May 1993

im not fat I really think I’m going to end up being a single mom. Lou is miserable and depressed.

In my mind, we have everything. We each have masters degrees, great careers, financial security, a wonderful home, our book is going to be published, and best of all, we have what seems like a very healthy, much wanted baby on the way. And yet, he’s been really quiet and distant and cold lately, and overall depressed. For a long time, he’s refused to have intercourse with me, saying that it’s because there is a baby in there. I asked what’s wrong enough times that he finally explained how miserable he is. He says that his beautiful wife’s body is no longer attractive, but is just a house for a baby, and that he is sure that I am going to be like all the other women and be fat after I give birth. I assured him that I had no desire to be fat, and that I’ve always been able to stay thin, and that I have only gained the minimum weight that I am supposed to put on for a healthy pregnancy. I’m not loading on tons of extra weight with the pregnancy excuse. But he doesn’t believe me, and said that even if I am somehow able to be thin again, all he sees ahead is “a life of crummyness.” I agreed that life will be different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be wonderful. I told him that the lives our parents lead didn’t determine what we had in store for ourselves, and that we have control over what our family will be like. Just because he saw his father miserable didn’t mean that he will be miserable also. And the fact that his father had a family does not mean that was why he was miserable in the first place.

I tried to be understanding and supportive. I tried not to take it personally when he shared his fears that he would end up with a fat, ugly wife, and that he would have a crummy life. But then, he said that it was all my fault. He said that I pressured him to get pregnant, and that he didn’t want to have a baby. He said I had just hammered him on the topic until he gave in. I was neither understanding nor supportive of that statement. How can he possibly think this is true? That is bullshit, and he knows it. Yet he was in my face saying it was all my idea and responsibility that we are having a baby. There was never a question in our lives together that we would have children, it was just a matter of when. Once we both had our educations, and good careers, and I was thirty, it was the right time, and I know for a fact that we decided together to have a baby. I remember sitting in the backyard having the conversation about it, and him saying that we should do it, and for me to make an appointment with a doctor to get checked out. I didn’t talk him into it. I didn’t argue or plead or even hint for that matter. It was a natural decision just like any other decision we have ever made together. Like what color to paint the walls, or what furniture to buy, or where to invest our savings. I know he was fine with the decision to get pregnant until it actually happened. The moment I showed him the results of the pregnancy test was the first time the reality hit him. I think his warped imagination has pieced together a horrific future; that doesn’t have to be the reality of life. It certainly isn’t my reality.

But now, my imagination is piecing together a future as a single mother. I know he is going to leave me, and I wouldn’t stop him. He says he will not leave, but I don’t want to be in a miserable marriage. I don’t want to live a miserable life. In my heart am so happy about having this baby, but now I can’t possibly be happy in my marriage. I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I can’t, and wouldn’t change the fact that I’m pregnant. I can’t help him if I am the problem. Lou dumped all this on me, and I am left to deal with it alone. There is absolutely nobody who I can talk to about this. All I can do is prove that I can still be a good wife to him even with a child.

Leave a Reply