Couples who conceive become closer than ever before, at least that's the way it works in many cases. However, even the closest couples keep secrets, and men may be especially bad about this during a partner's pregnancy. Men have been taught that pregnancy is about moms, their emotions, their pains, and their experiences. Most men don't want to throw their issues at their partners during this time.
It's understandable that dad may want to shield mom from extra stress as much as he can since she is growing a human, but hiding information or feelings in a relationship can lead to problems. Couples are a team, and the team needs to be strong before a baby arrives. One way to make sure couples are on the same page is to share what is going on, but men may have a difficult time with this.
Being vulnerable can be a problem for some men, and admitting fears or concerns makes them feel weak. They also may feel embarrassed or ashamed for certain feelings they have about becoming a father, so they just hide them and hope they will go away.
Pregnant women are usually pretty perceptive, so they can often sense when something is wrong and will worry if their partners won't tell them what it is. Women imagine crazy scenarios that are likely not going to happen because their partners won't just tell them why they are acting preoccupied.
Some of the top things dad is hiding are on this list, and they range from fairly benign to absolutely concerning.
15Failure To Launch
A man may have an abstract idea of what it will be like to become a father, but when mom actually presents that positive pregnancy test, the abstract comes a bit more in focus, and that can bring with it a ton of clarity. Some men find that they aren't ready for a baby.
Of course, when a man didn't expect his partner to get pregnant because they weren't trying, it's always a shock. However, when dad knew they were trying and thought he was ready, this feeling can come as quite a surprise. All of those months or years leading up to the pregnancy suddenly weren't enough to make him feel fully ready for the way his life is going to change.
Mom may be having this same feeling, so as opposed to hiding it dad should talk to her. Mom can even be the first one to admit she is scared about the upcoming changes, encouraging her partner to discuss his concerns. They can wade through the uncertainties together, making it much less terrifying for them both.
14Can I Wait Outside?
Women aren't the only ones who fear childbirth, though they have the most logical reason to. There are men who long for the old days when the fathers stood in hospital lobbies smoking cigarettes, waiting for the babies to arrive.
Those days are gone, and while many men are glad to be able to witness the first moments in the lives of their children, there are others who are petrified. All the blood, the epidural needles, and watching moms scream in pain are enough to make some men scared to death of birth.
Men hide this fears because they know they won't be the ones going through the pain and aren't really in any position to complain. Their job is to serve as support, so they try to do it, but more than one soon-to-be father has passed out while witnessing his partner giving birth.
13Front And Center Changes
Pregnant bodies are beautiful, but for a man who isn't good at dealing with change, the suddenness with which mom's body transforms may be overwhelming. Women often develop stretch marks, and they gain weight everywhere, not just in their bellies. That's why many soon-to-be dads hide the fact that they are horrified by the pregnancy body.
Honestly, a man should probably hide this one since mom is going through all of this to have a baby that the two of them conceived. It's not her fault her body is different, and she definitely does not need to be self-conscious because her partner said something stupid about her gaining weight. Men who verbalize dislike for their pregnant partners' bodies, and there are plenty who do, are not generally looked upon with much grace or mercy by other women.
However, if mom is stressed about her partner's tendency to avoid intimacy or see her naked, he should find a way to kindly be as honest as possible so she won't assume the distance from her physically means he wants out of the relationship.
12Pregnancy Pain For Him
Women are the ones who carry the babies, so dads should just get to coast and support the moms, right? Not exactly. Though some men never admit it, research shows that over 90 percent of men have at least one symptom of pregnancy when their partners are expecting. They may experience nausea, weight gain, or mood swings, and it can affect them throughout pregnancy.
This phenomenon is called Couvade syndrome, and many men will not admit to having it. They hide it from their partners because they fear it will make them sound crazy or weak. Most also don't want their partners thinking they are trying to steal the spotlight by whining about their own pain.
