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New Dad Wants To Divorce Abusive, Distant Wife After She Gave Birth Without Telling Him

Mother holding newborn baby
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Content Warning: Prenatal Psychosis, Postpartum Psychosis, Mental Health

We’ve all heard stories about how difficult pregnancy can be.

But few people understand how mind-altering and personality-changing carrying a baby and giving birth can be, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

A Redditor, who has since deleted his account, was shocked by how much his wife changed during her pregnancy, especially when she excluded him from her pregnancy process.

But when she didn’t even want him to see the baby, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure anymore that the relationship could work.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for wanting to divorce my postpartum wife?”

The OP wanted to be super involved in his wife’s and their child’s lives.

“It’s stupid to think I’m at this point, but here I am. My soon-to-be-ex wife (28 Female) and I (29 Male) have wanted kids for years and we were thrilled when she finally got pregnant last year.”

“From day one, I wanted to be the most supportive husband and future father I could.”

“Her father was never involved in her life. I used to work as a tech in labor and delivery, and my brother to put it kindly is not the most involved father. I saw too many problems up close when it came to lacking husbands, and I would be d**ned before I made the same mistakes.”

But then their relationship started to change as the pregnancy progressed.

“The problem is, roughly four weeks into her pregnancy, everything started going downhill.”

“She stopped wanting sex. Fair enough. Hormones and stress make that a problem, so I went full stop. But then she didn’t want any physical interaction. No cuddling, no kissing, with her slowly becoming more and more distant.”

“Her eating constantly changed and she was terrible about tt. She would demand I get her something all day, and then the moment I gave it to her, she would want something else, screaming at me. Okay, again, hormonal issues, I get it, no problem.”

“She never let me to go any appointments, no groups she went to, and spent more time away.”

“She became cold and bitter. She was constantly angry at me. This went on for months.”

“She slapped me a couple of times when I forgot one of the dozens of tasks she assigned me during the day. She stopped doing anything for the house a month into the pregnancy. Sure, she’s pregnant, I get it, moving around is hard, but she wouldn’t even do laundry about four weeks in, and by five weeks, I did everything.”

“I’m also the primary source of income. I barely sleep. I’m running on fumes.”

“She made me sleep in the guest room. She would always try and pick fights. I never once raised my voice, my hand, or my tone. I sat there and constantly mentally reminded myself this wasn’t her and this would all be worth it.”

“She didn’t want me to make any baby decisions. No name, no work on the nursery, nothing.”

But then the OP’s wife created even more physical distance between them.

“One month before she delivered, she yelled how f**king useless I am and how I don’t do anything and that she’s staying with her mother. She didn’t let me get her anything, come check on her, threatened to divorce me and get a restraining order if I even called her.”

“A couple of weeks back, I found out about the birth of my son from a Facebook post. She posted it with her mother and some family. It f**king broke me. I tried to go to the hospital and visit. They had security kick me out.”

The OP said enough was enough.

“After months of outright hatred, anger, and abuse thrown at me 24/7, I f**king had it. Odds are I’m not even on the birth certificate.”

“I opened a new account and all my deposits go there. I took half out of our joint account.”

“She never bought baby stuff ahead of time, who knows what that money was going towards, so now that she has to buy supplies for our son she’s used up every cent.”

“I’ve gotten a lawyer. The house is mine, I’m the only one who spent money on it in any way. I’ve sent the rest of her stuff to her mother’s house. I’m demanding a paternity test. Im not spending another d**n cent until I get verification it’s my son.”

“I’m absolutely divorcing her. She chose the stay-at-home life, so if she cheated, she’s screwed. Her mother has money for a couple of week stay, not even close to enough for full-time support. If he is my son, I will absolutely be getting my rights as a father for a relationship.”

The OP was surprised when his soon-to-be ex-wife reached out.

“Last week, my soon-to-be-ex called. She was practically hyperventilating. She wanted to come home. She was crying about how it was all a mistake.”

“She’s not staying with her mother. She’s at a friend’s house.”

“She wants to come home. She wants our son to have his father.”

“I told her I don’t f**king believe he is my son. Why the f**k would she pull this s**t if he is? Show me a paternity test, and I’ll do everything I can for him, and him only.”

“She wants to meet tomorrow at a park so I can talk to her. I said sure, so I could finally say everything I should have said months ago to her face. She agreed for my sister to be there and to record our entire conversation.”

