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Husband misses daughter's birth, tells wife he wants a divorce to 'start over.' (Major Update)

Husband misses daughter's birth, tells wife he wants a divorce to 'start over.' (Major Update)


"Husband wants to divorce and 'start over,' says he 'can't bond' with our daughter"


Throwaway because I want to fix this and I'm paranoid about more people in our lives finding out. Its all so completely messed up already...I don't want more stress. My husband (29M) and I (30NB) have been married for 5 years. I gave birth to our first child in September, a girl.

My husband was present for most of my labor but things went very pear-shaped and I had to have an emergency C-Section. The doctors told him to leave the room and wait outside. In short, he did not see our daughter be born.

A week ago he informed me that he wants to divorce and "start over on his dreams of having a family." He insists that he "cannot bond" with our daughter and says its because he didn't see her being born.

He said alot about how its always been a dream of his to have a "small, close knit family" and now he can't have that with me because of the C-Section and his not being in the room.

His dad suggested therapy but Husband refused saying "he knew it wouldn't work." I've made sure he knows I'm open to the idea if he changes his mind but he's been very insistent that he "knows this can't be fixed."

Part of me knows I'm basically asking for a magic spell here but does anyone have any ideas how/if this can be fixed? I'll try to answer any questions anyone may have. Sorry if the Flair isn't correct, I just guessed.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


He's just using this as an excuse to leave you.


Yes, I’m sorry OP.

He has decided to leave but is making a horrible excuse.


This is the lamest thing I’ve ever read And I would say he needs to start therapy immediately, but I suspect he is making this story up to mask his real feelings… he is scared and doesn’t want to be a dad, he is making up this “perfect family” dream thing, either subconsciously or consciously. Seeing a birth is not what creates bonding.


Sounds like an excuse to leave. He could be experiencing ppd, even dads can get it. But if he doesn’t want to go to therapy, there’s no hope.


This sounds like a mental health issue. It sounds like his "bond" with the baby isn’t living up to what he expected. This honestly has nothing to do with you, your daughter or the c section.

It’s just a convenient thing for him to blame for his feelings. I imagine even if he saw her be born he would have another excuse for why he isn’t feeling the way he expected. A lot of people don’t feel a strong bond with their infant.

It’s perfectly normal, so I can’t fault him for that. But he needs to get therapy if this is how he feels. Leaving and having another kid isn’t going to solve this for him. I’m sorry this is happening to you but it’s not your fault and if he’s not willing to get help then there’s nothing you can do.

A little over two weeks later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: Husband wants to divorce and 'start over,' says he 'can't bond' with daughter"


I wanted to update and thank everyone who sympathized with me and tried to help. There isn't much new but some things have happened. I can't link my first post here according to the rules but these two posts are the only ones this throwaway has so it should be easy to find.

Several people suggested asking him to come with me to a therapist so I can get help understanding why he's leaving. He agreed and our appointment was yesterday.

It didn't go...badly? But it didn't go well either. He was very upfront with the therapist. He didn't try to mince words or refuse to answer questions. He told the man (paraphrasing):

"They got to bond the entire pregnancy. That baby is made of their body. I can't compare to that. My work started at birth and I wasn't there so I don't feel like I ever got 'hired,' if that makes sense?"

Yeah, he compared it to not having an employment contract. I get the metaphor, I guess, but I'm not sure how it translates to him not being able to bond. The therapist was very focused on trying to help me understand and I appreciate that. No complaints with him.

I'm still completely in the dark, though, and Husband has started talking about choosing a lawyer. He says he wants a "clean break" before Daughter gets too attached. Situation is still DUCKED. I'm leaning towards letting him just go and focusing on me+Daughter.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after this latest update from the OP:


"He says he wants a "clean break" before Daughter gets too attached."

I can't bond with my daughter so I want a clean break before she bonds too much with me. Are you sure your husband is all there? Has he had some sort of mental break or something? This literally makes no sense to me at all.


He wants to leave OP and is using the child as an excuse. his reasoning and explanations are nonsensical. OP thinks he was being forthcoming and clear/consistent with the therapist. I see his concise answers as a sign of him being rehearsed. In other words, he worked on his cover up/alibi story, which is why it’s so easy for him to regurgitate it over and over.

Either he didn’t realize how hard being a parent would be and wants to opt out, or he wants to leave OP and blaming the baby is convenient. OP had a traumatic birth and somehow the victim in the entire situation is the dad ?! Not the person who was cut open?? Or the baby that was yanked out?? The dad.


The only way this makes any sense is he is already cheating on you and is using this as a weird excuse.


So I hope child support is involved here. He doesn’t just get to claim no bonding and get his “clean break”. I’d also like to see how he gets another partner to seriously consider him after they find out how he treated you and your child.

The OP responded here:


I have no intention of letting him off the support hook.


This sounds so crazy and upsetting and I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. Just want to share a little personal story and hope it gives you some hope and faith for the future.

My stepbrother got his girlfriend pregnant. He was present and supportive during the pregnancy and attended the birth. After a couple of weeks of dealing with the newborn stage, he got his “clean break” per se and completely broke off any and all contact with the mom and child (my nephew). It was very sad and his poor girlfriend was left a single mother.

My stepdad, mom and I chose to remain in their lives and watched our nephew grow up. We supported them like any loving family could, despite the fact that my stepbrother chose to leave.

