when my husband asks what she does I tell him straight that she does what a husband is meant to do but doesn''t because he doesn''t pay attention at the classes. I''ve told him he doesn''t need to be at the birth, but he wants to be there, so I''ve told him to bring our sons games console with him to keep him out of my way.

Speak to your gynae about post natal depression and the signs to look out for as lack of support from your husband is a big contributing factor.

You''ve got about 9 months before your baby starts crawling, so don''t panic about baby proofing yet, start doing it when baby is around 6 months old.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Man | 2011-03-04

Hey Estee - sorry to hear about your situation. Once again i fail to understand some men. When my wife was pregnant i used to just let her lay in bed - i used to do the chores around the house even the cooking. Massaged her legs and back and always listened to her and was there for her throughtout her pregnancy. I agree with Happiness is saying.

Reply to Man
Posted by: Happiness | 2011-03-04

He does all this because you allow him to. Driving around town doing his errands when you should be home putting your up?!? He''s probably under the impression that you can take care of yourself and don''t need him much.

Girl, pregnancy is one time we are allowed to be " weak &  fragile"  so others can take care of us not the other way round. Maybe you should consider not being nice when telling him about your needs.

Reply to Happiness

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