I Feel Rejected by My Husband While Pregnant. What Should I Do?
- Pregnancy is a time of change, and it can put a strain on your relationship.
- Some women find their husbands aren’t supportive during pregnancy, with some women even feeling emotionally rejected.
- Communication is crucial during pregnancy and beyond. You’ll need to be able to have difficult conversations as you embark on your parenting journey together.
- Pregnancy hormones and the physical changes of pregnancy may impact your sex drive. Some partners find pregnancy impacts their sex drive, too.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you prepare for motherhood, you probably feel many emotions (thanks, hormonal changes). You’re likely busy writing lists of all the baby items you’ll need before your baby arrives while trying to wrap up work before your maternity leave and make the most out of these months before life changes forever.
If you have an unsupportive husband, you might feel like you’re doing all these things alone. Dads-to-be are supposed to be nurturing, excited, and supportive, so how should you handle things if yours isn’t? Some pregnant women feel let down by their partners during pregnancy.
If you find yourself thinking, “Help, I’m feeling rejected by my husband during pregnancy,” you may be looking for a solution. Whether you’re feeling sexually rejected, emotionally unsupported, or struggling with a partner who seems disinterested in the pregnancy, know you’re not the only pregnant woman going through this.
Communicating with Your Partner
Open communication is vital to a healthy relationship, and it’s never too late to improve your communication skills. In fact, doing so now will benefit you once your baby arrives. That first year of parenthood can put your relationship under stress, so it’s wise to work on your communication styles in advance.
Discussing the intimate side of your relationship can be tricky, so you must approach the subject sensitively.
Set the Stage for Conversation
Don’t blurt out your frustrations five minutes before you leave for work. A big conversation needs time and space to grow. Find a time without distractions, put your phones in another room, and sit down for a face-to-face chat.
Plan Your Discussion Points
Plan what you’re going to say in advance. Have a list of points you want to communicate. Remember to use “I feel” statements and avoid accusatory “You” statements. For example, “I feel that I’m not getting your full attention” versus “You never pay attention to me anymore.” Your aim is to explain your feelings without placing blame at your partner’s door.
It’s important to be honest and vulnerable. Avoid becoming defensive, even if your partner says something you find difficult to hear. Creating a safe, judgment-free environment may help your partner to open up about their feelings.
Don’t assume that the perceived rejection is a result of finding you less attractive during pregnancy. Your partner may be suffering from insecurities about their ability to be a parent, which has a knock-on effect on their self-esteem.
Strengthening Your Bond
Pregnancy is a great time to improve your relationship and strengthen your bond. Not only will this help you better prepare for parenthood together, it will also give you enough love to see you through the nobody-is-getting-enough-sleep-and-everbody-is-grump phase of new parenthood.
Here are some easy ways to strengthen your bond and improve your relationship:
Attend Prenatal Classes Together
Prenatal classes are a must for both of you. Prenatal classes will help to reduce fears, arm you with information, prepare you both for life with a newborn, and set you up for breastfeeding success. It’s also a good opportunity to meet other expectant parents and make new friends, something that can be invaluable as you all try to make sense of your new lives.
Prenatal classes are an excellent opportunity for your partner to take on a supporting role. They will learn how to best support you during the labor as well as how they can help during those early days of caring for a newborn.
By the end of the sessions, your partner should know how to be the ideal birth partner, how to support your baby’s breastfeeding journey, and what to expect from life with a newborn. Not only will this help you, but it will also give your partner a big confidence boost.
Engage in Bonding Activities
- Set up regular date nights: Make date nights a regular occurrence for the remainder of your pregnancy. Depending on time restraints and budget, this could be a weekly dinner at your favorite restaurant or simply an evening spent at home snuggled up on the sofa.
- Exercise together: Staying active during pregnancy is good for you and your baby. A 2018 study11. Lagadec, N., Steinecker, M., Kapassi, A., Magnier, A. M., Chastang, J., Robert, S., Gaouaou, N., & Ibanez, G.. Factors influencing the quality of life of pregnant women: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2018;18(1):455. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-2087-4 found that exercising during pregnancy was linked with a better quality of life during pregnancy. If you struggle with motivation, get your partner in on the action. A brisk walk together after dinner is a great chance to catch up while enjoying some light exercise. Or head to your local pool for a swim together for an all-body workout. If you want to stay home, find a prenatal yoga class online that you can do together.
- Take a babymoon: A “babymoon” is a vacation taken during pregnancy, and it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together before your new baby arrives. Figure out a realistic budget for your babymoon and pick somewhere you’d both like to go. It could be a romantic night in a hotel not far from home or a two-week vacation somewhere tropical. It’s totally up to you.
Seek Couples Counseling
Couples counseling isn’t only for couples in crisis; it’s for couples who want to improve their relationship. A couples counselor will help you to have difficult conversations productively. Not only will you improve your communication skills, but you’ll also learn techniques to help you parent better when your baby arrives.
Pregnancy and early parenthood is a time of significant change for your relationship. You will encounter new frustrations and obstacles to overcome. Couples counseling can arm you with the tools to have difficult conversations together.
Understanding the Dynamics
Intimacy problems during pregnancy may have several causes, from the physical to the emotional. It’s important to figure out what issues you’re dealing with so you can work towards a solution.
