Disconnected husband has me in a funk. — The Bump
September 2016 Moms

Disconnected husband has me in a funk.

Has anybody else been feeling a little alone and disconnected from their partner since finding out they're pregnant?

My husband tries so hard to serve me and cater to me, but that's not what I need. I need somebody to be emotionally invested in this pregnancy with me. It hurts me that I seem to be the one who always initiates the conversation about our baby and what's going on with me. Anytime he talks about being excited, it's as if all he's excited about is how my boobs and tummy will grow. He doesn't talk about becoming a father or wanting to understand what I'm feeling through this process.

I finally broke down and told him last night that I've been feeling so distant and alone because of how little he seems to be involved with what's happening. Obviously he can't feel my aches and pains, but I guess I just thought he would at least share in more of this excitement and worry and daydreaming. Or at least be asking some of the same questions I've been asking. And he told me he'll try harder to be there for me emotionally, but I'm still skeptical. I'm afraid that I'm expecting too much from him and I should just get used to being alone and misunderstood. 

He even has this terrible habit of falling back asleep on me anytime I wake him up to ask for something (seriously, it's the most ridiculous thing) and that happened to me TWICE last night. I woke him up to talk about how alone I feel and it took FOUR tries to get him to stay awake for it. If your partner does this to you, you probably know what I mean when I say that it eventually stings and hurts. And then I told him I'm starving and unable to go back to sleep and he offered to make me toast then promptly fell asleep again. So I made my own damn toast and sat alone in the kitchen at 4 in the morning. And that's when the thoughts hit me of how unreliable he can be. And I'm scared every night with our newborn will be like this -- me trying to find support in my husband and just being let down and left to fend for myself.

Is any of this normal? Is anybody else in a similar funk as me? And is there hope that he really will come through for me and become more emotionally involved? He's such a great husband most of the time, but it's been a rough couple of weeks, and I just feel like the distance between us right now is getting bigger and bigger. 

Re: Disconnected husband has me in a funk.

  • I think it's hard for men because they don't really have any physical connections yet.  It is definitely different when the baby comes (but really, until the kid is moving around/playing/not so dependent on mom)

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  • Once you start showing, and he sees that there is more going on it will kick in. Guys are kind of dense. Most didn't grow up dreaming of being a parent, and most don't understand just how hard it is to be pregnant. He sees his beautiful wife, not really looking different. It's hard to communicate that every min of everyday all YOU can think about is the baby, growing and how tired and hungry it's making you!
    Hang in there. It can be hard especially when the hormones are making you over think things. Get him a book, I got Dude, you're going to be a dad. It's written for guys in a dude way, that will help him understand what you are going through and it also gives him ways to deal with you and the new baby!! My husband has been reading a chapter a night before bed. It tells me he's trying and it brings up conversation that he didn't know how to do without the book. 

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  • I have felt super disconnected from DH as well. Mainly because I feel like going to bed at 830 every night and he is a night owl. This is our only time to see each other after we put DS to bed. Before, I'd be able to stay up until at least 10 and we'd be able to talk and cuddle. I'm looking forward to second tri when I (hopefully) have my energy somewhat back.

    I agree with PPs that is definitely hard for them to connect to the pregnancy until they can see your growing belly and feel the babe moving. Men are such visual creatures that it's difficult for them to make connections to what we are going through when it appears we're just a bloated mess lol. 
  • I honestly get where you are coming from because DH has hurt my feelings a few times due to me feeling like he seems less enthusiastic and into this pregnancy than he was with DD. But when I stop and really think about it, he didn't start getting super into my pregnancy until I was in 3rd tri and we were taking pregnancy classes, buying things, and getting her room ready. Things that made it real for him. I agree with the others that it takes time for men to get to our level of excitement, and I don't think they ever think about the baby as much as we do. 

