Advice: He's Not the Man I Married
When he's at home we always end up arguing.
By Hara Estroff Marano published January 1, 2009 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016
My husband and I got married less than a year ago after dating for a year. It felt right and he was perfect in every way. Everyone told me I was rushing into things; but I wanted him to be the father of my babies and wanted to build a future with him. Two months into our wedded bliss, we got pregnant, and though it wasn't planned, we decided we were ready to have a baby. Now, our relationship has changed—he hardly spends time at home, either working late or out with his friends. When he is at home we always end up arguing. What's changed? I thought we made this decision together. This is not the man I married. If he's like this when I'm pregnant, what kind of husband and father is he going to make? Did I make the wrong choice or is this how men react to pregnancy?
To answer your questions in order: It's not clear anything has changed. At this rate, he's not likely to make a good husband and father. No, this is not how most committed men react to pregnancy. Dahlink, it's most likely that this was behavior he engaged in before. You did, in fact, rush into things. The tip-off is your starry-eyed belief that he was "perfect in every way." No one is perfect in every way. It's likely that your friends saw facets of Perfectman that you didn't and were trying to caution you. Further, technically, you did make a decision together, but a decision made after the fact of pregnancy was a fait accompli, and your husband may be feeling trapped by it but unwilling to admit it. Still, the deeper problem is his unilateral approach to solving the problem—by running off to work or out with the guys. Marriage is an agreement to solve problems together. Perhaps you can help clear the path for Perfectman to become the husband and father he might like to be. It's that vision you both need to tap into. So take a long ride into the country together and begin the conversation by saying that maybe events (marriage and pregnancy) came too quickly for him, but that doesn't mean he can't become a great father. And let him tell you what that is. He may not have a good model of a husband or father. Find out what his own fathering was like and what he's afraid of. He needs to feel free to confide his concerns to you without being judged. That will bring closeness, too. Marriage means you have to help each other over life's hurdles.