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Woman shocked when husband 'ruins' her pregnancy announcement. AITA? UPDATED

Woman shocked when husband 'ruins' her pregnancy announcement. AITA? UPDATED


When this woman is upset with her husband, she asks the internet:

"I'm so angry with my husband. He's melting down over gender disappointment. AITA?"

I am 13w5d and we had our first trimester screening last week with an NIPT test. We sprang for all the genetic testing, and this morning they called and told us everything was normal and we’re having a girl!

I am elated. I didn’t have a gender preference, I think all genders have their pros and cons and children are going to be who they’re going to be. I guess I’m more excited for the closure, that during a time when so much is up in the air, we have an answer to one of the biggest questions we have.

I told my husband, and he was happy at first but said he was “a little” disappointed because he wanted a boy. But as the day goes on, he’s telling me he really, really wanted a boy, more intensely than he was letting on throughout the pregnancy.

Like he would make little jokes about “manifesting” that the baby is a boy and telling people that he wants the baby to be a boy. He’s reading all these articles online about gender disappointment that say what he’s going through is normal, but his gender disappointment goes DEEP.

For instance, we live in the southeastern US and he’s afraid that our daughter will get subpar healthcare. Which is a very reasonable thing to worry about, as well as what if she’s LGBTQ+, and she will be mixed-race white/Black and will face discrimination for that too.

But then he said he was afraid she will get predated upon, and I said that was a possibility with a boy too.

And then he said that he “feels less of a bond with” our daughter because of sexist stereotypes on his part, like “what if she likes clothes shopping?

I hate clothes shopping” and “you have to teach a girl how to be modest” and “I can’t teach her how to pee” (?) I told him kids are going to like what they like, you can get a girl who likes trucks and a boy who likes to paint his nails, you can influence that to an extent, but kids are going to be who they’re going to be.

He also said that girls are “harder to raise,” and it’s unfortunate timing that our 12-year-old niece that we take care of got a call home from the principal right as he was saying that. I said I don’t know if girls are so much hard to raise as our niece is hard to raise. We have a small sample size and that’s just bad science lol.

He then said that he was hoping for a boy because he wanted to be a better father to his son than his own deadbeat father was, and he was slightly insecure about his own masculinity and wanted a son to “prove” that he could be masculine and raise a masculine son.

I said he should unpack that in therapy (he has a therapist he sees once a week on Thursdays). I feel like this is related to his childhood.

Have any of y’all dealt with this? I searched the subreddit but most of the gender disappointment posts were from the pregnant people themselves, or relatives/friends’ gender disappointment but not the spouse.

I like the advice that “he’ll feel differently when he holds her for the first time,” but . . . that’s six months from now and I gotta live with him that whole time lol. I am trying to not let him ruin my day/excitement but it’s tough.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

garte writes:

My husband and I both wanted a boy for our first child. We ended up having a girl, both of us were slightly disappointed but it went away. Now that she’s here I can’t imagine life any other way and she has her daddy wrapped around her finger.

Now we are pregnant with #2, we did IVF (with both) but this time we tested our embryos and knew the genders and selected a boy.. we knew it was a boy before even doing the transfer and I catch myself all throughout this pregnancy having gender disappointment.. how does that even make sense?!

I chose the gender and sometimes I still mourn not having another girl because our daughter changed our lives. She was so fun to shop for and being a girl mom has been such a blast so far.

I know we will even out and feel different when he gets here but I’m just letting you know you can have gender disappointment regardless of the situation and it’s just a matter of us being human and thinking “but what if?”

eatlocalb writes:

I understand that his behavior may be frustrating, but as the childbearing/pregnant person who experienced my own gender disappointment with a girl… being supportive and loving and allowing him to express his fears openly is okay.

I also had a laundry list of reasons why I wanted a boy and why I did not want a girl. And I was disappointed for at least a couple or few weeks. Each day though, the disappointment dissipated little by little.

He and you should both have the time you need to process your feelings and fears. It’s been less than a day that you’ve given him to process.

As for me — I am happy to report back that after a few months of processing my gender disappointment and “mourning” the idea of the boy I was hoping we’d have, I’m getting more excited about our little girl each day. While it may seem silly— Agreeing on a name was a big step for me to start bonding with her.

As was starting to pick out furniture and a theme for her nursery (which used to be my office that I have now formally vacated and we now both refer to as her room).

The plus side is, and as others have eluded to as well, his fears seem predominantly rooted in his concerns about her well being. Loving your child includes being concerned about their well being.

While I also agree that if he’s open to unpacking some of these fears via counseling, you should absolutely encourage him to— particularly if him sharing his fears and disappointment with you is negatively impacting your mental health and wellness.

