I tricked my husband into having a baby to save my marriage
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. That’s how it goes, right? So Lynette* thought.
2 years into my marriage with David*, we started to disagree over trivial things, spent more time apart than together, and fought more than we made love.
My marriage was failing, and I was at a loss as to what to do. I’d heard that women who are unhappy in their marriage fall under the delusion that having a baby would make things better, and I was one of them.
I thought that an addition to us - part me, part him - would bring us closer and tighten our non-existent bond. I was under the impression that a baby would distract attention from the marital discord and fix things between David and I.
I was on the pill, so I stopped taking it. A few weeks later, after a long time, David and I made love. It had been ages since we last slept together, and I had forgotten what it felt like to be that close to him. He had no clue I was off the pill, and I’m not sure why, but I didn’t tell him. Maybe I was afraid he would snap at me, and distant himself further. Maybe I didn’t want to hear a “No.”
We tried to have sex a few times that month- I always initiated it, and he never resisted. Two months later, I found out I was pregnant. Happy yet scared, I broke the news to him. He was shocked needless to say, and demanded to know why I tricked him into it. But to my surprise, he wasn’t as furious, and we went on with the pregnancy.
He took good care of me, and spent more time with me during my pregnancy- so that gave me some hope.
But when the baby came, everything crumbled. David freaked out completely - the reality of having a baby - fatigue, dirty diapers, crying, mood swings (of all family members)- it all took a toll on him. Our newborn son made cooking a simple dinner difficult, let alone maintaining our already-failing marriage.
That’s when it hit me that what I did was flat-out wrong. Tricking him into having a baby was definitely not a smart move.
What was I thinking? That we would be drinking martinis once Jayden* was asleep? Would we be ooh-ing and aah-ing together over the smallest, cutest thing he did? Well, yes, I did.
Was I expecting us to reconnect over more chores and a crazily stressful life? Don’t get me wrong- I love my baby to bits, but I will be the first to say that a new baby brings new fights — about sleep patterns, dirty dishes and endless laundry, and so much more!
How could I think that hurling more responsibilities at him would do our relationship any good? What was I looking for? The rebirth of the lovable man I once fell in love with?
It was a difficult time for us. If I was not getting the love and attention I wanted from my husband, how could family life with a baby make it better? Maybe I thought my husband would be home more, would help out more, would…. stay because of the love for his son. I was insecure, and it was killing me on the inside.
David stuck around to help raise Jayden for 3 years, then threw in the towel. He was not strong enough to stick through it. This happened just 2 months ago, so the wounds are still fresh, every memory still so real.
He left, and I have only myself to blame. I should not have used a baby as a quick-fix to my bruised marriage. If I could do it all over again, I would. I cannot imagine my life without my son now, but I would have worked on my marriage down to its core before I decided to ‘expand’ us.
It is easy to romanticise a bouncing bundle of joy- a cuddly, cooing baby who loves you unconditionally and enriches the life of you and your spouse. Yes, that would be great if you’re in a strong marriage to begin with.
My only advice to women who are in a similar situation as I was in, is to focus. Try to remember the things you got married for. If you put fun and laughter back in your relationship, it's very possible to get healthy again.
*All names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of those involved
(Story as told to Pavin Chopra)
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