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Recognizing the Signs of an Unsupportive Husband During Pregnancy

Emily Turinas

3 min read

May 13



Pregnancy is a time filled with joy, anticipation, and a myriad of changes. Expecting mothers often find themselves turning to their support systems during this time to help them navigate this challenging time. So what happens when your husband or partner is not so supportive? Here we are going to talk about the difficulties people face within their romantic relationships during pregnancy that can lead them feeling isolated and unsupported. As well, I explore some of the ways to address common concerns and get your partner to comprehend the extent of the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy.

signs of unsupportive husband during pregnancy

How do we perceive an unsupportive or unengaged husband?

  1. Lack of Emotional Engagement: For starters, an unsupportive husband may demonstrate a lack of emotional engagement with his partner's pregnancy. This may look like disinterested or detachment, maybe he is failing to express excitement or concern about the impending arrival of the baby. This often can leave the expectant mother feeling isolated and unsupported during this significant life transition. This is especially true if there are any complications or difficulties with the trauma where more emotional support and feeling part of a "team" can be so beneficial.

  2. Disregard for Partner's Needs: During pregnancy, women experience a range of physical discomforts and emotional fluctuations. An unsupportive husband may fail to acknowledge or respond to his partner's needs, dismissing her concerns or minimizing the challenges she faces. Although we cannot ask men to fully experience the nuances of pregnancy, it can lead a pregnant mama to feel neglected, misunderstood, and build resentment throughout the relationship.

  3. Lack of Involvement in Pregnancy-related Activities: During pregnancy there is a plethora of pregnancy related things that need to be done. From attending prenatal appointments, getting the house ready (i.e. nesting), getting supplies ready, and generally preparing for the baby's arrival. When a partner shows little interest in these activities, it can leave the expectant mom to navigate the journey alone. Often this can amplify feelings of stress and being overwhelm for the mother-to-be. As well as decrease opportunity to bond over the new baby and build in excitement for your new arrival.

  4. Insensitivity or Criticism: Although we may all be able to acknowledge on a good day that pregnancy can bring on mood swings and some questionable life decisions (Ice Cream at midnight on a Tuesday... Yes). However, when we have an unsupportive husband that exhibits insensitivity or criticism towards decisions, changes in your body, or other aspects of pregnancy it can take a huge tole on your mental health. Hurtful comments about changing bodies, mood swings, and/or parenting decisions, undermining your confidence and self-esteem. This can create tension and conflict within the relationship, eroding trust and intimacy.

  5. Failure to Communicate: Effective communication is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship, but critical especially during pregnancy. When you are struggling to communicate openly and empathetically with your husband it can create a disconnect between you two. Often times during pregnancy this might look like avoiding conversations about your (and his) needs, fears, and expectations. This lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of alienation for both of you!

Addressing Concerns and Seeking Support

If you recognize signs of unsupportive behavior in your husband during pregnancy, it's essential to address these concerns proactively. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Initiate Honest Conversations: Express your feelings and concerns to your husband in a calm and non-confrontational manner. Share specific examples of how his behavior has affected you and discuss your expectations for support during pregnancy.

  2. Seek Couples Counseling: Consider seeking couples counseling or therapy to address underlying issues in your relationship and improve communication and supportiveness. A qualified therapist can help facilitate productive discussions and provide guidance for strengthening your bond as a couple. Some therapist specialize in this unique time in a marriage during pregnancy too!

  3. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your husband regarding acceptable behavior and expectations for support during pregnancy. Communicate your needs assertively and advocate for yourself if you feel that your boundaries are being disregarded.

  4. Seek Support from Others: Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family members, or support groups for additional support and understanding during this challenging time. Surround yourself with people who validate your experiences and offer encouragement and empathy.

If you are interested in gaining professional support during your postpartum journey, see if Emily Turinas PhD is a good fit for you. She is a perinatal psychologist who specializes in therapy for throughout pregnancy and postpartum. She often works with new or soon-to-be moms (and dads) on the impact pregnancy and a new baby brings into the relationship. She practices in Austin, Texas & Denver, Colorado as well as offers virtual throughout Texas and Colorado. Schedule a free consultation today to see how Dr. Turinas could help you build clarity and direction in the chaos of parenthood.



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Emily Turinas PhD


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