    I hate to go straight to this, but it sounds like your hormones are at play here some. From what you've told us, it sounds like your DH is trying and doing more than most would. I have a wonderful husband, but there is no way I could get him to have a deep conversation in the middle of the night or even throw the offer of 4am toast at me. 

  • I agree with pp. My husband was like this through our first pregnancy as far as not showing a ton of excitement and I'm in the same boat during this one. He will come around. Took my LO to start kicking for it to feel real to DH. They don't have the internal connection yet because they aren't making a human. As far as expecting him to make you toast at 4 am  not quite with you on that one. DH would fall right back to sleep here as well. Just because we're pregnant doest mean our DH automatically become our servants that need to cater to our every craving or ache and pain. Kind of what we signed up for if you ask me.
  • Thank you, everybody, for the encouragement. It definitely helps to hear that I'm not alone in feeling this way! 

    Also just to clarify and to bring up what I feel is an important thing to recognize, I do wake him up occasionally in the middle of the night and I don't think that is wrong. To have a long conversation, maybe. But not to ask for help or love when you're feeling in a really dark place. And that's where I was. There are several times a week when my husband has to get up for work in the middle of the night and I make it a habit to get out of bed in those moments and help him get ready. I learned this practice from my mom, who I admire so, so much. I would never dare accuse her of being unreasonable because I know that both her and my dad do this for each other and it makes a difference in their marriage. I know not everybody believes that you should expect your partner to forego sleep for you, but please keep in mind that every relationship is different and what may seem "too much" for YOU or your husband might be the times when other couples want to serve and love each other the most.

    Thank you, guys, again for swarming in and showing some support! This is my first pregnancy so I wasn't really sure of what to expect. I feel better hearing that this is pretty normal. 
  • I understand your disheartenment because this is all very new and overwhelming for you, but I wouldn't dub your husband "disconnected" based on what you have described. Try to adjust your expectations because it sounds like it is not his intention to make you feel alone. I know it is frustrating, and we ALL get annoyed with our SOs during this time because they will NEVER truly understand what we are going through because they will never experience it. You should communicate your needs during the day when you know he is awake and attentive. Men adjust to parenthood differently than women, and it can feel very isolating for us as women, especially during pregnancy, but it is just the way it is. He will understand and connect more with time, and I would not assume that his behavior now is a representation of how he will be with a newborn. Don't borrow worries from tomorrow. He will come around. Just the fact that he offered to get up and make you food at 4 a.m. is a good indication that he is going to be a sensitive, kind, and understanding partner and father.
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  • Oh, and I would also suggest you find a woman to confide in(a sister/friend/mom/etc). Preferably someone who has been pregnant before, but my sister has been an excellent source of empathy and understanding, and she's never been pregnant. That could help you feel less isolated and alone in your experience. Husbands are great, but sometimes they just can't fill that space of female connection/support/commiseration that we need.
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  • blondie080300blondie080300
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    edited February 2016
    Hi @jessieereddia . I only gave my feedback since you asked if your situation was normal. You are right that every relationship is different but when you ask others if they are feeling the same way or if your situation is normal, it seems you really want to know our thoughts. I offered my perspective to try and help you see where your husband's intentions seemed to be based on the info you gave us and identify that looking at your own emotions might help you realize things may not be as bad as they seem/you felt. But I'm glad others were able to help you see that you are not alone in your feelings. This really is a great support group and has helped me a lot too.
    Married: 3/21/15
    First time mom to a human but have been a puppy mamma for over 12 years :)

