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Q&A: Jealousy From Your Partner

Q. Since I'm older, my boyfriend and I decided to get pregnant before my wedding, which is next spring. He seemed really happy at first, but now he's acting weird, almost as if he's jealous of the baby. Is this normal?

A. Definitely. You're probably getting all sorts of pampering at work, from your friends, and even from strangers, while your partner is left out in the cold. It's not his fault or yours. Although our culture encourages men to be more involved in pregnancy and childbirth, there's really not much for your boyfriend to do at this point other than worry -- about you and the baby, money, and his own increased responsibilities after marriage and fatherhood land squarely on his shoulders. He probably doesn't want to talk about that because he knows he's supposed to be supportive. In addition, you're probably doing just what you should be doing, which is bonding with your unborn baby by talking to her or mulling over names and nursery colors. Your attention is no longer devoted exclusively to your boyfriend, and you can't blame him for feeling displaced and perhaps even resentful of this new love in your life.

To make your boyfriend feel more secure, pick your head up from your belly and notice him. Pay attention to what he's doing and ask what's happening at his job and how he's feeling about all that's going on. Make a special date to see a movie he's been looking forward to and eat at his favorite Thai restaurant. Buy him a new tie, leave a sexy note in his drawer, or surprise him with a picnic in the backyard on Sunday afternoon. It may seem as if it will take more energy than you have at the moment to focus on both your boyfriend and your baby, but this is good training for your life as a family, so why not get started?

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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