Pregnant Woman Berates Husband as Weak and Unmanly for Wanting to Witness the Birth of His Child
We’ll forgive you if you just momentarily considered the possibility that you’ve somehow time travelled in your sleep and woken up 70 years ago. But no. We’ve checked the calendar on the wall, and it is definitely still 2023…which makes the following story pretty hard to fathom – unless you’re one of the old dinosaurs getting around that still think toxic masculinity is cool, that is!
One 28 year old man has taken to the popular reddit sub AITA (Am I the Asshole) to get some feedback on his current situation with his wife.
I, 28M, have been with the love of my life, Emily, 26F, for 7 years, married for 2. We have always talked about having kids, and I’ve always wanted to be there when they were born. When my dad was still alive, he used to tell me and my siblings all the time about how it literally brought him to tears (NOT a man who cries btw), and he would say he was so grateful for all of us and for the experience.
My beautiful and amazing wife is 8 months pregnant. It’s been a pretty difficult pregnancy for her, well for us, but especially to her. She’s had a few miscarriages in the past, and I’ve just been praying to God for both of them to make it through safely.
We were talking more and more about what’s going to happen when she goes into labor, and she’s very adamant that I not be in the room, natural or C, no matter what. I’ve tried convincing, pleading, begging, but she won’t change her mind. Her mom is going to be with her, and I understand that she needs her mom, and that she needs to do whatever to make sure that everything goes smoothly. I don’t wanna stress her out too much because I keep telling myself all that matters is that they’re both healthy, but I’m honestly really sad about not being able to be there for my son’s birth.
It’s not about me. I know that. All that matters is that they’re both healthy. I’ve been trying to come to terms and understand this on my own time, so as not to bother her, but Emily’s just being so condescending to me, and I know that she’s just stressed out and scared, so she doesn’t mean it, but I feel like I deserve to process this at least for a few days. I still do everything as I’ve done before, but she says that now I have this “beaten puppy dog” look on my face, and its “pissing her off.” Then, she started scolding me asking me why it mattered so much to me, and if I was going to act this weak in front of our son. She told me I needed to just be a fucking man and “get the fuck over it.” I feel like crying, but I don’t want her to know, and get mad at me again, so I told her I was going out to get groceries, and am writing this in the car to try and calm myself down. I love her so much, but what she said really hit me hard. I just want them both to be healthy and safe, but I also wanted to be there.
Wow! There’s a lot to break down here, and not surprisingly, the comments section has already amassed over 5,600 comments.
Mommy is king in the delivery room. They will ask her who she wants in there and will kick anyone else out. Not saying that she’s in the right but it is her medical procedure and she has a right to privacy. (Flyonthewall221)
You’re right – however – it’s also incredibly insensitive on his wife’s part and he is absolutely allowed to have big feelings about it. She sounds like a really unsupportive partner on top of having very toxic opinions on what makes someone “a man”. Choices like this (that cause substantial emotional pain for a person) also run the risk of being unrecoverable/destroying the relationship altogether.
OP, you’re NTA here (EmiInWonderland)
“I don’t want him there” is in fact a perfectly valid reason. It’s a medical procedure, not a spectator event. Even if OP thinks he will be a loving and supportive presence. It really doesn’t matter, it is her procedure and her life on the line.
The way OP has built up the north in his head and is mopping about not being there is making me doubt how supportive he’d even be. His wife’s response sounds toxic af, but he’s making me doubt how supportive he’d even be. His wife’s response sounds toxic af, but he’s making it all about himself. I can understand getting angry about it. (GoBanana42)
Whilst not everyone agreed that it’s absolutely her right to choose who accompanies her into the birthing suite, they almost unanimously agreed that it was his wife’s attitude to his feelings on the matter that was the real red flag.
Many commenters agreed that the OP seemed to be an emotionally intelligent man, and up until the time his wife began to berate him, was trying to respect her wishes and process his own disappointment.
I thought OP was handling it like a champ. He’s allowed to have his own feelings about this decision and to be sad about it! In the end of the day it really is up to the person who is having the medical procedure who is there, but knowing you’re not going to be there for your wife and your child is heartbreaking. He’s not denying it’s her right to decide that, but she’s being down right cruel. Marriage don’t survive this level of casual cruelty and I hope OP comes to realize he deserves to be treated so much better. (HauntedPickleJar)
Why do some people still accept anger as an acceptable male emotion, and not sadness or disappointment?
I wonder how she would have reacted if he had exhibited another aspect of toxic masculinity (anger and rage) instead, which is what withholding mature emotion usually leads to. She has a very emotionally mature husband and it sucks that she’s expecting him to be emotionally unhealthy. (mi0da)
And of course, the attention soon turned to the possibility that she’ll also be raising their son with the same antiquated ideas about what a ‘real man’ should be.
Yeah, the way she talked to you was horribly sexist and mean. I truly hope she doesn’t raise your son with the notion that he needs to ‘be a fucking man’. Or to ever imply he shouldn’t cry or have feelings or express himself.
This worries me for the future generation. I thought we had progressed and were raising sons to be better with all that we know now. It’s devastating to think this unborn child could fall victim to the same patriarchal bullshit that drives up male suicide and lack of connection/meaningful friendships. Your wife needs to check herself and you should most definitely take the lead in showing your son how to ‘be a man’. Which should just entail being a good person, experiencing your full range of emotions, and communicating effectively.
So, what do you think? Is his wife well within her rights to say that she doesn’t want him in the delivery room, and be annoyed at him for ‘sulking?’