Men shouldn't be afraid to open up about this since women may be flattered by the implied empathy these symptoms represent. Gaining weight and being moody together just may beat doing either of these activities alone.
11Where'd It Go?
There are plenty of moms who are on fire in the bedroom when pregnant. All of the hormone changes make them want to be intimate all the time, and they may experience a bigger payoff (BIG O) that has them coming back for more.
However, there are also women who do not even want to be touched while pregnant, and men who have these partners will likely feel very alone physically throughout the pregnancy. Not wanting to bother their partners, most of them suffer in silence.
It's okay for men to tell their partners they miss them and to let them know they are still sexually attracted to them. If mom still isn't into it, at least dad made it clear that he's available if she changes her mind. Being able to talk openly about this can help avoid any misunderstandings about why the bedroom activity has died.
10Cash Flow Alert
Despite how far we've come in terms of women being considered equal breadwinners in the home, many men still feel the pressure to be the main providers when it comes to finances. When a baby is going to arrive, dad may not tell his partner how horrified he is about financially supporting a person for the indefinite future, but he will likely feel it.
Pregnancy is expensive, and that's just the beginning. Raising a child is estimated to cost over $200,000, and looking at that amount can make any man wonder if he's made a terrible mistake.
A man needs to be honest about this concern because mom probably has it as well. There are plenty of ways to lessen the cost of being a parent, and many of them begin with not believing the hype that babies need thousands of dollars worth of items they will never use. Mom and dad can work together to make reasonable choices and bring down the cost.
9Unresolved Daddy Issues
The past comes back to haunt dad when he finds out he's going to be a parent. If he had issues with his own father and was abandoned or abused, he may fear not being a good father for his own child because he doesn't know how. Even if nothing that extreme occurred, a difficult relationship with his own father can make dad concerned about how he will be with his child.
On the flip side, a man who has a wonderful dad may actually have issues of his own. Some dads fear they will never be as good as their dads, and they worry constantly about being seen as subpar by their own children.
Most men aren't great at being vulnerable, so they likely won't discuss these concerns with their partners. It's a shame they don't because many women have the same concerns related to their relationships with their mothers.
8I Want You Back
Every man hears it from his friends when his partner gets pregnant: be prepared to lose her to the baby. The baby will be tiny and dependent, so mom's focus will shift to her full-time.
Dad may live in fear of this becoming a reality. He sees a baby coming into the family as something that is going to divide him and mom, and he's already feeling resentment at how much time mom spends on the registry and talking about the baby who is still not even here.
Even if dad is excited, the idea that he is going to be a party of one while his partner couples off with the little one is devastating. He knows he won't be able to offer the same comfort as the mom, so she will bond quickly with the infant and then be forever on call for her needs. Since no man wants to admit that he's jealous of an unborn child, this fear usually stays hidden.
7Haters Gonna Hate
Dad envisions his sweet baby entering the world and fitting in his arms perfectly. He imagines promising to keep that baby safe for the rest of his life and providing a great home for him to grow up in. However, he may also imagine his total nightmare coming true: the baby doesn't like him.
It's true that the baby usually prefers mom early on because he is used to her voice and her heartbeat. Plus, he knows she's storing milk in her boobs. This doesn't mean the baby hates dad, but it does mean that most infants show a preference for mom for months after birth. Some men can take this in stride and others see it as a personal attack against them.
If dad doesn't talk this through with his partner, he may end up resenting his own child because he loses the ability to see things logically. When a child is crying while dad is holding him, it feels very personal. It usually takes someone else to explain to dad that it's not.
6He Doesn't Feel It
Mom feels tiny flutters during the second trimester, and by the third, she feels full-on kicks that may keep her up at night. As the baby rolls around inside of her body, she wants to share the excitement of all this movement with dad.
Since mom feels the kicks from the inside, it's easy for her to feel even the tiniest punch. However, dad has to try to place his hand in the right place at the right time then really concentrate to make sure he doesn't miss the kick. It's much trickier, and it often doesn't work out the way mom planned.
