Q:I’m three months pregnant and my husband is having a terrible time adjusting. He says that I’ve ruined his life and that he’s scared of the future. I’m afraid we’ll end up getting a divorce and I’ll be a single mom. I need some advice!
A: I wish there were an easy answer for this. The fact is that some men take longer than others to warm up to the idea of being new dads. From your description’ it sounds as though your pregnancy wasn’t planned. That can sometimes make things worse from the guy’s perspective.
What I’d suggest you do is the following:
- Try to do as many activities together as you can to show him that it’s still possible to have a life
- Hang out with some friends who have young kids so he can see that the dads really enjoy it
- Ask him specifically what is scaring him. Don’t do this in an accusatory way, though. Be sympathetic. Listen and don’t try to come up with answers to his fears right away. He just needs to have someone listen to him and not make judgments. After a few days have another discussion and talk about ways you can work together to resolve (or minimize) his fears. Again, it’s essential that you don’t try to force any particular attitude or timetable on him. He’ll come around eventually, it’s just a matter of when.
- Assure him that you share some of the same fears and concerns that he does (I’m assuming you do). Knowing that the two of you are closer together psychologically will help him feel less abandoned and alone.
- Talk about ways you can arrange your schedule after the baby so that you can still have some time to yourselves. This is going to be hard for the first few months, though.
- the risk of sounding commercial, pick up a copy of my book, The Expectant Father. There’s a lot in there about men’s fears during pregnancy and how they can overcome (or at least come to terms with) them.
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