Singaporean mum breaks down: "I'm pregnant with my first child and my husband just left me"
"Was he consumed by fear or was he being purely selfish? I guess I would never know."
Having your husband walk out on you is bad enough. But there's just something devastating if he's walking out on you when you're having his baby. Read Singaporean mummy-to-be's heart-breaking story of all hope lost.
30-year-old financial adviser Karen* shares her story...
Thomas* and I were high school sweethearts and we got engaged for 2 years, after a good 8 years of being together. Prior to the engagement, we had never had sex as both agreed to be traditional and wait until marriage to "make it special". We were literally getting married in 3 months when Thomas said we should already start trying for our first kid and added that since it was just three months to the wedding, "we're good."
Lo and behold, I managed to get pregnant before the wedding, with no show of bump as I was just two weeks into the pregnancy (phew)!
Everything went smoothly and honestly to me, it was like a dream come true. The wedding was just how I imagined it to be, Thomas and both our families were really excited for our first child and we spent an (unhealthy) amount of time almost everyday dreaming about life with little Sheila*.
About 5 months into the pregnancy, I could sense that the excitement was slowly starting to fizzle out, which was strange and hurtful, given that couples usually get even more excitement nearing the birth of their first child. What was wrong with us? I started analysing each bit of our relationship to pin-point where we fell short.
Thomas grew less interested in picking out baby clothes and was putting off the designing of the baby room. Gradually we got less intimate in bed as well. Simple pecks on my cheeks seemed like a thing he was forced to do every single day. Before this, we would indulge in long and passionate kisses, and making out was something we did almost every night before we headed to bed.
I tried not to think much about it as he mentioned he was totally down and out with juggling the new responsibilities of his new job. I left things the way they were, not wanting to pile up the pressure on him.
When I was 6 months pregnant, it became a norm for Thomas not to accompany me to my regular gynae check-ups and to make it worse, he failed to attend the pregnancy yoga classes that we both had signed up for at the start of my pregnancy. Just picture me doing the exercises alone in the room full of other pregnant women, who had their loving husbands to guide them and give support. And who did I have? The instructor!
Not to mention the awkward questions I got hurled at me at every session - "You're...alone? Your husband didn't come?"
Of course, I started to get paranoid. Our baby room was only halfway painted and Thomas was coming home late everyday. Some days I could even count the number of sentences we exchanged- conversations were drying up and I felt this time that something was definitely amiss. Was he feeling the pressure of fatherhood even before becoming a dad? Was he having second thoughts? Was he going to bail on me and our unborn child?
One day I told him that I really needed him to follow me to the doctor's check-up, emphasising that it was really important he be there with me. He agreed to go only after me incessantly persuading him. That in itself already felt wrong. The check-up was just a regular one, but I just wanted to use the time together to confront his strange and unacceptable behaviour.
I should add, that we never once fought throughout all of this, and yes, I agree it's unhealthy!
In the car on the way to the hospital, I started questioning Thomas about what was up with him and to explain his distance and he was surprisingly acting really cool, which was totally not what I had expected. I had expected him to avoid the topic and me breaking down.
What I also did not expect was what he was about to say, which started with him beating around the bush but I managed to get the message: He couldn't handle the stress of having a baby, and .... he had decided to call it quits. He couldn't deal with all the sudden and major changes in his life. He felt like he had the whole world on his shoulders and he needed a breather.
My mind wasn't even registering everything else he said. "He's leaving, he's leaving, he's leaving."
I was too shocked to even cry. This hit me so hard that I started to play back all the moments we had prior to be getting pregnant and I even thought that maybe I should abort the baby... that's when I stopped myself in my own thoughts. What was I thinking? Give up my baby just for this coward of a man?
When we reached the hospital, Thomas added on that he had wanted to leave me a few months ago, but decided to stay until the baby was born.
The doctor's appointment is a total blur to me - I couldn't think straight nor pay any attention to what was going on. When we reached home, I told him that if he wasn't happy, he shouldn't stay and that I could handle everything on my own.
I was clearly lying. I needed him there- who else did I have? He's the father of my child- what's going to happen once Sheila is born? I'd been jobless since the wedding and Thomas had provided for everything in the house. I was so dependent on him, which now I realised was a bad move.
We didn't continue the conversation and we still slept on the same bed on that night, without uttering a single word to each other. I cried myself to sleep and didn't want to wake up the next morning.
Well, I did - to an empty house, with half the wardrobe emptied. He didn't even bother to leave a note. The man that I'd loved for the past ten years just left me when I was 7 months pregnant with his child, without even saying goodbye.
(Story as told to Pavin Chopra)
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved
Mummies, what would you do if you're in a similar situation? Do share with us.