To spare mom's feelings, dad will usually react whenever she does, even if he can't feel anything. He's not trying to mislead her; he just doesn't want her to get frustrated because he can't fully share in the excitement of the child moving, so he fakes it.
5Can The Baby Feel This?
It's assumed that men will want to hit the sheets anytime, but pregnancy can seriously change that for some men. Though dad may still desire his partner, he lives in fear of somehow exposing his little one to the one-eyed monster, therefore killing his desire for any action in the bedroom.
Intimacy is safe during most pregnancies, and a man's business can't enter the womb. However, logically understanding this information and being able to accept it are two different things. Some dads just really can't get past the idea of their children watching them get it on. They feel sick just thinking about doing anything R-rated during pregnancy.
There's also the fear that intimacy will hurt the baby. Men who are concerned about this may look for covert ways to avoid intimacy, leaving moms feeling confused and undesired. It creates drama when the truth would be a better option. Even if dad can't bring himself to be intimate, telling mom will give her peace of mind in knowing that it's not her fault.
4This Isn't Working
When a woman gets pregnant, both partners usually attempt to salvage the relationship, no matter what shape it is in. Recognizing that a baby will likely do better with two united parents as opposed to one is instinctual, and it means that couples sometimes stay together when they shouldn't.
Dad may realize as the pregnancy progresses that he is in it for the baby, not for the love, but he may not be ready to share that. He may hope that when the baby is actually born he'll fall in love with his partner, and he's waiting until then to decide if he can handle staying in the relationship.
This is never an easy situation, and the baby arriving can cause the relationship to go either way. A baby brings joy, but it also brings stress, and a relationship that isn't on solid ground may not be able to stand it. However, dad may find the baby's arrival glues his relationship with his partner back together. There's no way to tell.
3He'll Participate Later
All of us were raised in different environments, and a man who was raised by a father who saw taking care of a baby as a woman's job may have adopted that view. Without notifying mom, dad may be planning to skip out on all baby work and join the picture when the kid turns three or four.
Dad may rationalize this approach by saying that the baby needs mom the most, and he'll just jump in when the child is older and ready to play. The problem with this thinking is that it leaves mom up all night with the baby, changing all of the diapers, and living through some of the hardest years virtually alone. Plus, it's the 21st century and this attitude simply does not fly.
Children don't benefit from this approach either, and that's why it's important that conversations about parenting styles and expectations take place up front.
2Don't Get Excited
It's normal for everyone to be concerned about a mom who has experienced previous miscarriages. Pregnancy loss tends to center around the woman, and that's why people check in on mom when she conceives again. They want to make sure she's okay and help her deal with the stress that comes along with trying to carry a rainbow baby to term.
Often forgotten is the dad who also lost a baby when his partner miscarried. It's not intentional. Dad may sit in the background offering his support to mom without asking for anyone to check in on him. Since mom is the one carrying the baby, he doesn't want to add any more stress by revealing his fears that they may lose another child.
Dad staying silently stressed the whole pregnancy is not a great option, and that's the problem with this approach. Anyone under silent pressure for nine long months is likely to end up taking it out on others, whether they mean to or not. It's best to find someone to talk to about this fear.
1Not His First Time
When a partner becomes pregnant, dad may think back to another time this happened and the baby that did or did not result from the relationship. However, if he hasn't revealed to his partner before that he has another child or helped decide about terminating a pregnancy, he's likely not going to do it now.
Dad may have had a child years ago but not stayed in contact. He may have also gotten a girl pregnant, but the pregnancy didn't end in birth. Neither of these topics is easy to talk about, but it's important that two people who are going to have a child together are open about everything. When a man won't reveal this part of his past, that's a problem.
Singer Gavin Rossdale hid his child from a previous relationship from then-wife, Gwen Stefani, but she eventually found out. These things always come out somehow.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on BabyGaga?Get Your Free Access Now!