Yes, you are growing a little human inside of your body, so you have every right to be grumpy. Yes, most people are jerks and life can be really hard sometimes. But you know who is there to listen to you grumble about all your aches and pains and mean friends and rude strangers? Your partner. Whether you have a husband, boyfriend, life partner, whatever, let’s take a minute to stop and appreciate all they do. Because if your partner is anything like my husband, he has put up with A LOT!
1. Trying to Understand What the Flip You’re Talking About
Attempting to read our mood swings is already hard enough for our partners. Now they have to decode our hormone-induced rants? Sometimes when we’re venting about girl problems or health issues, we forget that other people have absolutely no clue what we’re saying.
Me: “My RLP is really intense today. I can’t tell if it’s my Ehlers-Danlos acting up, too. Maybe I should do some hypermobility stretches to try to relax my pelvic floor. Ugh, this Lupus fog isn’t helping either!”
Poor Justin. I could tell from the look on his face that he wanted to help but had no clue how to do so. So remember, your partner is listening, but keeping your communication clear is helpful to everyone. If you want a massage, just ask for a massage. Your partner will appreciate your directness, trust me. But in turn, verbally show your appreciation for their effort.
2. Being Grossed Out On the Regular
Morning sickness, hemorrhoids, hairy legs, and sitting in on awkward OBGYN visits are all par for the course for your partner now. My poor guy has had to see some really weird stuff but he has never once made me feel like the repulsive monster I am. He has seen me at my lowest:
And as much as he’s been tempted to, he has never had this reaction to my grossness:
God bless him, he has seen things no man should ever have to see. Yet through it all he has always managed to offer a kind smile, stroke my greasy hair, and even give me a hug (while holding his breath, of course).
3. Feeling Helpless
This was one thing I never even thought about until my husband expressed it. As frustrating as it is to be a high-risk pregnant woman dealing with all your struggles, imagine what it’s like to be on the outside. Your partner has to watch the person they love most in life go through unimaginably painful ordeals, and there’s not a darn thing they can do about it. My heart broke a little the day he told me how helpless he felt and that he would give anything to be able to take away my hurt.
Whether your partner has said it out loud or not, I guarantee you they have felt helpless and vulnerable at some point during your pregnancy. Stop and realize how amazing it is to have someone love you that much and be thankful that same person is going to be the one who is by your side to help you nurture this new life.
4. Suppressing EVERYTHING
Let’s have a moment of honesty here, ladies. We complain. About everything. A lot. Hey, we deserve to, don’t get me wrong. But your partner is often left mute in the wake of your rage. My husband works two jobs, both of which are physical and he rarely gets a day off. But will you hear him complain about how his legs hurt or how frustrated he is? NOPE.
Although I would like to think I wouldn’t go all Oxygen “Snapped” on him if he were to complain to me, I can understand why he stays silent. And whenever I ask him if he’s hurting, he usually just says, “I’m fine,” or shrugs it off.
We should remember to hug our partners because they’re hurting sometimes, too. Sure, they don’t have to worry about pushing a baby out of their delicate downstairs business, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t frustrated or in pain as well. So pick up a card, or hug him, or do a little something to let him know that his emotions are valid and you are there for him, too.
5. OMG YOU’RE HAVING A FREAKING BABY!!!
Though you would think this goes without saying, sometimes it actually takes a while for this realization to dawn on your partner. Every person (even you) has that “HOLY GUACAMOLE!” moment where it hits you that everything is about to change.
Even if your pregnancy was planned, it is completely normal to have a freak out moment. Where you get off easy, though, is society thinks it’s more acceptable for women to be emotional. If your partner is a man, he has it a little tougher. Whether it’s from peer pressure or decades of society making him feel this way, your guy is having trouble reconciling his realization with the emotions he’s feeling on the inside.
Let him know that it’s okay for him to feel nervous. The worst thing you can do is buy a one-way ticket to “Denial Land.” If you try masking your concerns and he’s busy stifling his emotions, you’re just asking for things to blow up in your face.
Even if your partner isn’t big on talking and feelings, make the effort to have a little sit-down and lay your worries out on the table. Chances are you even have similar fears. The sooner you both acknowledge that this is indeed a big deal and it probably won’t be easy, the sooner you can start moving ahead together. Don’t fall prey to the trap of each person having to bear his/her own burdens. And when in doubt, breathe into a paper bag for a minute and look at this adorable bunny eating a flower:
In conclusion, remember that your partner has feelings, too, and that this is scary for both of you. Verbally and physically demonstrate your appreciation for all the things they have to put up with during this trying pregnancy. Kindness matters. And hey! Who knows? Maybe that sweet note you left him will get you a back massage tonight! But seriously folks, be nice to your partner. They’ve had to hold your hair while you’ve puked.