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How To Deal With An Unsupportive Husband During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is meant to be a time full of joy, happiness, and hope for the future as well as bringing couples closer together. But this is not always the case and in fact, pregnancy can put an immense strain on a relationship. 

Your husband is being a little insensitive, thoughtless and uncaring towards you since you found out about your pregnancy and there are many reasons for his behavior.

But how to deal with an unsupportive husband during pregnancy can be a little tricky. So let’s take a look at the reasons as well as some possible solutions.

How Can Pregnancy Affect Your Relationship 

Most people think of pregnancy as a joyous occasion that will bring a couple even closer together. But the reality is that pregnancy can be an extremely stressful time for a couple.

Pregnancy is often the end of just being a couple where you only have each other to worry about. Now the impending birth also means that you and your husband will have another person to care for and worry about.

With pregnancy comes huge changes for couples and many are not prepared for the intense emotions that come with it.

Your husband and in fact you too, may well not have the tools or coping mechanisms to deal with the worry and frustration. This often means that vented anger is directed at those closest to us, most often our significant others.

Your body is now at the mercy of your hormones, a once calm and sensible wife has now turned into a blubbering emotional wreck. Husbands are often again not equipped to deal with this.

This can be a confusing time for your husband especially in the first 12 weeks where almost all of the goings-on are invisible to them. You pretty much look the same but you cry at everything and anything, your nauseous, exhausted, and easily annoyed.

Your husband may also be feeling the strain of having to provide for a family, or even wondering if he will be a good father to his unborn child.

Why Is My Husband Being Unsupportive During Pregnancy? 

Your husband is not being abusive but he is also not being as supportive or considerate as you need him to be. This can be a stressful situation for expectant moms to be in. But there are steps you and your partner can take to help resolve these issues.

An important first step is to determine exactly why your husband is not supporting you during your pregnancy. There are many reasons why a partner will behave in negative and unkind ways during their wife’s pregnancy.

Here is a list of some of the reasons why your husband may not be supporting you during your pregnancy:

Money worries

Babies are expensive. Your new addition is going to need a lot of stuff and raising a child is a huge financial responsibility.

Your husband may be feeling extremely stressed about money and how he is going to be able to support his growing family financially.

You may be a working mom but it can be hard for men to shift the mindset of being the person in charge of providing for their family and this huge weight of responsibility may be influencing how he treats you.

Fear of impending fatherhood

We know you are scared, you are the one who has to push the baby out after all, but expectant Dads can feel anxious and afraid too.

Your husband may be feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of not being a good enough birth partner for you during labor, not knowing what to do when it comes to caring for a newborn and how to continue to perform well at work while being a father too.

Your husband may be expressing this fear by refusing to give you the support you need and he may behave selfishly. 

Your hormones

Hormones are a nightmare, right? You obviously know how hard it is to cope with fluctuating hormones but your mood swings may be confusing and aggravating your husband.

In his rational mind your partner knows you can’t control your hormones but his patience may be waning and instead of trying to calmly cope with your mood swings, he may begin to be selfish and not be the emotionally supportive loving husband that you need. 

Lack of sex

You and your husband may be arguing about sex more than ever before during your pregnancy.

Whether you don’t want it as much or you do want to but a big baby bump is taking all the fun out of sex, there are lots of reasons why a couple’s sex life can suffer during pregnancy.

Your husband may be feeling sexually frustrated and resentful and instead of communicating this in a calm conversation with you, he may make hurtful and insensitive remarks, making the situation worse. 

Unplanned pregnancy

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If your pregnancy is unplanned your husband may be dealing with many overwhelming feelings. Your partner may be feeling angry that you are pregnant, even though he is just as responsible as you are for the conception of your baby.

He may be resentful that life as he knows it is about to change because you are pregnant. He may feel like his future has been stolen from him and he is wrongly blaming you.

Your partner may feel totally overwhelmed and underprepared to become a father, he may feel selfish for wishing you were not pregnant.

Jealousy

He may not want to admit it to you but your partner may be feeling jealous. It is unlikely he is envious of your morning sickness or mood swings but he may be jealous that your unborn baby is taking over your attention and he no longer has you to himself.

He may be struggling to accept that he will no longer be the most important person in your life and may not know how to deal with this feeling.

