How do I feel better about an unplanned pregnancy?
posted by anonymous to human relations (31 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like this has been covered pretty extensively for women, post birth here on ask.mefi. But I'm male, and this is happening to me, 8 months before the birth, and I'm running out of options of what to do and how to deal with my feelings surrounding this pregnancy. It feels like I'm describing PPD, 8 months early....for a dude.
Just over a month ago, I found out my wife's pregnant. We were not planning on having any little ones right now. This was a completely unplanned, capital A, Accident. The minute I found out that my wife was pregnant, I was pretty much devastated. That moment I instantly felt like I did not want children, even though before this happened I honestly thought that having kids was a great idea someday. My heart instantly sunk, and I've felt horrible about the entire situation from that moment onward. My wife is, on a whole, pretty stoked.
I'm feeling loads of resentment, anger, dread and vomit inducing fear towards this drastic, impending change. I really feel like we've made a terrible mistake, and this is not what i want. We've only been married a short time, and I feel like I'm being robbed of time that my wife and I were just, us. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for years, and for the first time in about 10 years felt at ease, content and pretty damn happy... and now it feels like all that has a 8 month time bomb tacked on to it. Our long term plans involved me starting a small business, and that dream seems completely shot to hell, because while it's no more risky than any other business, it's not a sure bet for taking care of a family.
My wife is the primary bread-winner and I have a tendency to worry about money (a lot) already, and the year that i moved in with my wife (then girlfriend), was the first time I've been able to move out of the 'working poor' zone and into some semblance of security and savings, which is going to be nearly depleted by her taking maternity leave, and my wages aren't nearly enough to cover the household's expense (not even including any increases a freaking baby has on that). We're ludicrously frugal, saving more money isn't something we can really do. Paying for child-care is also something that seems wildly out of the question from the prices i've been seeing. I don't mind being frugal, but I really hated being poor, and I'm terrified that that's where we're heading (again).
I'm already talking to my regular therapist about this, but I go away from each session really upset even talking about it. It took several weeks for me to even admit to my wife how unhappy I was about the situation even with her calling me out on it. She has been oscillating between trying to understand how I feel, and being upset with how unhappy I am about it...I'm trying incredibly hard not to let this influence my day to day life, but it's nearly impossible to hide how upset/sad/everythingi'mfeeling right now. I don't want to talk about this with a therapist, or my wife, or my friends. I have not told my close friends. It feels completely inappropriate to say "Holy shit, this was a mistake. Not a happy accident; a mistake. I don't want this." It also feels inappropriate to say "Wow, now I have complete sympathy for dudes who take off and leave their families" (not that i would do that, I just feel a great deal of sympathy for how they feel). I feel like i have emotional Tourettes or something...I just can't control these totally inappropriate emotions from leaping into my brain.
On top of all this, I'm feeling guilty for feeling this way, because it doesn't feel typical, and it feels selfish. I feel like i should be having a completely different reaction, and i'm not.
What on earth can I do to even gain a neutral perspective on this?* I'm not looking to feel 100% awesome about it, I'd settle for finding ways to feel ambivalent. I'm just trying to find ways to not be angry or resentful towards this kid, as I'm guessing resenting your child works wonders for your marriage in the long run. I just don't know what to do, or how to alter how I feel about this, especially because it's not how I expected to react to such news.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please don't suggest medication as a solution to this particular problem, even temporarily; I've been on numerous meds, and rarely have a good reaction to them. It's not a feasible option for me, but I respect that it very well may be for other people.