Losing a wanted pregnancy can be devastating, but is it ever your place to essentially force someone to get counseling?
What if their grief is affecting your health?
A Reddit user going by “throwaway60120634” found herself stuck in exactly this situation. She wasn’t sure about how she handled it, though.
So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to get their thoughts.
“AITA for telling my husband he can’t come to my doctors appointments anymore until he goes to therapy”
Before we get into her story, let’s briefly talk about how this subReddit works.
The original poster (you’ll often see them referred to as “OP”) tells their story as a post. Other Reddit users share their votes in the comments, almost always explaining why they voted the way they did.
Voting options are:
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Now let’s talk about how OP got to the point of banning her husband from appointments until he got therapy.
“I am 29 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. My husband and I were so excited when we found out because a few years ago we suffered an unfortunate loss of our baby at 24 week gestation.”
“Our baby just wasn’t developing correctly and there was nothing we could do. It was just one of those sad things.”
“I went to therapy for it, and came to terms with it but my husband never did. As much as I asked and begged he didn’t.”
“Now, every time we go to a doctor appointment, he essentially has a panic attack going, during and coming back talking about how we are going to lose this baby too. It’s been happening since we found out, so that’s 29 weeks of this.”
“I go to doctors appointments fairly frequently due to some minor issues that have caused me to be considered high risk.”
“After my last appointment while coming home my husband told me we should start considering the worst and looking into urns and cremation in case we lose this one too.”
“This is where I told him he needed to go to therapy and I wouldn’t be having him come with me because he stresses me out and that’s not good for our (healthy) baby or for my blood pressure (which is what is making me high risk) until he does get therapy.”
“He told me I’m being unreasonable and he’s being realistic, and that I can’t stop him from going with me because it’s his baby too. The apparent national mandate of your spouse not being allowed to be with you in the hospital, as far as I know, is an American thing. Not where I am.”
“This was last week and he has been cold and still hasn’t made a therapy appointment and honestly has been kind of hostile towards me.”
“I know he’s just scared we’re going to lose our baby, but having him with me is maybe the cause of what could make us lose our baby because he makes me so stressed.”
Reddit was quick to share their condolences, congratulations and concerns.
“NTA. It’s the buying urns thing that really gets to me.”
“What the f*ck gives him the right to actually start talking to his pregnant wife about buying an URN for the baby she is gestating?”
“That is exactly the kind of messed up, anxious, irrational thought he needs to bring up to a therapist, not his freaking pregnant wife who literally has high blood pressure which can be brought on by stress.”
“I would honestly stay elsewhere if my husband even whispered about the prospect of our baby passing, let alone actually started a conversation about cremating it’s f*cking non-existent corpse!” – spuffyx
“Jesus holy f*ck NTA. He needs serious help before he’s the reason that baby is put at risk by stressing you out.”
“When my girlfriend found our she was pregnant, after she was told she would never have kids. I kept every worry or even slightly uncomfortable thought to myself, so I could keep her calm and relaxed.”
“SHOPPING FOR URNS OR CREMATION WTF!!! IS WRONG WITH HIM?” – Reaper0207
“NTA. What he is displaying is not normal behavior. To me it sounds like a trauma response.”
“Of course some caution is warranted, but so far it sounds like the baby is healthy. He’s robbing you – and himself! – of what should be a joyful time.”
“It sounds harsh, but I second what other commenters have said: stay with a family member or friend, and don’t allow him into your doctor visits. Sure, it’s his baby, too, but right now that baby is a part of YOUR body.”
“Explain that going alone isn’t out of spite, it’s to protect the health of both you and the baby FROM HIM. If that combined with staying elsewhere doesn’t wake him up, I don’t know what will. I’d show him this thread, too.” – aoife_too
“Yeah I read trauma/anxiety too. Shopping for urns is a way of controlling the future, if he’s prepared for that outcome this time, he won’t be hurt as badly.”
“I tend to prep for all outcomes in a crisis too, but it sounds like this guy is over the top anxious and it’s not good for OP.”
“OP is absolutely right, he needs help like therapy, meds etc – NTA.” – Revolutionary-Yak-47
“He’s trying to protect himself from the shock and pain he felt last time when he probably allowed himself to bond with the pregnancy.”