Your partner may be jealous that friends and family are giving you so much love and attention and always asking about your pregnancy, he may be feeling left behind and like he is no longer important. 

Prenatal depression

While we know prenatal depression occurs in pregnant women, fathers-to-be can suffer from depression during their partner’s pregnancy too.

Your partner may be so overwhelmed by all of his negative feelings about your pregnancy and this has led to him becoming depressed. Depression can cause irritability, lack of patience, and anger.

Your partner may be so trapped in their depression that they have no interest in their unborn baby and they may have no motivation to support you during your pregnancy. 

It is really important that you understand that your partner being unsupportive during pregnancy is not your fault. Your partner is letting their feelings influence how they treat you when what they really need to do is talk to you honestly about how they are feeling.

Unless you have had a hormone-fueled rant at your husband for no reason or said things in the heat of the moment that you didn’t mean, then you have not done anything wrong, Mama.

If your partner is not giving you the love and support you need during pregnancy that is an issue with him that you need to address and try to resolve together. 

What Can You Do If Your Husband Is Unsupportive During Pregnancy?

The first thing you need to do – for your and your baby’s safety – is to take a hard look at your relationship and try to distinguish whether your husband is being unsupportive or abusive.

Abuse is not always physical and if you feel like your husband is being mentally and emotionally abusive then you need to address this problem as soon as possible.

As your pregnancy progresses the more vulnerable you will become and you do not want an abusive husband mistreating you and putting stress on your pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state 1 in 6 abused women are first abused during pregnancy. More than 320,000 women are abused by their partners during pregnancy each year. 

There are organizations, charities, and professionals who can help you if you are in an abusive relationship during your pregnancy. There is a National Domestic Violence helpline you can call (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or (800) 787-3224 TTY and in an emergency, you should call 911. 

If after taking some time to analyze your relationship and your husband’s behavior you are confident he is not abusing you, there are several strategies you can try to encourage your partner to be more supportive during your pregnancy. 

How Can I Get My Husband To Be More Supportive During Pregnancy?

Now you know some of the reasons why your husband is not being supportive during pregnancy, you can begin to find ways to deal with this problem.

You need a loving and supportive partner at all times but especially when you are pregnant and during the postpartum period. It is not your fault your partner is behaving in this way but there are some steps you can take as a couple to make things better. 

Communicate

It is really important that both you and your partner communicate calmly and honestly. Share your worries with him and invite him to share all of his anxieties and stresses with you too.

When feelings are kept inside they can cause a person to behave badly towards the people closest to them; they are dealing with so much on the inside that they lose patience and compassion for others.

Ask your husband how he is feeling about your pregnancy and impending fatherhood, make sure he knows you will not judge him, and just want to know the truth. The more open you are, the better you will be able to communicate and work through your problems together. 

Therapy

If talking isn’t working, if your calm conversations quickly escalate into arguments then perhaps you need to seek help from a therapist.

If your husband is not keen to talk then you could visit a therapist alone to share your feelings about how he is being unsupportive during your pregnancy.

A therapist will be able to help you develop coping strategies for his behavior and will also be able to advise you on the most effective ways to have a civilized conversation with him. 

A solution some couples take to relationship problems during pregnancy is to go to therapy together. Seeing a therapist together will help you both get a better understanding of each other’s feelings.

Couples therapy allows you to address any concerns or worries you have in a safe space to a professional who will not take sides and can offer practical advice.

Whether your husband is being unsupportive because he is hiding his own worries or if the problems stem from financial stress, a trained therapist will be able to help you work together to get the root of the problems and provide effective strategies that will help your partner give you the support you need during your pregnancy and beyond. 

Mental Health Support

Your husband may be suffering from prenatal depression, anxiety, or experiencing a mental health crisis. Pregnancy is an exciting time for many but it can also be a time full of intense stress and worry.

Your partner may be suffering from poor mental health and instead of seeking help, he is letting his feelings impact how he is treating you, his pregnant wife. 

Your partner may feel guilt and shame about how he is treating you but may also not have the emotional tools he needs to change his behavior.

Depression can steal a person of motivation as well as happiness and even though he wants to be there for you, your husband just doesn’t know how to at the moment. 