The single mother? She is one of the most amazing and inspiring people I know. She worked her rear off. Got a degree, a good job, and raised an AMAZING son. She eventually found a wonderful partner and got married and had another son.

Her husband has become a fantastic father figure for my nephew and we are so, so grateful. My nephew just graduated with the highest honors and is now attending the college of his dreams. He plans to become a marine biologist.

All of this to say, I have faith that you WILL come out of this. It’ll hurt. There will be an adjustment period. But you CAN have a wonderful life for you and your child in the future without your husband 🤍

A month later, the OP returned with what they say will be their final update.

"Likely final update: Husband wants to divorce and 'start over,' says he 'can't bond' with daughter"


This is probably going to be long and it isn't a happy update.

My other posts can be seen in my post history but the short of it is that I (30NB) gave birth to my daughter in September. My STBX husband (29M) did not see her birth; things went very badly and I needed emergency intervention.

He was not in the room for the C-Section. About a month and a half ago he informed me that he "cannot bond with her because he did not see her be born" and he "wants to divorce so he can start over on his dreams of a close-knit family."

We have filed. I have taken Daughter and moved back in with my parents, who aren't very happy about the divorce but are thrilled to "have the chance to nanny" Daughter (their words, not mine!)

Life was in stasis for about a week after my last post until FIL asked us to come over for dinner. He informed me that STBX had asked for his help paying for a lawyer. He had agreed with the requirement that we all sit down and have one last talk about the situation.

He opened with saying that he thinks that "getting this over with" would be best for me and Daughter (STBX looked a little hurt at this) so he's willing to help but he wanted to take one last shot at fixing it. The one last shot ended up being several hours of talking.

FIL bluntly demanded that STBX explain his reasoning. STBX repeated the can't bond thing, FIL asked why. The "employment contract" analogy was brought up again. After much back, forth, what do you mean by this, why that...FIL just said "I'm not buying this. What's the real reason, STBX?"

STBX insisted til the end that what he'd been saying all along was his reasoning. He did not see Daughter be born so he can't bond. He tried, he insisted. The connection isn't there.

He was supposed to connect when Daughter was born, there "was supposed to be a spark of connection between them" but that spark can only happen right at birth I guess? In his mind he can't get it now.

FIL asked if STBX thought Daughter wasn't his. STBX insists he has no doubts he is Daughter's biological father. FIL asked if STBX was seeing someone else. Was there a woman or another pregnancy somewhere? STBX did not react well to this. He threw his phone down on the table and said that we were free to search it; he's not a scumbag.

After that the conversation turned to post-divorce life. STBX offered up that he'd been running the numbers and would volunteer 50/month alimony and 50/month in child support. He doesn't have to do either, mind, because we're divorcing and he wants to cut all ties with the kid, but he wants to be fair.

$50 in alimony? Whatever, I have a job and a roof over our heads. I don't need it. $50 dollars in child support? That is alot less whatever. But I'm refusing to stress about it. The court will handle CS amounts. I'm making myself not be angry and let them deal with it.

I admit I tuned out most of the rest of FIL's attempt to talk sense into his son after that comment. I think that was when the coffin finally nailed itself shut. I started packing when we got home and went to my parents' house the next day.

I'm no longer talking to STBX, his lawyer talks to mine. We haven't spoken in almost 3 weeks. I don't think I need to tell you that he hasn't shown any concern for Daughter but here I am anyway.

The day after I got there my sister kidnapped me to her place. We got very drunk (Daughter was with parents, not us!) talked about everything and I screamed alot. I got most of it out of my system. After that we had more drinks and watched terrible horror movies. I woke up the next day with the headache from hell but otherwise feeling better than I had in a long time.

My job can't transfer me, just my luck, but I've been promised a glowing reference and I'm cashing out what little paid leave I have left to add to my savings. FIL asked after the failed conversation if I would be cutting him off.

I assured him that he might not see us as much because of how far away my parents live and not knowing where I'll end up but he's not getting rid of me or Daughter that easily. He was very happy to hear that.

So that's where I am. Papers have been filed, Daughter and I have moved out of the house, I'm doing my best to ignore STBX's existence. Thank you all again for listening to me cry and complain over the past couple months.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:


Oh my GOD what a toolbox. I'm so sorry you're going through this! Also hard lol to "I don't HAVE to do anything because I'm divorcing you and cutting ties with my child, but out of the goodness of my heart I'll give you $50 a month."

I know you can support yourself and your child on your own, but your child deserves every penny the courts award. You are 100% correct to let the lawyers handle this from here, and tell'em to get everything they can.


Yeah, this guy is going to be in for a shock when family court tells him child support isn’t reduced just because you really don’t feel like being a dad anymore. Then again, might be best to have him sign away rights entirely so he can’t come slinking back at some point.


I still think your husband needs some medical testing. Maybe he has an undiagnosed brain tumor or something making him act crazy.


I saw your other posts and I already felt really bad for you and your daughter (although it’s a good thing that you will get rid of this idiot for life), but after reading this I felt so much pity for the father in law, he seems so hurt by his son and genuinely ashamed and wanting to still be part of your life was very touching.

You should keep this guy around as much as you can and want to. Wish you the best of luck. Also, 50$ a month!?! wtf lol

EDIT: also, completely uneducated opinion, but the extremely defensive reaction when being asked if he cheated on you tells me that he 99% did.


Best of luck, somehow I feel like you and your girl will be better off.

So, if you could give the OP any advice, what would it be? How can she make the best life for herself and her newborn daughter?

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