Physical Changes During Pregnancy
- Physical changes: The list of pregnancy symptoms hardly makes for arousing reading, does it? All-day nausea, (very) painful boobs, constipation, weight gain, and heartburn are just some of the sexy symptoms you may be experiencing. It’s not surprising you’re not in the mood, is it? If your pregnancy symptoms put you off intimacy, try not to worry. Your symptoms will change throughout pregnancy, and while you may feel rubbish this week, you might be a new woman next week.
- Emotional changes: The hormonal changes of pregnancy make many women feel more emotional than usual. You may be experiencing mood swings, anxiety, and heightened sensitivity. If you’re struggling with the emotional side of pregnancy, your partner may be walking on eggshells, trying to avoid making things worse. Remember that heightened emotions are a normal and expected symptom of pregnancy. If you feel upset, it’s worth pausing to ask yourself whether pregnancy hormones could be at play.
Factors Affecting Your Husband’s Behavior
- Stress: Having a pregnant partner can be stressful. Many expectant dads begin to worry about financial stability, the upcoming lifestyle changes, and whether they’ll make good fathers. Communication can help to bring these worries under control. Tell your partner exactly why you think he will be a great parent to give him a much-needed confidence boost.
- Fear of the unknown: With a first pregnancy in particular, it’s not uncommon for the partner to feel a bit lost. While you may be surrounded by friends and family sharing their pregnancy stories with you, your partner may not have the same support. This is where prenatal classes are useful. There are also lots of books for expectant dads, blogs, and social media accounts where your partner can learn more about the next stage of life.
- Intimacy concerns: It’s completely unfounded, but many men are nervous about hurting the baby. Your partner may even be worried about hurting you. He may see you as more fragile now that you’re pregnant or feel more protective of you. Reassure your partner that sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. In fact, some pregnant women experience better sex thanks to the increased blood flow.
Self-Care and Seeking Support
Pregnancy can be daunting, especially if your relationship is feeling the strain. You need to prioritize your needs and take care of yourself to try and reduce stress during pregnancy. Though you can’t eliminate stress altogether, you may find you’re better able to handle stress when you’re taking care of yourself.
Join a Support Group
Without the support of other pregnant women, you may feel like you’re going through this alone. Connecting with other pregnant women and sharing your experiences can greatly improve your well-being.
Prenatal classes are a great place to meet other expectant parents. Prenatal yoga and exercise classes will help you meet other moms-to-be while staying active. Don’t be afraid to go alone and be sociable; many women join these groups to make friends.
Invest in Yourself
Make sure you’re prioritizing your own needs during pregnancy. Continue to engage in the things you enjoy in spite of the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy. Many women feel that they have to completely change their lifestyle during pregnancy, but that’s not totally true. You may have to adapt your social life and hobbies for the next nine months, but don’t drop them altogether.
Feeling rejected is no fun, and counseling may help your emotional health. If you’re struggling with your mental health or want to make sense of your feelings, make an appointment to see a counselor specializing in perinatal mental health.
Lean on Trusted Friends or Family
Accept emotional support from your friends and family. Don’t be shy when it comes to your worries and concerns. The more vulnerable you make yourself, the more support you will receive.
Sharing what you’re going through will help you get perspective from other mothers. Whether you want empathy or advice, opening up to trusted friends and family could help you with feeling rejected.
Evaluating the Health of the Relationship
Often, problems that arise during pregnancy are related to the pregnancy. Sometimes, however, pregnancy highlights cracks that were already there. So how can you tell if this issue will resolve itself over time or whether there are deeper problems?
Signs It Might Be More Than Just Pregnancy-Related Issues
Have you seen consistent patterns of neglect or emotional abuse before? If your partner has always belittled, ignored, or dismissed your feelings and experiences, your problems may not be related to the pregnancy. It may be that your relationship was dysfunctional before the pregnancy, or that things have gotten worse since you discovered you were expecting. If you are experiencing gaslighting, for example, you may be in an abusive relationship.
Also, examine your partner’s willingness to communicate or understand. How does your partner respond to your requests for communication? If he refuses to discuss things with you, withholds love, and issues threats, you may have a serious problem. It’s always worth listening to your gut when it comes to relationships.
Seeking Help for Deeper Issues
While couples counseling may help, it’s helpful to determine what you hope the counseling will achieve. If you’re hoping your partner will work on their issues and become a functional and supportive partner, he needs to be on board with this.
It may be time to reevaluate your relationship if they don’t see any issues with their behavior and are unwilling to change. It’s always worth meeting with a professional therapist first to discuss your own feelings and see what they advise. Your healthcare provider may be able to refer you to a trusted couples counselor or a support group for pregnant women facing relationship difficulties.
- Lagadec, N., Steinecker, M., Kapassi, A., Magnier, A. M., Chastang, J., Robert, S., Gaouaou, N., & Ibanez, G. (2018). Factors influencing the quality of life of pregnant women: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 18(1):455. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-2087-4
No matter what you hope your result is, taking a pregnancy test is a big deal. Avoiding testing errors will ensure you get an accurate result.
In order to absorb the entire dose of medicine, you shouldn’t pee for some time after inserting a progesterone suppository. Here’s what you need to know.