Gently encourage your husband to visit a doctor to discuss his mental health struggles.

The doctor may refer him to a mental health specialist who can help. There are several ways depression can be treated, it may be through pills or therapy but depression rarely disappears on its own.

Remember, you need to look after your own mental health too and if your partner’s unsupportive behavior is impacting your own mental health then you need to seek support.

Your OBGYN will be able to offer you support and signpost you to mental health resources and organizations for pregnant women in your local area. 

Pregnancy and Childbirth Education Classes

Prenatal classes are a great opportunity for parents to learn all about childbirth and all of the basics for caring for a newborn. These classes also give expectant moms and dads the chance to meet other pregnant couples and make new friends.

Sometimes people can feel like no one else in the world feels the same as they do, but it is not true. Prenatal classes are a great opportunity for husbands to meet others fathers-to-be and chat about their feelings surrounding the impending birth of their babies and any worries they may have.

Your partner may not know how to support you properly, he may not be intentionally being inconsiderate.

Pregnancy and childbirth education classes will provide your partner with the knowledge and understanding he needs to look after you properly during your pregnancy and start behaving in a less selfish manner. 

Connect with each other

Your sex life may not be the same now that you are pregnant but that does not mean all intimacy has to go out of the window. Try to make time for each other like you did before you were pregnant.

A lot of your time and attention is likely to be on the baby now, you are probably spending more time planning the nursery décor than you are planning romantic date nights.

It doesn’t have to be a big romantic gesture, but it is important to make time to spend together as a couple, where all of the focus isn’t on your pregnancy.

Do something fun together, go out and enjoy yourselves while you don’t have to worry about booking a sitter and getting home before 10 pm. If your relationship is feeling the strain of your pregnancy then perhaps it is time you both had some quality time together. 

What Do You Do When Your Husband Is Not Emotionally Supportive During Pregnancy?

If you feel like you have tried everything but your husband is not giving you the emotional support you need, here are a few more ideas for you to try: 

Tell them what you need

If your partner isn’t giving you any support or is not giving you the emotional support you actually need, a good way forward is to just tell him. You don’t have to be demanding and argumentative but you may need to spell out exactly what it is you need.

This might feel frustrating, but it is important to remember that your husband will never be able to fully understand what you are going through and all it might take is an open and honest conversation about how you are feeling and what you need for him to start supporting you effectively. 

Find support from someone else

It sucks but maybe your partner just isn’t emotionally mature enough to provide you with all of the support you need during your pregnancy. Some people are just more selfish and struggle to put others first.

Your husband may downplay your feelings in his head, convincing himself you don’t actually need the help you are asking for. Unfortunately, some partners are just like this.

If this sounds like your partner then maybe you need to seek support from other people in your life.

If you have stresses and worries you need to talk through during your pregnancy, don’t just keep them inside because your partner doesn’t provide the support you need.

You could speak to your mom, your sister or your girlfriends. You can also discuss any worries you have at your prenatal appointments with your health care provider, they will be able to provide support and advice. 

Discuss separation

unhappy couple

It is important to recognize that if your partner is unable to support you and be considerate of your feelings now while you are pregnant, he may not be able to give you the necessary support you need once the baby arrives.

If you have tried everything and had all the professional help and things still haven’t changed, perhaps you need to discuss separation with your partner.

Whilst no one envisions leaving their partner during pregnancy, many women do just that and go on to successfully co-parent. You need to think hard about whether your partner is being abusive, research shows previous abusive behavior is indicative of future abusive behavior.

The safety of you and your baby is the most important thing and if you feel unhappy and threatened in your relationship then you may need to consider leaving your partner. 

The Final Thought 

Pregnancy can be a happy and exciting time but also a stressful and challenging time for couples. If your relationship is struggling, we hope this article has helped you to know how to deal with an unsupportive husband during pregnancy.

There are several strategies you can try to help your partner be more supportive and considerate while you are pregnant. You deserve to be treated with respect, love, and support during your pregnancy and every single day.

This article has provided you with a wealth of information on what to do if you are not getting the support you need but there are also organizations that can offer you professional advice on what to do if you are feeling unsupported during your pregnancy.

If you have any further questions about your pregnancy then why not check out our ultimate guide to pregnancy here.

Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!