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  • @blondie080300 you are right, and thank you. I didn't mean to come across as defensive or unappreciative of your comments. Its just a little difficult to hear that I'm not being sensitive of my husband's needs when I'm feeling down about myself and what's going on already. It's been a pretty rough week and I have been extra sensitive and all over the place with my emotions. I wish I was in a more reasonable state last night, but I can't be a perfect wife, just like my husband can't be perfect either. 
  • We've been married for 9 1/2 years, so something I have learned after many arguments, is that in order to have a productive and meaningful conversation, both of you need to be present.  I don't doubt that you need to talk in the middle of the night, but it would probably be better saved for when he can pay attention and really hear what you are saying.  Otherwise, you'll feel resentment and you will end up repeating yourself.  
    Are you having anxiety that you can talk to a doctor about?  When my anxiety is bad, I have trouble sleeping.  Just a thought.
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  • Honestly didn't read all the comments just wanted to add that you'll hear a woman becomes a mom the moment she finds out she's pregnant and a man becomes a dad when he holds the baby for the first time. I think my husbands interest and excitement really came at the anatomy scan last time... this time he's more into it all already. He will come around, give him some time to talk about life now and what things you guys will strive to keep the same when baby comes.
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  • @mamado lol your reply made me laugh. I have been in another group that a woman actually did that. She made her husband get up with her and was upset that he was a crank. When my lo was born I was so thankful when I was fall down tired and my husband was rested enough to take over. Work it in shifts right?
  • @eboyd83 - I hear you. Different strokes for different folks and all that good stuff, but when I've had an opportunity to nap or get a solid stretch of sleep? I leave my husband for dead and he does the same to me. Somebody is being a bit of an insomniac or a fidgeter? That someone moves to another room, no harm no foul.

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  • I'm sorry you're feeling down. Hormones might have something to do with it. But I agree with PPs, men do have a hard time understanding sometimes and I think talking to him about it was a great call :) Good luck. 
  • I felt like this the first time i was pregnant and my pregnancy didnt work out but i wanted to talk about things in the middle of the night and when it didnt workout i wanted to and did wake him up manytimes to talk about if he thought it was going to workout eventually...i needed him to tell me what i wanted to hear.  He has two children who now are my stepchildren but it is hard to be a women and i do believe maybe i shouldnt get all hung up on stuff but it is important to say how u feel.  Dont forget hormones are crazy right now so i blame some of that for my behavior haha
  • I'm a little late to the party (like usual), but I just wanted to say that your situation is similar to mine- so if it's not normal we can be weird together!  I was able to get my husband to talk to me about it the other day, and he said (in agonizing awkwardness) that he's actually having a hard time connecting because he's scared of all the changes this will bring for us.  Thankfully that (AWKWARD) conversation has allowed us both to care for each other better.  Did I mention that it was awkward? My husband is decidedly not in touch with his emotions. =)
  • jessieereddiajessieereddia
    10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2016
    @cassloumy hahah okay good, I'm right there with ya! My husband likes to refer to himself as having "grown up in an emotional void" because his family hardly ever talked about their feelings while he was growing up. And meanwhile, my family and I ALWAYS talked about our feelings. I'm nothing but feelings! Especially now more than ever. So yeah, I'm supposing us ladies are gonna have some pretty awkward conversations with our men these next few months... Also I think it's awesome that you guys were able to have that conversation together, and hopefully each one to come gets easier and easier for him, too. 
  • @Thusadeedoo I remember one night with my last that I was so tired I asked him to watch lo. I said I'm just going to lay down for two hours, then you can wake me up. Four hours later he woke me up and I almost ripped his head off. "Why are you waking me up I haven't even fallen asleep yet". I was so tired I didn't even remember falling asleep. sleeping. nothing. I didn't even feel like I slept. lol. Oh, the memories.
  • This is my 3rd pregnancy (and our 4th child), and this is the first time I HAVEN'T felt like you are. The first time I was pregnant I felt completely alone. My DH was there, but he wasn't there. It was like he had no idea how to be there for me. And I had no idea what exactly I needed from him. Once our daughter was born, he held her the first time and it was like it clicked. He sucked at being a daddy-to-be, but he was an amazing daddy.

    And sometimes, men are just too dense to get it! LOL They don't feel any of it, they don't get the anxieties and stress that we do. It really is just a different experience for them.