“My worry is that this will keep going into the kid’s life, and he’ll live in a prison if his dad’s anxiety. I think therapy is crucial. NAH.” – chihuahua-mama
“NTA. There is no indication that this baby has any issues so why is he so set on ‘considering the worst’ and thinking about cremation/urns?”
“That, plus when he said that he was being ‘realistic’ like… The chances that they would have a baby with an issue like their first were very low – OP said it was a fluke.”
“So while it really sucks beyond belief to be in that fraction of a percent that has something happen like that, there is a VERY high likelihood that this baby will be fine. Baby has been fine at every appointment, and they’re having appointments more often to be sure of it.”
“Plus the baby is already viable with assistance. The survival rate at 29 weeks is something like 95%”
“Her husband definitely needs A LOT of therapy. Now. Because I don’t think this will stop after baby is born.”
“Then it’ll turn into ‘baby is probably going to die of SIDS or end up with horrible health issues/allergies’ because he still hasn’t dealt with his emotions from his first child’s death.” – MrsStickMotherOfTwig
“NTA……You are the patient. No one goes to appointment that stresses you.”
“But dad needs to get some counseling for the baby’s good, otherwise he is likely to be anxious and overprotective after the birth.”
“A suggestion: Could you call ahead to speak to your OB provider before your next appointment? Tell them the issue with your husband and ask them to recommend counseling (and a counselor) to help husband work through grief and anxiety.”
“Then you can invite him to an appointment and start helping him with his problem at the same time.” – nannylive
“NTA! Definitely stay on top of that high blood pressure. (Mine turned out to be HELLP syndrome)”
“Also, your husband deserves therapy. Have you ever pitched it that way?”
“My husband sometimes has this ‘it’s my job to suffer on behalf of my family’ complex he inherited from his father, and I have to really convince him that he deserves to be happy.”
“It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s not selfish. It’s not being less of a man, or any dumb bullsh*t like that.”
“You’re a human being. You went through something deeply traumatic. You deserve to be happy again. That won’t happen magically on its own, so you’ve gotta find a therapy that works for you.”
“I know being vulnerable is scary, and that makes therapy off-putting to say the least. But you deserve to be happy, so we’ve got to figure out what form will make that happen for you.”
“Congratulations on your pregnancy and healthy baby! Take care of yourself, OP.” – ReformedZiontologist
“NAH. First, I’m deeply sorry for your loss.”
“I can’t call your husband an AH. You are absolutely right, he needs therapy to come to terms with what happened. To help him reach a point where he can allow himself to believe that this time will be different.”
“BUT he also needs to understand that when he stresses you out while you carry your mutual child and you’re at risk due to high blood pressure, he’s creating a situation where the possibility of something going wrong increases. He’s not being reasonable nor realistic, he’s utterly terrified.”
The only thing I might disagree with on your stance is I think you need to go to therapy together. I know you have already gone for yourself, but this may be the only way to get him in the door.”
“Please, consider booking the therapy session yourself and telling him ‘you come to this and you BE there, or you will not come to the appointments.’ This is non-negotiable.”
“I loathe what he’s putting you through. I’m in awe of your strength.”
“CONGRATULATIONS on your rainbow. Wishing you three the very best.” – ItIsntRocketSurgery
“Tell your doctor, in front of him, what he’s been saying. Let them give him a reality check because, yeah, he’s using YOUR medical appointments to hurt YOUR wellbeing.”
“I’m sorry he has not coped with your previous loss, but honestly, tough f*cking sh*t. It’s his responsibility to get help so he’s not hurting other people.”
“His fears are understandable, but his behavior is unacceptable. He’s creating an unhealthy situation for YOU now, and that’s bad partnering and bad parenting all at once.”
“Time for an OB to tell him to get help or stop coming. NTA.” – raiseyourspirits
“NAH. Hear me out. Like, you clearly are 100% right, no question about it.”
“Your husband is reacting this way because of what sounds like PTSD. He absolutely does need therapy”
“BUT I have empathy for him because he’s not being intentionally malicious, he’s just traumatized.” – GladiatorBill
We sincerely hope OP, her partner and their baby achieve health—mental and physical—and happiness.