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‘Resentful’ Dad Struggling to Love Baby After Wife Accidentally Gets Pregnant Doesn’t Know What to Do

Surprise! You’re pregnant. This can be the happiest news of your life, but what if you had never really pictured kids in your future? That was the problem one man had after his wife accidentally got pregnant. Although he wants his new son to be happy, he has to admit that he’s unsure how to love the boy he never wanted to have.

    • The pregnancy came as a surprise to both the man and his wife, who had already been married and child-free for 18 years.

      As he wrote in a post on Reddit, the couple was “vehemently childfree” for the 18 years they’ve been married, but lo and behold, the writer’s wife accidentally got pregnant. Although they had always planned to terminate a pregnancy if they did accidentally conceive, his wife started having doubts. “I could not fault her,” the dad wrote. “I love her dearly. She knows what she is and isn’t capable of and she wasn’t capable of abortion.”

    • The only problem is that because the dad never wanted a child, he has no idea how to love the boy and doesn’t know if he ever will.

      His son is now 1 year old, and the dad explained that although his wife has “acclimated wonderfully to motherhood,” it has been much, much harder for him. “I was planning on retiring in a few years. We were going to travel since we haven’t ever done much of it. I’ve always been fairly busy. I was ready to be done. I’ve worked hard to put us in a position where this was possible,” he wrote. But now none of that is possible.

      “That’s not the point really. The point is this niggling sense of resentment,” he wrote. “The fact that when I look at my son I don’t feel love, just an overwhelming sense of responsibility.”

      Although he knows it’s horrible to say, he hates that he’s now living a life he never wanted. One he didn’t dream of, work towards, or hope for.  “I don’t hate him for it. It is what it is. I’m struggling, however,” he wrote. “Mentally mostly, I’d say. Emotionally I’m a wreck. I think I hide it well.

      “I’m afraid of failing him and creating some sort of monster,” he continued. “I’m afraid I’ll never be enough. I’m afraid I’ll never feel content in my own home ever again. I’d run if I were a lesser man. I’d never leave them without means to care for themselves … but I’d run.”

      But the writer clarified that he would never leave them. “He needs more than just money. I don’t know how to be more than just a wallet. How do I love him? How do I be everything he needs? How do I not lose myself in the process?” he wrote.

    • IN the comments, some people thought that the dad was going through his own postpartum depression.

      “Is male postpartum depression a thing?” one person wrote. “If you were female this would sound like exactly that. Babies are hard and as far as the ‘goes goes goes’ part it doesn’t last forever, that age is hard especially when you’re feeling the way you are. It does get easier as far as child rearing goes but I think you need to seek help for how you’re feeling.”Someone else agreed that the dad needs help. “You need to see a therapist. Not Reddit. You are experiencing grief. You are grieving for your lost freedom. Your lost plans. You made a few comments in there that lead me to think this is all retrievable, but you need to talk to a therapist,” the person wrote in the comments.

      “I also think this sounds like postpartum. Feeling out of control with the pregnancy and birth may be the cause or a huge contributor as well,” someone else agreed. [Original Poster] you are not alone and I encourage you to reach out. Good people ask for help, it’s okay.”

    • But others thought the dad was just speaking his truth.

      “This isn’t depression. This is a very well expressed truth. OP didn’t want children before. And OP doesn’t want children after. There’s no getting around the resentment of that,” one person commented.

      “Some people aren’t cut out to be parents and will never love or bond with their children,” someone else agreed. “That’s 100 percent clear but never ever talked about. It’s taboo. Some people never love their kids. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people, it just means they shouldn’t be parents. You definitely need a therapist, but everyone in here seems to suggest it ‘will work out.’ Society shows us this is not the case. Sometimes leaving IS the best choice.”

      “Personally I’d rather have no dad than have a dad who does not want me and does not love me,” a third person wrote. “That is so sad to read. I suggest you seek therapy and if you do not want to be a father then move on with your life.”

      In an update to his post, the dad wrote that he’s thought about it and he’s going to try and be a good dad.

      The dad later shared that he’s tired of being an inattentive dad and is going to work to change that. “My son is here and he needs me more than I need the life I’d originally planned for myself,” he wrote. “He needs me.”

    • He even told his wife he wanted to spend the day alone with his son, and although it was challenging, the day did have its highlights.

      In the past, the dad admitted that he avoided his son and he felt like his boy could tell. So naturally the day he asked to take care of his son without his wife around was uncomfortable.

      “Honestly the day went (expletive),” he wrote. “We both had a tough time. He wanted mom and so did I. There was this moment though when I sang to him ‘I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas’ and he laughed so (expletive) hard. I’ve never made him laugh like that before. It wasn’t miraculous or revolutionary but I did feel this little spark inside me. This little ‘I want to do that again’ sort of feeling.”

      He also shared that he’s reached out to a few therapists to help solve his unresolved issues with the situation.

      “There are also a lot of unpleasant things I feel when I look at my son. What I’ve utterly failed to take into account is what I see, which is the epitome of innocence,” he wrote. “From that I learned that I need to separate my feelings from him. Whatever negativity I feel is not his doing, that is all me and my fears surrounding him. He is not the source of my feelings. He is a trigger and I need to fix that.”

      That is why he decided not to leave his family and wrote that he hopes people understand he doesn’t feel like his wife betrayed him by getting pregnant.

      “I have since gotten a vasectomy. I’d attempted twice in the past and was denied. They were hesitant because I was young and childless, then it was because my wife was still young and we were childless. Maybe I could have better searched for doctors but in the end we chose to go with an IUD,” he wrote.

      “I’m a dad now,” he added. “I have been for a year. There’s no changing that. I must learn how to be a good one. My son needs me. I’ve ordered some parenting books for fathers. I’ve been researching some groups to join for fathers as well. I’ve also been contemplating cutting my hours at work. I typically work 10-12 hour days. I don’t think that’s feasible anymore. I’m a dad now and my son needs me.”

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