  •  I definitely know what you're going through. I think it's normal for men to just put space where women don't. This is my second pregnancy my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage in September. My husband doesn't bring up the baby and when I do he seems stressed out about it. We lost our first pregnancy at 8 weeks. I'll be 8 weeks on Monday and we have our first OB appointment. I'm hoping after he sees that everything's going differently, he will be more susceptible to open communication. Sometimes I do feel alone but luckily I have some friends that just recently had babies or have had miscarriages and they are so willing to talk to me. They understand that I need to be able to talk to them because I can't do it as much at home. I would suggest finding some friends that you can really talk to you about everything going on. As for talking to your husband in the middle of the night about ypur feelings, I agree with some of the previous post maybe you should wait untill you're both awake. maybe talk over breakfast or befor you go to sleep. Just becaise we cant sleep, doesnt mean we should make them suffer too. I hope this helps good luck!!
  • @BolducA thank you! And wishing you and your DH a great doctors visit come Monday!
  • I think what you are experiencing is normal. Like most others have said, women take pregnancy a lot different than men, especially in that first tri when to them nothing is "happening" yet, you look the same etc. I would just try to be patient and give your husband time to get to the same place you are at emotionally about this baby. My husband wasn't really into my pregnancy at all last time, but as soon as she was born I can see how much he loves her. He is a great dad. As far as waking up in the middle of the night to talk, if that is what is normal and expected in your marriage up to this point then I understand your hurt. I know my husband and his inability to deal with being tired. I know if I expected to have a heart to heart with him in the middle of the night that I would just be setting myself up for hurt. Not that it's right or wrong, everyone and every marriage is just different. What is normal to some may not be to others! But I do think you might have a better conversation during daylight hours :smile: 
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  • My own mom likes to wake up and talk in the middle of the night, so you're not alone there. I'm someone who really loves and cherishes my sleep, so I very rarely feel like I need to talk in the middle of the night. DH knows this, and only wakes me up if it's dire (for fear of his life lol- I HATE being woken up!). That being said, if I were awake in the middle of the night right now and not feeling right or feeling really upset, I know DH would want me to wake him- probably not for a conversation because he's not a man of many words as it is, but more to just put his arms around me and tell me everything's okay, and then we talk the next day. The most I can say in the middle of the night is a sentence or two about what's wrong, and if it's serious he'll perk up and if not he'll just reassure me and cuddle me so I feel comforted. Maybe you can try to talk to him more about these feelings when you're both awake so you sleep a little better? I know you can't control how and when you feel things, but it could help to talk to him when you know you have his undivided attention. I'm sure he's not purposely falling asleep on you- he is probably just tired ;) And when the baby comes it will likely be different- it's a lot harder to block out a crying baby! Maybe talk to him about these fears, but again when you are both awake. Maybe go to bed earlier and spend some time just laying together talking before falling asleep?

    I would also keep a stash of crackers by your bed for those nights when you wake up hungry in the middle of the night. You can have a nibble right there and feel better ;) I know a lot of mamas-to-be do that.

    And like I said, my DH is not a man of many words. I know he has wanted a baby for years now, and that he's really happy. Knowing that he's not a big talker most of the time, I initiate conversations with him about it and it really helps. I think if you try that with your DH it may help too. Tell him how you're feeling every so often, update him on what you're learning as you peruse websites and books about pregnancy. Men are not the most intuitive when it comes to women in general, so throw in pregnancy and it's like all bets are off, they have no clue. And most men don't pick up on hints we drop or body language we use, sometimes even blatant statements go over their heads. Try to be as clear as possible when you talk to him about what you are feeling and what you want from him. It helps set him up for success ;)

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  • Thank you, everyone, for your words of wisdom! I did write this post a couple weeks ago, and since then we have been reconnecting and he's been more responsive. Once I got all my feelings out on the table, he saw the same things I was seeing and we've both been making an effort to feel like a team since then. Maybe that can encourage some other women who have been feeling the same way I was!
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