Pregnancy proves exciting for many couples. It becomes a major milestone in the timeline of a marital relationship. But along with the excitement you are both likely feeling, emotional and physical changes can strain your relationship. If you find your husband no longer wanting to cuddle with you, there might be an underlying reason. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or becoming angry with him, focus on understanding the issue in a way that will bring you two closer.
What Lies Beneath
While your husband’s belly isn’t growing along with yours -- at least not due to a growing baby -- big changes are coming in his life, too. He may be feeling that he has no control over the situation, and those feelings might be causing him to take a step back. Cuddling up with your baby bump might make him feel nervous if it reminds him of his impending responsibilities. Furthermore, he might be nervous about injuring you or making you uncomfortable. With shifting moods and swinging hormones, he might worry that you will interpret his advances as foreplay, which can further complicate a situation if he is worried about sex during pregnancy.
Talk About It
Keep the lines of communication open to get through this time in your relationship. Be honest about how you're feeling and what you need. In return, be open to what your husband has to say. Strive to understand his feelings without arguments or guilt trips. Ask him to share how the pregnancy is affecting him. After all, you're likely not just concerned about having a pair of arms wrapped around you. Instead, you are striving to understand what is causing distance between you two. Perhaps there are actions you can take to help alleviate stress, such as preparing a budget for the new baby or getting the nursery ready. Read pregnancy books together and have him join you at your prenatal appointments so that he can feel involved and ask questions about things that may be troubling him.
Talk about ways you can remain connected throughout your pregnancy that allow both of you to feel intimate with each other. Focus on encouraging your husband to cuddle when he feels comfortable, and incorporate other types of physical contact that he may feel more at ease with -- back rubs, foot massages and holding hands, for example. You can set aside plenty of talk time to share the joys and stresses you’re each experiencing and plan romantic events to keep you close. Have fun and decrease the stress as much as possible before the new baby arrives and life gets crazy.
If you've been wound up tighter than a swaddled newborn baby, your own stress and anxiety might be making your husband feel distant. By indulging in a little self indulgence -- whether that's a trip to the spa or a movie night with your girlfriends -- your own relaxed state might help put your husband at ease and feel more comfortable snuggling up to you. By lowering your stress levels, you’re helping to provide a healthy start for your baby. Knowing that you and your unborn baby are happy and healthy will decrease stress for you both, and less stress will likely translate into more cuddling time.
- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide; Penny Simkin, et al.; 2008
- Sutter Health: Partners and Pregnancy
- "Michigan Family Review;" Becoming a Father: Marital Perceptions and Behaviors of Fathers during Pregnancy; J. Allison Curtis; 1997
- March of Dimes: Stress and Pregnancy - Emotional and Life Changes
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Will Stress During Pregnancy Affect My Baby?
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images