“My parents are hoping we can make up, but they absolutely understand if I won’t. My brother is a deadbeat jacka** so I don’t care what he has to say, but my sister thinks I should at least hear her out.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some hoped the OP would help his wife get the help she needed.

“OP, I hope you see this comment because I am very worried about your soon-to-be-ex and the baby.”

“I have been an RN for over 15 years and started working as an emergency nurse three years after I graduated. When I read your post, and your entire description of how your wife has been acting was setting off alarm bells in my nurse brain.”

“Pregnancy is wild; the hormones are only part of the physical experience that the body goes through. Everyone has heard about postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety, but not very many people have heard of postpartum psychosis. On top of that, very few people have heard of antepartum depression/antepartum anxiety, and even fewer still have heard of antepartum psychosis.”

“Something happened when she got pregnant that caused her brain chemistry to become completely out of balance. From what OP has written, she became a completely different person when she became pregnant. She needed a psych evaluation last week, but the second best time would be now.”

“I have been an emergency nurse for a long time. Like most emergency personnel, I have seen A LOT. The scariest thing I have ever seen was postpartum psychosis.”

“OP, you are NTA for divorcing her. She has been emotionally and physically abusing you for months, has prevented you from seeing the baby (who could very well be yours), and has generally treated you horribly. HOWEVER, even if you can’t/have zero desire to reconcile, she still needs an urgent psychiatric evaluation.” – Killer__Cheese

“Okay, the title made me think YTA potentially but no, you’re not. I get hormones are a thing. I get horrible periods monthly and it’s not the same as birth, but I can still semi-relate. I’m not a huge a**hole to my partner when I’m hormonal. If I do lash out, it’s more calmly being passive-aggressive and I typically apologize shortly after or later in the day.”

“If she’s having a mental break, you can try to work with her, but it’s incredibly unfair what she’s been putting you through for months. I can’t believe she would have the baby without even telling you, that’s so monstrous of her!”

“Get that test, keep the lawyer, take someone with you to dial three with her in public, and or get her to speak with you around a lawyer or shit maybe even call law enforcement over and state you’re scared for your safety and that she’s having a mental break and acting crazy and making up crazy things. Cops are happy to do that, I’ve had to do that.” – dazia

“If the OP’s wife did have some form of postpartum psychosis, it’s concerning that nobody in her support system thought to reach out to her doctor about it. I’d hope if my personality completely changed that my friends and family would be attempting to move heaven and earth to get me help to figure out why.”

“And it’s inexcusable that her family just went along with cutting the husband out of the birth of the child. Makes me curious what she was telling her family about the OP. But it also makes me wonder what the OP told his family about his wife that they didn’t encourage him to get her help.” – DameGlitterElephant

“My SIL (Sister-in-Law) has had really bad mental health after the birth of her children. Sadly she didn’t stop after the first two and now has four and her brain chemistry is permanently altered and she’s not the same person. OP’s wife sounds like her hormones drastically affected her mental health and who she is as a person.”

“NTA and hopefully everyone involved gets help.” – Tams585

“I’m pregnant with my second kid and It didn’t happen the first time around, but this time something is different. I’ve been working on it but I feel exactly like I did with postpartum anxiety. I try to catch myself but a lot of the time I feel out of control and straight-up mean sometimes.”

“I’m finally getting some help this week. Mental health struggles are a wild ride, especially with the roller coaster of pregnancy in the first place…”

“I hope the OP and his wife get the help they need, and hopefully their marriage can survive this.” – Back5tage_N1nja

Others reassured the OP that this relationship wasn’t salvageable. 

“NTA. Tell her you will meet up in the park once the paternity test is done and you get the results. Until then, you have nothing to talk to her about.”

“Once you know the baby is yours, then you can meet up and discuss divorce, child maintenance, and visitation.”

“I don’t trust her. She’s only popped up now that you are no longer financing her and neither is her mother.” – rebootsaresuchapain

“This is wildly bizarre. Obviously, you’re NTA, but as far as the rest, you need information ASAP.”

“At this point, the question of whether or not she’s the kind of crazy that can happen as an extreme medical problem or the kind of crazy that a selfish psycho-narcissistic abuser… well, that isn’t really important. Protecting yourself and your potential kid should be your priority.”

“You need to know if you’re the kid’s father. Yes, there are financial implications that are important, but I’d be more worried that she’d hurt the baby. You need to be working with your lawyer to plan how to respond to her ask, not Reddit. You do need some sort of witness/recording for safety’s sake.”

