Did my husband lose respect for me after I gave birth?

Last Updated on April 18, 2016 by HodgePodgeDays

I’ve always been the strong one, the one with the good career, fairly good salary and in many respects the wearer of the trousers. It was a role which suited me just fine, every ship needs a Captain and I wore the Captain’s hat with style and aplomb. That was until I swapped it for my Mummy hat and my husband had to help steer the ship himself.

I recently read an interesting article where a man talked about how his wife’s caesarean made her a total badass. I shared it with him and we talked a little about the traumatic birth of our son and his swift arrival via an emergency caesarean. It occurred to me that seeing me at my most vulnerable; naked and frightened, screaming for help, being cut open to have our child wrenched from my body made him see me in a different light. Did my husband lose respect for me after I gave birth?

I think before I became a Mum he saw me as strong, and I had been strong for us both, but now I had to be strong for our son first and us as a couple second. I was hormonal and weepy and I’d never been a Mum before, so everything was new and I was totally winging it, we were winging it together. I was also wrestling with undiagnosed PTSD which made me anxious, vulnerable and hyper vigilant. A storm was brewing inside me and I could no longer steer our ship effectively.

I wasn’t the high functioning girl in love with her career anymore. I was an exhausted first time mum, struggling physically and mentally. I’d made and nurtured our tiny perfect son but in the process I’d changed and I’d probably lost his respect.

He denies losing respect for me following the birth of our child, but what’s clear is that something has changed, there’s been a significant shift in our dynamic. I’m no longer able to play the role of leader and breadwinner, but instead fulfil the role of Mother and carer. To me they are equally important roles, but to others they are somehow lesser and not as deserving of respect and status.

I’d always thought that giving birth would give me a badge of honour worthy of respect. It’s a rite of passage which can be natural and beautiful, but equally it can be traumatic and bloody. Experiencing that and seeing me go through the birthing process should be worthy of respect, but it showed me up to be the vulnerable human that I am, and that changed things.


3 thoughts on “Did my husband lose respect for me after I gave birth?

  1. I can’t speak for your experience, but I am not sure husband or partner’s lose respect for us. I do think there is a change, we are vulnerable when we give birth and it is difficult at first. Especially with the physical and emotional and mental changes. You went from feeling strong, career minded to being a mum. There is nothing wrong with that and you are great at it. Things change and maybe it’s how we see ourselves. Hugs xx

    1. I think you’re right, in the majority of cases men are full of admiration for women who have given birth to their babies. But I know that he has considerably less respect for me now because I’m not as strong as I was. It’s a shame. xx

  2. After I gave birth to our son my husband stopped respecting or valuing me. I suspect it was because without even realizing it he was jealous of the energy time and effort I am required to put in with our baby. Before I had a baby I was free spirited and happy, but after I had a baby my vulnerabilities were exploited and he stopped loving and respecting me. We also basically have no sex life. He claims he does not use porn, or has ever cheated, but in all honesty I do not believe it. After all, I look dumpy most days because I’m sleep deprived, tired and do not have a lot of energy. I barely wear makeup, almost never dress up, and he did not take me out on dates. I’m basically just the woman who raises his kid now. Since I gave birth he may no longer be able to see me in a sexual way, you know classic Madonna whore bullshit. Had I known having a child with this man would turn him into an adult child himself, I would have not only never married him, but would have never had children with him. I live regretting my actions, but I love my son and I have to put his needs first. I’m staying with him not because I love him anymore, I don’t believe that love is there because I can’t love someone that thinks so little of me, but because I grew up in a divorced home where my mother was railroaded in court and I grew up a casualty of divorce. Since his love is immature and conditional, I am simply a fixture in his life. My only purpose is to cook, clean, and provide care for the child I breeded with him for. I feel like a womb that was used, and no longer feel like a person. Other wives are not treated this way. I don’t understand why he changed. I deserve to be loved, but if he can not change I will have to divorce him not only for my mental health, but because if I am so undeserving of love I would rather remove myself from the institution of marriage and relationships all together. I no longer want sex, or even male attention. I would simply rather be alone. Because it seems like the only marriages that remain are those where women are silently unhappy or have settled. I have no interest in being one of those women, so unfortunately divorce may be the only option. We must love ourself first. Sometimes that means loving ourself more than a person that is not capable of giving us the love we deserve, need, and want. At my age I no longer will settle. If that means being alone until I die, I would rather just have friends and have my son growing up seeing me happy, even if that means mommy and daddy do not live together. My only fear is he has threatened to abandon me and leave the country, I legitimately fear him garnishing a passport and stealing our son. The person I thought I married has become passive aggressive, controlling, and a gaslighter. I can’t remain with him anymore if he continues to be this way.

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