However, if you can be there to support him, validate his feelings, and encourage him to “mourn” the fictional baby he thought you were having so he can start to celebrate the “new” girl baby— that could strengthen your bond and trust in your relationship with him even more.

princess6 writes:

My dad thought like your husband. Once my brother came along, I was invisible unless he wanted someone to bully (often) whilst my brother got all the good attention. Brother still lives at home at 24, works for our parents, and has no responsibilities whatsoever.

I moved out at 15 to get away from my dad and never looked back, bought my own home at 24 with my (much better) other half.

My mum never really did anything to stop it either and wondered why I was an absolute fnugget to deal with as a teenager (I didn’t skip school or smoke or anything, I got amazing grades, but I was always sick, depressed, anxious, and very VERY angry at the world lol) and we don’t have a strong bond now I’m 28.

I’ve not really spoken to him now in years beyond basic pleasantries and I have his number blocked. I’m not saying your husband will end up the same if you have a boy at some point in the future but this is a potential scenario you absolutely need to be aware of.

He needs to sort his shit out ASAP. Kids can tell when they’re not wanted or when their siblings are loved more, even before the parent verbalises it to them.

Also - of course your niece is difficult to deal with right now. Not only is she a heavily hormonal preteen dealing with all the usual preteen bs but she’s in the care of her aunt and uncle instead of her parents for whatever reason that may be.

There’s going to be trauma there that she’s now old enough to understand and yet not old enough to process properly yet. It’s going to manifest as misbehaviour and acting out and teenage tantrums and the ANGST, ohhhh the teenage angst!

FWIW, my family have always said girls are easier than boys until they get to puberty. Boys are clingy needy little criers from my experience having helped raise/babysit a metric ton of cousins of both sexes from birth.

That being said, a newborn is essentially a potato until like 12-18mos. They’re a blank canvas that hasn’t really been started on beyond a very basic outline. Yeah, their personality will largely be down to chance but it’s you guys as parents that are gonna shape their early stages and interests.

agay writes:

Some people are being very dramatic in the comments about your husband and his fatherhood abilities but honestly to me it sounds like he’s processing his concerns openly in a healthy way...

and most of them come from a place of wanting to be a good Dad, I don’t think from what you’ve said that he believes in those gender stereotypes, he’s just scared and rationalising it however he can.

I know you want to help him, I think just supporting him and letting him talk it out will help.

We had gender disappointment BAD, because we’d been told at a 20 week scan that we were having a girl, and then at a 32 week scan they showed us my son’s testicles. It was a LOT to process, our “daughter” had a name and we’d pictured her growing up.

We are very liberal and I always said I didn’t care if she grew up to have traditionally masculine interests or trans, so we also had to deal with the guilt that we maybe cared more about the sex than we realised.

It was hard, my husband came out with all this weird shit like he doesn’t know what to do with a boy because he doesn’t like bugs or trucks. My husband is not into gender stereotypes at all normally, and is not into them now that my son is born, he was just trying to justify his complicated feelings.

You do get through it quicker than you think - I think we were upset for maybe 3 weeks. My son is perfect and I can’t imagine him being any different, and my husband would absolutely agree.

slimmeryb writes:

This makes me so sad. First congratulations on the amazing outcome of the screening . Second, my Husband had a SLIGHTLY similar reaction to fining our were having a girl.

Originally he wanted to keep the gender a surprise until delivery, but I couldn’t just go through an entire pregnancy not knowing, I was VERY stressed about it just being up in the air, especially once we got our results with the gender as well, just KNOWING it was right there on my phone while I’m at home by myself.

So I convinced my husband to let me look, and we saw we are expecting a girl, and he was EXTREMELY nervous. Pretty much for the same reasons, he “knows what to do when raising a boy” because he grew up with two younger brothers for years before his only sister was born, and wasn’t sure “what to do” with a girl.

I explained to him that he can still have all these great experiences with her, and to ease his mind through the information, I would make little jokes, like when I could finally feel her kicking and moving, I’d laugh and say “oh, she’s gonna be your star soccer player!” Or stuff like that.

Eventually my husband “grew” out of it so to speak, but we do have an agreement that we will try until we hit four kids , and hope for at least one boy to come during that time.

For him, it was the primal desire to carry on his bloodline and name , and his family has a very elaborate way of passing down a full name

(my husband is the youngest with the name, so he’s need a son to hopefully have a son of their own, so that THAT boy can be named after my husband, it’s a whole thing lol ) , but eventually he eased his mind about having a girl and he’s not so much disappointed anymore.

haharz writes:

My husband has wanted a boy from day 1 and I’m currently pregnant with our second girl. I got worried sometimes during my first pregnancy because he didn’t seem to feel connection, but once our first daughter was born and they met, it was a whole other story.