“Before the pregnancy, how was your relationship with your in-laws? It’s bizarre to me that they supported her refusing to let you visit in the hospital.” – MeanestGoose

“Finding out your child was born over a Facebook post is unforgivable, in my opinion. NTA.” – nick_shannon

“NTA! HECK NO! Do not meet her at the park tomorrow. If she wants to meet you, then it can be at your lawyer’s office with your representative present and a conversation recorded.”

“If the child is yours after an immediate paternity test, make sure your name is on the certificate and that you file for equal custody and have an equal say in all decisions of the child’s life. I would even ask to communicate via a parenting app. Save all forms of communication from her via text and email so you have a paper trail. No phone calls.”

“I am very sorry that you had to go through this and your experience becoming a father, if the child is yours, was ruined. You realize your worth, and you do not want to be with a partner like this.”

“Please protect yourself. I hope you have cameras around your property, a ring camera by the door, and that you claim she abandoned your space. Your parents need to be on your side and follow your lead.”

“The relationship is not healthy anymore, and now that a child is involved, you should be putting the child first and not raising it in a potentially toxic environment.” – SubstantialYouth9106

But some were super suspicious of the story the OP told.


“Several red flags jump out:”

“1. The wife’s behavior changing to such an extreme immediately after pregnancy is unrealistic. Hormones can impact mood, but this level of sudden anger and abuse doesn’t ring true.”

“2. The wife completely cutting the husband out of all pregnancy activities is strange if they had a prior good relationship. Not letting him attend any appointments or help with the nursery at all? Doesn’t add up.”

“3. The wife staying with her mother for the last month and not even telling the husband about the birth is an unreasonably extreme action to take out of nowhere.”

“4. The husband abruptly deciding to cut off his wife financially and immediately file for divorce feels like a dramatic plot twist thrown in for effect rather than a realistic development.”

“5. The rapid sequence of events and the wife’s sudden 180 at the end, wanting to reconcile, is just too convenient and tidy to believe.”

“6. The writing style also feels off. It reads much more like a dramatic fictional story engineered to engage readers than an authentic retelling of real experiences, or like someone who’s hiding something big and trying to sound as innocent as possible.” – teshdor

“I thought NTA until you said the house was all yours and that you paid for everything. I am thinking there are two sides to this story and that you probably did not pitch in with any type of housework before and that’s why you suddenly felt like you were doing everything when she got pregnant.”

“She probably wanted you to get used to doing more around the house. I’d like to hear her side of the story before saying YTA or not. All you had were not great things to say about her to make yourself look good.” – got2pnow

“YTA for leaping toward divorce before toward a doctor. Postpartum depression is not just ‘hormonal’ nor is it something a woman can just decide to ‘get over.’ Your wife is not simply being unreasonable, she needs medical help and medication.” – Lilylake_55

“Something is definitely being left out of the story here. You know what it is, and you lead everyone on to believe your wife is a psychopath without any sort of explanation to her side. Your story doesn’t make sense without her side, so yeah, YTA.” – PeachyLad

“You are a real a**hole. YTA.”

“Look. if you are going to be petty and calculate every detailed mistake she has made, it’s better to divorce her rather than hurt her in the long run.”

“Marriage is not always all rainbows and sunshine. We all are humans and are not perfect. Did you even try to communicate with her why she overreacted to things that do not require so much of a reaction? Your soon-to-be-ex wife was carrying a life you procreated with her. Don’t you have an ounce of guilt that what decision you are going to take will hurt your child in the long run?”

“The circumstances you mentioned in your post are of a very limited timeframe. You should consider if her behavior is still the same after giving birth. Just because she stopped giving you SEX and stopped with the household chores does not make a HORRIBLE wife. I agree your soon-to-be-ex is at fault as well, but I’m at the conclusion you are overreacting.”

“Give her a chance, man. Divorce is not the ultimate solution to everything. In the wedding, we always marry with this till death do us part quote, but we are considering divorce just for immaterial factors? I don’t understand your logic.”

“To be honest, this post is very one-sided. You portrayed yourself as the devoted dutiful husband and painted your wife’s character as not the good one. It’s just sad reading this.”

“Just divorce her for everyone’s sake, my goodness.” – Valuable-Aioli1539

The subReddit was shocked at how the OP’s first-time dad story had gone, and they were at a loss for how to advise the OP about his relationship. Primarily, the subReddit hoped the OP could help his wife get help, but if the OP was withholding information, they hoped that both people could get the help they needed to be better partners and to move forward.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.