Father doesn’t love his newborn son after unplanned pregnancy

The news of an unexpected pregnancy can be a whirlwind of emotions, especially for those who had never envisioned themselves as parents.

One man found himself dealing with this reality when his wife became unexpectedly pregnant, sparking a wave of uncertainty and doubt about his newfound role as a father.

The man, who goes by the username 0dadbab0, took to Reddit‘s ‘Relationship Advice‘ thread to share his story. Accordingly, he opened up about the complexities of navigating fatherhood when it was never part of his life plan.

The 48-year-old man explained that he and his wife, 40, were “vehemently child-free” and had been married for 18 years before they realized they were pregnant.

“I could not fault her,” the man wrote. “I love her dearly. She knows what she is and isn’t capable of and she wasn’t capable of abortion.”

0dadbab0 explains that he had not planned on being a father, and that he has been finding it difficult to love his son, who is now a year old.

He wrote that his wife is loving motherhood, but it has been more difficult for him.

“I was planning on retiring in a few years. We were going to travel since we haven’t ever done much of it. I’ve always been fairly busy. I was ready to be done. I’ve worked hard to put us in a position where this was possible,” he wrote.

“That’s not the point really. The point is this niggling sense of resentment,” he continued. “The fact that when I look at my son I don’t feel love, just an overwhelming sense of responsibility.”

He does acknowledge that he feels guilty about this, but he does add:

“I’m afraid of failing him and creating some sort of monster. I’m afraid I’ll never be enough. I’m afraid I’ll never feel content in my own home ever again. I’d run if I were a lesser man. I’d never leave them without means to care for themselves … but I’d run.”

Most people were rather understanding in the comments.

“Is male postpartum depression a thing? If you were female this would sound like exactly that. Babies are hard and as far as the ‘goes goes goes’ part it doesn’t last forever, that age is hard especially when you’re feeling the way you are,” one persons said. “It does get easier as far as child rearing goes but I think you need to seek help for how you’re feeling.”

Another person said. “You need to see a therapist. Not Reddit. You are experiencing grief You are grieving for your lost freedom. Your lost plans. You made a few comments in there that lead me to think this is all retrievable, but you need to talk to a therapist,”

“I also think this sounds like postpartum. Feeling out of control with the pregnancy and birth may be the cause or a huge contributor as well,” a third user said, adding: “[Original Poster] you are not alone and I encourage you to reach out. Good people ask for help, it’s okay.”

Eventually, the man came back to give an update on his situation, writing that he’d spent more time with his son, and even asked his wife if he could spend the day alone with the child.

“Honestly the day went (expletive). We both had a tough time. He wanted mom and so did I. There was this moment though when I sang to him ‘I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas’ and he laughed so (expletive) hard,” he wrote. “I’ve never made him laugh like that before. It wasn’t miraculous or revolutionary but I did feel this little spark inside me. This little ‘I want to do that again’ sort of feeling.”

In addition, the new dad revealed he’d been seeing a therapist, writing:

“There are also a lot of unpleasant things I feel when I look at my son. What I’ve utterly failed to take into account is what I see, which is the epitome of innocence. From that I learned that I need to separate my feelings from him. Whatever negativity I feel is not his doing, that is all me and my fears surrounding him. He is not the source of my feelings. He is a trigger and I need to fix that.”

All in all, this father seems to be on the right track when it comes to being a good parent. At the end of the day, no one is perfect, and all we can do is our best!

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