He is very close to our daughter and such a loving father. I think it can be different when you’re not the one pregnant, he didn’t feel the type of connection that I get to feel during the pregnancy, but try to trust that he’ll develop that connection in his own time.

We both experienced some gender disappointment this time around when we found out we were having another girl but got through it pretty quickly. Try not to take it personally, allow him to process, and remember how blessed you both are to get to have a child together.

(On a less mature note.. I struggled with feeling like I had failed him in some way by not giving him a boy this time but it helped me to remind myself that biologically the sex of the baby is up to him and his contribution, not me)

hah9 writes:

Aw he's panicking. We also (both) wanted a boy (and got our wish) but my Hubby's reasons, like your man's, didn't stem from a lack of love but of heightened anxiety over the kids well being even years into the future (feeling boys need less protection) and over bonding (knowing exactly what to do with/how to relate to a boy).

At least his gender disappointment is not stemming from disregard or a lack of lack of love.

Our "contingency" plan if we had a girl was to do what my dad did with me. I was his only child and not the boy he wanted. Dad raised me just the same as if i was a boy and lo, I do not like clothes shopping or hair and nail salons or makeup or frilly non-utilitarian things.

I was a Tom boy, and was given Lego, monster trucks, remote control speed boats, dinosaurs, robots, and "boy chores".

I was out driving the tractor, harrowing corrals, picking stones out of fields, painting fences, mucking stalls, holding the flashlight lol and learned to shoot around 9 years old. He played catch with me and we rode quads and snowmobiles.

How your kid turns out depends on how you raise them and what you introduce them to. You have so much influence. If he doesn't want to raise a girly girl he doesn't have to. If he wants to do father/son things with her he can.

Obviously the women in my family still bought me pink dress-up costumes and Barbies and whatnot and I played with that stuff too but my dad was the one who put in the copious one on one time with me so his influence is what I retained.

gaayw writes:

I felt the same when I learned the gender of my baby because I wanted a girl so bad I absolutely convinced myself it was a girl. So I had this image on my head of my little baby girl and who she would be and how we'd live our life together, how I'd dress her in cute outfits and all that kind of thing.

SO I was quite disappointed when at the scan they revealed that I was not having a girl, and this disappointment kinda carried on for weeks because I couldn't share how I felt to my partner as he was going to find out at our gender reveal.

Anyway, as time went on that image I had of my little girl started to be replaced with an image of my little boy, and I have honestly grown SO much love for him now I haven't even met him yet but I know I would do anything for him to make sure he's happy and safe...

and I can't imagine myself having a girl anymore because I am already so in love with my son and can't imagine it being any other way at this point. So my point here is that your husband might just need time to adjust his perception...

and make a bond with the baby that exists rather than the one he thought existed, and of course he is gonna be mourning the loss of that baby he built the image of, but you just have to give him time.

And now, OP's update:

Long story short: in September, I gave birth to our daughter, and he is so in love with her, it’s not even funny lol. Some things I think helped with his initial gender disappointment:

He chose her name. Like some of you said, his therapist helped him realize that his anxiety was less about our daughter’s gender itself and more about his anxiety at impending parenthood. Knowing our daughter’s gender made the pregnancy “real” for him.

He was freaking out because he knows what it’s like to be a boy, but a girl is the unknown of a gender he doesn’t know how to be, on top of the unknown of parenting, if that makes sense.

He got over himself about his interests not being “girly” and therefore having “nothing in common” with her, because . . . she’s a baby lol. Her interests right now are shapes, colors, and my boobs.

Why it took the birth of his baby girl for him to realize this when he’s been married to me, a girl who shares his interests, for 8 years—well, we will never know.

My niece is still difficult to raise lol, but he has the sense now to realize that she, or his tumultuous relationship with his sister or his mom, is not indicative of all girls/women. I should send his therapist flowers.

A point of clarification: when he said he was afraid to have a girl because he didn’t like clothes shopping, that wasn’t him saying “women be shopping.”

That was him saying he doesn’t know how to shop for women’s clothes. Which, fair, I’ve been a girl for 32 years and I haven’t mastered that. Where are all the pockets???

All this to say, the gender disappointment issue ended up being that he ruined one day I had back in March of this year.

He loves our daughter, does not resent her for not being a boy, and didn’t leave me over his gender disappointment. I just want other parents experiencing this to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you to everyone who weighed in, I felt really validated!

Sources: Reddit
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